Eco-Scams Are as Easy as “A123” – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Eco-Scams Are as Easy as “A123” – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

While President Obama was busy lambasting Big Oil tax breaks on Thursday, yet another one of his environmental welfare recipients (the very kind he wants to redistribute oil subsidies to) was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Who needs to win the Mega Millions lottery? Start a pie-in-the-sky eco-boondoggle, and a half-billion-dollar jackpot ripe for squandering is all yours!

The Solyndra of the week is A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery company based in Massachusetts. The firm also has battery plants in Michigan, where former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm once heralded A123 as a federal stimulus “success story.” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the company headquarters and hailed it as a “great example of how Recovery Act funding is helping American companies.” In addition to nearly $300 million in Obama Recovery Act funds, Granholm kicked in another $135 million in tax credits and subsidies to bribe the company to keep jobs in her state.

How’s the return on government investment? This green dud will have taxpayers seeing red. A123’s official company motto is “Power. Safety. Life.” But the firm’s reality is “Out of power. Endangering safety. Clinging to life.”

Earlier this week, the company announced a recall of malfunctioning battery packs manufactured in Livonia, Mich. A123 makes the products for Fisker, Chevrolet and BMW electric cars. Consumer Reports flagged the potentially hazardous defect caused by faulty calibration earlier this month. The recall will cost upward of $55 million.

A Deutsche Bank analyst wrote: “We no longer have enough confidence that (A123) can raise sufficient capital (without massive equity dilution) and/or continue to augment their book to future business. Recent quality issues may lead to concerns over (A123’s) ability to manufacture with quality at high volumes, potentially leading to customer defections or at least difficulty in procuring new contracts.”

When it rains, it pours. The dead battery debacle follows news of 125 layoffs in November due to diminished vehicle production by top client Fisker Auto. That troubled company (which A123 has itself dumped $20.5 million of stock equity and cash into) admitted faulty wiring problems with its electric cars.

While Michigan workers lost their jobs, Massachusetts executives burned through $155 million in cash this year and the company stock plummeted to just over $1. A123 lost a net $172 million over the first three quarters of 2011 and has yet to see a profit. Like Solyndra’s top brass, A123 managers have been living high on the hog and partying it up with Democratic Party bigwigs.

The Michigan-based Mackinac Center reports that in February, “A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for (Chief Financial Officer David) Prystash just days after (its primary customer) Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.”

Prystash’s hike was 8.5 percent, taking his base salary from $350,000 to $380,000. One A123 vice president, Robert Johnson, received a 20.7 percent pay increase that saw his salary grow from $331,250 to $400,000. Another vice president, Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, climbed from a $331,250 base salary to $350,000.

Analyst Paul Chesser of the D.C.-based National Legal and Policy Center raises pointed questions about the timing of the pay raises: “Were their actions intended as greater protection for their executives in the case of a sale or bankruptcy of the company?” Inquiring House GOP investigators looking into the Obama Department of Energy’s big green boondoggles should want to know.

And taxpayers should want to know more about the cozy ties between A123 and the White House and Democratic politicians. A123 Systems CEO David Vieau showered Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and key Democrats on Capitol Hill with nearly $17,000 before receiving the stimulus injection. A123 enviro-boodle also flowed to Mass. Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Ed Markey. Betting on “smart grid” cronyism has been a bonanza for the well-connected — and a big, bad bet for taxpayers.

STUPID VOTERS – Tea Party Nation

STUPID VOTERS – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

It’s a comment I hear all the time these days. “The voters are stupid.”

I am not sure that those saying it mean literally that the voters have a low level of intellect or academic achievement, but rather that they mean voters seem prone to making their choices based more on emotion than on a serious examination of the candidate’s qualifications and character.

The best example of this was the 2008 campaign in which a candidate was presented in much the same way companies seek to “brand” their product or service, repeating the same message (Obama’s was hope and change) until it becomes part of the consumers’ decision-making process. It’s why we buy a particular brand of cereal or car. We have come to associate values with it that go beyond the taste or the look.

Barack Obama had served barely two years in the U.S. Senate before he made an unprecedented leap from there to the White House. He was, for all intents and purposes, an unknown quantity with a legislative record—if anyone bothered to check—that was a straight Democratic Party line vote.

In his earlier incarnation as an Illinois legislator, he had voted “present” so many times it was clear he was avoiding taking any position he regarded as politically dangerous; a vote that would come back to haunt him and very few did. The media cooperated in this, avoiding calling attention to anything that might be deemed controversial.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton, whether you liked her or not, was a candidate with a full cart of baggage from her years as the former governor’s and president’s wife, and her years as a U.S. Senator who served, not from Arkansas where she first came to notice, but from New York where liberals thrive. The process of campaigning wore her out and, being the first women to seriously contend to be president, she had even more of a challenge to overcome. Her raw ambition tended to make people afraid of her.

What elected Obama had nothing to do with the slim qualifications he put forth. Few candidates had less to offer. He had never met a payroll. All information regarding his academic records was sealed from view. The press made no effort to ask what passport he had traveled on to Pakistan at one time and did not raise any question about his Social Security number, issued in Connecticut where he had never lived or worked. Famously, he released a “birth certificate” that anyone in Hawaii could attain for the asking, not the “long form” which is deemed credible.

The voters have paid a fearful price for electing Obama; increased unemployment, a huge national debt, a hollowed-out military, billions wasted on “Green” energy, unprotected borders, a Congress in near total gridlock, and a world beyond our shores that perceives an America made weaker by Obama’s three years in office.

I have worked as a public relations counselor for most of my life with earlier years spent as a journalist. I know something about how a product, a service, or an individual is “packaged” to present a positive “image.” What we have all learned since 2008 was that Obama was superbly “packaged” and that the image of an articulate, highly intelligent, well informed candidate was without substance. His inability to speak publicly without a TelePrompter swiftly became a joke.

So, to say that those who voted for him were “stupid” is to misread the new era of politics, one that has more to do with “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” than with the serious selection of the leader of the nation and the free world.

As they say in advertising, voters bought the sizzle, not the steak.

We are seeing this process continue as the Republican candidates vie for votes. The Gingrich “surge” in South Carolina came after he had two successful debates. It is true that Gingrich is a good debater, but the real question is whether he would be a good president. Questions about his character remain.

Gingrich has been comfortable sharing a couch with Nancy Pelosi to advocate the bogus global warming “theory” or taking money from Freddie Mac.. Now he is trying to appear to be a “real” conservative as opposed to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and the quixotic Ron Paul.

While his judgment on issues has been called into question, Romney’s character never has. There has never been a hint of scandal in his life. In terms of policy, he was the Governor of one of the most liberal states and he did support Romneycare there. Politics is rarely pretty and even New Jersey’s fire-breathing Governor, Chris Christie, has taken some extraordinarily liberal positions and made some questionable appointments.

There might have been a time when Gingrich was, indeed, a bona fide conservative, but his long years in Washington, D.C., have taught him that “to get along you have to go along” In the end, even his colleagues in the House, for reasons of policy and personality, could no longer support him as Speaker.

From the days of Bush41 until the 2010 elections the Republican Party looked so much like the Democratic Party, voters had an increasingly hard time telling them apart. The Tea Party movement changed that. They and the “independents” are going to decide the 2012 elections that are currently making history with endless debates.

The debates are proving to be a succession of sound bites and vitriol between the candidates. They increasingly demonstrate how the mainstream media, the debate sponsors, are visibly seeking to influence the outcome of the election and they demonstrate that many voters are easily swayed by matters that have little to do with actual policies and issues.

There has been less and less substance with each debate.

I fear that too many Republican voters are having too many mood swings, relying on a moment or two from the most recent debate than on a serious examination—I repeat myself—of the candidate’s qualifications and character. Romney is carefully scripted and a tad robotic, but Gingrich could become the GOP nominee simply because he is entertaining.

Without doubt, President Obama and the Democrats are enjoying the Republican free-for-all and, without doubt, they have concluded that the voters are stupid.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

The Bank of (Democratic Party) America – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

 

English: Barack Obama Deutsch: Barack Obama

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The Bank of (Democratic Party) America – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

Well, isn’t this rich? And I do mean rich. President Obama, man of the people, will deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. — so that Democratic Party fundraisers can reward big donors with skyboxes and other lavish perks.

As usual, the White House and its allies are trying to camouflage naked partisan money-grubbing in populist garb.

“I think this would be a great opportunity to have tens of thousands of North Carolinians and others outside of the state to see and participate in the convention process,” one North Carolina Democratic Party flack told the Charlotte Observer.

But it’s the heavyweight contributors, not the hoi polloi, to whom convention organizers are catering as they struggle to raise some $37 million to cover the coronation celebration’s costs. The self-proclaimed Party of the 99 Percent is reportedly busy creating special-access VIP packages for the 1 percent — under the illusion of throwing open its doors to the masses. DNC officials refuse to disclose fundraising updates until after the convention, even as they champion their own “openness and accessibility.”

And no doubt, Obama will use his stadium-size pulpit to “stand up” to the very same “fat cats” who’ll be watching him while sipping Courvoisier in their DNC-appointed luxury seats.

Such is the audacity of progressive cognitive dissonance.

Despite the DNC’s vaunted promise to ban business donations and first lady Michelle Obama’s faux-folksy public relations campaign for a “people’s convention,” Bank of America (headquartered in North Carolina and Charlotte’s largest corporate presence) will be front and center at the festivities. No surprise. The Democrats and Bank of America have maintained a long, lucrative relationship as reciprocal bailout buddies.

During the 2010 midterm elections, former DNC chairman and ex-Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine secured a $15 million revolving line of credit at BofA and then finagled another $17 million loan from the taxpayer-bailed-out bank. According to Federal Election Commission records, BofA accepted as collateral the DNC’s donor mailing list. Yep, its donor mailing list for $32 million in loans. As investigative reporter Richard Pollock asked at the time: “What message does a largely unsecured $32 million credit line for the Democratic Party send to thousands of cash-starved small businesses across the nation who can’t secure any credit even with tangible assets?”

Message: crony business as usual.

Bank of America is to sweetheart loans and Democratic Party payoffs as Paula Deen is to sugar and bacon grease:

— The massively troubled bank raked in a middle-of-the-night, taxpayer-funded $45 billion banking bailout in 2008 and an estimated $931 billion in secret federal emergency loans.

— In 2008, BofA’s political action committee gave its biggest contributions to Barack Obama totaling $421,000.

— After purchasing junk mortgage company Countrywide, BofA agreed to pay $50 million in restitution payments for Countrywide subprime loan fraudster and Democratic fat cat Angelo Mozilo and one of his underlings.

— BofA forked over payoffs to self-declared bank terrorist outfit NACA (the taxpayer-subsidized Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America).

— BofA also capitulated to a Jesse Jackson shakedown. And it forked over at least $2 million to the ACORN Housing Corporation — which has had a long history of fraud and abuse that goes back decades.

— The financial giant teamed up with the open-borders lobby (including newly appointed Domestic Policy Council chief Cecilia Munoz‘s former employer, the National Council of La Raza) to offer illegal alien home loans.

No word yet on whether Obama’s Greek columns from the 2008 convention will make a return appearance this fall. But if they do, they may yet be emblazoned with a new red-white-and-blue Bank of Democratic Party America logo.

Optics be damned. The coffers must be filled.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

RealClearPolitics – Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws

RealClearPolitics – Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws.

By Jack Kelly

The state chairman of Indiana’s Democratic Party resigned recently as a probe of election fraud in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary widened.

State law requires a presidential candidate to gather 500 valid signatures in each county to qualify for the ballot. Barack Obama may not have met it. Investigators think 150 of the 534 signatures the Obama campaign turned in for St. Joseph County may have been forged.

Yet Democrats say that measures to guard against vote fraud are racist Republican plots to disenfranchise minority voters.

Republicans “want to literally drag us back to Jim Crow laws,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The NAACP has asked the United Nations to intervene to block state voter ID laws. It may have an ulterior motive for opposing ballot security measures. An NAACP official was convicted on 10 counts of absentee voter fraud in Tunica County, Miss., in July.

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, said vote fraud is rampant in African-American districts like his in Alabama.

“The most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African-American community is the wholesale manufacture of ballots at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt,” Mr. Davis said. “Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too mentally impaired to function cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights.”

Laws requiring photo IDs suppress minority voting, Democrats charge. The facts say otherwise. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.

“Concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing,” concluded researchers at the universities of Delaware and Nebraska after examining election data from 2000 through 2006.

You need a photo ID to get on an airplane or an Amtrak train; to open a bank account, withdraw money from it, or cash a check; to pick up movie and concert tickets; to go into a federal building; to buy alcohol and to apply for food stamps.

Most Americans don’t think it’s a hardship to ask voters to produce one. A Rasmussen poll in June indicated 75 percent of respondents support photo ID requirements. Huge majorities of Hispanics support voter ID laws, according to a Resurgent Republic poll in September.

This year there have been investigations, indictments or convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. In all but one case, the alleged fraudsters were Democrats.

In none would the fraud alleged have altered a major election, Democrats note. But in the Illinois gubernatorial election in 1982, 100,000 votes cast in Chicago — 10 percent of the total — were fraudulent, the U.S. attorney there estimated.

Fraud of the magnitude which swings elections typically combines absentee ballot fraud and voter registration fraud. At least 55 employees or associates of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now have been convicted of registration fraud in 11 states, says Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, who’s written a book about ACORN.

Of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000.

“There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of a state’s interest in counting only eligible voters’ votes,” wrote liberal Justice John Paul Stevens for a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision upholding Indiana’s ID law, the toughest in the nation.

In a speech Tuesday at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at the University of Texas, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a full scale assault on the laws the Supreme Court said are constitutional and necessary.

Mr. Holder — who apparently won’t prosecute violations of the Voting Rights Act if the victims are white — picked an appropriate venue for his attack on the integrity of the ballot. LBJ stole his first election to the Senate, according to one of his biographers.

A recent Gallup poll indicates why Mr. Holder is trying so hard to gut ballot security measures. Mr. Obama trails in all swing states. Democrats fear they can’t win next year unless they cheat.

Bring It – Tea Party Nation

Bring It – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Tim Nerenz

They are at it again in Wisconsin. The perpetual hissy fit that is the Union Democrat Party in this state has launched its campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker. The rallying cry of Walker’s Republican supporters is “I stand with Scott Walker”.

Well, not me. I don’t stand with Scott Walker.

Nope. I stand for the right to work. I stand against compulsory unionization. I stand for the right of every employee to join a union, and for the equal right of every employee to work free of union impairment. I stand for the right of every union to collect its own dues directly from its members. I stand for the right of every business owner to deal directly with his/her employees or to work through an intermediary as he or she sees fit. I stand for the right of any business to refrain from political activity altogether without being targeted for boycotts by extortionists.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for fiscal responsibility. I stand for balancing the state budget. I stand for making government services both accessible and affordable. I stand for repaying our old debts and not taking on any new ones. I stand against raiding trust funds set up for one purpose to pay for another. I stand against increasing taxes on the overtaxed to fund lavish new benefits for the over-lavished.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for choice and competition that will improve the quality and reduce the cost of our schools. I stand for letting local school boards, teachers, parents, and taxpayers decide how best to educate their kids. I stand for rewarding the great teachers and I stand against letting the bad ones waste one more hour of our children’s precious learning time. I stand against spineless administrators, conniving pension-grubbers, placeholders counting down their days to retirement and serial indoctrinators who see 4th graders as political props.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for representative Democracy where a majority of citizens elect a government which serves its full term and then stands for re-election. I wish they would vote for Libertarians but I accept it when they don’t. I stand against voter fraud. I stand against rigged elections. I stand against one political party spending millions of taxpayer dollars to overturn an election they lost fair and square.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand against death threats. I stand against tormenting the families of public officials at their private residences. I stand against the profanity, vulgarity, and brutishness of the weak-minded who can only find courage in the anonymity of the mob or an alias on Facebook. I stand against the seizure of our public places, the occupation of our streets. I stand against those whose twisted moral compass equates breaking a monopoly with killing millions of Jews.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for the right to bear arms. I stand for the right to defend myself, my family, and my property. I stand against those who would leave me defenseless simply because they do not value their own life enough to defend it. I stand for Senator Pam Galloway, who stood up for me and my right to carry.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for jobs. I stand for job-creators. I stand for free markets, lower taxes, and sensible regulation. I stand for a business climate that attracts employers, not one that drives them away. I stand for private property rights for every citizen. I stand for developing our natural resources, for encouraging entrepreneurs, for rewarding hard work and for celebrating those who succeed in global competition.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I stand for less government and more liberty. I stand with the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites who had the opportunity to vote for Democrats in 2010 and chose not to. I stand against shipping in busloads of paid operatives from out of state to nullify that choice. I stand against those who believe pro-choice means the right to inflict yours by force.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me.

I am a Libertarian, not a Republican. I don’t let the Koch brothers or Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or Vicki McKenna tell me what to think. I am a grown man, a self-sovereign with my own conscience and beliefs. Those beliefs do not include overturning election results because my side didn’t win. We have learned that the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker was initiated before he even took office; this has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with privilege.

The Democrat Party in the state of Wisconsin believes they have a Divine right to rule; perhaps it explains why so many are hostile to real Divinity. It is inconceivable to them that the citizens of this state would have decided to give the Republicans an opportunity to fix what the Democrats could not or would not. It is humiliating to them that their coarse and unrefined rivals achieved in just a few months what they could not do in a decade. Their panic is understandable, but that does not make it actionable for the rest of us.

I can’t say whether or not I would vote to re-elect Scott Walker. If he is to win over libertarians, he has a lot of ground to cover between now and the next election for Governor, which is not until 2014. This recall process is not an election; it is a subversion of an election, and I will not vote to subvert elections. The reasons for or against this recall are irrelevant; every assassin has reasons. This is a contract hit; the motivation is money, and it is the taxpayer who will pay the contract.

So no, my dear Democrat friends, I will not be signing your recall petitions. When you come to my door I will not be ungracious; I will not be unkind. I will not tell you “I stand with Scott Walker” and slam the door in your face. I will tell you instead that I stand for Liberty, and then I will ask you why you will not stand with me. It is a reasonable question, and I expect you to answer it. It is the least you can do if you want me to help you turn the whole state upside down to rehash your grievance over again for the umpteenth time.

And don’t send the junior varsity, either. I don’t speak drum, I don’t cuss in mixed company, I am not going to learn those twinkly-thing hand signals, and “shame-shame-shame” just reminds me of a lame disco tune. When I point to New Berlin on a map, if that poor rent-a-mob kid in a Bucky tee-shirt with the tags still hanging on it says it like they do in Germany, I’m going to boot his bony ass all the way back to Ohio. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I’m ready. Bring it.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment.

KEISER: Democrats killing Obama’s jobs agenda – Washington Times

KEISER: Democrats killing Obama’s jobs agenda – Washington Times.

President’s own party is undermining administration agenda

By Carol Keiser – The Washington Times

The White House trade agenda suffered a new setback last week when the Senate rejected a bill to strengthen the president’s ability to conduct trade diplomacy with other countries.

Sounds like another sorry example of Washington’s partisan paralysis, doesn’t it?

Now consider this bizarre fact: Republicans offered the proposal and Democrats defeated it. Shouldn’t it have been the other way around?

So here’s a fresh reason to wonder whether President Obama is serious about creating jobs and encouraging economic growth by boosting exports.

We know he won’t strike any new trade deals soon, following last week’s embarrassing vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). It would have given the Obama administration the ability to negotiate trade agreements and submit them to Congress for up-or-down votes.

The up-or-down vote is crucial because it strips Congress of the ability to alter the text of an existing agreement through a never-ending series of amendments. Other nations will bargain with only one entity – the president, usually through his trade representative – and not with 535 members of Congress and all of their separate agendas.

If trade talks were a game show, they’d be “Deal or No Deal.” A president who lacks Trade Promotion Authority compels other countries to declare, at the outset, “no deal.” Nothing gets started – and this new failure probably even delivers a blow to the deliberations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Mr. Obama has claimed is critical to American competitiveness in the global economy.

In the past, politics have explained the denial of TPA. During the Clinton years, congressional Republicans refused to grant it. During the Bush years, congressional Democrats refused to grant it.

These were bad choices, but at least they had a partisan rationale.

Now we’ve witnessed a brand-new species of gridlock: Senate Democrats have denied a president of their own party the power to hold meaningful trade talks with other nations. If the United States had a parliamentary system, this would be like a vote of no confidence in the government.

The result suggests that Mr. Obama’s trade agenda is kaput, either because he can’t persuade a handful of members of his own party to embrace his vision of creating jobs through exports or because he never really believed the vision he set forth in the first place.

More than 18 months ago, Mr. Obama promised that U.S. exports would double in five years. He also said that the passage of three pending trade agreements was crucial to this goal. He has called for their approval on many high-profile occasions, most recently during his jobs address to Congress.

“Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama and Colombia and South Korea,” he said on Sept. 8. “That’s what we need to get done.”

But they can’t get done until Mr. Obama first submits them to Congress. They were negotiated during the previous administration (before President Bush’s TPA expired) and Mr. Obama has talked them up for a year-and-a half. Yet they’re still sitting on his desk in the Oval Office.

Once upon a time, supporters of free trade were hopeful that Mr. Obama meant what he said and that he was genuinely committed to helping U.S. companies sell their made-in-America products to foreign consumers.

Now pessimism has set in. “This is ridiculous,” says Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican, who is the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Every third foggy night, the president makes a speech and says we need these trade agreements.” Now Mr. Roberts predicts that there won’t be any trade agreements this year or next.

We may know soon. South Korean president Lee Myung-bak will visit the United States next month and the president will host a state dinner for him on Oct. 13.

Will Mr. Obama be able to tell Mr. Lee in person that he has bothered, at long last, to submit their trade agreement to Congress?

Mark your calendar.

Carol Keiser, a Truth about Trade & Technology board member, owns cattle feeding operations in Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois.

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative.

Barack Obama has been at pains to convince voters that he cares about jobs. It seems to be a hard sell.

But he certainly can demonstrate that he cares about certain jobs — the 7 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of public-sector jobs held by union members.

During his two years and nine months as president, he has worked time and again to increase the number of unionized jobs. As for nonunion jobs, who wants them?

Some pro-union moves have a certain ritual quality. Democratic presidents on taking office seek to strengthen federal employee unions, just as Republican presidents on taking office seek to weaken them.

Other steps are more important. Fully one-third of the $820 billion stimulus package passed almost entirely with Democratic votes in 2009 was aid to state and local governments.

This was intended to keep state and local public employee union members — much more numerous than federal employees — on the job and to keep taxpayer-funded union dues pouring into public employee union treasuries.

It was just last year that, for the first time in history, public employees came to account for a majority of union members. This is a vivid contrast from the peak union membership years of the 1950s, when more than one-third of private-sector workers but almost no government workers were union members.

Which is not to say that the Obama administration has not looked after the interests of private-sector unions. In arranging the Chrysler bankruptcy, the Obama White House muscled aside the secured creditors who ordinarily have priority in bankruptcy proceedings in favor of United Auto Workers members and retirees.

That’s an episode that I labeled “gangster government.” Former Obama economics aide Lawrence Summers protested that his White House colleague Ron Bloom had made similar arrangements before. But in those cases, Bloom was working for the unions, not for a supposedly neutral government.

The 2009 stimulus package also contained Davis-Bacon law provisions requiring that construction workers be paid “prevailing wages,” which under the bureaucratic formula turn out to be union wages. That means the public pays a premium for government construction.

It also means that Labor Department bureaucrats must calculate “prevailing wage” rates for as many as 3,141 counties. That takes time, and it’s one reason there were not nearly so many shovel-ready projects as presidential rhetoric led some, including the president, to think.

In the meantime, the administration has gone to great pains to promote union representation in private-sector companies even where there’s no indication employees want it.

It appointed pro-union stalwarts to the board supervising airline industry unionization elections. That board changed longstanding rules on what counts as a majority in an attempt to get unions approved at mostly non-union Delta after it absorbed mostly unionized Northwest.

The problem is that the employees kept voting against unionization anyway.

Then there’s the Boeing case.

Obama has called for doubling American exports over the next five years. But when America’s No. 1 exporter, Boeing, built a $1 billion Dreamliner plant in South Carolina, Obama’s appointee as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board brought a case to force it to shut down.

The theory is that Boeing needs to build the airliner in pro-union Washington state rather than in South Carolina, whose right-to-work law bars requiring employees to join unions. Maximizing union membership evidently comes first, before all other goals.

The Obama White House won’t comment on the Boeing case, just as Obama himself had no comment when Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, introducing him at a Labor Day rally in Detroit, said of tea party backers, “Let’s take these sons of bitches out.”

The president’s eloquent and apparently heartfelt pleas for civility voiced after the Tucson shootings apparently don’t apply to union leaders.

Obama’s partiality to unions is apparently rooted in a conviction that we would be better off if every employee were represented by a union.

The marketplace says otherwise. Private-sector unionism has produced the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies, while states with strong public-sector unions, according to a Harvard study, have to pay higher interest rates to borrow money.

But unions do have one positive characteristic from Obama’s point of view: They funnel taxpayers’ or consumers’ money to the Democratic Party — $400 million in 2008. So they get one payoff after another in return.

UPDATED 9/2/11: Obama’s not so Fast and Furious Scandal: ObamaGate (via Village of the Banned)

UPDATED 9/2/11: Obama's not so Fast and Furious Scandal: ObamaGate Obama/Holder:  Gun Runner Inc. UPDATED FOR SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 Demand for More Answers in Fast and Furious Scandal Just hours after the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, federal officials tried to cover up evidence that the gun that killed Terry, was one the government intentionally helped sell to the Mexican cartels in a weapons trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious. The revelation comes just days after a huge shake-up of … Read More

via Village of the Banned

Open Letter To Maxine Waters – Tea Party Nation

Open Letter To Maxine Waters – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Darwin Rockantansky

Dear Ms. Waters,

“The Tea Party Can Go Straight To Hell” you say. I truly believe that you mean that from the deepest darkest pits of your bitter little heart and with every fiber of your soul; if you have one. After all, We The People stand in defiance of everything that you stand for.

Speaking solely for myself, there is a good chance you may get your wish. I have certainly shed enough blood of both friend and foe in defense of this nation to deserve being condemned. Some how I think God will forgive me but would not bet the same is in store for you.

You condemn me because I AM the Tea Party.
You have no idea of who I am and yet you condemn me?

Let me tell you who I am.

I am a “Boomer”.
I was born into a world in which my country was the only super power on Earth.
I was born into an America where a man could start a business and raise a family in peace and in harmony with his neighbors. A world that had ninety percent fewer government regulations, agencies, departments and less than ten percent of the current population of burdensome government, less than ten percent of the current tax code and no EPA, no Department of Education, and no Department of Energy, no golden parachutes for congressmen, and no limousines for every appointed bureaucrat in Washington, and no private airline to match.

When you condemned me my eyes were drawn to the sign behind you citing the American Dream. Ms. Waters, I have an original tape cut at the feet of Dr. King on that warm August day in 1963. I am moved to tears when I hear Dr. King proclaim: “I have a DREAM today!”.  Tears of sadness and shame that We The People have allowed you to steal the dream.

You and your liberal friends have abrogated that dream Ms. Waters. You have hijacked the American Dream and stolen it from all Americans of all races. President Lincoln freed the slaves and Dr. King built the bridge to finally lead the people out of slavery and oppression and you and your ilk re-imposed the plantation.

Dr. King’s vision was of an equal playing field, where all men and women of this country had an equal opportunity to succeed and to fail. You and your liberal friends have supplanted that dream with the fantasy of “Rainbow Stew”.  You and others have planted the idea that minorities cannot overcome, cannot succeed, and need to be cared for in every aspect of their lives. YOU have become the most feared person on the Plantation. You have become the “House N*****”; keeping people in their place and dependent on you for their very survival.

The race card no longer plays. We have and have had for a long time Black Americans in every conceivable position of power up to and including President of the United States. And thanks to you and your kind what do we get? A man that has been hammered with your doctrine of inferiority to such an extent that he is only capable of trying to please his masters and is now safe to go into the Big House on the Plantation. He has been totally neutered and lacks the courage to stand up for the country that enabled him to rise to such heights.  Let me tell you who We The People Are Not.

We are NOT: Bible Thumping, Gun Loving, Homophobic, Xenophobes.

We The People are UNHYPHENATED-AMERICANS.

We transcend every, race, gender, religion and lifestyle in this country. We back candidates like Herman Cain and would be candidates like Allen West. Our most vocal spokespersons include people like Lloyd Marcus and my friend from North Las Vegas Geraldine Lewis.

Our goals are simple. We want to re-unite this country into a beautifully diverse quilt of cultures in a unique blend known as AMERICANS; something you “hyphenators” are continually working to destroy. We want to restore a constitutional government that is no more than a part time job for legislatures. We want to tear down the elitist class that our government has become with its tax payer funded gold plated benefits packages. We want our Social Security put back in the lock box where it was promised to be. We want to stop deficit spending and restore fiscal responsibility. We want our tax dollars spent on American Citizens and not wasted trying to buy friends or to police the world at large.

Yes, Ms. Waters. We DO stand in direct opposition to everything you stand for.

We want to restore the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King – The American Dream; the dream that you and your kind have stolen from this once great nation.
May God Bless America and may God have mercy on your soul.

Darwin Rockantansky
Las Vegas, Nevada

Pander Mandate Mania – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

Pander Mandate Mania – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

Hey, you know what the beleaguered American economy could really use right now? More special-interest mandates imposed by the White House on employers and taxpayers. Team Obama is “Winning the Future” by strangling it in red, green and rainbow-colored tape.

In a hapless bid to mollify minority politicians and criminal flash mobs of jobless hooligans in their districts across the country, the White House last week issued an executive order “establishing a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.” Apparently, as record numbers of people collect food stamps and unemployment benefits, what’s really eating at them isn’t their hopeless dependency. It’s the skin color, national origin and gender breakdown of the Nanny State drones doling out their public benefits.

“Only” 39 percent of the federal workforce is made up of minorities and “only” 43.9 percent is female, President Obama’s diversity mandarins decry. But disproportionality does not equal automatic discrimination. How about this: Let’s see the Obama campaign meet fantastical diversity goals for its own donor base before forcing them on the publicly subsidized federal workforce.

While Obama lolls around Martha’s Vineyard with corporate CEOs, Ivy League profs and Hollywood celebrities, his minions at the Office of Personnel Management are now hard at work developing strategies, goals and timetables to meet racial proportionality targets.

Presumably, these will supersede the pre-existing plethora of “diversity” rules long enforced by the racial preference bureaucracy. It’s the bean counters’ stimulus.

The inconvenient truth, of course, is that government-engineered “diversity” has already produced scores of minority-dominated pockets across the elite federal civilian sector. But forcing both public and private employers to hire-by-racial-numbers has done nothing to solve chronic unemployment and underemployment among black Americans outside the Beltway. The jobless rate among blacks is a sky-high 15.6 percent.

You know what else won’t benefit black unemployed Americans all that much? The new White House executive order granting mass deportation waivers. To mollify open-borders activists, Obama signed a blanket directive of immigration non-enforcement last week that will grant reprieves to at least an estimated 2.1 million “DREAM Act” illegal alien students and workers. Instead of deportation papers, they’ll be served work authorization permits and green lights to attend publicly supported colleges and universities. Those who refuse to hire or admit these waiver golden ticket winners will face the certain and immediate legal and political wrath of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union, Catholic leaders and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

When Obama rolls out his hodge-podge jobs plan after descending from Martha’s Vineyard, he’ll undoubtedly tout a regulatory rollback that the administration claims will save $10 billion over five years. But what about the costs of all the pander-mandates they’re furiously heaping on taxpayers as 2012 nears?

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the last DREAM Act proposal (which failed in December on a bipartisan vote), the amnesty now in place by administrative fiat would “increase projected deficits by more than $5 billion in at least one of the four consecutive 10-year-periods starting in 2021.” And that doesn’t include the costs of all the unlimited family members that the millions of DREAM Act beneficiaries will eventually be able to bring to the U.S.

Hispanic politicians can pretend it’s not a zero-sum game. But the rest of us can’t afford such delusions. Indeed, it’s a self-perpetuating, voter-recruitment racket for the Democratic Party. Among the first White House deportation waiver beneficiaries: an illegal alien student from Mexico who led protests on Capitol Hill for the DREAM Act and another left-wing activist from Mexico who was able to evade deportation by marrying her lesbian lover.

On Monday, black Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters hectored an Obama jobs official to spell out exactly which Americans were suffering under the Democrats’ failed policies. “Let me hear you say ‘black,'” she taunted at an economic forum. The crowd whooped it up. But it’s cronies of color like Waters who have joined hands with the open-borders alliance, backed every special-interest bailout and hyped diversity for diversity’s sake as the cures for her community’s ills.

Let me hear you say “pot and kettle.”