National Debt Clock

Monday, November 30, 2009

ObamaCare’s Cost Could Top $6 Trillion

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019). Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance. When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax. When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending. But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending. That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan. And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs. When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion. That’s not a precise estimate. It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.

Obama's Cabinet Appointments: Less Than 10% with Private Sector Expierence

"Public sector employment has ranged since the 1950s at between 15 percent and 19 percent of the population,” yet the Obama Cabinet got more than 90 percent of its prior experience in this relatively thin slice of America. So, the current Cabinet largely lacks a practical understanding of the country and companies which it now regulates — understanding that might come in handy now that our government is more enmeshed than ever with banks and auto makers, and is pushing for radically different rules for energy and health-care producers and consumers.

Is it really any wonder then that the bailouts, the stimulus, or the ludacris spending have not worked?

Health Bills Fail to Block Illegals From Coverage

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could receive health care coverage from their employers under the bills winding their way through Congress, despite President Obama's explicit pledge that illegal immigrants would not benefit.

The House bill mandates, and the Senate bill strongly encourages, businesses to extend health care coverage to all employees. But the bills do not have exemptions to screen out illegal immigrants, who usually obtain jobs by using false identities and are indistinguishable from legal workers.

A rough estimate by the Center for Immigration Studies suggests that the practical effect of the mandates would be that about 1 million illegal immigrants could obtain health insurance coverage through their employers.

"If it was not bad enough that illegal immigrants take jobs that rightfully belong to citizens and legal immigrants, now they will get health care benefits that should go to Americans," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. "If they were not in the country, we wouldn't have to worry about emergency room or health insurance costs at all. And Americans would have these jobs."

HHS Would Become Federal Giant Under Senate Plan

A quick search of the Senate health bill will bring up "secretary" 2,500 times.
That's because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be awarded unprecedented new powers under the proposal, including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it.

"The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and humans services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill," said Devon Herrick, a health care expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
For instance, on Page 122 of the 2,079-page bill, the secretary is given the power to establish "the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a qualified health care plan."

The HHS secretary would also have the power to decide where abortion is allowed under a government-run plan, which has drawn opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats.

And the bill even empowers the department to establish a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that would have the authority to make cost-saving cuts without having to get the approval of Congress first.

Whatever Became of ACORN’s ‘Internal Investigation’?

Mr. Harshbarger promised to release preliminary findings of his review at the end of October. Monday is the end of November and his preliminary findings don’t seem any closer to release.

Still, ACORN has recently filed suit against the federal government to restore its federal funding. And just this week, Eric Holder’s Justice Department issued a ruling saying federal agencies could ignore Congressional bans on funding and could continue to pay ACORN for existing contracts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Climate Change Data Dumped

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

White House: State Dinner Crashers Met Obama

After the Secret Service insisted that President Barack Obama was never endangered by a security breach that allowed a couple to crash his first state dinner, the White House has released a photo showing that not only did the pair get close to Obama, they actually shook hands and talked to him.

I wonder if the coverage would be different if Bush was still in office?

Dubai is Just a Harbinger of Things to Come for Sovereign Debt

According to new estimates by Moody’s, the credit rating agency, the total stock of sovereign debt worldwide will have risen by nearly 50 per cent between 2007 and 2010 to $15.3 trillion. The great bulk of this increase comes not from irrelevant little states like Dubai, but from the big advanced economies – America, Europe, and Japan.

Dubai debt crisis: Now British Banks Face Fresh Crisis After Investing Billions

British banks were teetering on the brink of a fresh meltdown today after it emerged they had invested heavily in crisis-hit Dubai.

An $80billion debt default in the emirate has already reawakened the spectre of a global 'double dip' - that the first shoots of recovery could be wiped out by a second wave of recession.

Dubai's debt problems are a hangover from a property bubble that imploded after the financial crisis derailed its plans to become a magnet for tourists and a regional hub for everything from shipping to entertainment.

Banks' exposure to a Dubai default pales in comparison to the $2.8 trillion in writedowns the International Monetary Fund estimates U.S. and European lenders will have to make between 2007 and 2010 as a result of the credit crisis.

Dubai in Deep Water as Ripples from Debt Crisis Spread

Fears of a dangerous new phase in the economic crisis swept around the globe yesterday as traders responded to the shock announcement that a debt-laden Dubai state corporation was unable to meet its interest bill.

Although the scale of Dubai’s debts is comparatively modest at $80 billion (£48 billion), the uncertainty spooked the markets, with no one sure who its creditors are. Several banks rushed out statements to reassure investors that their exposure was small.

IAEA chief: Iran Investigation at 'Dead End'

The International Atomic Energy Agency probe of Iran's nuclear program is at a dead end because Tehran is not cooperating, the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Thursday in an unusually blunt expression of frustration four days before he leaves office.

Mohamed ElBaradei also warned that international confidence in Iran's assertions of purely peaceful intent shrank after its belated revelation of a previously secret nuclear facility. And he criticized Tehran for not accepting an internationally endorsed plan meant to delay its achieving the ability to make nuclear weapons.

Iran says it is enriching only to power a future network of nuclear reactors. But enrichment can also produce fissile warhead material. Iran continues enriching, despite three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions meant to make it freeze that activity and has built an enriched stockpile that could arm two nuclear warheads.

Climategate E-mails May Scuttle Barack Obama's Cap and Trade Laws

But the real car crash for Obama is on Capitol Hill where it is now confidently believed his Cap and Trade climate legislation is toast. It was always problematic; but with a growing awakening to the scale of the scientific imposture sweeping the world, as far as the Antipodes, the clever money is on Cap and Trade laws failing to pass, with many legislators sceptical and the mid-term elections looming ever closer.

The term that Fox News is now applying to the Climategate e-mails is “game-changer”. For the first time, Anthropogenic Global Warming cranks are on the defensive, losing their cool and uttering desperate mantras such as “You can be sceptical, not denial.” Gee, thanks, guys. In fact we shall be whatever we want to be, without asking your permission.

At this rate, Copenhagen is going to turn into a comedy convention with the real world laughing at these liars. Now is the time to mount massive resistance to the petty tyrants and hit them where it hurts – in the wallet. Further down the line there may be, in many countries, a question of criminal prosecution of anybody who has falsified data to secure funds and impose potentially disastrous fiscal restraints on the world in deference to a massive hoax. It’s a new world out there, Al, and, as you may have noticed, the climate is very cold indeed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Real Story of Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Private Property and the Free Market

Here is the part [of Thanksgiving] that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.
"All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. Nobody owned anything. They just had a share in it. It was a commune, folks. It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California – and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way.

Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace.

"That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened?
It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh?

What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation!

But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently.

What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.

"'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote. 'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'

Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? What's the point?
"Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?

'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.'

Bradford doesn't sound like much of a... liberal Democrat, "does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes.

"Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47)

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves.... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London.

And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist,2933,576646,00.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Navy charged four SEALs with abuse in 2004 in connection with detainee treatment.

What has this country come to? So what if soldiers punched this terrorist coward that had US citizens murdered, burned, dragged through the streets, and hung from a bridge? These SEALs should be commended for their bravery, risking their lives to bring this sleazy ball to justice. Bringing our own soldiers up on charges does not make the rest of the world think more of us, it confirms our enemy's beliefs that we are weak and morally bankrupt.

FDIC Fund Sinks Into the Red

The government insurance fund that protects more than $4.5 trillion of U.S. bank deposits slipped into the red at the end of September, after fifty banks collapsed during the third quarter.

The deposit insurance fund dropped by $18.6 billion during the third quarter of 2009 to negative $8.2 billion, as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. set aside $21.7 billion in provisions for additional bank failures. This is the second time in the agency's history that the balance has fallen into negative territory.


When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

Wave of Debt Payments Facing US Government

Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Americans now have to climb out of two deep holes: as debt-loaded consumers, whose personal wealth sank along with housing and stock prices; and as taxpayers, whose government debt has almost doubled in the last two years alone, just as costs tied to benefits for retiring baby boomers are set to explode.

An increase of one percentage point in the Treasury’s average cost of borrowing would cost American taxpayers an extra $80 billion this year — about equal to the combined budgets of the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.

Treasury officials estimate that about 36 percent of the government’s marketable debt — about $1.6 trillion — is coming due in the months ahead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Climate Emails Stoke Debate

The correspondence between dozens of climate-change researchers, including many in the U.S., illustrates bitter feelings among those who believe human activities cause global warming toward rivals who argue that the link between humans and climate change remains uncertain.
A partial review of the hacked material suggests there was an effort at East Anglia, which houses an important center of global climate research, to shut out dissenters and their points of view.

In another, Phil Jones, the director of the East Anglia climate center, suggested to climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University that skeptics' research was unwelcome: We "will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage,1518,662822,00.html
By: Gabor Steingart

When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy. His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working. A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.

There were only a few hours left before Air Force One was scheduled to depart for the flight home. US President Barack Obama trip through Asia had already seen him travel 24,000 kilometers, sit through a dozen state banquets, climb the Great Wall of China and shake hands with Korean children. It was high time to take stock of the trip.

Barack Obama looked tired on Thursday, as he stood in the Blue House in Seoul, the official residence of the South Korean president. He also seemed irritable and even slightly forlorn. The CNN cameras had already been set up. But then Obama decided not to play along, and not to answer the question he had already been asked several times on his trip: what did he plan to take home with him? Instead, he simply said "thank you, guys," and disappeared. David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president, fielded the journalists' questions in the hallway of the Blue House instead, telling them that the public's expectations had been "too high."

The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger. The Asians smiled but made no concessions.

Lost Some Stature
Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament? Not an issue for the Chinese.

The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.

Relatively Unsuccessful
A look back in time reveals the differences. When former President Bill Clinton went to China in June 1998, Beijing wanted to impress the Americans. A press conference in the Great Hall of the People, broadcast on television as a 70-minute live discussion, became a sensation the world over. Clinton mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when the government used tanks against protestors. But then President Jiang Zemin defended the tough approach taken by the Chinese Communists. At the end of the exchange, the Chinese president praised the debate and said: "I believe this is democracy!"

Obama visited a new China, an economic power that is now making its own demands. America should clean up its government finances, and the weak dollar is unacceptable, the head of the Chinese banking authority said, just as Obama's plane was about to land.
Obama's new foreign policy has also been relatively unsuccessful elsewhere, with even friends like Israel leaving him high and dry. For the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace is only conceivable under its terms. Netanyahu has rejected Obama's call for a complete moratorium on the construction of settlements. As a result, Obama has nothing to offer the Palestinians and the Syrians. "We thought we had some leverage," says Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel under the Clinton administration and now an advisor to Obama. "But that proved to be an illusion."

Even the president seems to have lost his faith in a genial foreign policy. The approach that was being used in Afghanistan this spring, with its strong emphasis on civilian reconstruction, is already being changed. "We're searching for an exit strategy," said a staff member with the National Security Council on the sidelines of the Asia trip.

'A Lot Like Jimmy Carter'
An end to diplomacy is also taking shape in Washington's policy toward Tehran. It is now up to Iran, Obama said, to convince the world that its nuclear power is peaceful. While in Asia, Obama mentioned "consequences" unless it followed his advice. This puts the president, in his tenth month in office, where Bush began -- with threats. "Time is running out," Obama said in Korea. It was the same phrase Bush used against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, shortly before he sent in the bombers.

There are many indications that the man in charge at the White House will take a tougher stance in the future. Obama's advisors fear a comparison with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, even more than with Bush. Prominent Republicans have already tried to liken Obama to the humanitarian from Georgia, who lost in his bid to win a second term, because voters felt that he was too soft. "Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead," Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, recently said. And then he added: "This does look a lot like Jimmy Carter."

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Healthcare Reform Tax Would Hit H1N1 Vaccine Manufacturers

In an attempt to illustrate the real world consequences of reform's taxes, Senate Republicans are pointing out a provision that would tax the makers of swine flu vaccines and drugs. The provision raises $2.3 billion annually from drug makers who sell their products through government programs.

Yeah let's get those evil drug companies, it's not like we had any kind of shortage of the H1N1 vaccine.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Americans Taxpayers Spend Millions for Environmental Groups to Sue the Government

"The federal government is paying environmental groups to sue the federal government."

The nation's ten largest environmental groups have sued the government more than 3,000 times in a nine-year period, according to legal fund the Western Legacy Alliance, an Idaho-based legal fund that defends ranchers and farmers.

The Environmental Defense Fund has shelled out $69 million in 67 lawsuits over the past nine years. The National Wildlife Federation has spent $97 million on 233 cases. The Wilderness Society has spent $36 million on 150 cases. And the Sierra Club has spent $46 million on 983 cases. That's just a partial list of lawsuits against the federal government over the past nine years, according to the Western Legacy Alliance.

Major Hasan's E-Mail: 'I Can't Wait to Join You' in Afterlife

Gates said the Pentagon probe would try "to find possible gaps or deficiencies in Defense Department programs, processes and procedures for identifying service members who could potentially pose credible threats to others."

No there is nothing wrong with the process. They knew about this guy and what he was doing. They knew he sent this email. They knew the wording in it. And yet they did nothing because he was Muslim. And now with people dead.

How about some death with the political correctness?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out,1518,662092,00.html

The planet's temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. "At present, however, the warming is taking a break," confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany's best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. "There can be no argument about that," he says. "We have to face that fact."

Um, the science is settle guys, why are you printing articles like this?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Outrage in Washington Over Obama's Japan Bow
News photos of President Barack Obama bowing to Japan's emperor have incensed critics here, who said the US leader should stand tall when representing America overseas.

Obama on Monday was in China, having wrapped up the Japan leg of his Asia trip two days earlier. But Washington's punditocracy was still weighing whether or not the US president had disgraced his country two days earlier by having taken a deep bow at the waist while meeting Japan's Emperor Akihito.

Political talk shows have played and replayed the moment from the second day of Obama's week-long Asia tour, which set the blogosphere on fire and chat show tongues wagging.
"I don't know why President Obama thought that was appropriate. Maybe he thought it would play well in Japan. But it's not appropriate for an American president to bow to a foreign one," said conservative pundit William Kristol speaking on the Fox News Sunday program, adding that the gesture bespoke a United States that has become weak and overly-deferential under Obama.

Accused 9/11 Plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Faces New York Trial

Five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.

I'd like to know exactly where in the Constitution these dirtbags get the same rights as the American citizens that they murdered? They also don't fall under the Geneva Convention treaty because they are non-uniformed soldiers. Therefore, why are we not following history here and continuing with military tribunals? They are swift executioners of justice, pun intended. Just wait until some technicality comes up and this man is acquitted.

One Spark that Could Set Wall Street Ablaze: FAS 167

Here’s a new abbreviation to add to our crisis vernacular: FAS 167

That’s short for Federal Accounting Standards revision 167, effective Jan. 1, 2010. In essence, it’s a new accounting rule that will force financials to bring bad, off-balance sheet assets onto their books… thus a potential trigger for more Wall Street carnage.

“FAS 167 will be a larger and larger issue for the financial markets in the coming months,” explains Dan Amoss, our resident CFA, “and an emerging story in the financial media. “In short, the banks with large off-balance sheet variable interest rate entity (VIE) exposures will have to hold more capital against these exposures. So they're actively going to shrink the potential size of these VIEs, which are used to house things like credit card receivables.

“This coming consolidation of VIEs is likely one reason that banks have been hoarding cash and jacking rates on business credit cards -- for creditworthy customers -- up to 30% with no advance warning. “This ultimately means slower formation of new credit, and in many cases -- i.e., Citigroup -- the outright shrinking of its balance sheet to a degree that starves a credit-addicted U.S. economy.”

And lest you think we’re making too big a fuss over FAS 167, check out these sound bites. The first is from Freddie Mac’s Q3 earnings report, the second from a Wells Fargo Q3 conference call.

“Under these accounting standards [SFAS 166 & 167], the company will record the underlying mortgage loans in these single-family PC trusts and some of its Structured Transactions on its balance sheet. These mortgage loans have an outstanding unpaid principal balance of approximately $1.8 trillion as of Sept. 30, 2009… While Freddie Mac continues to evaluate the impacts of adoption, the company expects that the adoption could have a significant negative impact on its net worth.”

“I want to update you on our most recent analysis of the impact of the application of FAS 166 and 167, which is expected to result in the consolidation of certain off-balance sheet assets currently not included in our financial statements. We provided a preliminary analysis in our second-quarter 10-Q. Based on our continued refinement of this analysis, we now expect approximately $55 billion in incremental GAAP assets to be brought on balance sheet, representing approximately $28 billion in incremental risk-weighted assets… we continue to explore the sale of certain interests we hold in securitized residential mortgage loans, which would further reduce the amount of incremental GAAP assets and incremental risk-weighted assets.”

Government Wastes $98 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars in 2009

More than $98 billion in taxpayer dollars spent by government agencies was wasted, much of it on questionable claims for tax credits and Medicare benefits, representing an increase of $26 billion from the previous year.

In all, about 5 percent of spending in federal programs in fiscal year 2009 was improper, according to new details of a government financial report that were released Tuesday. Saying the overall error rate was similar in 2008, officials attributed the $26 billion jump to some changes in how to define improper spending as well as an increase in overall spending due to the recession.

In the fiscal year 2009, which just ended Oct. 1, the U.S. government wasted $98 billion on “improper payments.” That’s their euphemism for money flushed down the toilet due to fraud, misdirected reimbursements, duplicate payments or money that was simply lost — not lost as in, “I lost money on that stock,” but lost as in, “I had a million dollars and now I don’t know where it is.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Director of CBO on Current Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering. The country faces a fundamental disconnect between the services the people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services. That fundamental disconnect will have to be addressed in some way if the budget is to be placed on a sustainable course.

Major Hasan Sought 'War Crimes' Prosecution of U.S. Soldiers

Major Nidal Malik Hasan's military superiors repeatedly ignored or rebuffed his efforts to open criminal prosecutions of soldiers he claimed had confessed to "war crimes" during psychiatric counseling, according to investigative reports circulated among federal law enforcement officials.

How much you want to bet that if this was a tea-party goer that the administration would be all over this a screaming, look, look, this is what those evil right-wingers are like, don't listen to them! But no, because Hasan is a "protected" class, everyone ignored all the warnings and even now some want to attribute it to stress or some stupid excuse like that. What has happened to this country where we don't call a spade a spade?

Senate Committee Postpones Fort Hood Hearing At Request of White House

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking to reporters aboard his plane last week, said all those privy to details on the ongoing investigation into the shooting "should just shut up."

That's in interesting sentiment, something sounds fishy here. And why was it that Obama was so quick to call a Cambridge police officer "stupid" without knowing all the facts, but has yet to denounce this act for what it was, radical Muslim terrorism. What, you afraid people will backlash against Muslims? How dumb do you think American's are? Americans know the difference between regular peace-loving Muslims and this perversion of the religion we see now. If I were Muslim I would hope to Allah that the president would denounce this act so that the distinction between Muslim terrorism and Muslim the religion could be reenforced. But no, now we have to wait and see if we can pin this somehow on being the fault of the US.

Obama Green-Lights Arab Land Grab

A top Palestinian Authority official told WND that the PA reached an understanding with the Obama administration regarding a Palestinian threat to unilaterally ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state outside of negotiations with Israel.

Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister and member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee, said in an interview that the PA "reached an understanding with important elements within the administration" to possibly bring to the U.N. Security Council a resolution to unilaterally create a Palestinian state.

So apparently unilaterally doing something is only bad if the US does it, but if it is a terrorist sponsoring state adjacent to what use to be our strongest ally in the Mideast, then it's ok. Got it.

Jobs 'Saved or Created' in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist

ABC News was able to locate several examples on the government's Web site outlining hundreds of millions of dollars spent and jobs created in Congressional districts that have been misidentified. says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent in Arizona's 86th congressional district in a project for the Navajo Housing authority, which is actually located in the 1st congressional district.

In Oklahoma, lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- in yet more congressional districts that don't exist.

In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent – and 39 jobs created -- in nonexistent districts.
In Connecticut's 42nd district (which also does not exist), the Web site claims 25 jobs created with zero stimulus dollars.

Tracking the Nation's Bank Failures

Monday, November 16, 2009

More in U.S. Say Health Coverage Is Not Gov’t. Responsibility

More Americans now say it is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government's responsibility.

NY Governor Paterson Rips White House For NYC 9/11 Trial

Some relatives fear the suspects could be freed on a technicality that a defense attorney could challenge Mohammed's confession to planning the attacks. The government admitted to using water-boarding interrogation techniques on him 183 times in 2003.

See this is the problem. Because if they are tried in our court system, they get all the same rights and privileges as a US citizen. Since some information was obtained through means that might not hold up constitutionally, they be let go or have a lesser sentence because of some technicality. Also, this introduces the appeals system in which the trial could drag on for years, on top of the 9 years it has already been since 9/11. Very bad idea, very bad.

FHA May Need Bailout

The Federal Housing Administration revealed yesterday that it will likely need a government bailout. The results of an external audit (after being suddenly delayed for a week) showed the FHA’s capital cushion to be just 0.53% of its portfolio of insured mortgages. That’s way below the 2% mandated by Congress.In other words, the FHA has just $3.6 billion in reserves to back up a $679 billion book. That’s into the Fannie Mae stratosphere of leverage insanity, worse than anyone expected, and way, way beyond the Wall Street risk taking our government has so publicly vilified. Of course, a huge portion of these loans are easy-money, 3.5%-down mortgages designed to replace the subprime market and keep housing afloat during the last few years… and we’ve chronicled before their alarming rates of delinquency. The FHA’s auditors said that under adverse housing conditions, the administration could be out of money by 2011 and require a $1.6 billion injection. only off the actual reserves by about fivefold.

Obama Admin Slashed 60,000 Jobs From Recent Stimulus Report

The Obama administration, under fire for inflating job growth from the $787 billion stimulus plan, slashed over 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program because the reporting outlets had submitted "unrealistic data," according to a document obtained by ABC News.


UK Health and Safety Snoops to Enter Family Homes

Health and safety inspectors are to be given unprecedented access to family homes to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

New guidance drawn up at the request of the Department of Health urges councils and other public sector bodies to “collect data” on properties where children are thought to be at “greatest risk of unintentional injury”.

About 100,000 children are admitted to hospital each year for home injuries at a cost of £146m.

And in the last line we see why this is happening. Government run healthcare does not want to pay.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

House Narrowly Passes Landmark Health Care Bill

The bill was estimated to reduce federal deficits by about $104 billion over a decade, although it lacked two of the key cost-cutting provisions under consideration in the Senate, and its longer-term impact on government red ink was far from clear.

But abortion foes won far stronger restrictions that would rule out abortion coverage except in those three categories in any government-sold plan. It would also ban abortion coverage in any private plan purchased by consumers receiving federal subsidies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

China Brands US ‘Protectionist’

China on Friday accused the US of protectionist and biased trade policies less than a week before president Barack Obama’s first visit to Beijing.

In a stinging rebuke to Washington, China’s commerce ministry promised to take measures to protect its domestic industry after the US slapped anti-dumping duties on $2.6bn of Chinese steel pipe imports. The duties are part of a growing roster of trade conflicts between the two countries, despite a high-level meeting last week in China aimed at reducing tensions.

It would be wise to not piss off those that hold so much of our debt. They could bring us to our knees if they decided to cash out.

Report: 237 Millionaires in Congress

As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.

Among the highlights: Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body – compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.

Obama Gives Shout Out to 'Congressional Medal of Honor Winner' Who Isn't

Obama, often described as "cerebral" by the mainstream media, should know the difference between the Medal of Honor and the Medal of Freedom, especially since he personally awarded the latter to Crow. Don't expect his blunder to receive wide coverage. It's not something he can blame George Bush for.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Enumerated Powers Act, H.R. 2458

The Enumerated Powers Act, H.R. 2458, requires that all bills introduced in the U.S. Congress include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which the law is being enacted. This measure will force a continual re-examination of the role of the national government, and will fundamentally alter the ever-expanding reach of the federal government.

Respecting the Tenth Amendment, which reserves all powers not granted to the national government to the states, or the people, will ensure that the Constitution continues to truly guide our nation.

Many California Jobs "Saved' by Stimulus Funds Weren't in Jeopardy

Up to one-fourth of the 110,000 jobs reported as saved by federal stimulus money in California probably never were in danger.

Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting

President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Pelosi Breaks Pledge to Put Final Health Care Bill Online for 72 Hours Before Vote

On September 24, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that she was "absolutely" committed to putting the text of the final House bill online for 72 hours before the House votes:

TWS: Madam Speaker, do you support the measure to put the final House bill online for 72 hours before it's voted on at the very end?
PELOSI: Absolutely. Without question.

But tonight, when asked if Speaker Pelosi will leave the bill online for 72 hours after we see what's in the rule, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly replied in an email: "No; [the] pledge was to have manager’s amendment online for 72 hours, and we will do that."

U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 10.2 %

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 10.2 percent in October, breaching the politically sensitive double-digit barrier for the first time in 26-1/2 years, even though the pace of job losses slowed.

A Labor Department report showed on Friday that employers cut 190,000 jobs last month, more than the 175,000 markets had expected. Economists had looked for the jobless rate to rise to only 9.9 percent from 9.8 percent the prior month.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium

On line 17, p. 110, section 222 under “Abortions for which Public Funding is Allowed” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run plan. The Speaker’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions.

What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run plan. It’s right there on line 16, page 96, section 213, under “Insurance Rating Rules.” The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account - and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.

Democrats' Plan to Help 'Uninsurables' Requires 6-Month Wait

Under the health care bills in Congress, you could apply for coverage through a new high-risk pool that President Barack Obama promises would immediately start serving patients with pre-existing medical problems.

Wait a second. Read the fine print. You may have to be uninsured for six months to qualify.

Waiting lines, what waiting lines? There won't be any waiting in a government run healthcare plan.

Obama to Shut Down Yucca Mountain

After 30 years, five presidents and $13 billion dollars, the Obama administration is pulling the plug on Yucca Mountain, the federal government's proposed storage facility for America's nuclear waste.

For a candidate who said he wanted to get politics out of science, critics find the president's decision hypocritical and shortsighted, at a time when nuclear energy is making a comeback.

This is what comes of programs that the government runs. Years of wasted money only to be shut down. Obviously, increasing relance of nuclear power is now no longer a viable option, which is probably how Obama wants it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ELEMENTARY EPIDEMIC: 11 Uncovered Videos Show School Children Performing Praises to Obama

This is about brainwashing our children into Leftist identity politics. Sure, the schools can argue that they had some kind of parental permission — which, if true, is somehow even more disturbing — but who even considers doing something like this with young minds? That’s a rhetorical question.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Evidence that Charter Schools Help Even Kids in Other Schools

Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby recently found that poor urban children who attend a charter school from kindergarten through 8th grade can close the learning gap with affluent suburban kids by 86% in reading and 66% in math.

Half of US Kids Will Get Food Stamps, Study Says

Where the hell are the parents? It's your responsibility. Don't give up and let the government do it. You should be ashamed!

Proposed Law Would Require Pay for Sick Workers

They are private companies. If they don't want you to work because you are sick, then that's their prerogative.

After Flurry of Stimulus Spending, Questionable Projects Pile Up...

$300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.