12 August 2009
In the past, if you were part of the Rich, the elite, you had special privileges not available to your average working class person. This like Cruise Ship travel (they used to have "Steerage Class" for the "Peasants"). Things like Air Travel was restricted to the "Super Rich". 100 Years ago, the average mode of transportation was by Horse for the average Joe and by foot for the poor. While the Rich rode in class in their "Horseless Carriages". This is still the case in many of the undeveloped areas in the world.
Contrast that world with today's modern Utopia we call the USA. Where the "Super Rich Guy's" AC system in his $250,000.00 Rolls Royce works JUST AS WELL as the AC system in a $15,000 Ford Focus, same for the Air Bags and other safety features. We now share the same Roads, Cruise ships, the same Airplanes, the same Hospitals and the same neighborhoods. I used to live in a 1200 Sq. Ft. home, which is about the average size for a family in poverty. Now I live in a 3000 Sq. Ft. home and my "living area" is about the same as it was in my smaller home. Same goes for my Sister in her 7000 Sq. Ft. Home. the "other areas" of our houses are just BARELY used, since we all end up living in about the same sized space. There's only so much "space" that a human being can live in.
The "Socialist Utopia" has already arrived in the U.S. However, the Political class will only gain power by dividing us and pitting us against each other, so instead of pointing out our similarities, they point out our differences to build a wedge between us.
05 June 2009
Quote:"You talk a nice line, but, like most Russians I have met, you know little more than rhetoric. In fact, your country is a ganster nation, a country of lazy ingrates who are squandering the freedom which the Pope and Ronald Reagan bought for you.
In fact, Russia is a grossly unequal society where a few people are vastly wealthy and most of the value of the average worker's labor goes to further enrich the wealthy few, in which the masses are brainwashed by commercial advertising in a fruitless search for happiness in material form, and that which steals resources and exploits people throughout the Europe, using gansterism power to further profit the already wealthy at the expense of the common people"
This is exactly the kind of attitude that is causing the collapse of the U.S.
Remember the Tenth Commandment not to covet they neighbor's house, wife, or anything that he has. Every Christian, Muslim and Jew have that Commandment in their Holy Books.
06 April 2009
Burn all 60,000 pages of the Tax Code. It's a tax code that was designed specifically to give members of Congress powers to bestow upon special interests in an attempt to keep them in power. Eliminate all taxes, including Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Death Taxes, Import Taxes and so forth. Eliminate all Payroll Taxes. The only responsibility that Employers have is to keep their business in business. While providing jobs is a nice side effect, it's not their responsibility to provide for things like Retirement, Health care, Unemployment Insurance and so forth. These are things that should be purchased by employees, and they should be fully aware of the full cost of such benefits.
- Replace current revenue with a 10% Sales Tax on ALL Goods and Services except for Cash Transfers (such as Bank Deposits) and a 10% Import tax with ZERO Exemptions. The U.S. Economy is currently running at around 13 Trillion and we import about 1.5 Trillion in goods alone. Current income taxes collect 1.1 Trillion and current Duties (Import Taxes) collect 26 Billion. This new model would collect 1.3 Trillion (assuming zero growth) in Sales taxes and 150 Billion in Import Taxes, almost 6X more than current levels (again assuming zero growth).
- Give Employees their FULL pay. Now that the Employer no longer has to pay all these taxes, he should go ahead and give that money directly to the employees. On average an employer spends approximately 10% on Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and an additional 15% on Health Insurance. Your typical family salary is currently around $51,000.00, but once you take out all the Taxes and Social Security, that family only takes home about $39,000.00, not including their share of 401K's and Insurances, which on average reduces it another $3300.00 a year, but let's just keep the Original $39000.00 since not everyone has insurance today. This typical family would now see their take home pay increase to $63,750, a 61% increase without costing the employer a dime. He simply shifted the money he was ALREADY spending on Taxes and Insurance back to the employee.
Think about this for a moment, what kind of life would your family have if you had a 61% increase in your level of income. All of a sudden, things like Health insurance is affordable. Retirement Savings isn't an issue. Heck you could even get by without the Government paying for your kids lunch!
- Double the current Minimum Wage. Now that employers no longer have to comply with a crushing level of government mandates, he can afford to pay his employees more. He should pass on the savings to his employees.
- Give Employees a choice, but make retirement mandatory. Now that employees are flush with cash, the only responsibility that Employers now have is to offer an SS401K, (Social Security 401K) where they must put a minimum of 10% of their pay into. In addition, employers need to offer insurance, but all insurance premiums would be fully deducted from the employee's pay, again so he knows the FULL cost of these products.
Let's cover the SS401K's first. These special SS401K's will be Government certified to only invest into Grade A Commercial Paper, Midcap to Largecap growth companies and Home loans (NOT SubPrime Garbage). Every year employees must update the year they plan to retire, and at least half of their account must be moved out of the stock market no later than 5 years from retirement to reduce exposure to volatility.
- Issue Bonds to pay for the current crop of Social Security recipients. Currently, the U.S. will have to pay about 17 Trillion over the next 30 years to the people who are currently enrolled in Social Security and Medicare. The U.S. should monetize this obligation and place it in each tax payers SS401K plan on a pro-rated basis, dependent upon how much they've paid into Social Security so far, in the form of U.S. Interest Bearing Bonds (instead of the non interest bearing type they're currently filling Social Security with). Chile has already set a precedence for this and their average retirees are actually worth more than your average retiree here in the richest country in the world. These bonds will require an additional 5% sales tax, but the good news is that once they're paid off (in about 30 years) that extra 5% drag on the economy will be gone.
- Make Employees take responsibility for their Health Care. Pre-existing conditions clauses would be eliminated. Age indexing would be eliminated, all policy holders will pay the same price, regardless of age, sex or condition. While you would think that this would cause rates to rise, in reality it won't because it will balance out with healthy people that currently choose NOT to buy insurance injecting cash into the system. HMO Type policies will also be eliminated because they mask true costs of health care from the general populace, which is why the health care industry is able to get away with increase that are usually 2 or 3X the level of inflation. All employees will have the choice of going with one of 3 policies, a modified Medical Savings Account which has a $5000.00 Cash allotment to be used for medical expenses on a special Credit Card), after which the company pays for all expenses (This would be the closest thing to an HMO, but at least the employee is AWARE of the TRUE cost of services). The second type of policy will be a Catastrophic policy that only pays after a $5000.00 deductible (this will be the cheapest, probably around 2 to $400.00 a month). The third option will be a standard indemnity policy with around a $250.00 deductible and 80/20 coverage, where you file paperwork with the insurance company and they reimburse you 80% of what you paid (usually to 5 or 10K then it covers 100%). All policies will have to cover up to 2 Million. Since Doctors and hospitals will no longer have to hire battalions of Billing Specialist to fight the HMO's for reimbursement, all Doctors that currently take insurance (yeah some don't) will be required to reduce their current prices by 25%. This price control will be in effect for 5 years to give the market time to adjust to the new realities.
- All those who chose to ignore the law (such as illegal Immigrants and the self employed who didn't buy policies) will be transferred to special Government run hospitals if they end up needing care, where they can receive Canadian Style wait for years to get treatment service. This way Hospitals can't use the uninsured as an excuse to charge us $100.00 for a Tylenol.
- Make Employees take responsibility for Mishaps. Mishaps happen, unemployment happens and so employees will have to take responsibility and buy their own unemployment insurance and Accident insurance. Policies like AFLAC pay a certain amount of CASH for every day that someone is in the hospital so they can pay their bills. Unemployment insurance should be offered by private companies with the risk rating relative to how many times someone has applied for unemployment. As an employer, I was keenly aware of employees who would work the minimum of 6 months to qualify for unemployment, they would then get themselves fired and then applied and "took 3 months off". Then went back to work for the next stooge.
Employees that show this pattern of behavior should be charged more for their unemployment insurance. Again, people will be required to buy these kinds of policies, but they shouldn't consume any more than about 1 to 3% of their pay. All of These insurance Policies, Retirement accounts and even savings accounts should be offered as a direct deduction to employees, but none of it should be subsidized by the employer. If the employer wishes to subsidize something, they should simply pay the employee more money and let the employee decide what to do with the cash.
- Move more responsibility towards the States. Things like Welfare and other social programs should be administered by the States. With their constituents flush with cash, they will see a MASSIVE increase in sales tax revenue. Remember, even though the average person has to pay 15% more for their products (between the 10% sales Tax and the 5% special Assessment for Social Security Bonds) they will still have between 25 to 61% more money to spend. The average family won't be spending any more than about 15% to 25% of their pay on Retirement and Insurance, so that should leave PLENTY of extra cash for buying more stuff. The states can use this revenue to increase their
- Reap the rewards. Small Business owners who inherited the business from their parents will no longer have to pay crushing death taxes and sell off parts of the business. With Oil imports permanently costing 10% more than the home grown variety, companies will have more incentives to both drill at home and develop alternatives, such as Wind and Solar. This alone will help to provide Millions of new jobs. The same goes for a variety of other businesses where imports are only marginally lower than the home grown variety. Businesses that relocated to other parts of the world will be flocking back to the U.S. totake advantage of the elimination of the Capital Gains tax. EVERY Multinational Company in the world will relocate their headquarters to the U.S. With 100% of Profits (instead of 65% under the old system) being reinvested in companies, the U.S. will see the most powerful boom in economic activity since the start of WWII, far eclipsing and surpassing any economic boom that we've ever had.
05 April 2009
Apparently there's been over 600,000 searches over the past several months with the following being the Hottest Key words:
Hot photos, Sarah Palin Bikini Photos, Sarah Palin Nude, Sarah Palin Naked.
Honestly, this just literally blows my mind that this is what people are looking for, they're not looking for the fact that she's running one of the only states with a massive budget surplus, they're not talking about the fact that even with surpluses, she's cut over a Billion dollars out of the budget. They're not talking or looking for information on all of her great accomplishments, instead they're looking for a Flesh Piece? Well to that all I can say is maybe America got what they deserved with the current administration.
For all you doubter's here's the REAL photograph that you see above:
If you need another party to verify, check out snopes.
03 April 2009
But the bulbs contain mercury, a neurotoxin, and the companies and federal government haven't come up with effective ways to get Americans to recycle them!
"The problem with the bulbs is that they'll break before they get to the landfill. They'll break in containers, or they'll break in a dumpster or they'll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens," says John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, the trade group for the people who handle trash and recycling.
Skinner says when bulbs break near homes, they can contaminate the soil.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for children and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish contaminated with mercury, however, that can change now that we're adding more and more mercury filled bulbs into our homes and places of business.
Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash, but in most states the practice is legal.
Pete Keller works for Eco Lights Northwest, the only company in Washington state that recycles fluorescent lamps. He says it is illegal to put the bulbs in the trash in some counties in Washington, but most people still throw them out.
"I think most people do want to recycle, but if it's not made easy, it doesn't happen," Keller says. "And they're small enough to fit in a trash can. So by nature, I think most people are not recyclers. So if it's small enough to fit in a trash can, that's where it ends up."
Experts agree that it's not easy for most people to recycle these bulbs. Even cities that have curbside recycling won't take the bulbs. So people have to take them to a hazardous-waste collection day or a special facility.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program concedes that not enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and make it easier for them to do so.
"I share your frustration that there isn't a national infrastructure for the proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who manages EPA's Energy Star program. That programs gives the compact bulbs its "energy star" seal of approval.
She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.
The difference however is that while Mercury emissions at Coal Fired plants can be controlled with tougher legislation, Mercury in our homes and offices, and especially landfills cannot be easily contained.
Reed says the agency has been urging stores that sell the bulbs to help recycle them.
"EPA is actively engaged with trying to find a solution that works for these retailers around recycling the product, because it's really, really important," Reed says.
But so far, she says the biggest sellers of the bulbs haven't stepped up to the plate.
"The only retailer that I know of that is recycling is IKEA," she says, referring to the Swedish-owned furniture chain store.
Reed says the EPA has been prodding other retailers, such as Wal-Mart, to do more.
"We are working with Wal-Mart on it, we are making some progress. But no commitments have been made on the part of Wal-Mart," she says.
Wal-Mart didn't respond to requests for a comment on the issue.
EPA also has asked retailers to sell the lower mercury compact bulbs that some manufacturers are making. Engineers say you can't cut mercury out completely.
Some other big companies have started paying attention to the recycling problem.
General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years. Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.
"Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric.
In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional staffers on Thursday.
Story originally by Elizabeth Shogren
02 April 2009
Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told'
The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker.
Christopher Booker, 28 Mar 2009
If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.
Although the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.
But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".
When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.
Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.
One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a trend".
When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an "expert reviewer" on the IPCC's last two reports, he was "astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one". Yet the results of all this "deliberate ignorance" and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.
•For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview "Claim that sea level is rising is a total fraud"; or email him – firstname.lastname@example.org – to buy a copy of his booklet 'The Greatest Lie Ever Told'
Fined, frozen and now jailed
The Marine Fisheries Agency was certainly onto a winner when it enlisted the aid of the Assets Recovery Agency in its ruthless war against our fishermen. In December 2007 Charles McBride and his son Charles, from Kilkeel in Northern Ireland, were fined £385,000 for under-declaring catches of whitefish and prawns in the Irish Sea, threatening the loss of their homes and boat. But the Assets Recovery Agency, using powers designed to recover money from drug dealers, also froze all their assets. To pay the fines, the McBrides tried to borrow against their assets. Now, for this effort to pay the fines, Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced the two men to two and three months in gaol for “contempt of court”.
The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, timed his jibe impeccably last week when he said that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”. Britain’s largest windfarm companies are pulling out of wind as fast as they can. Despite 100 per cent subsidies, the credit crunch and technical problems spell an end to Gordon Brown’s £100 billion dream of meeting our EU target to derive 35 per cent of our electricity from “renewables” by 2020.
Meanwhile the Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the “great wind fantasy” will soon be over.
Here's the story from Reuters
Jobless claims at 26-year high
Thu Apr 2, 2009 1:42pm BST
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose to its highest level in over 26 years last week and so-called continued claims jumped to a record high in March, according to data that underscored the labor market deterioration.
KEY POINTS: * The Labor Department said on Thursday initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 669,000 in the week ended March 28, the highest since the week ending October 2, 1982, from an upwardly revised 657,000 the week before. * Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 650,000 new claims versus a previously reported count of 652,000 the prior week. * The number of people staying on the benefits roll after collecting an initial week of aid surged 161,000 to 5.73 million in the week ended March 21, the latest week for which the data is available, from 5.57 million the previous week. * This was the highest on record and lifted the insured unemployment rate to 4.3 percent, the highest since a matching 4.3 percent in the week ending May 21, 1983. * The insured unemployment rate was at 4.2 percent in the week ended March 14. * The four-week moving average for new claims, considered to be a better gauge of underlying trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, climbed 6,500 to 656,750 in the week ending March 28, from 650,250. * That was the highest reading since October 1982.
SCOTT BROWN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA:
"Jobless claims are another really bad number. We have been seeing not just an elevated trend but an increasing trend. That is not good. We know the labor market is going to be a lagging indicator but we need to see the pace of job losses moderate soon if we are going to get a recovery.
"Following the ADP data we got yesterday, I think markets will be braced for a decline of 700,000 or more in non farm payrolls.
"Treasuries are looking at the stock market, which is poised to open higher. These numbers are not affecting the government bond market much."
SUBODH KUMAR, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, SUBODH KUMAR & ASSOCIATES, TORONTO:
"The employment data is still poor-- we saw that in Europe as well-- but I think the markets aren't responding to hard data right now. I think markets today will be focused more on confidence measures, and how confidence may be lifted.
"At the G20 meeting, I think investors have expectations for news about regulations, and I also think they'd like to see more aggressive stimulus policy. They want more concrete action on stimulus."
T.J. MARTA, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, MARTA ON THE MARKETS, SCOTCH PLAINS, NEW JERSEY:
"This is bad. It needs to be countered against the rise in the U.S. population; as a percentage, it's not that bad.
"Continued claims is the more concerning matter. What it says to me is the persistence of unemployment. The unwillingness of the auto industry to adjust and the bubbles in housing and on Wall Street have led to a misallocation of house resources. It's more of a structural reallocation of resources, which could be worse than anything we've seen since the Great Depression."
MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. equity index futures pare gains slightly after jobless claims data. BONDS: U.S. Treasury debt prices steady at lower levels. DOLLAR: U.S. dollar little changed.
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved.
01 April 2009
Now it seems that RedState has Hijacked the Ad to ask who's going to pay for Obama's Ten Trillion Dollar Deficit!
And here's the Original Ad by Move On....
Published: Apr 1, 2009
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by Vincent Gioia
Here is an example of how this works.
Goldman Sachs (home of many Obama appointees) wants to buy a million dollars of mortgages from a bank for $420,000; Goldman puts up $30,000 and Treasury puts up $30,000 but then the FDIC guarantees a loan for $360,000. Goldman gets 93% of the profits while taxpayers (suckers like us) are on the hook for 93% of the risk.
Tens of thousands of defaulted mortgages on tens of thousands of homes are bought giving favored bankers like Goldman Sachs ownership of them by putting up just 7 cents on the dollar. The sub-prime mortgages total more than $2 trillion so this amounts to another huge give-away to politically well-connected bankers.
Looking at the scheme all together: $80 billion goes to make JPMorgan Chase whole on its bad trades; $319 billion goes to Citibank; $300 billion goes to bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; $185 billion to bonus-giving AIG; $29 billion to Bear Stearns; $25 billion to General Motors Finance; $700 billion in currency swaps to other governments and trillions for the TARP, TALF; and other programs that will make bankers who have shown their greed and incompetence wealthy while Obama and Geithner make the rest of poorer.
Although Geithner and Obama are able to fool Americans with the aid of the Democrat news media house organs, the rest of the world is not so gullible.
As the dollar trends lower against other countries' currencies, people like George Soros make billions. Soros has already said "This has been a good crisis for me," and why not? Soros was able to get 158% profits in just 24 days by buying options that stood to gain when the Euro rose against the dollar. The Euro rose less than a dime but Soros and others like him wound up with huge gains. Add another 74% profits in two weeks with options on the British pound and more profit on just a change of 9 cents – a 77% profit when the pound increased 10.3 cents against the dollar. Now with the size the bailouts and the huge multi-trillion dollar deficits, the US dollar will likely fall even more. The profit potential for the likes of George Soros who gains and adds to his fortune by currency speculation will now, from currency options on stronger currencies, be enormous.
Those with 401 Ks who lost large sums in the market meltdown can attest that no matter how well diversified you are, there are times when the whole stock market goes pretty much straight down, and the same for
Soros knows that in any kind of financial climate, including today's recession/depression currencies can always be found that go up in value. That's not true with almost any other kind of investment.
Geithner is perpetrating a huge lie that will wreck the dollar and is the biggest scam in our history - all for the benefit of wealthy bankers who will be beholden to Obama and the Democrat Party. Even the president of the European Union called these bailouts and other lunatic American policies "the road to Hell." But in this case the road to hell is paved with gold for the fortunate few.
Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California
Happy Independence Day, America!The Amazing Grace of "Do-Over," The Art of Second ChanceMay 21, 2011 Is Judgment Day? True Or False?Soros-funded Criminals Lobby Sparks Prison RevoltA Growing Escalation in West AfricaEducation Is Not King Along the Texas-Mexico BorderMedia Excuse Obama's Power GrabThe Key to Beating Obama in 2012: Publicize The Truth About Him And ACORNThe Cancun Climate ConPhilosophy & the Top 1%
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31 March 2009
Promoted from diaries. - Moe Lane.
In today’s Washington Times there is a report about how a bunch of AIG Financial Services executives were “asked” by their CEO to donate to Chris Dodd’s campaign, and to encourage their subordinates to do the same. Read AIG chief executive Joseph Cassano’s email for yourself.
Was this more than just a suggestion? Well, the boss said he wanted copies of the checks they sent. And it seems pretty clear that the recipients of the email got the gist: in less than two months, Dodd received over $160,000 in donations from AIG employees and their spouses.
Did Chris Dodd have any part in this request? We may never know. And it’s not illegal. So what’s the big deal? Well, the email pretty explicitly calls for the donations with the understanding that they will have very real and practical effects in their favor:
With the Democrats having regained control of the Senate following the November elections, Senator Dodd is next in line to become chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. From securities litigation reform, class action reform, mutual funds, and international trade, Senator Dodd will now have the opportunity as chairman to set the committee’s agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry.
And it just happens to turn out that Cassano was right on. On the eve of the passage of the stimulus bill, who tweaks an amendment that a few weeks later allows numerous AIG executives to collect about $160 million in bonuses that would not have been allowed without the last minute change by Chairman Chris Dodd! Not a bad return on an investment: donate $160k, 28 months later get $160 million.
Dodd doesn’t deny any of it. Instead, he sends his spokesman to trots out his now-tired line of “it’s old news.” From FoxNews:
…[DeAngelis] said Dod’s fundraising “has always been above-board, transparent and in accordance with campaign finance rules.”
“This is a biased news story that seems to be a blatant attempt to repeat old news,” DeAngelis told FoxNews. “The truth is, Senator Dodd has made it clear that he will not accept contributions from PAC’s of companies receiveing (federal bailout) money and has also made it clear that if anyone who received these recent bonuses from AIG has donated to his campaigns, he will donate that money to charity.”
As if the fact that he got paid off two years ago and that he was “transparently” bought off makes it okay. Just like when he got caught with his sweetheart Countrywide mortgages, he figures that since the unethical behavior was a long time ago and he recently got around to remortgaging, there is no story there.
Frankly, the fact that he doesn’t seem to think any of his numerous scandals are newsworthy is nearly as worrisome as the scandals themselves.
And via “A Disgruntled Republican,” you might get a chuckle out of this:
Hey, you hear about this? Very strange incident at JFK Airport in New York City today. An AIG executive going through security had to empty out all his pockets. You know what fell out? Senator Chris Dodd.” - Jay Leno
Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.
I still believe that some Employees of AIG got a raw deal, but this is just more proof that Washington, with their fake outrage needs to get on the ball and get off the take.
25 March 2009
DEAR Mr. Liddy,
It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products. I hope you take the time to read this entire letter. Before describing the details of my decision, I want to offer some context:
I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.
After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.
I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.
You and I have never met or spoken to each other, so I’d like to tell you about myself. I was raised by schoolteachers working multiple jobs in a world of closing steel mills. My hard work earned me acceptance to M.I.T., and the institute’s generous financial aid enabled me to attend. I had fulfilled my American dream.
I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.
The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation. I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers.
I have the utmost respect for the civic duty that you are now performing at A.I.G. You are as blameless for these credit default swap losses as I am. You answered your country’s call and you are taking a tremendous beating for it.
But you also are aware that most of the employees of your financial products unit had nothing to do with the large losses. And I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us. I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations from certain members of Congress last Wednesday and from the press over our retention payments, and that you didn’t defend us against the baseless and reckless comments made by the attorneys general of New York and Connecticut.
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My guess is that in October, when you learned of these retention contracts, you realized that the employees of the financial products unit needed some incentive to stay and that the contracts, being both ethical and useful, should be left to stand. That’s probably why A.I.G. management assured us on three occasions during that month that the company would “live up to its commitment” to honor the contract guarantees.
That may be why you decided to accelerate by three months more than a quarter of the amounts due under the contracts. That action signified to us your support, and was hardly something that one would do if he truly found the contracts “distasteful.”
That may also be why you authorized the balance of the payments on March 13.
At no time during the past six months that you have been leading A.I.G. did you ask us to revise, renegotiate or break these contracts — until several hours before your appearance last week before Congress.
I think your initial decision to honor the contracts was both ethical and financially astute, but it seems to have been politically unwise. It’s now apparent that you either misunderstood the agreements that you had made — tacit or otherwise — with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, various members of Congress and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York, or were not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds.
You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.
As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.
Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.
The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.
So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.
That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.
On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.
This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.
Mr. Liddy, I wish you success in your commitment to return the money extended by the American government, and luck with the continued unwinding of the company’s diverse businesses — especially those remaining credit default swaps. I’ll continue over the short term to help make sure no balls are dropped, but after what’s happened this past week I can’t remain much longer — there is too much bad blood. I’m not sure how you will greet my resignation, but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I’ll leave under my own power and will not need to be “shoved out the door.”
24 March 2009
read more digg story
02 March 2009
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Keith Oberman's Delusional Response
Ron Christie Defends Rush at CNN
01 March 2009
This is kind of old, but for a fleeting moment, I thought to myself, WOW, for once I have to agree with these guys. Of course, in the end though, he makes this all about the Evil "Republicans" vs the "Saitly" Democrats. What he fails to say however, is the fact that the Democrats have been in charge of Congress for the past 2 years and could have crafted this in any way they wanted to. They've been in the majority since the 2006 Elections, so why the outrage against JUST the Republicans. Once again, The Young Turks prove themselves to be nothing but a mouth peice for the Democrat Party.
I checked their You Tube Video's to see if they had something similarly critical of Obama's Trillion Dollar "Bailout" or his nearly 4 Trillion Dollar budget, and of course there's nothing there critisizing that level of outrageous spending. So there you have it, these so called "Rebels" are nothing more than
23 February 2009
13 February 2009
What bothers me the most about this is the fact that Obama has picked Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as the new head of Homeland Security? Was it her Stellar Record? What's more is that Napolitano didn't even complete her own state security plan. As the Tucson Citizen pointed out,
"(Gov. Janet Napolitano) blames budget problems and the difficulty coordinating agencies in Arizona, where she has been governor, for failing to complete key provisions of a detailed security plan for her own state."Apparently Yet Again, Politics trumps anything else in Washington, and the post was given as political payback, instead of given to the right person for the right job. The following story can be found on ABC's website, but why isn't this the leading story on their newscasts? I suppose whoever is winning the Grammy's is a bigger story.
Washington Too Concerned With al Qaeda Terrorists to Care, Officials Say
February 11, 2009
In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone. But local authorities say Washington, DC is too obsessed with al Qaeda terrorists to care about what is happening in their own backyard right now.
"We're in the eye of the storm," Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson told ABC News of the violent crimes and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico's drug cartels that have expanded business across the border. "If it doesn't stop here, if we're not able to fix it here and get it turned around, it will go across the nation," he said.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown warned that as the U.S. government focuses so intently on Islamic extremist groups, other types of terrorists – those involved with the same kidnappings, extortion and drug cartels that are sweeping Phoenix – are overlooked.
To try and combat the crime wave, the Phoenix police have created a special unit to handle the kidnappings called the Home Invasion Task Force, which has pulled more than a dozen officers off other assignments. The crimes are occurring across the valley and in all types of neighborhoods, authorities warn.