Site for Free Markets and Free People

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bank Bill Would Require Banks Send Client Data to Government

This is scary, but not surprising. From Big Government:

In addition to the litany of bad policies contained in the Dodd Financial Reform bill is this nugget on pages 1039-1040. In short, it extends government reach to every deposit account of every citizen.

Subtitle G of the Dodd discussion draft bill requires that records be maintained and reported “for each branch, automated teller machine at which deposits are accepted, and other deposit taking service facility with respect to any financial institution, the financial institution shall maintain a record of the number and dollar amounts of deposit accounts of customers.”

What’s worse, banks will be required to submit these records to the new super regulatory agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (page 1041). The CFPA will be allowed to use this information for any purpose “as permitted by law” under CFPA rules—rules set by CFPA themselves.

So, lets get this straight—the law requires banks to snoop on its customers MOST PERSONAL INFORMATION and submit it to another government agency so it can be used anyway the CFPA see’s fit.

Obama: No More Drilling

Obama says he is not going to allow any more offshore drilling until an investigation is complete.

Wonderful - should really help our economy.

3.2% GDP Growth

The U.S. economy reported a 3.2% GDP growth rate in the first quarter. Yes, that's better than negative growth, but after a deep recession like the one we've had, I would expect that we should have a few quarters in the 6-7% range. Unfortunately, I don't see that coming under the scariness and uncertainty of Obamanomics.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama Official Slams For-Profit Education Sectors

You already know where this one is headed. Rober Shireman, a Dept. of Education official, singled out for-profit education companies by name to slam them for their accreditation processes, along with their overall desire to turn a profit.

Apparently, the financial sector, the auto sector and the health care sector aren't enough for Obama - he now wants to control the entire education sector as well.

Obama To Triple Dividend Taxes

Today the dividend tax rate is 15%. Next year it will go to 39.6% under Obama - despite his earlier claims that they would "only" increase to 20%. Then with the Obamacare surcharge, it goes to 43.4% - a near tripling from its current levels.

But the driving impulse here isn't equity. It's money. According to the static revenue estimation rules that Congress lives by, maintaining the current 15% tax rate on capital gains and dividends will "cost" the government $347.7 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office hasn't broken out how much the higher 39.6% dividend rate alone would yield in revenue, but a reasonable guess is $200 billion. Congress simply wants that cash.

But this revenue estimate assumes businesses and investors are dumb and dumber. Dividends which are payouts from business earnings are already taxed once at the corporate rate of 35%. The individual dividend tax is a second levy on that same income, and at a rate of 43.4% would take the total tax on each dollar paid in dividends to something like 60 cents.

It is quite peculiar how the government considers not passing tax increases to "cost" them money. If they don't steal 100% of your income in taxes, it will cost the government trillions of dollars.

Alert Napolitano, Clinton: Dem NY Senator Goes Nuts

Someone needs to inform Janet Napolitano and Bill Clinton of NY Dem Senator Kevin Parker. He called Republicans "white supremacists" and appears to be on the edge of forming a radical Left-wing militia group. (Or at least that would be the interpretation if he were a Republican).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FDIC's Idea of Consumer Protection

Tom Brown shares a comical, but sad example of how wasteful the government can be in its enforcement of "consumer protection."

I got an up-close look at just how non-pretty this week, during a meeting with the chairman and CEO of a small business bank out west. It was 3:55 in the afternoon. The chairman was in the midst of explaining some underwriting issue or another when, in mid-sentence, he stopped, got up and walked over to the window, and pointed to six people who were leaving for the day.

They were from the consumer protection division the FDIC, he explained. The six had arrived on Monday and had told him they were there to review the bank’s compliance with consumer lending standards. They’d be there for two weeks.

So, what’s the matter, you’re thinking? That's what regulators do.

Here's the problem: the bank that the six regulators were planning to camp out in for two weeks doesn’t make consumer loans. It’s a business bank, whose consumer loan book consists of all of 20 loans that add up to a grand total of . . . . $1.3 million.

Do the math, and, per regulator, that works out to just over three loans of around $217,000 each. Two weeks!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fait Accompli: Obama To Endorse Commission's Tax Increase Proposals

This is precisely why this "bipartisan" commission on deficit reductions was a ridiculous idea. Obama appoints a bunch of non-elected liberal Democrats who want to jack taxes and a few squishy non-elected Republicans to go along with the idea. And Obama already said he will endorse their proposals.

And nothing is "off the table" - except of course, to any type of spending cuts. The commission's report won't be out until after the November elections. Quite convenient.

Portugal Downgraded; EU Coming Apart?

First, Greece. Now S&P downgrades Portugal two notches. Is the EU's welfare state beginning to bankrupt European countries?

Meanwhile, Obama is racing as fast as possible to emulate these soon-to-be bankrupt nations.

Laughable Headline of the Day

"Obama, Fed chief Bernanke urge action to attack deficits."

Yes, Obama still treats Americans like they are a bunch of idiots...

Obama Knew of Damning Report on Obamcare Before Vote

It figures. Democrats hid a damning report on the true costs of Obamacare from the public, even though they had it a week before it was rammed down Americans' throats. And yes, this was written by the actuaries at the Health & Human Services Department!

Obama's banana republic - any dictator would be proud.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Forbes: GM Still Government Motors

Despite that big advertising campaign suggesting that GM "paid back" all of its government funds, it isn't true, as Forbes explains.

True, they paid back a $6.7 billion loan out of the nearly $50 billion given to it by the government, but even that was out of a $13 billion escrow account to make sure the company survived the massive downturn in business.

Make no mistake - the company in essence has not paid anything back.

Shocker: Dem Stimulus Plan Had No Impact

Unsurprisingly, the Obama-Pelosi $800 billion union slush fund that they called a "stimulus bill" has had no impact on the economy - except of course, for wasting money and forcing tax increasese to pay for it.

In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years -- but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.

America - The Story of Us

I watched America - The Story of Us on the History channel last night and enjoyed it. However, was it me or did they never actually mention the words "Boston Tea Party?" There was plenty of discussion about early Americans' hatred of new taxes, etc. that resulted in tea being thrown overboard, but I never actually heard the words "tea party." Did anyone else catch it? Apart from that, it tried to avoid politics for the most part, absent Obama's introduction. (Can we please get a moratorium against seeing him on non-political channels?)

Second, I see that the great professor of race relations, Henry Louis Gates, was one of the commentators during the film. He didn't say anything too political, however, which was good.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The VA: Obamacare in Action

The snafus that take place daily at the Veterans Affairs Administration is a nice preview of what to expect from Obamacare. Take this example of a male soldier whose claim for "mestrual disorder" was being processed.

"If the VA does not actually recognize the request, they do not have to give the award," he said. "Sort of like a perverted form of 'See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.' Most people just throw up their hands in frustration and walk away at this point. That is the VA's plan."

Jim Strickland, a veterans advocate who writes a regular health care benefits column on and has his own benefits-related Web site, said he wasn't at all surprised to learn of McBride's "menstrual" letter. "There are 57 regional offices and every one is operating in total chaos and in crisis," he said. "Full frontal mass chaos. Every day."

Something we can all look forward to very soon.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dem Senate Candidate's Family Bank Shut Down

Today the FDIC shut down Broadway Bank, owned by the Giannoulias family. It is expected to cost taxpayers almost $400 million.

Alexi Giannoulias is the Democrat Senate candidate in Illinois. Unbelievable, but then again, this would be just the first of many more expensive bills to taxpayers if this guy gets elected.

Senior SEC Officers Spent Lots of Time on Porn Sites at Work

Several senior SEC officials were too busy surfing porn sites at work that enforcing our nation's securities laws, a new report found.

Some people will be troubled by this - and indeed - in the real world, those employees would be fired. But alas this is the government where I don't think it's that uncommon. Further, I think we should take it easy on these folks because the more they are preoccupied with other interests, the less damage they can do to the U.S. economy. So lets not be too harsh.

As Reagan said, government is not the solution to the problems, it is the problem.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Absurdity: Climate Change Now Causes Diseases Too

According to Reuters: researchers studying a rare airborne fungus called Cryptococcus gattii claim that its spreading beyond Vancouver may be caused by climate change.


Will Congress Re-write Bankruptcy Laws For Student Loans?

For the Democrats' next act, they appear ready to re-write the rules that govern the repayment of student loans. Many students today finance a portion of their education through private loans, which are generally very low cost loans because the institutions that underwrote the risks realize that the students cannot expunge the debt simply by filing bankruptcy.

Fast forward to 2010. Obama has outlawed the private loan market and now the government controls it all, supposedly at a great "savings" to taxpayers. Of course, this "savings" assumed underwriting risk and operational efficiencies on par with private institutions, which will almost certainly not be achieved. Further, if Congress re-writes the bankruptcy laws, it is a near guarantee that more students will simply file for bankruptcy to expunge their debt, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer losses.

Ultimately, this benefits another great Left-wing cause - universities, whose prices over the last 20 years have increased faster than even health care premiums. Under Congress' watch, you can practically guarantee that this trend will continue long into the future.

China Losing Interest in Solar Energy

You gotta admire the Chinese for looking at the bottom line. When our government spent like a drunken sailor on our so-called stimulus, China invested their stimulus on badly needed infrastructure. Likewise, to most western governments, green technology is always the answer, no matter what the cost - and Obama tends to agree with this. China thinks differently.

Concerned by the high cost of solar -- which can be four times more expensive than fossil fuels -- and fears that solar power won't deliver on some of the anticipated goals, the Chinese government is not about to subsidize solar power on a national level, Shi Lishan, deputy director in China's energy bureau, said in an interview with Guangzhou's 21st Century earlier this month.

I wish Obama were as financially astute as the Chinese government.

The "Financial Reform Bill" Worse Than Useless

The "financial reform bill" being pushed by Democrats (and perhaps an idiotic Republican or two) is worse than useless. As financial industry analyst Tom Brown points out, if this bill were in place during the 2008 financial crisis, the result would have been no different.

Worse still, it gives the government the sword of Damocles to seize and destroy any financial institution it deems to be a systemic risk.

And we all know from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just how insightful our government is at determining which institutions are on the verge of collapsing, right? Judging from Sarbanes Oxley hearings a few years back, Maxine Waters' solution would probably be to dissolve any institution that had two sets of books (one for GAAP purposes and one for tax purposes)!

Barone: "Gangster Government"

Michael Barone writes that the latest Goldman Sachs investigation is just another episode in the long-running saga of Obama's "gangster government."

Yesterday came the news — undisclosed by the SEC Friday — that the commissioners approved the complaint by a 32 party-line vote. Ordinarily, the SEC issues such complaints only when the commissioners unanimously approve.

Fishy thing Number Three: Democrats immediately used the complaint to jam Sen. Christopher Dodd’s financial regulation through the Senate.

You may want to believe the denials that the Democratic commissioners timed the action in coordination with the administration or congressional leaders. But then you may want to believe there was no political favoritism in the Chrysler deal, too. The SEC complaint looks a lot like Gangster Government to me.

The Dodd bill, however, has it trumped. Its provisions promise to give us one episode of Gangster Government after another.

Read on...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Did White House Buy Google Search Terms "SEC Goldman Sachs"?

In another amazing coincidence, the White House, completely unaware of any SEC action against Goldman Sachs, purchased the Google search terms "Goldman Sachs and SEC," which then takes readers to a White House designated website.


I removed the link that I had here previously due to a possible virus or other issue associated with it, just to be safe.

Tea Party Supports Democrat over Republican in Idaho?

This is pretty absurd. Sure, as far as Democrats go, Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho is one of the better Democrats in the House. But he still endorsed Pelosi as speaker and is generally a vote for her when she really needs him. Further, if the GOP were 1 vote shy of kicking Pelosi out of her leadership position, do they still really want to support a Democrat?

I remember hearing in 2006 with all of these "conservative" Democrats that they would be almost as good as having a Republican (Brad Ellsworth, Bart Stupak, Jim Webb, etc). Of course, on the important votes, they are as bad as Pelosi and Reid. You would think most Americans have learned that there really are no longer any conservative Democrats in Congress.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About That "Rising Risk of Hate Groups"

Democrats love to look to the Southern Poverty Law Center for their data indicating a "rise in hate groups" (read: right-wing groups). In fact, this was the conclusion for 9 of the past 20 years. From Byron York:

In 1989, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of skinheads, saying, "Not since the height of Klan activity during the civil rights era has there been a white supremacist group so obsessed with violence. ..."

In 1992, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of other white supremacist groups, which it claimed had grown by 27 percent from the year before.

In 1995, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of right-wing militias.

In 1998, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of Internet-based hate groups, which according to one press account had "created the biggest surge in hate in America in years."

In 1999, the SPLC warned that the growing threat of Web-based hate groups was growing even more, with a 60 percent increase from the year before.

In 2002, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of post-Sept. 11 hate groups, which it said had grown 12 percent between 2000 and 2001.

In 2004, the SPLC warned (again) of the growing threat of skinhead groups, whose numbers it said had doubled in the previous year.

In 2008, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of hate groups overall, whose number it said increased 48 percent since 2000.

And in 2010, just a few weeks ago, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of "patriot" groups, which it said increased by 244 percent in 2009.

In the world of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the threat is always growing. Ronald Reagan's policies led to a growing threat. The first Gulf War led to a growing threat. The election of Bill Clinton led to a growing threat. The Internet led to a growing threat. Sept. 11 led to a growing threat. The war in Iraq led to a growing threat. Is it any wonder that Obama's presidency has, in the SPLC's estimation, led to a growing threat?

Revisiting Bill Clinton's Waco

Since Bill Clinton stepped back into the fray this week, Volokh has stepped back to review some of the Clinton Administration decisions at Waco, specifically its use of CS gas that the FBI knew would seriously harm or kill the children.

An independent report on Waco written by the Harvard Professor of Law and Psychiatry, Alan A. Stone, for the then Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann, says it “is difficult to believe that the US government would deliberately plan to expose twenty-five children, most of them infants and toddlers, to CS gas for forty-eight hours”. Unfortunately, however, that appears to have been exactly the plan.

...I was shocked to read in Stone’s report that the Justice Department had undertaken, and had defended in the press as such, activities which if conducted in wartime would constitute war crimes. Because exposing the children to CS gas was the point of the FBI exercise: no children exposed, no pressure.

Cash For Clunkers, Housing Edition

Hand it to Democrats - they can find an excuse to spend money on everything in the name of "making our economy stronger" and "jumpstarting job creation." The latest is a $6 billion stimulus that has taxpayers shelling out cash for other individuals to buy "energy efficient" home upgrades.

Cash for caulkers would come on top of the stimulus, which included tax credits through 2010 equal to 30% of the cost of qualifying refrigerators, air conditioners, laundry machines and the rest of the 40,000 household and commercial products that carry the government's "Energy Star" label. Like cash for clunkers, in most states consumers are only eligible for the credit if they can prove their old appliances have been properly recycled.

In March, the Government Accountability Office concluded that the government does little to verify manufacturer claims and that most of its approvals are automatic for any company that applies. [Keep in mind that 80% of fake products were approved by the GAO.]

Ah, Obamanomics....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why '24' Has Jumped the Shark

As the last season of '24' continues to its end, it's not hard to see that if it has not already done so in the last season or two, the show has clearly "jumped the shark" this season.

While I'm still a fan of some of the action drama, the show has simply become a ridiculous parody of itself. Forget about all of those "that's totally unrealistic" moments though. The most absurd fact is that President Taylor (who I believe became president in anticipation of a potential Hillary presidency) is willing to risk a nuclear attack in New York City that could kill potentially tens of thousands of Americans in order to save a "peace deal" signed at the United Nations. She acts as though a "peace deal" is the holy grail the world has waited for since the beginning of the time and she will do anything for the "greater good" and unimaginable "sacrifices."

Come to think of it, after looking at the leadership of the U.S. today, perhaps President Taylor is all too real - and that's why Americans are finally getting completely tired of it.

EU Cheif: Vacationing a Human Right

Every person in the world apparently has a "right" to a paid vacation, so says the head of the European Union. And if they can't afford such vacation, taxpayers should fit the bill.

Sounds Obama-esque.

Byron York: How Clinton Exploited Oklahoma City

According to Byron York, Bill Clinton's blaming of the Oklahoma City Bombing 15 years ago today on "right wing extremists" was designed specifically to help him politically. Democrats are trying to use the same strategy today to save their disastrous agenda.

Perhaps that is why, as I wrote five years ago, the U.S. government at best botched the Oklahoma City bombing investigation by missing the hundreds of links to Middle East terrorism. At worst, the government purposely avoided all such links to make sure they had the "right wing extremist" scapegoats.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Obama's 32nd Golf Round of Presidency Fine By Me

Yes, it's true that when President Bush played golf or took vacation, he was skewered by the press for not getting things done. (President Bush played golf 24 times during his 8-year presidency.)

Obama just finished his 32nd round in just over a year in office, but I for one will not disparage him. I encourage him to golf every day (or twice a day) for the rest of his tenure.

Obama Administration: No Backup Plan on Iran if Diplomacy Fails

At least they're being truthful. If Obama's charm doesn't work to dismantle Iran's nuclear plans, there is no backup plan. Brilliant.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Obama, Financial Expert, Still Ignores Freddie, Fannie

Obama wants the power to liquidate any financial company he desires because he will see any crisis coming before it happens. And he seems to be wanting to scare up another crisis if that's what is necessary.

Of course, the two companies most responsible for this entire financial mess are Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and Obama has no problem spending $300,000,000,000.00 (yes, it's a very large number) if it means getting his agenda implemented of bailing out his irresponsible cronies.

By the way, it must have been a mere coincidence that Goldman Sachs was slapped with SEC charges just prior to the Congressional debating of Obama's "financial reform" (read: Obama's Financial Bend Over Bill).

Clinton Stoking Extremism?

Bill Clinton says that the anger in this country among tens of millions of law-abiding American citizens could stoke "right wing extremism." Never mind that most of the violence so far has come from the Left, from vandalizing GOP offices, assaulting GOP staffers, and throwing eggs/shouting slurs at tea parties. Let's also not forget that the Unibomber, Bill Ayers, and the killing professor were all Left-wing radicals.

The real question I have is why the Left doesn't do its usual self-examination process of "looking at the root causes?" For example, after 9/11 and the Iraq War, the Left always wanted us to study why terrorists are so mad at us. Their answer, of course, was that it was the fault of Bush, the U.S. and our inherently unfair foreign policy.

If we ask that same question today about the root cause of American citizenry anger, there is no doubt about who is to blame.

Republicans Spineless at DOJ Hearings

As Andy McCarthy explains, Obama need not have worried that Republicans would ask about the radical nature of Holder's DOJ, largely directed and influenced by the most ardent supporters of giving terrorists all the same rights as U.S. citizens - and in fact, arguing that the U.S. is a sponsor of torture.

Well, fear not. There is no such temerity. Judiciary Committee Republicans let the whole thing slide. There was not a single question at Wednesday’s hearing about stalking the CIA, nor a single question about Daskal and what she’s been doing since Holder brought her into the Justice Department. The attorney general’s palaver about “patriotism” went completely unchallenged: No questions about whether Holder thinks spying on the CIA is a proper role for lawyers whose only legitimate function is to litigate the legality of detention; no questions about whether Holder thinks lawyers exhibit patriotism when they violate court orders; no questions about what might have made the CIA believe Holder’s aides were not taking the stalking investigation seriously.

...The fact that we permit lawyers to volunteer their services to our wartime enemies doesn’t make the lawyers who do so patriots — any more than ambulance-chasers are patriots just because it’s legal to chase ambulances. When Eric Holder was an Obama campaign adviser, he didn’t just question the patriotism of Bush DOJ lawyers, he accused them of facilitating war crimes and insisted there needed to be a “reckoning” of their purported misdeeds. Those lawyers were working against the terrorists. But we’re not supposed to talk about lawyers who work for the terrorists.

Republicans are in a position to completely obliterate the Democrats this fall. But alas, they are still as spineless as ever.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bill Clinton Compares Concerned Teapartiers to OK City Terrorists

Bill Clinton is just the latest Democrat attempting to stifle dissent of the Left's radical agenda. Today he compares the concerned Americans associated with tea parties to the terrorists involved in the Oklahoma City bombing.

This is about as despicable as it gets in an attempt to eliminate all dissent.

All Teacher Pension Plans Underfunded

This study by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research is scary. Every one of the 59 teacher pension funds they studied in the U.S. is underfunded (some of these are for all public employees and some are just for teachers). Here are a few summary findings:

  • All fifty-nine pension funds studied face shortfalls.
  • California, the most populous state, has the largest unfunded teacher pension liability: almost $100 billion.
  • The worst-funded plan in our sample is West Virginia’s, which we estimate to be only 31 percent funded.
  • Five plans are 75 percent funded or better: teacher-dedicated plans in the District of Columbia, New York State and Washington State and state employee retirement systems in North Carolina and Tennessee that include teachers.
  • These plans’ unfunded liabilities total about $933 billion.
  • Only $116 billion, or less than one quarter, of this discrepancy is attributable to the stock market drop precipitated by the 2007 financial crisis.
This is not surprising when, as NJ Gov. Christie mentioned a few weeks ago that a mere $124K investment by a teacher over the life of his career can result in a $3 million payoff for his retirement. It's simply not sustainable for more than one generation before it all collapses.

Obama "Amused" By Americans Concerned About Trillion Dollar Deficits

Obama says he is "amused" by the tens of millions of people outraged over his deficit busting socialist programs.

Obama then joked that they "should be saying thank you" for his cutting of taxes. Yes, this guy should probably be relegated to a mental institution at this point - as should anyone who still believes this garbage.

This is your president - and he hates your guts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pelosi's Congress: Most Corrupt Ever

Dem Rep. Greg Meeks is the latest crook. Member for member, the Black Congressional Caucus members seem to be the most corrupt of all...

Biden Not Quite So "Patriotic" When It Comes to His Own Money

Joe Biden gave a total of just over 1% of his income to charity last year, a lot better than Al Gore, but not up to par with typical contributions from Americans, especially wealthy politicians.

And this from a man who told us we had to open up our wallets to pay higher taxes in order to "be patriotic." Different rules for himself, obviously...

Spending at SEC To Double; Still Not Enough For Dems

A House bill that passed in December authorizes a doubling of SEC funding over the next five years to $2.3 billion, a massive expansion during a time when deficits are exploding and Obama has a "laser like" focus on deficits.

But that's still not enough for Democrats, who want the SEC to be "self-funding," meaning that this unelected agency would be able to charge fees to corporations with virtually no oversight. I'm still waiting for the cries of "undemocratic dictatorship" from the media.

Global Warming The Cause of Worsening Allergies?

(Thanks to JB for the link to this story.) The National Wildlife Federation says that allergy sufferers are suffering more today than 20 years ago because global warming is helping to create more pollen over a longer period of time.

If one were to try to rationalize this, wouldn't one say that the National Wildlife Federation should be thrilled with more pollen and therefore, more wildlife growth?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Non-Obama Supporters Need Not Apply

As the WSJ notes, the presidential diktat barring non-union shops from federal contracts went live yesterday.

Only 15% of the nation's construction workers are unionized, so from now on the other 85% will have to forgo federal work for having exercised their right to not join a union. This is a raw display of political favoritism, and at the expense of an industry experiencing 27% unemployment. "This is nothing but a sop to the White House's big donors," says Brett McMahon, vice president at Miller & Long Concrete Construction, a nonunion contractor. "We've seen this so many times now, and how many times does it have the union label? Every time."

The Veterans study mirrors academic work showing that project labor agreements raise the costs of construction by 10% to 20%.

Obama still has that "laser like" focus on the federal deficit, I see...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Barney Frank: Stop Bothering Me!

Yesterday Barney Frank got into an argument with two doctors on a flight who disagreed with his view on health care reform.

Here's what happened according to the Boston Globe: Supposedly the women were talking amongst themselves (although loudly) about the healthcare reform bill, which they disliked and called it an Obamanation.

At that point Barney's partner, Jim Ready, told the women they were being "bitchy." From this, the argument took off and evidently it became more heated. This is all we know.

Here's my problem with the incident: While I respect anyone's desire for privacy, Frank is a public servant, and while he says he simply did not want to talk to them, he has to remember who's working for whom. Not only this, but the women in question were doctors who likely had knowledge of the bill, and probably had reason to be complaining - perhaps Frank should have listened to a few doctors before voting on the bill.

My second problem with the incident is concerning Frank's partner. Now I do not know if Mr. Ready is Barney Frank's boyfriend or his business partner with whom he works - the article does not specify and a partner can be either. But if Mr. Ready works with Frank, he should be fired for calling his constituents "bitches."

While Frank complains that these women talked too loudly about healthcare reform, I complain that Frank spoke too loudly that Fannie Mae was in great financial shape in 2003. His ignorance has practically bankrupted the world's economy.

Massive Doctor Shortage Next Decade

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, we are at risk of a massive doctor shortage next decade due to the new Obamacare nationalization. And this assumes all those outraged doctors today keep practicing.

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

Can you say rationing?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Scary Obama Home Bailout 5.0 Plan

The NY Post explains Obama's latest "home foreclosure prevention" plan, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. It is almost as scary as Obamacare from a cost perspective.

Now Team Obama has announced a daring new program -- call it ObamaHome 5.0. Instead of subsidizing delinquent homeowners, this program benefits homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages but continue to pay.

Obama will subsidize upper-income homeowners (folks owing mortgage balances of up to $729,750) by paying their banks if they reduce the principal balance to 97.5 percent of the home's value and payments to "affordable" levels -- 31 percent of the homeowners' income.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Only 1% of Americans Think They Pay Less Than "Fair Share" of Taxes

Where are all those liberals? Do they now represent less than 1% of the U.S. population? If not, how do we explain the fact that only 1% of Americans believe they pay less than their "fair share" of income taxes.

They just think their neighbors pay too little, I suppose...

Obama: Brand New Lows

Real Clear Politics has the latest average poll numbers for Obama - ugly. Given his agenda, I actually think his numbers are pretty good...

Friday, April 09, 2010

NJ Teachers Union Jokes About Governor's Death

Better get Janet Napolitano to investigate the Left-wing militia that is the state of New Jersey's teachers union.

Democrat Support Prevented Fannie Mae Reform, Says Commission

A Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission admits that it was "political support" (read: Democrat support) that "helped thwart efforts to reform the two companies before losses forced the government takeover in September 2008, Armando Falcon Jr. and James Lockhart said in remarks prepared for a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing in Washington today."


FDA to Require Front of Label Nutrional Information

The FDA has decided that America's health will be much improved by moving nutritional labels to the front of the package. Sure, that should take care of obesity - sort of like saving massive amounts of oil consumption by pumping up your car tires.

Obama's nanny state - live it.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Obama To Ban Non-Paid Internships, But Only for Businesses

It appears that the Obama Administration is looking to ban all non-paid internships in the private sector. He still wants them for the non-profit, government sector however.

Marxism - learn it, live it, love it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Almost Half of U.S. Pay No Income Tax

If you're the 47% of Americans who pay nothing in federal income taxes, sit back, relax and enjoy your beer. We are essentially at the tipping point, where voters can force taxpayers to pay whatever rates they want - with no repercussions to their own situation.

Not a healthy situation for the U.S.

California State Pensions Almost Broke, Says Study

The generous state pensions in California are driving the state to a major crisis.

"This is a really dire situation," graduate student Howard Bornstein said today at a press conference at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, which is publishing the students' findings. "If we don't do something now, we're going to have major issues in just a few years."

"The simulation shows that the state would need to invest more than $200 billion, and possibly as much as $350 billion, today to return the fund to a minimum responsible level of funding," said Bornstein, who noted that the figure is approximately four times the current state budget.

But trust Obama - when applied at the federal level, it's really going to save us money.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Is Obama Foreclosure Bailout Legal?

Mark Calabria of Cato asks a good question: Is the Obama foreclosure plan legal?

Apparently unlike the Treasury department, I believe we should go back to the language of the statute in determining what it allows and doesn’t allow. Section 110(b)(1) is quite clear: “to the extent that the Federal property manager holds, owns, or controls mortgages, mortgage backed securities…” Nowhere else in TARP is there any other ability to establish a mortgage modification program. In using TARP funds to pay for modifications of loans not owned by the federal government, the Obama administration is acting far outside of its legal authority under TARP.

...even within such a broad delegation, there are parameters in which Treasury must act. Treating TARP as simply a large pot of money to spend however Treasury chooses is nothing short of illegal.

The program is ridiculous and a typical Obama transfer of wealth to those who are irresponsible. But the more pertinent question is, does Obama care if anything he does is not legal?

Dem Congressmen Files Complaint Against Doctor Free Speech

No more first amendment if you are a doctor. That is the message that Rep. Alan Grayson is giving after a Florida urologist dared to complain that Obamacare is destroying his profession and forcing him to violate his oath.

The Chicago way - intimidate dissenters....

Monday, April 05, 2010

Obama's Opening Day Pitch: Awful

Obama threw out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals - and I have to say that it was one of the more pathetic performances I've ever seen.

Hey, at least it is in tune with his job performance.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Feds Approve 75% of Fake "Energy Efficient Products"

The EPA and Department of Energy approved 15 out of 20 products submitted for their Energy Star program - even though the products were completely fake.

Great due diligence - we should be in great hands with Obamacare.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Dem: Opposition to Obamacare = KKK Membership

Yup, Rep. Steve Cohen says that the tea partiers who oppose Obamacare and reckless government spending are just like members of the KKK.

“The tea party people are kind of without robes and hoods. They have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. We saw opposition to African-Americans, hostility towards gays, hostility towards anyone who, you know, just wasn’t a clone of George Wallace’s fan club.”


Friday, April 02, 2010

Byron York: Obamacare Goal was Wealth Distribution

Byron York explains that Obamacare was not about health care, but about redistribution of income.

Health reform is "an income shift," Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said on March 25. "It is a shift, a leveling, to help lower income, middle income Americans."

In his halting, jumbled style, Baucus explained that in recent years "the maldistribution of income in America has gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind." The new health care legislation, Baucus promised, "will have the effect of addressing that maldistribution of income in America."

At about the same time, Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and presidential candidate, said the health bill was needed to correct economic inequities. "The question is, in a democracy, what is the right balance between those at the top ... and those at the bottom?" Dean said during an appearance on CNBC. "When it gets out of whack, as it did in the 1920s, and it has now, you need to do some redistribution. This is a form of

When you look at these statements, as well as all of the different bills that could have been passed at a small fraction of the cost of Obamacare, it's hard to disagree.

Payrolls Up, But Less Than Expected

I expect jubilation in the media and White House today as they hail the fact that the economy added 162,000 jobs. And it has only cost us over $1 trillion to do so thus far. It's better than Obama's last 13 months, but unfortunately, expectations were for 200,000 jobs. The number was also aided by 48,000 temporary census workers.

Don't worry - we still won't hear anything about a "jobless recovery" like we did for 3 years between 2002 and 2004, even as unemployment was under 6%.

Look: The Budget Crisis is a Good Thing Too!

It's funny how we are now seeing articles abound about how unemployment and forced furloughs are not such a bad thing anymore now that Obama is in office. Take for example this article in the WSJ about Lance Morris, a California state employee who is one of the 200,000 California state employees who are forced to take unpaid leave once a week.

"We can actually do more things as a family, and we don't have to deal with the crowds," Mrs. Morris said as she stood on a deck at the Boreal Mountain Resort watching her husband, Lance, and their 16-year-old son, Keegan, snowboarding on a gloriously clear Friday. "I absolutely love it."

This is "Furlough Friday" and it's becoming a staple around the country as state governments force workers to take a weekly day off—usually Friday—to help bridge budget gaps.

I am very happy that Mr. Morris and others may be enjoying more time with family and more days off. And if it works so well in California, perhaps we should try it at the federal level as well - it would certainly help reduce the deficit and it might make people happier. Heck, let's give them 2 days off and they should be ecstatic.

I don't think anyone will complain either, because let's face it - our economy would do just fine with a much smaller government.