Publicado: 08-14-2011 11:54 PM
If you truly desire to deliver the nation from its current economic morass, then call off your administration’s war on business. Consider what happens to the entrepreneurial impulse when success means you could easily find yourself summoned before Congress to make a public apology for turning a profit. You have often chastised business for not spending the one or two trillion dollars it is holding in excess cash. Since cash, in today’s low-interest environment, yields companies next to nothing, it is time for you to ask yourself why they continue to hold onto it. I suspect most firms would welcome an opportunity to put that cash to good use. They will not, however, squander it. Unlike the stimulus program, which threw away nearly a trillion dollars, companies cannot spend a trillion dollars and have nothing to show for it. Unlike the way government treats taxpayers, companies cannot go back to their customers and ask for a cash fill-up. The reason business is holding onto its cash is that your administration has created such a negative and uncertain business climate that many companies have judged it too risky to put their cash reserves in play.
The much-needed revolution in attitudes within your administration must come from the top. As a first step, fire all your economic advisers. Interestingly, the economists you started with have already bolted. Rats are never hesitant to leap from a sinking ship. Unfortunately, you flubbed the opportunity their departure presented by replacing them with ideological clones. Please have Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner show them the door, and then shove him out before the door closes.
For the time being, it probably is not wise to replace them with other economists. What good have their ilk done you? Which of them predicted the financial crisis? Have any of them advocated any measures that have helped us out of our economic hole? By now even you have to be sick of hearing economists say, “but on the other hand,” as if there were two equally good alternatives for every problem. If you do have to replace them with other economists, then stop listening to them. Let them sit in the corner writing papers no one will read, as you get back to the serious business of fixing the country.
Rather than continually turning to the clueless council of economic advisers, create a body of business advisers. Bring to your side the men and women who have been keeping American business afloat during this crisis and let them help you unclog the paths to prosperity. If they knew that they would be listened to and that they could make a difference, you will be amazed at how many will flock to your banner. Dozens, probably hundreds, of “evil” businessmen will forgo their paychecks, their bonuses, and their private jets to work uncompensated to help you fix America.
As your former adviser Larry Summers pointed out, “. . . if Hitler had not come along, Franklin Roosevelt would have left office in 1941 with an unemployment rate in excess of 15 percent and an economic recovery strategy that had basically failed.” Apparently, Roosevelt’s economic advisers were as oblivious as your own. The people who met the emergency of World War II and got American industry working again were not economists. They were the businessmen who came to Washington to work for a dollar a year. It was they and their selfless sacrifice, coupled with those who stayed back in the factories, that made America the Arsenal of Democracy.
Realizing he needed the full might of American industry to win the war, Roosevelt pushed the New Dealers aside, so as to make room for men who actually knew how to build and deliver a product. It is well past time for you to do the same.
— Jim Lacey is professor of strategic studies at the Marine Corps War College. He is the author of the recently released The First Clash and Keep from All Thoughtful Men. The opinions in this article are entirely his own and do not represent those of the Department of Defense or any of its members.
Publicado: 08-15-2011 09:40 AM
OBAMA AND THE SOROS LOOPHOLE
By Matthew Vadum On August 11, 2011 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage
It wasn’t that long ago that currency speculator George Soros was traveling the globe urging a regulatory crackdown on the same financial sector that has allowed him to become a billionaire 14 times over.
In late 2008 the preachy political radical who has given more than $8 billion to charities and left-wing causes lectured a congressional committee. “The entire regulatory framework needs to be reconsidered and hedge funds need to be regulated within that framework,” he pontificated.
Soros got his wish, and the lawmakers his money helped to install in Congress dutifully approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 111-203).
Soros talks a good game when it comes to openness and transparency. With an obedient media in tow, he postures as a defender of business ethics and good government but the lofty ideals he espouses apply only to other people. In the end, when his personal interests are at stake, his professed ideals get discarded like yesterday’s racing form.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this man who has described himself as “some kind of god” now doesn’t want to comply with new disclosure rules that accompany the Dodd-Frank law. To avoid complying, he is closing his $25 billion Quantum funds to investors outside his family.
What new regulation does Soros consider to be so burdensome? A mere requirement that hedge funds such as his with more than $150 million under management register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by March 2012. A loophole allows a fund to skip registering if it manages only a family’s funds.
Why would Soros, benefactor of the aggressively leftist Open Society Institute, not want to register like all the other big players on Wall Street? In the scheme of things registration isn’t a big deal. Its major drawback is that it would open up Soros’s shady dealings to unprecedented public scrutiny.
Publicado: 08-15-2011 09:40 AM
In a case of typically British understatement, the Financial Times of London observed that Soros’s “decision contrasts with his own reputation as an advocate for both government and corporate transparency.”
There’s more than a mere contrast here. Soros’s refusal to register with the SEC is a deliberate betrayal of the principles to which he self-righteously pays lip service.
It’s all part of a pattern. Soros has long believed the rules don’t apply to him.
Soros would never allow regulators to examine his exotic investment schemes or his unorthodox financial strategies. Such oversight might give the government early warnings of his upcoming shenanigans.
Remember that Soros profits from economic destruction.
He was convicted of insider trading in France in 2006. He has caused havoc worldwide with his currency bets. For example, he “broke” the Bank of England in 1992 by shorting the pound. Although he earned more than $1 billion in the process, his sneaky maneuver cost British taxpayers £3.3 billion.
In Britain, the Daily Mail just published an article indicating that Soros may have earned $10 billion on Friday by making a $1 billion bet that U.S. sovereign debt would lose its triple-A rating.
And Soros’s hypocrisy is breathtaking. While profiting handsomely from capitalism, Soros sings the praises of European-sstyle socialism and says it’s “exactly what we need now.”
“The system we have now has actually broken down, only we haven’t quite recognized it and so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it,” Soros said as he created the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in 2009 with a $50 million endowment.
The purpose of INET, in his own words, is to develop “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”
Soros also lauds the brutal totalitarian efficiency of the Communist regime in China and wants the People’s Republic to replace America as the world’s superpower. “Today China has not only a more vigorous economy, but actually a better functioning government than the United States,” he said last year.
In one sense, he’s right. If he pulled one of his economy-collapsing stunts in China, the authorities would waste no time putting him in front of a firing squad.
But in America Soros’s economic troublemaking earns him invitations to the Obama White House.
Publicado: 08-19-2011 11:33 AM
SENTENCING ACORN AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS WAR AGAINST U.S.
By Matthew Vadum On August 18, 2011 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage
After more than 40 years of waging war against America’s democratic institutions, the lawless ACORN gang has finally been brought to justice.
ACORN, the organization that brought Americans the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (the “Motor Voter” law), which makes election fraud a breeze, was sentenced for felony voter fraud in Las Vegas last week.
The nonprofit group famous for turning graveyards across the nation into Democratic strongholds, had previously pleaded guilty to unlawful compensation for registration of voters, a crime in Nevada.
Significantly, this is the first time ACORN itself, as opposed to its individual workers, has been convicted of a crime.
The court fined ACORN $5,000, the maximum allowed under state law. ACORN will probably end up paying nothing for its crimes. When the group filed bankruptcy last November, it declared assets of less than $4,000 against liabilities exceeding $4 million.
Prosecutors said the higher-ups in the group knew two senior ACORN executives were involved in a criminal conspiracy in which voter registration canvassers were illegally offered cash bonuses upon reaching the magic number of 21 registrations in a day.
In what appears to be an inside joke, ACORN officials in the gambling capital of America called the incentive program “Blackjack.”
But Las Vegas Judge Donald Mosley wasn’t laughing at the sentencing hearing.
“It is making a mockery of our election process,” Mosley fumed. “If I had an individual in this courtroom … who was responsible for this kind of thing, I would put that person in prison for 10 years, hard time, and not think twice about it.”
Mosley called ACORN’s crime “reprehensible.”
“This is the kind of thing you see in some banana republic, Uruguay or someplace, not in the United States.”
Not as far as ACORN, which used to employ President Obama, is concerned.
As I report in my new book, Subversion Inc., at least 54 ACORN employees and individuals associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud. Voter fraud is a blanket term coined by lawyers. It refers to fraudulent voting, identity fraud, perjury, voter registration fraud, forgery, and a variety of crimes related to the electoral process.
The radical leftists of ACORN wage war against the democratic system because to them “real” democracy is Marxist mobocracy. It’s only democracy in their eyes if they prevail. If they lose, it’s not democracy: the capitalists stole the election or took advantage of the people because they suffer from a mass “false consciousness.”
OBAMA CAUGHT SAYING ACORN AND FRIENDS WILL SHAPE HIS PRESIDENTIAL AGENDA
PLEASE OPEN Y SEE AND HEAR BY YOURSELF
Publicado: 08-19-2011 11:33 AM
As David Horowitz explains in Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model, ACORN’s class warriors have contempt for the election process because they don’t believe in the electoral system as it is constituted in a capitalist democracy. To them, elections are already a fraud—an instrument of the rich, or as [Saul] Alinsky prefers to call them, the Haves. If the electoral system doesn’t serve “the people,” but is only an instrument of the Haves, then election fraud is justified as the path to a future that will serve the Have-Nots.
ACORN 2 OBAMA
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that ACORN doesn’t care if the voters it registers are actual people or cartoon characters. “There’s no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances,” said Nate Toler, who worked on an ACORN voter effort in Missouri. “The internal motto is ‘We don’t care if it’s a lie, just so long as it stirs up the conversation.’”
As a matter of policy ACORN never conducted criminal background checks on its voter registration canvassers.
In fact ACORN considered a criminal background to be an asset. In Nevada the group gave voter registration jobs to 59 inmates from a work-release program. Several of the felons who had been convicted of identity theft were made supervisors. “That led some local wags to joke that at least ACORN was hiring specialists to do their work,” the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund wrote.
ACORN cared so little about the integrity of the electoral system that in 2010 its voter mobilization division, Project Vote, put Amy Adele Busefink in charge of its national get-out-the-vote operation. Busefink, who entered a no-contest plea earlier this year for her involvement in “Blackjack,” was under indictment in Nevada while running the 2010 voter drive. She also ran ACORN’s fraud-ridden 2008 voter registration drive in which 400,000 bogus registrations were thrown out.
Although ACORN, the shell corporation that ran the ACORN network, is out of business, its newly renamed state chapters and Project Vote remain in business.
This means that as Election Day 2012 draws nearer, dead Democratic voters will rise from their resting places to reelect President Obama.
Publicado: 08-19-2011 09:19 PM
OBAMA’S BAD LUCK? BAD FAITH? HE SOWED, HE REAPS
Obama blames a recalcitrant providence and an unpatriotic opposition for his woes.
August 19, 2011
“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, got the economy moving again. . . . But over the last six months, we’ve had a run of bad luck.”
— President Obama, Decorah, Iowa, August 15
A troubled nation wonders: How did we get mired in 9.1 percent unemployment, 0.9 percent growth, and an economic outlook so bad that the Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates at zero through mid-2013 — an admission that it sees little hope on the horizon?
Bad luck, explains our president. Out of nowhere came Japan and its supply-chain disruptions, Europe and its debt problems, the Arab Spring and those oil spikes. Kicked off, presumably, by various acts of God (should He not be held accountable too?): earthquake and tsunami. (Tomorrow: pestilence and famine. Maybe frogs.)
Well yes, but what leader is not subject to external events? Were the minor disruptions of the current Arab Spring remotely as damaging as the Arab oil embargo of 1973–74? Were the supply disruptions of Japan 2011 anything like the Asian financial collapse of 1997–98? Events happen. Leaders are elected to lead (from the front, incidentally). That means dealing with events, not plaintively claiming to be their victim.
Moreover, luck is the residue of design, as Branch Rickey immortally observed. And Obama’s design for the economy was a near–$1 trillion stimulus that left not a trace, the heavy hand of Obamacare, and a flurry of regulatory zeal that seeks to stifle everything from domestic energy production to Boeing’s manufacturing expansion into South Carolina.
He sowed, he reaps.
In Obama’s recounting, however, luck is only half the story. His economic recovery was ruined not just by acts of God and (foreign) men, but by Americans who care nothing for their country. These people, who inhabit Congress (guess what party?), refuse to set aside “politics” for the good of the nation. They serve special interests and lobbyists, care only about the next election, place party ahead of country. Indeed, they “would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.” The blaggards!
Publicado: 08-19-2011 09:20 PM
For weeks, these calumnies have been Obama staples. Calumnies, because they give not an iota of credit to the opposition for trying to promote the public good, as presumably Obama does, but from different premises and principles. Calumnies, because they deny legitimacy to those on the other side of the great national debate about the size and scope and reach of government.
Charging one’s opponents with bad faith is the ultimate political ad hominem. It obviates argument, fact, logic, history. Conservatives resist Obama’s social-democratic, avowedly transformational agenda not just on principle but on empirical grounds, as well — the economic and moral unraveling of Europe’s social-democratic experiment, on display today from Athens to the streets of London.
Obama’s answer? He doesn’t even engage. That’s the point of these ugly accusations of bad faith. They are the equivalent of branding Republicans enemies of the people. Gov. Rick Perry has been rightly chided for throwing around the word “treasonous” in reference to the Fed. Obama gets a pass for doing the same, only slightly more artfully, regarding Republicans. After all, he is accusing them of wishing to see America fail for their own political gain. What is that if not a charge of betraying one’s country?
The charge is not just ugly. It’s laughable. All but five Republican members of the House — moderate, establishment, tea party, freshman alike — voted for a budget containing radical Medicare reform knowing it could very well end many of their careers. Democrats launched gleefully into Mediscare attacks, hardly believing their luck that Republicans should have proposed something so politically risky in pursuit of fiscal solvency. Yet Obama accuses Republicans of acting for nothing but partisan advantage.
This from a man who has cagily refused to propose a single structural reform to entitlements in his three years in office. A man who ordered that the Afghan surge be unwound by September 2012, a date that makes no military sense (it occurs during the fighting season), a date not recommended by his commanders, a date whose sole purpose is to give Obama political relief on the eve of the 2012 election. And Obama dares accuse others of placing politics above country?
A plague of bad luck and bad faith — a recalcitrant providence and an unpatriotic opposition. Our president wrestles with angels, monsters of mythic proportions.
A comforting fantasy. But a sorry excuse for a failing economy and a flailing presidency.