Archive for the ‘Warriors Main Blog’ Category

The Obama Donor List

Revealed: The Obama Donor List

posted at 12:55 pm on July 23, 2010 by Anita MonCrief

For a number of years traditional print media has been on life support, but after the revelations from  Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller, it looks like someone finally pulled the plug. The expose on Journolist, a now defunct, listserv that included hundreds of liberal journalists, detailed:

  • the Journolisters’ attempt, during the 2008 presidential campaign to kill and bury stories about Obama’s relationship with “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright;
  • their push to deliberately smear innocent conservative journalists and politicos as “racists” and “bigots”
  • their twisted passion to see Rush Limbaugh killed off and dead;
  • their intolerant desire to have the government censor and shut down Fox News; and
  • their baldly partisan effort to coordinate liberal talking points that would discredit Sarah Palin and John McCain, while helping to elect Barack Obama president.

Considering that Journolist included journalists from Washington Post, the New York Times, National Public Radio, New Republic, and Time, one has to wonder if the biggest story covered up in 2008 was the illegal coordination between ACORN and the Obama campaign.

Below is a screen shot from the newly released Obama 2nd quarter 2007 donor list. ACORN obtained this donor list from the Obama Campaign in 2007 to target maxed out presidential donors.

VIEW THE FULL OBAMA DONOR FILES

Revealed: Obama Donor File Part 1

As a confidential source for the New York Times, I turned this document over to reporter Stephanie Strom months before the 2008 presidential elections and though the list includes information more complete than what the Obama campaign turned over to the Federal Election Commission, the NYT decided to bury the story.

Strom and I used pseudonymous e-mail addresses while communicating and in 2008, Strom wrote:

“I’m calling a halt to my efforts. I just had two unpleasant calls with the Obama campaign, wherein the spokesman was screaming and yelling and cursing me, calling me a rightwing nut and a conspiracy theorist and everything else…”

After this weeks revelations about the efforts of the liberal media to cover-up or spike stories damaging to Obama, Strom’s next words are even more telling:

“What’s happened is that the campaign has answered some of my questions on the record — but when I sought on-the-record answers to my questions about the meeting and about the list, the campaign insisted on speaking only on background. When I asked why, I got the barrage I described earlier. Clearly, I’ve hit a nerve with what you’ve told me. The campaign knows that having the allegations of meeting attributed to ‘former employees’ — and there are more than one of you talking — and having an anonymous denial of the meeting makes it harder for me to get it into the paper.”

In 2008 the liberal media provided the cover needed for Obama to get elected, but two years later, questions remain about his relationship with ACORN and it has been clear that Obama has lied repeatedly to the American people. Its time to get Obama and ACORN on the record about what really happened with the donor lists in 2007 and 2008.

The release of the Obama donor list to the public will be followed by a formal complaint to the FEC, which both Obama and ACORN will have to respond to – on-the-record.

In 2009, the Democrat controlled Judiciary Committee heard testimony from attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, who read my 2008 testimony against ACORN into Congressional record. Evidence, and sworn testimony were among the facts ignored by the members of the committee:

“Based on the testimony, Project Vote, ACORN and other ACORN affiliated entities illegally coordinated activities with the Obama presidential campaign, converting the expenditures by Project Vote, ACORN and ACORN affiliated entities to illegal, excessive corporate contributions to the Obama presidential campaign, in violation of federal law.”

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty—power is ever stealing from the many to the few…. The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity. – Wendell Phillips, speech in Boston, Massachusetts, January 28, 1852.”

Engineered by Obama Motors

Yet another surprise coming from our Post Racial President. We see the heavy hand of race politics in almost every move by Mr. Obama as he attacks Red States and reward his Union base and Blue State supporters. November 2, 2010 is only the start, the battle isn’t over until November 2012, and We the People have to stand and be counted.

 

EDITORIAL: Engineered by Obama Motors

Automakers run on race-based political calculations

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

-7:46 p.m., Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bottom of Form

A report by the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s inspector general, Neil M. Barofsky, underscores the danger of handing control of private enterprise to government bureaucrats. In running General Motors and Chrysler, the Obama administration‘s Auto Team made decisions based on what its members know best: race and politics.

After taking over the bankrupt carmakers, the administration ordered the immediate termination of one-quarter of existing dealerships – but not for business reasons. “Key members of the Auto Team … stated that they did not consider cost savings to be a factor in determining the need for dealership closures,” Mr. Barofsky wrote in his July 19 report. “Nevertheless, GM officials stated that they developed the cost-savings estimate … after being ‘pressed’ during meetings with congressional representatives to explain the cost savings that would result from the dealership terminations.”

These after-the-fact justifications were needed after Congress learned that closing 2,243 dealerships would cost nearly 100,000 jobs. GM invented a savings estimate of $2.6 billion, and Chrysler said its closings would save $35.9 million. Insiders reported the numbers were little more than a “math exercise” based on highly questionable assumptions, with one GM official admitting the hasty closure plan “might even cost GM money.”

GM set up a scoring system to determine the most valuable dealerships, but affirmative action was used to pick which survived. “Other dealerships were retained because they … were minority- or woman-owned dealerships,” Mr. Barofsky explained. The administration also pressured GM to cut rural dealerships. Mr. Barofsky‘s office interviewed independent experts who confirmed that domestic automakers “had an advantage over their import competitors” in rural markets and that cutting dealerships in those areas would harm domestic sales. The O Force’s disdain for red states and their tendency to “cling to guns or religion” can’t be coincidental.

The Obama administration denied that political calculations determined dealership closures

Cure for Political Dejection

This morning I was working on my computer reading a few conservative opinion sites. I got so dejected I went outside in the 96 degree sunny day we are having here in North Florida  worked in my garden, and cut the grass. Even all the work and sweat couldn’t wash away the dismal funk hanging over me. It isn’t so much the racial amateur hour being brought to you by Obama’s Government; as the thought that there are at least forty percent of the people in this country who think it is the right thing to do.

I was at the boiling point when I came back in the house, I fixed some lunch and came back to my computer. When I looked at the screen this article “ The Cure for Political Dejection” was open. I guess it was the last link I had visited this morning before I had stormed out to the yard to induce a heat stroke and end it all.

All I can say is, Thank You  Mr. Quin Hillyer for a great article. You are right and we need to heed your words.

The Cure for Political Dejection

By Quin Hillyer on 7.29.10 @ 6:09AM

I really don’t know what to write. We have a president who is so divisive that two longstanding pollsters of his own party write that “President Obama’s divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture.”

We have columnists for major newspapers who are so nastily partisan that they fail to do even the most basic of investigatory requirements before sliming good, honest, decent Americans such as Justice Department whistleblower J. Christian Adams.

We have congressmen so eager to play gotcha that they try to blame former presidents for failing to do a constitutional duty even when the well-reported facts are that the operatives for the president of the congressman’s own party unwittingly were the culprits in the supposed problem at issue. (Yeah, you won’t know what I’m talking about; that’s why you absolutely must read this link.)

We have a major congressional committee chairman who has conniption fits about not being given a $1 senior-citizen’s discount, but who won’t apologize for costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by refusing for years to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (He also didn’t seem too exercised about his boyfriend running a male prostitution ring out of his own basement, but that’s another story.)

We have writers for publications respected by the “mainstream” media who are so vicious and dishonest that they would suggest randomly throwing around charges of racism without a shred of evidence — a charge made the more despicable because one of the named victims of the smear happens to be one of the nicest, most decent people in all of Washington punditry or politics.

We have a national debt exploding so rapidly, by deliberate design of the president, that one almost believes he is trying to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy of manufactured crisis. Cause a political and economic cataclysm; use it as an excuse for radical executive orders and proto-martial law; that sort of thing. Again, I did say “almost.” But we are getting to a point where it almost doesn’t matter what the motivations are; the reality being created could have the same effect whether by intention or by autocratic reaction to the fruits of the leader’s own incompetence.

We have a president who may as well have declared war on my home state. Or on the whole central Gulf Coast.

We have a speaker of the House so cynical (or batty) that she says we must pass a bill first in order to know what’s in it, and a majority leader so accustomed to railroad jobs and internal autocracy that he actually makes fun of the idea of requiring that congressmen be allowed at least 72 hours to examine bills before voting on them.

We have Supreme Court nominees sailing through despite saying that genetic differences might make Latinas better judges (Sotomayor) and despite openly flouting the law to harm military recruiting in a time of war (Kagan), and despite wanting to rule that the Constitution forbids states from keeping currently incarcerated rapists and murderers from voting (Sotomayor) and despite manipulating both science and the law in order to keep the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion legal for another decade (Kagan). (Sorry, readers: I’m tired of providing links, but Google these things at the Washington Times and you’ll find them.)

I could go on with other bad news, but I’m tired. I’m dejected. I’m disgusted. I’m furious. I’m disheartened and disillusioned.

I want fair play and integrity and intellectual consistency and common decency from all points on the political spectrum. But those attributes are not as prevalent on the right as they should be, and it seems they are almost nonexistent on the left. I don’t mind honest and respectful disagreements; I am sickened by vicious attacks without substance.

And, dear reader, I assume you agree. I hate writing all these “I” sentences (yikes: I almost sound like Obama!), so let’s make this about you. What are you going to do about all this? What do you want to see happen? How much do you care about your country and your community?

If you are reading this, the answer to the questions in the last sentence is probably “one heck of a lot.” You care. You have aspirations for communities of freedom and comity. You want to stop all of these political horrors, and you want to stop cultural horrors not even touched upon here but that could take pages and pages of exposition. You want to believe in America. And, dare we say it without sounding too pie-in-the-sky, you want to do what Ronald Reagan said all good Americans want to do: “to dream heroic dreams.” And to work to make them reality.

So get to it. Keep up your activism. Talk to your neighbors. Volunteer at campaign headquarters. Contribute financially to candidates. Make phone calls. Go to rallies. Write thoughtful and concise letters to the editor. Help register like-minded voters. Drive elderly or infirm like-minded voters to the polls in November.

Get involved and stay involved. For the sake of your country, your loved ones, your future. Our future. Together. As Americans. Go do it. Now.

Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Times and a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at Qhillyer@gmail.com.

1.47 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEFICIT

W. House predicts record $1.47 trillion deficit

By Andrew Taylor ASSOCIATED PRESS

5:12 p.m., Friday, July 23, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — New estimates from the White House on Friday predict the budget deficit will reach a record $1.47 trillion this year. The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends.

That’s actually a little better than the administration predicted in February.

The new estimates paint a grim unemployment picture as the economy experiences a relatively jobless recovery. The unemployment rate, presently averaging 9.5 percent, would average 9 percent next year under the new estimates.

The Office of Management and Budget report has ominous news for President Barack Obama should he seek re-election in 2012 — a still-high unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. That would be well above normal, which is closer to a rate of 5.5 percent to 6 percent. Private economists don’t think the unemployment rate will drop to those levels until well into this decade.

“The U.S. economy still faces strong headwinds,” the OMB report said. They include tight credit markets, a high inventory of unsold housing and retrenchment by state governments bound by balanced budget mandates. The European debt crisis has also had an impact.

“Despite these headwinds, the administration expects economic growth and job creation to continue for the rest of 2010 and to rise in 2011 and beyond,” the report said.

The gaping deficits are of increasing concern to voters. But Obama and Democrats controlling Congress are mostly taking a pass on deficit reduction this year as they await possible recommendations from Obama‘s deficit commission.

While there’s a slight improvement in the deficit for the current year compared to the administration’s February forecast, next year’s predicted $1.42 trillion worth , next year’s predicted $1.42 trillion worth of red ink — that’s 37 cents of borrowing for every dollar spent — is looking worse. It’s about $150 billion more than previously predicted, because of still-slumping tax revenues.

The current record holder is the $1.41 trillion deficit for 2009.

Economists agree that the most important measure of the deficit is against the size of the economy. Opinions vary, but many economists say a deficit of 3 percent of gross domestic product is sustainable since it would stabilize the overall debt when measured relative to the economy.

The report put the deficit at 10 percent of GDP this year and 9.2 percent of GDP next year. It would never reach the 3 percent figure under Obama‘s predictions — which underestimate war costs and depend on assumptions of tax hikes that may not materialize.

OMB Director Peter Orszag said the numbers represent a “fiscal situation that requires attention.”

Obama “has done little to confront this domestic enemy,” said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. “Washington desperately needs real leadership. We cannot continue to postpone the hard choices and sacrifices that are necessary to stop this fiscal train wreck.”

Deficits have skyrocketed since the recession took hold in 2008 and Congress responded with a massive bailout of the financial system and last year’s $862 billion stimulus measure.

“What we should be doing now is putting in place deficit reduction policies that will kick in after the economy has more fully recovered,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota. “It is an unsustainable long-term course.”

( Illegal )Immigrant groups criticize fingerprint initiative

( Illegal )Immigrant groups criticize fingerprint initiative

IVAN MORENO

July 26, 2010 3:08 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — The federal government is rapidly expanding a program to identify illegal immigrants using fingerprints from arrests, drawing opposition from local authorities and advocates who argue the initiative amounts to an excessive dragnet.

The program has gotten less attention than Arizona’s new immigration law, but it may end up having a bigger impact because of its potential to round up and deport so many immigrants nationwide.

The San Francisco sheriff wanted nothing to do with the program, and the City Council in Washington, D.C., blocked use of the fingerprint plan in the nation’s capital. Colorado is the latest to debate the program, called Secure Communities, and (Illegal) immigrant groups have begun to speak up, telling the governor in a letter last week that the initiative will make crime victims reluctant to cooperate with police “due to fear of being drawn into the (Illegal) immigration regime.”

Under the program, the fingerprints of everyone who is booked into jail for any crime are run against FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records to determine who is in the country illegally and whether they’ve been arrested previously. Most jurisdictions are not included in the program, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been expanding the initiative.

Since 2007, 467 jurisdictions in 26 states have joined. ICE has said it plans to have it in every jail in the country by 2013. Secure Communities is currently being phased into the places where the government sees as having the greatest need for it based on population estimates of illegal immigrants and crime statistics.

Since everyone arrested would be screened, the program could easily deport more people than Arizona’s new law, said Sunita Patel, an attorney who filed a lawsuit in New York against the federal government on behalf of a group worried about the program. Patel said that because illegal immigrants could be referred to ICE at the point of arrest, even before a conviction, the program can create an incentive for profiling and create a pipeline to deport more people.

“It has the potential to revolutionize (Illegal) immigration enforcement,” said Patel.

Patel filed the lawsuit on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which is concerned the program could soon come to New York. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, statistical information about who has been deported as a result of the program and what they were arrested for.

Supporters of the program argue it is helping identify dangerous criminals that would otherwise go undetected. Since Oct. 27, 2008 through the end of May, almost 2.6 million people have been screened with Secure Communities. Of those, almost 35,000 were identified as illegal immigrants previously arrested or convicted for the most serious crimes, including murder and rape, ICE said Thursday. More than 205,000 who were identified as illegal immigrants had arrest records for less serious crimes.

In Ohio, Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones praised program, which was implemented in his jurisdiction earlier this month.

“It’s really a heaven-sent for us,” Jones said. He said the program helps solve the problem police often have of not knowing whether someone they arrested has a criminal history and is in the country illegally.

“I don’t want them in my community,” Jones said. “I’ve got enough homegrown criminals here.”

Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman, said Secure Communities is a way for law enforcement to identify illegal immigrants after their arrest at no additional cost to local jurisdictions. Jones agreed.

“We arrest these people anyway,” he said. “All it does is help us deport people who shouldn’t be here.”

Rusnok said ICE created the program after Congress directed the agency to improve the way it identifies and deports illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds. ICE has gotten $550 million for the program since 2008, Rusnok said.

Rusnok said the only place he knows of that has requested not to be a part of Secure Communities is San Francisco, which began the program June 8. Eileen Hirst, the chief of staff for San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, said it happened “without our input or approval.”  Hirst said the sheriff thought Secure Communities cast too wide a net and worried that it would sweep up U.S. citizens and minor offenders, such as people who commit traffic infractions but miss their court hearings. Hirst also said the program goes against San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy that calls for authorities to only report foreign-born suspects booked for felonies.

“Now, we’re reporting every single individual who comes into our custody and gets fingerprinted,” Hirst said.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown denied Hennessey’s request to opt out. Brown said that prior to Secure Communities, illegal immigrants with criminal histories were often released before their status was discovered.

This month, Washington, D.C., police decided not to pursue the program because the City Council introduced a bill that would prohibit authorities from sharing arrest data with ICE out of concern for immigrants’ civil rights. Matthew Bromeland, special assistant to the police chief, said police wanted the program and were talking with ICE about how address concerns from (Illegal) immigrant advocates before the bill forced them to halt negotiations.

Colorado officials became interested in the program after an illegal immigrant from Guatemala with a long criminal record was accused of causing a car crash at a suburban Denver ice-cream shop, killing two women in a truck and a 3-year-old inside the store. Authorities say the illegal immigrant, Francis M. Hernandez, stayed off ICE’s radar because he conned police with 12 aliases and two different dates of birth.

A task-force assembled after the crash recommended Secure Communities as a solution.

Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, said Ritter recognizes that other states have had issues with the program and he wants to take time to consider the concerns raised by (Illegal) immigrant rights groups before deciding “how or if to move forward.”

The Colorado (Illegal) Immigrant Rights Coalition said in its letter to the governor that the Secure Communities is “inherently flawed and should not be implemented.” CIRC said one of its main concerns is that in cases of domestic violence, where both parties may be taken into custody while authorities investigate a case, victims may feel reluctant to report a crime out of fear that their illegal status will be discovered.

Law-Enforcement-Free Sanctuaries

Hans A. von Spakovsky

Law-Enforcement-Free Sanctuaries

The Obama administration will sue Arizona for trying to help Washington enforce federal immigration laws, but flatly rejects the notion of suing sanctuary cities that blatantly defy those same laws. That announcement two weeks ago revealed the hypocrisy and utter contempt for the rule of law rampant in Eric Holder’s Justice Department.

It was the latest example of the Department letting partisan politics, rather than the interests of justice and the impartial enforcement of the law, drive its legal decisions. In this instance, it both threatens national security and undermines public confidence in our legal system.

The very weakness of the Department’s legal arguments in the Arizona suit betrays its political genesis. As the brief filed on behalf of Arizona by nine other states persuasively argues, Arizona is not interfering with federal authority: it has neither created new categories of aliens nor attempted to independently determine the immigration status of aliens. Arizona’s law simply requires local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of individuals arrested for other reasons. This is exactly the regulatory scheme of concurrent enforcement envisioned by federal immigration law.

The Justice Department’s suit directly contradicts the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Muehler v. Mena. In that case, all nine justices upheld the right of local police officers to question a detained individual’s immigration status while a search warrant was being executed. The suit also flies in the face of Estrada v. Rhode Island, in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals this February upheld a state trooper’s questioning of immigration status during a traffic stop. This is the exact policy being implemented in Arizona.

Federal courts have long upheld the power of state law enforcement officers to arrest those who violate federal law, as long as it is also a violation of state law, including immigration laws. The inherent authority of local police to arrest immigration violators was outlined in 2002 in a legal memorandum issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Yet Attorney General Holder has filed a lawsuit making claims completely at odds with an opinion issued by his own department.

Holder’s suit also conflicts directly with federal immigration law. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. §1373) specifically mandates that no federal, state, or local government can “prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service [now Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE], information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual,” a provision upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999. Congress wanted local governments to get information on immigration status from the federal government – and that is exactly what the Arizona law requires for anyone arrested in the state. Yet Holder is trying to prevent Arizona officials from checking “the citizenship or immigration status” of “any individual.”

Now we’re awaiting a ruling by a federal judge on the Justice Department’s request for a temporary injunction to stop the law from going into effect on Thursday. It’s clear, though, that the only way that judge could possibly rule in the Department’s favor is by ignoring the law and this precedent.

Justice Department spokesman Tracy Schmaler asserts that Arizona is “actively” interfering with federal law while sanctuary cities are just not using their resources to enforce federal law. This bogus claim displays fundamental ignorance of these federal legal requirements. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary committee and the chief author of the 1996 immigration law, rightly calls it “absurd.” Cities like San Francisco not only do not enforce federal immigration laws, some violate it by protecting aliens from deportation and refusing to cooperate with or provide information to immigration officials.

As the nine states note in their brief, the Justice Department is trying to negate the “preexisting power of the States to verify a person’s immigration status and similarly seeks to reject the assistance that the States can lawfully provide to the Federal government.” Holder’s claim that Arizona is interfering with federal power to regulate immigration is near frivolous.

Arizona simply requires that law enforcement personnel (1) ascertain the immigration status of people they have lawfully detained for some other reason and (2) report to the federal government the presence of any detainee determined to be here illegally. If the Obama administration wants to ignore that information and reject that assistance, it has that option. The only possible “interference” with federal power is the risk that the feds might be publicly embarrassed by a policy of non-enforcement. Apparently the White House and DOJ consider embarrassment a federal offense.

Holder makes one further — yet equally absurd — claim: that by trying to deter the movement of illegal aliens into Arizona, the state is restricting interstate commerce and thus violates the Commerce Clause. How can deterring the entry of people who have no legal right to enter possibly violate interstate commerce? It is the same as saying that — notwithstanding federal laws that bar importation of heroin — a state that busts heroin traffickers is flouting the Commerce Clause.

Federal law stipulates that any person who “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection,” an illegal alien is committing a crime. It is also criminal just to “encourage” residence by illegal aliens. Yet sanctuary cities like San Francisco have enacted formal policies that embrace all these illegal acts. Such policies lead directly to further crimes, such as the vicious murder of a father and his two sons on a San Francisco street. The killer was an illegal alien with two prior felony convictions — yet on neither occasion did San Francisco authorities notify the feds of his presence. Had they done so, he would not have been able to gun down Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, as they sat in their car on June 16, 2008.

Holder’s refusal to sue sanctuary cities is an abrogation of his responsibility as the nation’s chief federal law enforcement officer. Unlike Arizona, many of these cities have policies that violate federal law.

The Obama administration claims Arizona’s law will “disrupt federal immigration enforcement.” But the only thing it could possibly disrupt is federal non-enforcement. As the elections approach, Holder’s suit may help gin up enthusiasm among the president’s more radical political allies, such as La Raza. But using the law enforcement powers of the federal government to achieve political ends is a dangerous abuse of power.

New financial regulation reform bill exempts SEC from FOIA

So here is one more ” We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.” There is no end to the trash we can expect from the Democrats. I have to ask. 

 Is there one Democrat in Congress who isn’t a flaming socialist bent on destroying this country?

New financial regulation reform bill exempts SEC from FOIA

 

Morrisseyposted at 10:55 am on July 28, 2010 by Ed

 When Barack Obama signed the new financial-regulation reform bill into law, its supporters claimed it as a victory for transparency and accountability.  That may be true for Wall Street, although debatable, but it’s not true for government and the regulatory regime it enhanced.  The SEC now claims that the bill has given them an exemption from Freedom of Information Act requests, the very device by which citizens and media force transparency in the halls of power:

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

That argument comes despite the President saying that one of the cornerstones of the sweeping new legislation was more transparent financial markets. Indeed, in touting the new law, Obama specifically said it would “increase transparency in financial dealings.”

The SEC cited the new law Tuesday in a FOIA action brought by FOX Business Network. Steven Mintz, founding partner of law firm Mintz & Gold LLC in New York, lamented what he described as “the backroom deal that was cut between Congress and the SEC to keep the  SEC’s failures secret. The only losers here are the American public.”

The Dodd-Frank bill had a lot of bad ideas rolled into it, but this may be the worst.  As Mintz notes, the next time a Bernie Madoff-type scam occurs, the American public won’t have any idea about it, or about the SEC’s efforts to prevent it.  The use of FOIA has uncovered many problems at the SEC, which is undoubtedly why Chris Dodd and Barney Frank wanted the exemption.  Among the cases listed by Fox Business as having been boosted by FOIA requests are:

  • March 2009 – Fox used FOIA to discover that the SEC had investigated Madoff and R. Allen Stanford, but failed to follow through on prosecution in time to save investors.

 

  • 2009 – Fox again used FOIA to get records showing that the Fed knew AIG execs would get their bonuses under the bailout legislation proposed by Congress.

 

  • SEC whistleblower Gary Aguirre forced the SEC to release documents through FOIA requests that showed he was correct in accusing the agency of interfering in an investigation of Pequot Asset Management — and allowed him to get a settlement for wrongful termination.

None of these would have happened without FOIA.  Government has only one purpose in issuing FOIA exemptions — opacity.  Some functions in government require secrecy, but those should be limited to acute national security operations and other such public-safety tasks (such as raw FBI files, for instance).

Barack Obama and the Democrats don’t want people to see how the SEC does its work, and that should worry everyone who has watched the SEC blow its regulatory responsibilities over the last few years.  This is an agency that needs more oversight, not less, especially with its increased power and authority.

General Motors: You’ve Got Low Credit Scores? No Problem

General Motors: You’ve Got Low Credit Scores? No Problem

posted at 11:00 am on July 22, 2010 by Rovin
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Your Tax Dollars at Work 

In the spirit of the Community Reinvestment Act, (and according to AP), General Motors is in the process of purchasing a financing company, AmeriCredit Corp. to make it easier for people to purchase new vehicles with low credit scores. 

Did we learn nothing from the disaster of the housing market that plunged this nation into a massive recession? Instead, General Motors, (60% of which is owned by you, the taxpayer), is planning on continuing the sins of our past: 

General Motors to buy AmeriCredit Corp. for $3.5B  

The Associated Press 

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it will acquire auto financing company AmeriCredit Corp. so it can increase leasing and make more loans to buyers with low credit scores.  The Detroit automaker says it will pay $3.5 billion to buy all of AmeriCredit’s stock at $24.50 per share — a 24 percent premium over Wednesday’s close.  It expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. LINK 

 No problem, right? Wrong! If GM, (our car sales company), provides loans that will force competitors to lower their standards for the same loans, we, the taxpayers will be on the hook again to pick up the tab when these loan obligations can not be met. 

Who’s going to pick up the tab, Fannie and Freddie, that pesky little government clearing house that feeds on the Treasury to the tune of a five trillion dollar debt? 

These are the same irresponsible policies that brought this nation to its current status. You would think the people running “government motors” would try to avoid extending credit to a portion of the market that are struggling to keep food on the table and the monthly bills current. Instead, the intent of General Motors appears to facilitate similar lending practices that put unqualified buyers into homes. If this is what the administration means by encouraging banks and credit services to “loosen credit”, some one’s making a big mistake—again. And guess who will pick up the tab in the end?

Sub-prime ponzi scheme, rinse and repeat.

 Any one smell another government bailout? Or is this another form of redistribution?

(Note: The first and the last full paragraphs were edited for clarification)

Does this make you feel better

Agency applied political litmus test to data requests

By Ted Bridis
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, according to 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by the Associated Press.

The department abandoned the practice after the AP Press investigated. The Office of Inspector General is trying to determine whether political advisers acted improperly.

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to be insulated from political considerations. But in July 2009, Homeland Security introduced a directive requiring a wide range of information to be vetted by political appointees.

These special reviews at times delayed the release of information to Congress, watchdog groups and the news media for weeks, even though the directive specified the reviews should take no more than three days.

The foot-dragging reached a point that officials worried the department would get sued, one e-mail shows.

“We need to make sure that we flip these ASAP,” the agency’s director of disclosure, Catherine Papoi, wrote to two of Secretary Janet Napolitano’s staffers.

Career employees were ordered to provide Napolitano’s political staff with information about people who asked for records, such as where they lived and whether they were reporters.

A Basic Function of Journalism: Educating Conservatives?

A Basic Function of Journalism: Educating Conservatives?

posted at 5:52 pm on July 21, 2010 by Laura Curtis
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Howard Kurtz whines that “[Conservative] candidates seem to regard it as an affront when reporters challenge them on their past statements and inconsistencies, which is a basic function of journalism. They are avoiding or limiting interviews with all but the friendliest faces as a way of circumventing the press. And some of them delight in skewering the mainstream media, a tactic that plays well with their base.” It’s interesting that Kurtz doesn’t mention the Obama administration’s attempt to boycott Fox News, and its ongoing complaints about that network.

Conservative aversion to the media is indicative of a key fact about conservatives. Unlike liberals, who continually try to implement big government/socialist policies in spite of the fact that they fail every single time they are tried, our media aversion proves that conservatives can be taught.

We have been carefully educated by liberal journalists. This training began back in 1993 when Kurtz’ employer, the Washington Post, informed us that we were “poor, uneducated, and easy to command.” During the Clinton administration, we were assured that all we cared about was Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity, and that – to paraphrase Polanski apologist Whoopi Goldberg – it wasn’t perjury-perjury. Move along.  Nothing to see here.

The lesson of how heartily most journalists seem to despise conservatives has been reinforced by decades of selective coverage. Trent Lott was run out of his leadership position for an intemperate attempt to compliment former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. Robert Byrd’s Klan leadership, Civil Rights filibuster and public use of a racial slur as recently as 2001 was glossed over. Ted Kennedy was promoted as a champion of women’s rights. (Mary Jo who?  What waitress sandwich? These are not the droids you are looking for.) The Washington Post pounded George Allen with days of front page Macaca coverage. Tea Party coverage has been minimized, except when some nut job is available to become the representative of us all. SEIU thugs beat and rampage at will and on camera, while their media advocates look the other way.

The media uncritically accepts and promotes the lie that Congressmen were spat on and subject to racial insults – in spite of the many video recordings disproving those claims.  The media engaged in a knee-jerk defense of ACORN after a handful of college students exposed it for the corrupt disgrace that it is. Sexual scandals of the left are minimized yet on the right are maximized.  Obama is permitted to demonize Republicans for not approving an unemployment extension, when the GOP is perfectly willing to approve the extension – just as soon as it adheres with the pay-go policies that Obama campaigned on and that Democrats passed. The Washington Post obliquely mentions that tiny detail, in the last sentence of the article. There are far too many examples to list.

Kurtz specifically complains that Sarah Palin is inaccessible to the media which parses her every word (while Gaffemaster Biden and 57 state corpse-man Obama get free passes), and which gleefully promoted lies by the young man whose main claim to fame is impregnating Palin’s daughter.  It sure is hard to imagine why Palin would bypass the “lamestream” press filter in favor of publishing on Facebook, where readers get every word and it’s all in context.

Kurtz continues, “Both [Sharon Angle and Rand Paul] seem to think the media’s primary role should be to help them — raise money, carry a message — rather than hold them accountable.”  The media’s primary role certainly does appear to be carrying messages for politicians – as long as they are Democrats. The Washington Post ombudsman eventually admitted – safely after the election – its clear bias in favor of President Obama. So why is Kurtz surprised that conservatives have assimilated the media’s new mission and would like to see it applied impartially?

In all fairness, there are journalists who will give conservatives a fair hearing, and who will report what they say in context. But the Washington Post has earned conservative’s suspicion.