There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the Obama administration’s view of government and the founders view of government, not to mention the majority of Americans today. Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett declared the other day that the purpose of government is to “give people a livelihood so they can provide for their families.”

For a socialist or a communist, this is a proper view of government. But for the founders and for the majority of Americans this is a major over step of governmental power.

Jarrett is in the least a socialist. To her it’s the duty of the government to provide a job for every American. If she’s a Marxist, the government controls all industry and therefore can provide all jobs. If she’s a fascist then the government orders business to hire employees.

This is a substantial shift from the founders vision of government, which was limited to protecting individual rights. Jobs and income were never part of the founders discussions in the Federalist Papers. The Constitution doesn’t outline what the government will give the American people, rather it outlines the limited powers the government has. All other powers are reserved for the states or the people.

Most Americans still at least partially subscribe to the founders original vision of government. Part of the problem today is that even those of us on the right talk about job creation as though government create jobs.

It’s very easy to point out that 17-18 million jobs were created during the Reagan administration. President Reagan didn’t create those jobs though. All he did was cut government regulations and taxes. The result of doing those things spurred the private sector to create jobs.

Obama is running around the country with a jobs bill that doesn’t actually create private sector jobs. It’s the top down approach that we’ve come to expect from the far left. The job creator isn’t the private sector but rather the government. Not only does the government do an inefficient job (It will cost a minimum $200,000 per new job) but they also aren’t creating long term, stable jobs.

There’s a reason why the top down approach didn’t work for Obama’s Stimulus bill. Government created a miniscule amount of jobs and ended up losing more by creating massive regulations.

The Valerie Jarrett and Obama approach to jobs simply isn’t sustainable in a mostly free market economy. One is left wondering why they continue to push forward with the government control model that clearly doesn’t work.

It is necessary to go back to Obama’s victory speech in 2008 when he declared that now he was going to go forward and “fundamentally transform America.” Jarrett’s comments are that fundamental transformation of America that Obama was talking about. He wants America to become a socialist nation. His background and everything about his life leading up to becoming President has been about socialism and furthering the radical socialist cause.

While the progressive left grouses about Obama, he continues forward with his socialist vision for the country. His ridiculous jobs plan is little more than class warfare. Sure he’s trying to shore up his base but he really believes that the rich should give up most of their wealth. Behind the scenes, Obama continues to push forward with cumbersome regulations on business.

The far left was outraged by the debt ceiling deal but in the end Obama cut nothing the far left really cares about. From the looks of it there will be more military spending cuts than anything else, the progressive left ought to love that.

Obama still has the same vision for our nation that he did in 2008. He remains a committed socialist and continues to surround himself with committed socialists like Valerie Jarrett. His advisers remain far left liberals, he has no moderates in his administration.

Only two things have changed for Obama since he took office. First, now that the public knows him better it’s clear he never had the skills necessary to be President. Second, the public has given him a Republican House so as to obstruct his mission. Obama remains forever the same. The disconnect between his view of government and the founders is clear for everyone to see.

Thanks to Glenn Beck, the nation is beginning to see how high up the Obama administration’s chain-of-command radicalism is embedded. The problem doesn’t originate with Van Jones or some low-level staffer with ties to ACORN, but where the buck stops: the president, his wife, and their closest mutual friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett. On his radio show Tuesday, Beck interviewed Scott Baker, now of Breitbart TV, a self-described “news junkie” who clearly did his research on Jarrett.

Jarrett’s relationship with the Obamas, incoming administration radicals, and a socialist revolutionary who says she “probably” rejects violence (and allegedly offered Rod Blagojevich access to Obama’s fundraisers if he appointed Jarrett to Obama’s senate seat) filled up 4,000 words in my article for Monday’s FrontPage Magazine. Jarrett is, by all accounts, the closest friend and adviser to the first family. Obama says he doesn’t make a decision without her, and Jarrett described her relationship with the president by saying, “We have kind of a mind meld.” That’s scary, since she recruited Van Jones, Regulation Czar Cass Sunstein, and FCC Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd. Administration staff said without her intervention, white advisers may have rejected “the often-legitimate concerns voiced by black leaders like [Al] Sharpton.” It’s more disturbing yet to explore the claustrophobic social circle of extremists she is facilitating into the White House.

Michelle Obama owes her career at Chicago’s city hall to Valerie Jarrett. In turn, Jarrett owes her secular career in real estate (at a firm called Habitat) to Marilyn Katz, an SDS radical who showed Days of Rage protesters how to fuse nails together to throw at oncoming police officers in 1968 Chicago. She is now a high-powered PR exec for Chi-town government agencies, a 40-year associate of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, and according to Michelle Obama’s biographer, a vibrant part of the Obamas’ social circle. She spent the next 20 years fighting for a socialist “revolution” and promoting groups like the ACLU, Mother Jones, and UAW Local 719.

But Katz’s anti-American extremism was decades ago, when Barack Obama was seven, right? Asked six years ago if she had evolved since ’68, she said while she, like Ayers, regrets “nothing,” she “would probably reject violence as a useful form of revolution.” Probably?

In 2004, Katz endorsed John Kerry but acknowledged his imperfection, writing, “The day after Bush’s defeat, the U.S. will still be an imperialist power.” Like all radicals, her all-consuming focus is transforming the nation into a socialist haven, adapting her techniques as the situation requires.

She thought Obama (for whom she raised tens of thousands of dollars) and Jarrett were the best instruments for this purpose. Rod Blagojevich writes in his new book that Katz contacted him after Obama’s election and “indicated that if I appointed Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate, the Obama people would help me raise money from their network of contributors across the country.” Jarrett declined to pursue the seat, but repaid Katz by inviting her patron to attend the Obama administration’s 37th anniversary of Title IX in July.

Baker picked up a few extra strands in the radio interview:

In fact, when you look even at Van Jones, one of the things that we looked at that Pam Key over at Naked Emperor News turned up was that Van Jones spoke in 1998 at a conference in Chicago, was the first Black Radical Congress [at which] Jeremiah Wright was also a speaker.

Though the Van Jones-Rev. Wright tie was perhaps a one-time affair, they share a common ideology.

The far greater threat is a stealth adviser who establishes the Obamas’s “whole notion of authenticity” by circumscribing their social reference to a world where Marilyn Katz, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, and Louis Farrakhan dictate the limits of acceptable debate. Understanding Jarrett’s influence over Obama is key to understanding him and the quasi- or overtly socialist advisers he’s hoisting upon our country.

1. Baker is a former longtime anchor of Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV, as well as a teacher of the Leadership Institute‘s Broadcast Journalism School, a Wheaton College grad, and a high school winner of the VFW Voice of Democracy Speech Contest.

2.Lloyd also got an assist from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, George Soros‘s Open Society Institute, and John Podesta‘s Center for American Progress., the large and well-financed leftist network Lloyd served in various capacities.

Unfortunately, the everyday serf is too stupid to understand they are AGAIN becoming slaves and the ones pulling the strings, well, they know full well what they're doing...

Its gonna get ugly folks...
Yer right. Ugly...
I've never seen the country so one who was to unite us. I knew that was a lie from the get go.
Wright said it all. Obama didn't have to.
When I see a guy hangin' out with say...bikers. I figure he has something in common with them. Same same Obama. He hangs with people that hate me for being a Capitalist Pig...
It's time our government once again feared the people rather than show open disdain and hatred for them.

Obama is a liar and Truth is
killing his Marxist agenda.

Valerie Jarrett is the carrier of the dirt to and from the underground

Ben Johnson
We have to say, whatever bad instincts she reinforces in Barack and Michelle Obama, they are the Obamas' instincts.....

Valerie Jarrett is a slum lord. The voice on this video is hard to take, but the info on Jarrett is revealing.

Nan J Warren's

Nan J Warren
I believe that all these commies in our country were taken off guard when the USSR collapsed. They were continuing to lay their commie ground work when it happened. Then they got the lying commie Clintons in place.

Now that Russia was going free market, helping to establish freedom of religion, and working to free itself from communism, the Clinton's continued the expansion of NATO, introduction of AMerican bases near the Russian borders and putting political and economic pressures on the newly non-communist Russia. See Russia was now the enemy of the commies not their leader anymore. That is why commie George Soros tried to undermine the ruble.

I know many older Russian people, refugees from the Communist USSR, at my church and all of them tell me that the USA right now is looking like the beginning of the USSR, after the Revolution, when the Reds made their biggest moves on ALL private property, professional people like doctors and business.

My older Serbian friends say the USA under Obama is beginning to look like Yugoslavia right after Tito took over. SOCIALIZE everything!! Top to bottom. QUICK, QUICK!!

Is this scary, YOU BET!!

The Commie technique of getting control of food supplies and starving the opposition, is NEXT!! You have all heard of food nazis... well they are really FOOD COMMIES!!
The subversion began in Congress, unabated. Look at all Crooks in suits gladhanding one another as they have gotten their man in the White house.

With their propoganda media in place, next branch to conquer, the Supreme Court.

Oooops...forgot about Fox News and the internet.

Never before, has there been an outright attack against a network that has had the guts to report honestly about all the corruption taking place. If they weren't guilty, Fox would not be under fire.

The reaction speaks for itself.

It wouldn't surpRise me one bit if Barney Frank doesn't write a bill outlawing dissent.
Gringo Clowns
"Che Guevara is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom, we will always honor his memory." --- NELSON MANDELA

We are counting down the November 2012!


Illegal aliens have now morphed into "deserving immigrants" right in front of our eyes as more states and certainly the Federal government offer a variety of programs to provide sanctuary, subsidize college education tuition, and in addition offer free healthcare, welfare and a variety of programs paid for from taxpayer's pockets.

The supporters of these programs include no less than the Mexican government who wants us to "be fair" or Governor Rick Perry of Texas who feels that those of us who oppose these policies have no heart, etc.. Now we have no heart for you, Mr. Perry! Karma is really something!

Have you noticed that the welfare lines, and use of the various government programs are not dominated by "immigrants" from Poland, or Russia or Yugoslavia?

But, when there is a well publicized "round up" of illegals ( now limited to the roundup only of those who committed murder, rape or similarly outrageous crimes), the reporters, when naming the countries that these illegals are from, always add an Eastern European immigrant who overstayed his visitor visa, rather than killed someone. Thus is makes it appear that the illegals come from all over the world.

The difference is simple....the Eastern European is working his butt off, not going on welfare or burdening the local school system with multiple kids getting free lunches, and they plan on going back, unlike the Mexican illegals. See the difference?

Another argument that is used is that "we can not deport 12 million, or 20 million people because it would be SO COSTLY TO DO". Huh?

The amount that each state and the Federal government spends on their "subsidies" of every type, including un-reimbursed health care is estimated at $300 billion annually as a minimum...and probably way, way more!

The way I see it, deporting all illegals would be a very simple step and would create an instant boost to the US economy in many, many ways.

For the most part, most would "self deport" if they were unable to work here, or to obtain any financial benefits and healthcare.

So, a simple FEDERAL LAW that provides for 10 year mandatory jail sentence for any employer who employs an illegal alien from any country, and a monetary penalty of $1 million for each person so employed would pretty much stop the secret employment issue. Furthermore, a reward would be paid to any "whistleblower" who turns in such an employer would also do the job.

Next, any landlord or lender who knowingly rents or makes a mortgage loan to an illegal alien, is also subject to the same penalty AND a confiscation of the property!


There would be such a boom to the bus companies, trucking companies, junk auto sale used car companies, travel agents, airlines, fast food places along the interstates on the way toward Mexico, gas stations, paint stores selling purple paint, rear view mirror bead manufacturers, boom box manufacturers, and of course, the biggest boost of all would be that the currently 20 million unemployed people would actually be offered jobs, as they need to fill the now empty positions!

Everyone wins, especially citizens and LEGAL immigrants.

Everyone would be given a 60 day window to leave, hassle free, giving them time to still pack, wind up their affairs, commit whatever crimes they have to before leaving before being caught again, and "thanks for visiting, come again" legally.

You can allow the legal seasonal work permits in the agriculture industry after employers show an inability to fill the positions, but a simple identity card will do, and anyone here without it to show the legal status, is again going to subject the employer to the sanctions.

The present system provides a highly dangerous environment for legal resident, as the law enforcement officials in many jurisdictions are unable to ask the legal status or even for an ID! That is so crazy, I can not even conceive how anyone tolerates that.

Interim solution...change the political landscape by electing only those who favor strict controls, and deportation....otherwise they are out! That message would be heard loud and clear, and things can change only if the voters decide to change their votes.

What a wonderful idea.

If you try working in Mexico without being a citizen you go directly to prison, we are more compassionate and will allow them to return hassle free.


Justice Department lawyers are reviewing four new state laws targeting illegal immigrants in a move that signals an escalation in the Obama administration’s battle with the tough laws. The Justice Department has already sued Arizona and Alabama over their laws, The Washington Post reported.

The four new laws under scrutiny are from Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah. “I don’t recall any time in history that the Justice Department has so aggressively challenged state laws,” Jonathan Turley, of the George Washington University Law School, told the Post.

While Republican presidential candidates are calling for getting tough on illegal immigrations, President Barack Obama is working the other side of the street. He recently told a group of Latino reporters Arizona’s immigration law created “a great danger that naturalized citizens, individuals with Latino surnames, potentially could be vulnerable to questioning. The laws could be potentially abused in ways that were not fair to Latino citizens,” the Post reported.

The Obama administration has been criticized for suing over Arizona’s law, with conservatives charging the suit is being used to court Hispanic voters. The charges have been denied and Obama told the Hispanic journalists that “we can’t have a patchwork of 50 states with 50 different immigration laws,” the Post reported.

Read more on Obama Targets More State Immigration Laws


Navy Seal Team 6...........

This is what the Navy Seal team looked like when they went in to get Bin Laden.

A couple of things to notice:

50 caliber sniper on the right.

Knee, knuckle and forearm protection.

Various plastic/wire ties.

Absolute identity denial to protect their families.

Free choice of footwear.

Fourth from the right has three artillery simulators and CS gas grenades
On his belly. He's the 'shock and awe' guy.

Group Photo of Seal Team Six, . . . . . . .
and you can imagine the look on Bin Laden's face when these guys came
through the door?

Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama, just a few weeks ago, was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. In fact, if you remember a little less than two years ago, his administration actually charged and attempted to court-martial 3 Navy Seals from Seal Team Six, when a terrorist suspect they captured, complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. His administration further commented how brutal they were. The left were calling them Nazi's and Baby Killers. Now all of a sudden, the very brave men they vilified are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Obama just happened to be the one in office when the CIA finally found the bastard. And our sailors took him out. Essentially, Obama only gave an answer. Yes or No, to him being taken out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!! Forward on IF YOU AGREE!!"

Ed Schreiber
Col. USMC (Ret.)
"Semper Fi"


2008: "Navy Seal Team 6 is Cheney's private assassination team."
2011: "I put together Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden."

2008: "Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty, and must be captured alive and given a fair trial."
2011: "I authorized Seal Team 6 to kill Bin Laden."

2008: " Guantanamo is entirely unnecessary, and the detainees should not be interrogated."
2011: "Vital intelligence was obtained from Guantanamo detainees that led to our locating Bin Laden."



To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job.

What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to tell you whom to vote for - it is against the law to discriminate based on political affiliation, race, creed, religion, etc.

Please vote for who you think will serve your interests the best. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story.

This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You saw my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don't see is the back story.

I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's.

My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business --- with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, ****, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me like a 1 day old baby.

You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn't.

The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine.

Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.

You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don't forget the back story: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on zero dollars is zero. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to tell you "It's the economy Stupid" I'm telling you it isn't.

If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me in the South Caribbean sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, Your boss,

Location: This is a real letter


A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of money to Democratic campaigns.

And as questions swirl around possible connections between political donations and these preferential financing arrangements, the Obama White House suddenly began deflecting The Daily Caller’s questions on Wednesday to the Democratic National Committee.

Asked Wednesday to comment on the connection between large Democratic donors and Obama administration loan guarantees to the companies they represent, the White House responded to The Dc with a single sentence: “We refer your question to the Democratic National Committee.”

Concerns about the long-term viability of Solyndra, first made public by The Daily Caller back in February, have now expanded to include the financial health of other loan-guarantee recipient firms as well.

These companies have suffered from declining stock prices despite their favored status in the White House. Yet as the end of the federal government’s fiscal year looms on Friday, a new series of loans could be finalized amounting to more than nine times what taxpayers have already lost on the failed company Solyndra.

“Who was visiting the White House during this period of time?” Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton asked when contacted by TheDC. Barton is a former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Who were they talking to and what were they talking about? Are there more loans at risk of not being paid back? Are these good investments or political favors?”

“The American people just lost a half billion dollars and they deserve answers to these questions before more money is wasted. Until we know exactly what happened, I think we should slow down this loan program and take a closer look at each case.”

“It is becoming more clear with each revelation that warning signs were ignored in the Solyndra case,” Barton continued. “Yet in the next 48 hours — because of a deadline that can still be changed — the Department of Energy is going to hand out another $5 billion in loans.”

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve has secured a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for a Nevada solar project.

That company has ties to George Kaiser, the Oklahoma billionaire who raised $53,500 for President Obama’s campaign in 2008. Through his Argonaut Private Equity firm, Kaiser holds a majority stake in Solyndra.

Argonaut has a voting stake on SolarReserve’s board of directors in the person of Steve Mitchell, who also serves on Solyndra’s board of directors.

We are actually seeing the benefits of shouting climate change. It is not to save the planet, it is to line the pockets of those who support the sham.

BINGO.. it never was about the environment.... well it was for the liberal voters, but Vladimir Lenin referred to these people as useful idiots.

AGREE.....AGREE.....AGREE !!!!!

It's time for Darrell Issa to call for a Special ProsecutorIllinois pay to play has posted another must read !Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Silent Mole & A Complicit Newspaper (Part 5)Check out this web site
All of this smells of criminal corruption and people need to be charged and punished.
Ron Pelosi sits on the board of one of these companies getting a bribe worth hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars....just a coincidence, I'm sure!

Hard earned taxpayer dollars at work...part of the $1,000,000,000,000 stolen by The Fraud In Chiefright out of the gate, to "stimulate" his base and owners with (13) months to go before the inevitable swamp draining!
Most of us have to deal with what's facing us right now, not ten years back. You "blame Bush" people continue to try to deflect from the monstrosity that is the Obama administration. It won't work any longer.
Obama screws up everything he touches. We need to remove him from office.
Bush was investigated and there was nothing there that was untoward. Energy policy should be shaped by energy experts and producers. Not those seeking to disrupt the process.
No, energy policy should be shaped by technology and consumer demands.
Anything else is government intervention.
10 years ago we all had jobs and a future. Now, we have neither and it's getting worse.
All I know is that gas was $1.80 a gallon when Bush left and now it's $3.60. Obama wants gas prices to go even higher so "green" energy can be competitive.I was never a Bush fan but he sure is looking good today!
I remember those days fondly. Unemployment was only 5% and gas was about $1.35 per gallon. Not only that, but we had actual optimism, not just manufactured hope.

The big difference being that oil and gas companies paid far in excess of their exploration tax breaks in tax revenues. Solar companies did not. they only took and paid little back because they're failing and failed business models. They don't generate billions in tax revenue while taking much less in tax breaks. Now, that doesn't absolve the government of Bush, Clinton, etc. going back decades from any crony capitalism they've engaged in, because government should not be in the business of subsidizing businesses that cannot survive on their own, like solar, and those that can survive and thrive without help, such as oil companies.

But there is a salient difference. The oil company execs paid their donations to both republicans and democrats alike to keep them off their backs, not to curry favor for loans to be kicked back in campaign donations.
Nope. THAT won't wash. WHAT "subsidies"? The ones applying to searching for "alternate" fuels? Tax cuts? The ones that were subject to public hearings? And there's no way you can make this an equivalent to direct payments--I'm talking straight, quid pro quo, cash payments--to Obama contributors. We've been subsidizing solar power for 40 years and no one has yet figured it out. Regardless of Chaney meetings, no oil and gas legislation went through any secret channels in pieces of legislation written by clerks and hacks and passed without members reading it.
Big difference. The companies were legitimate and they still exist and are employing hundreds of thousands of people. Not true for the Global Warming Sham companies.

Read more:


A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller
buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We
spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses
and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh
too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We
talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added
years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered
the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more,
but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more
computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we
communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men
and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the
days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These
are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night
stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet,
to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in
the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time
when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are
not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe,
because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because
that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved
ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it
comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that
person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share
the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by
the moments that take our breath away.

Read more:


Europeans are well aware of the seriousness of their ongoing debt crisis. But they don't, it seems, like to receive lectures from other countries -- especially the United States, which is struggling to deal with its own mountain of debt.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble curtly rejected recent American criticism of Europe's approach to solving its debt crisis. "I don't think Europe's problems are America's only problems," said Schäuble, who has become increasingly sharp-tongued as the euro crisis deepens. "It's always easier to give other people advice."

Schäuble was referring to strongly worded comments made by US President Barack Obama and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in recent days. At an event in California on Monday, Obama warned Europeans that their inaction was "scaring the world." The Europeans, he said, "have not fully healed from the crisis back in 2007 and never fully dealt with all the challenges that their banking system faced. It's now being compounded by what's happening in Greece." He continued: "They're going through a financial crisis that is scaring the world, and they're trying to take responsible actions, but those actions haven't been quite as quick as they need to be."

Distracting From Problems at Home

Those comments came hot on the heels of Geithner's remarks over the weekend. Speaking in Washington Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Geithner warned that the European debt crisis represents "the most serious risk now confronting the world economy." He said Europeans needed to do more to create a "firewall" against further contagion and talked of the threat of "cascading default" and runs on banks. "Decisions as to how to conclusively address the region's problems cannot wait until the crisis gets more severe," he said.

German observers have reacted angrily to the comments, saying that the US is in no position to criticize other countries, given its own $14-trillion pile of national debt and ongoing wrangling over the country's debt ceiling. Others claim that Obama is just trying to distract attention from the US's problems and point out that the US president was in California to raise funds and voter support ahead of his reelection campaign next year.

But perhaps the Europeans simply don't like a taste of their own medicine. When a US default was looming back in July when Congress was unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling, European commentators were quick to weigh in and give Obama and the US unsolicited advice. "The global economy needs an American agreement," said a French government minister at the time.

German media commentators slam Obama's criticism of Europe.

The mass-circulation Bild writes:

"Obama's lecture on the euro crisis … is overbearing, arrogant and absurd. … In a nutshell, he is claiming that Europe is to blame for the current financial crisis, which is 'scaring the world.' Excuse me?"

"The American president seems to have forgotten a few details. The most important trigger of the financial and economic crisis was US banks and their insane real-estate dealings. The US is still piling up debt … The American congress is crippled by a battle between the right and the left. The banks are gambling just as recklessly as they did before the crisis. The president's scolding is a pathetic attempt to distract attention from his own failures. How embarrassing."

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"One needs to remember the context within which Obama's scolding of the Europeans took place. It was an event where the president was raising money for the Democrats and where he wanted to explain to voters why the US economy is much worse off than he and his economic experts had believed until recently. Hence his criticism of the EU was simple electioneering."

"The problem, however, is that the US president is absolutely right. For far too long, the Europeans -- including the Germans -- treated the financial crisis as a purely American problem. They have still found no solution for their own debt crisis. Now Europe's problems are having a negative impact on growth and jobs around the world, including in the US. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Europe is threatening Obama's already precarious chances of reelection in 2012. That is something that surely does not leave Obama cold. In that respect, it doesn't help much to point out that, once the Europeans have got their house in order, the financial markets will return their attention to America's debt crisis and its ailing political system. Financially, Europe is currently the most dangerous place in the world."

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"Dark clouds have gathered over the American president. The gloomy state of the economy is putting a dampener on Obama's future prospects. The optimism of the past is gone, replaced by a cheap search for a scapegoat."

"Obama thinks he has found one. He blames the Europeans for reacting too late to the debt crisis. We Europeans are apparently taking on too little new debt to get out of the crisis. But we are already feeling the wonderful effects of borrowing too much money."

The financial daily Handelsblatt writes:

"That's not how friends talk to each other. That applies particularly to friends who have themselves failed to get a handle on their own, self-made crisis. Barack Obama governs a country where, despite billions in state aid, the economy is stagnating, companies refuse to invest despite calls for patriotism, and which gets embroiled in one political trench war after another … Now this country is dispensing advice, suggestions and finger-pointing."

"These are suggestions that have already failed to work in the US: Money is supposed to save Europe -- quickly and in the largest quantities possible. US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner has been trying for more than two-and-a-half years to suffocate his crisis with money. But aside from the lack of success, the collateral damage is immense. It manifests itself in a loss of government credibility, a loss of trust in the currency and the paralysis of any sort of dynamism -- because the crushing debt mountain is robbing the famously optimistic Americans of their confidence."

"The fact that Barack Obama, who is a brilliant thinker, knows full well that things are much more complicated in reality does not help. Indeed, it does the opposite. In the desperate battle for his re-election he'd rather construct myths, such as claiming that the Europeans alone are responsible for the American mess. Not only is this fundamentally wrong, but -- coming as it does from a friend -- it's downright pitiful and sad."


As usual, Democrats have ruined another city, and the State of Illinois financially, as expected.

The city government is run by an army of no show supervisors, workers who work 35 hours if at all and another army of assistant department heads and other lazy city "workers".

Finally it has all caught up with the wasted money. The city is broke, the state is even worse off financially...and what is the remedy instead of cutting the needless expenses of overblown and "fat" workforce???? RAISING TAXES OF COURSE!

Most of the city already looks like either a war zone or a drug dispensary or sections of Iraq....yet the city is going to propose more taxes and fees to feed the waste of bloated salaried minions.

Chicago was given many painful ways to escape budget mess
City income tax, Lake Shore Drive tolls, higher ambulance fees among options suggested by inspector general. Raise and raise taxes and fees.

By Hal Dardick, Kristen Mack and John Chase, Tribune reporters

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to present his first budget next month, Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson is tossing out dozens of ways to raise more money and cut the size of city government.

Many of them are politically poisonous: a city income tax, tolls on Lake Shore Drive, higher ambulance fees. Others could conceivably gain traction: making garbage pickup more efficient, cutting layers of management and making all city employees work 40 hours a week.

Each of the 63 ideas, Ferguson says, is pointed toward highlighting the desperate plight of city finances in the coming years and the need for action to head off a financial meltdown.

"The problem is so severe that to honestly and fully address the budget imbalance will almost certainly require difficult choices that reduce the services the city delivers, increase taxes and fees on city residents, or more likely a combination of both," Ferguson indicated.

The options, outlined in a report to be released Tuesday, are sure to be conversation fodder at City Hall.

Ferguson makes clear that he does not endorse any particular combination of tax increases and cost cuts. Instead, he aims to spark debate as Emanuel enters the final weeks of drafting a budget plan that somehow must bridge a massive budget shortfall of nearly $636 million.

Emanuel has ruled out tax increases to balance the budget and been less strident about increasing fees.

Ferguson offers up 19 tax and fee hike options that he says could generate $2.17 billion if they were put in place, though he acknowledges many of them are political long shots.

Perhaps at the top of that list is the idea of a 1 percent city income tax, which Ferguson estimates could bring in $500 million a year. The city doesn't have an income tax, and the Democrats who run state government just raised the Illinois income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent in January.

Taxing suburbanites also is an option, Ferguson writes. Imposing a commuter income tax of 1 percent to non-Chicago residents who work in the city is one idea. Another: charging as much as $5 in tolls each way to motor down the city's iconic Lake Shore Drive — but only if the city decides not to charge $5 for those who drive downtown during morning or afternoon rush hours.

The report also states that charging the city's higher 9 percent amusement tax on all performances, including those staged in smaller venues or by nonprofit groups, and taxing health club memberships could boost the city's bottom line by $105 million a year.

Water and sewer rates have increased in recent years, and Ferguson suggests hiking them to the national average for both city and suburban residents could bring in $380 million a year more.

Doubling the $725 ambulance fee could be problematic, Ferguson notes, because the city just did so in 2009. Increasing it again could cause low-income residents to stop using ambulances to avoid paying the fee, he added.

Raising taxes and fees is politically difficult in the best of times. Some of Ferguson's potential $660 million in spending cuts could get a warmer reception at City Hall, despite his sometimes strained relationship with the new mayor.

Emanuel already likes the concept of picking up garbage based on a city grid, rather than the city's misshapen hodgepodge of 50 wards. Ferguson's report also noted that privatizing city garbage and recycling collection would save $165 million. If that is not done, creating a grid system for garbage collection could instead save $46.7 million a year, according to Ferguson's report.

Emanuel has opened the door to both ideas, with private companies set to start picking up recycling in sections of the city next week and a look already under way at whether a grid system would work.

Ferguson suggests slashing the number of supervisors, a step he said could save $190 million a year. Emanuel also supports that idea. The mayor also backs another concept in the Ferguson report: increasing the workweek of all city employees to 40 hours. Some city workers are on the job only 35 hours a week.

In one area of disagreement, Ferguson said eliminating all tax increment finance districts would bring in approximately $100 million more a year. But Emanuel recently made it clear he would continue to rely on TIF districts as an economic tool, even as he tries to blunt public criticism that marred them in recent years.

Ferguson issued a smaller-scale budget report in October 2010, and aldermen lambasted it, saying it was replete with warmed-over cost-cutting ideas that would go nowhere. Aldermen will no doubt weigh in on the larger-scale report Tuesday.

Even if the mayor and council figure out this year's budget, a sharp increase in pension costs looms in 2015, Ferguson warns. In that year alone, the city will have to find an additional $555 million to fund worker pensions.

"In the current economic climate, the city's current level of spending, when matched to the city's current revenue structure, is unsustainable," Ferguson wrote.


The Coca-Cola Company now sees the US becoming a less friendly business environment than China, its chief executive has revealed, citing political gridlock and an antiquated tax structure as reasons its home market has become less competitive.

Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chief executive, said “in many respects” it was easier doing business in China, comparing the country with a well-managed company. “You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other,” he told the Financial Times.

Mr Kent also pointed to Brazil as an example of an emerging economy that is making itself attractive to investment in ways that the US once did.

“They’re learning very fast, these countries,” he said. “In the west, we’re forgetting what really worked 20 years ago. In China and other markets around the world, you see the kind of attention to detail about how business works and how business creates employment.”

Mr Kent argued that US states did not compete enough with each other to attract businesses while Chinese provinces were clamouring to draw investment from international companies. Meanwhile, he said, China’s budget discipline and rapid economic growth made it an appealing place to set up operations.
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China now accounts for 7 per cent of Coke’s global sales volume and in the first half of this year it sold more than 1bn cases of its products in China, doubling the rate of its sales there five years ago. Although Coke does not report its profits by country, China represents about 6 per cent of Coke’s annual operating profits, according to analysts at Bernstein Research. The US, meanwhile, accounts for 41 per cent of Coke’s annual revenue and 19 per cent of its operating income.

Mr Kent’s remarks came a month after Coke said it was ramping up its investment in China with a $4bn investment over the next three years, and on Monday it said it would invest $3bn in Russia during the next five years. The company continues to spend domestically, with a $1.3bn investment in capital assets in North America this year.

China has not always been friendly to Coke and has recently come under fire from the US for being overly restrictive to foreign companies. Two years ago, China’s ministry of commerce rejected the company’s proposed $2.4bn acquisition of Huiyuan, the country’s leading juice maker, on grounds that the deal would hurt small domestic companies and leave consumers with limited options.

Last week, Gary Locke, the new US ambassador to China, criticised the country for undervaluing its currency and for not sufficiently cracking down on intellectual property theft, arguing that the business climate was causing “growing frustration”.

However, Mr Kent said that US tax burdens and political polarisation were creating uncertainty for businesses and hurting investment.

“I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st century tax policy for individuals as well as businesses,” he said.

Mr Kent, speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference, hit out specifically at US provisions that tax companies for repatriating cash earned overseas. Coke does not disclose how much cash it holds overseas.

“If you talk about an American company doing business in the world today with its Chinese, Russian, European or Japanese counterparts, of course we’re disadvantaged,” Mr Kent said. “A Chinese or Swiss company can do whatever its wants with those funds [earned overseas]. When we want to bring them back, we are faced with a very large tax burden.”

Mr Kent said that US lawmakers, who have become stuck in political gridlock, need to be held more accountable as they debate ways to fix the economy.

“When a country is in trouble, you can’t have a polarized political process,” he said. “There’s too much comfort. We need more needles to stick in politicians.”

It is unbelivable how the Democratic Party is destroying all American business incentives to expand here!


U.S. troops are currently due to leave Iraq, the Department of Defense is engaged in a mad dash to give away things that cost U.S. taxpayers billions ( SAY $100 BILLION?) of dollars to buy and build.

The giveaways include enormous, elaborate military bases and vast amounts of military equipment that will be turned over to the Iraqis, mostly just to save the expense of bringing it home.

"It's all sunk costs," said retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who oversaw the training of Iraqi soldiers from 2003 to 2004. "It's money that we spent and we're not going to recoup." NO shit Sherlock!

There were 505 U.S. military bases and outposts in Iraq at the height of operations, said Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq. Only 39 are still in U.S. hands -- but that includes each of the largest bases, meaning the most significant handovers are yet to come.

Those bases didn't come cheap. Construction costs exceeded $2.4 billion, according to an analysis of Pentagon annual reports by the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alone was responsible for $1.9 billion in base construction contracts between 2004 and 2010.

Rather than strip those bases clean and ship everything home, Defense Department officials say that over 2.4 million pieces of equipment worth a total of at least $250 million -- everything from tanks and trucks to office furniture and latrines -- have been given away to the Iraqi government in the past year, with the pace of transfers expected to increase dramatically in the coming months.

The most colossal relics of the U.S. invasion of Iraq will be the outsize military bases the Bush administration began erecting not long after the invasion, under the never explicitly stated assumption that Iraq would become the long-term staging area for U.S. forces in the region.

As a recent Congressional Research Service report noted, the Department of Defense "built up a far more extensive infrastructure than anticipated to support troops and equipment in and around Iraq and Afghanistan."

The biggest push came in 2005, with over $1.2 billion in base-building contracts signed in that fiscal year alone, according to CRS.

"How did we come to be wasting that much money?" asked Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the progressive National Security Network. The answer, she said, is that dissenting voices weren't heeded when Bush administration officials were pushing their hugely overambitious agenda. So what else is new???

"The problem that is often cited in the run-up to the war continued afterward," she said. "The political and media elite weren't paying attention."

It wasn't until late in Bush's second term that "cooler heads prevailed," Hurlburt said, and it became apparent that there was no political will in either country for the U.S. to keep permanent bases in Iraq, and therefore no need to spend so much to build them.

But by then, the plans had already been set in motion. As Stars and Stripes reported last year, major construction continued even after November 2008, when then-President George W. Bush and Iraqi officials signed a security agreement calling for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

Most of the $2.4 billion was spent building about a dozen huge outposts that, in addition to containing air strips and massive fortifications also have all the comforts of home. The Al-Asad Airfield in Anbar province, for example, covers 25 square miles -- about the size of Boulder, Colo. -- and is known as "Camp Cupcake" due to its amenities.

The 15-square-mile Joint Base Balad, as Whitney Terrell wrote earlier this year for Slate, is "home to three football-field-sized chow halls, a 25-meter swimming pool, a high dive, a football field, a softball field, two full-service gyms, a squash court, a movie theater, and the U.S. military's largest airfield in Iraq."

Despite the media's elegiac obituaries for these major bases -- like the prematurely named "Camp Victory", with its palace, its lake, and its giant, killer carp -- the fact is that not one major base has yet been evacuated.

And it's not clear just what the Iraqis will do with some of those bases, once they get them. I can tell you now...they will turn it over to the Al Queda.

One U.S. officer whose unit turned over a military outpost in a Baghdad neighborhood to the Iraqi Army in 2009 told the Washington Post that Iraqi soldiers looted it within hours of the U.S. departure. "When we returned to the outpost the next morning, most of the beds had already been taken, wood walls and framing had been pulled and several air-conditioning units had been removed from the walls, leaving gaping holes," the officer told the Post. Weeks later, he added, the power generator the Americans had left behind was barely working.

One Iraqi entrepreneur indicated to NPR last year that there's a thriving black market in U.S. items. "The Americans turn over every base to the Iraqi army and police -- and they are all thieves," he said.

Much of the U.S.'s most lethal and valuable military equipment is being shipped out of Iraq, in one of the military's biggest logistical efforts in history. Johnson, the spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said that 1.5 million items have been removed in the past 12 months, with about 800,000 to go.

But whenever a big army moves out, there's always a lot left behind -- what Stephen Biddle, a defense expert at the Council on Foreign Relations likens to an "iron mountain."

The Pentagon can legally transfer four different categories of equipment to the Iraqi government: "excess personal property," such as generators and mattresses, air conditioners and latrines; excess defense articles; sales from stock, including spare parts and ammunition; and non-excess military items deemed particularly useful for the Iraqi security forces.

Various Department of Defense officials provided not entirely consistent data on exactly how much has been given away thus far in each category. But the man in charge, Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, the chief logistics officer in Iraq, told reporters last month that U.S. forces had given away equipment with a fair market value of $247 million between Sept. 1, 2010, and August of this year -- on top of items worth $157 million that had been transferred before the withdrawal officially started.

The lion's share of donated items falls into the category of excess, non-military property. Major Kimbia Rey, a spokesperson for the U.S. forces in Iraq, said this week that more than 2.4 million such items have been transferred to the government of Iraq since last September.

Richardson explained that much of that category consists of what they call "FOB in a box." When the Iraqis take over a Forward Operating Base, he said, they also get the things that go with it, such as containerized housing units, water and fuel tanks, air conditioning units, generators, refrigerators, porta-johns, beds and mattresses, office equipment, fences, dining facilities and so on.

According to Lt. Col Melinda F. Morgan, a Pentagon spokeswoman, some 12,490 excess defense items worth $70.5 million have been turned over to the Iraqis, with 7,000 more, worth about $40 million, to go. That category includes such things as older versions of weapons, vehicles, and body armor.

Finally, U.S. forces have also given the Iraqis 1,251 non-excess military items worth $47.7 million, Morgan said. That category includes such items as up-armored Humvees and 50-caliber machine guns, Richardson said.

All of the dollar figures are for what the military calls "fair market value"; the purchase price of those items could, of course, have been much higher ( and that is very $100 billion???!!!!).

And Morgan noted that the "heaviest volume of future property transfers" is expected to occur between September and December of this year, although the "quantity and value" of what is still to come has not yet been determined.

Indeed, a Government Accountability Office report issued earlier this month raised concerns that military officials will suddenly find a lot of equipment they didn't expect -- right at the last minute, just when everybody's leaving ( no surprise there).

After one of the largest base transitions to date, the GAO reported, "officials said that they were surprised at the amount of unaccounted-for equipment that was left over at the end of the transition process." Senior military officials told the GAO they were particularly worried that unexpected or abandoned contractor equipment -- including expensive and much-in-demand materiel-handling equipment, like forklifts and pallet trucks -- would suddenly show up "likely at the last minute."

Some equipment has simply piled up in Iraq since combat operations began in 2003 and may not be properly logged, the GAO warned, pointing out, for example, that "units sometimes turn in such equipment without paperwork and have even removed identifying markings such as serial numbers to avoid retribution."

And while leaving the equipment in Iraq, especially if it's worn out or particularly bulky, is much cheaper and more expedient than shipping it home, there's no getting around the enormous expense of purchasing it in the first place -- and that some of it is precisely the kind of equipment that was in such desperately short supply when state National Guards tried to respond to domestic natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, or the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado in 2007.

Hurlburt's concern is not so much that the U.S. is giving away the bases and the equipment, but that all these things that so much money was spent on aren't necessarily going to do their new owners much good. "At least, you would like if we were leaving them there, they would be useful to Iraqis," she said.

And it's an awful lot of stuff. "I'm thinking about the size of what was wasted there, and thinking about how what we spent in Iraq was all borrowed," she said. "In a crazy way, what we left in Iraq was our good credit rating."

So true indeed!


Solar Decathlon's Rainy Start


Steven Chu is another moron in Washington, who heads up the Department of Energy. Shall we say that it should be called the DEPARTMENT AGAINST ENERGY, or the ANTI ENERGY DEPARTMENT?

Since its creation under the second biggest fool as president, Jimmy Carter, this department has been responsible for the USA producing less self sufficiency in terms of the energy it was empowered to stimulate than ever.

Why is it that every time a new unnecessary department of "something" is dreamed up in Washington, it just creates a new web of needless bureaucrats and a new regulation that typically will stand in the way of whatever they are supposed to stimulate or stand for?

The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon kicked off today in Washington on the National Mall, under inauspiciously dark rainy skies. In a press release announcing the competition, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu is quoted as saying, "The Solar Decathlon collegiate teams are showing how clean energy products and efficient building design can help families and businesses reduce energy use and save money...The event challenges talented students to become pioneers of clean energy technology and helps ensure that out nation remains competitive in the workforce of tomorrow."

This moron, actually thinks that "families" can afford to own such a solar home? And what happens when it rains or is cloudy for a few days? I guess then there is no power to pump out the sump pump water, or to power your phone, internet or grandma's oxygen tank power supply as well.

Chu has reason to be hopeful that the competition pays off: The Department of Energy gives a $100,000 grant to each team just to participate in the Solar Decathlon, in addition to all the other costs of hosting and producing the competition. (Some of the other costs are offset by the myriad sponsors--from Lowe's to Pepsico.)

The City College of New York's team proudly showed off their house to me this morning at the competition:

Teisha Villegas, a fifth year ( are collages 4 years?) architecture student at CCNY, was a bit cagey with the details, but it looked nice inside! "I'm not sure," Villegas said when I asked how many kilowatts the 40 solar panels on the roof were bringing in today. "I haven't had a reading on a bright sunny day." (ANSWER: NONE!!!!!)

The house has the potential) key word here...potential) to bring in 8 kilowatts of energy (although not on a day like this). This is like saying that there is the "potential" that there will be peace in the world!

When asked how much the house cost, Villegas was again slow ( translation: wanted to lie a lot ) to reveal the details. "Not one of the cheap ones," she said, saying that since it was built in New York City it had to meet the city's strict codes. "I can't say the price tag because we're still negotiating with the affordability people." One element of the competition is to be able to build affordable green energy housing. NOTE KEY WORD HERE...AFFORDABLE!!!!!

Notice that this college student did not know anything about the cost or could even answer basis questions about the home...typical of of education system!!!!

Finally (after realizing that he was sounding really stupid and a liar), Villegas conceded the price tag came to about $450,000, "which is just parts" since CCNY students did all the labor ( make that another $100,000?). Another student from the same team, Yinery Baez, also a fifth year architecture student, said that $500,000 is a more accurate figure, but that they believe the price could be dropped to about $300,000 if it were ever to be mass produced ( just try doing that with union labor in a big city-unless you are expecting these to be mass produced in India).

Oh, yeah, they also forgot that a house has to sit on some land...which would add another $100,000-$200,000 to its now we are at $750,000???? Oh yeah, affordable family housing...the size of a garage????

Depending on who you asked, the square footage of the home is either 650 (Villegas) or 750 (Baez). More morons with answers! They should have asked Chu, he probably had NO idea at all! This is the size of a two car garage!!!! What family is supposed to live from Haiti, or the Sudan perhaps?

Also how exactly can we be competitive at about $1,000 a square foot to build these?
Since the Department of Energy only picks up $100,000, I wondered how the college teams were able to pick up the rest of the costs. For the CCNY team, they are fortunate enough to have generous benefactors, including the Spitzer family (of which former governor Eliot Spitzer is the most famous member...another pervert loser!!!!).

Villegas shows off the CCNY home's Murphy bed to soggy onlookers:

The Department of Energy's press release ends by saying, "The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation's clean energy workforce (what workforce, everyone in the clean energy business of solar is closing up after eating up all the taxpayer money to start it up like the half billion just thrown away on SOLYNDRA) , supporting the Obama Administration's goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and business money." What a lie, when will a "family" afford to live is a two car garage that cost $750,000????

But while there might not be many clean energy jobs for these students to get after graduation, this program must surely be a cheaper alternative to investing in solar energy than Solyndra was for the Obama administration--both in terms of capital and political capital: $500 million thrown out with all the executive invoking the fifth amendment in replying to what they did with the money!

Please stop wasting our money!!!!


Just when you thought that the morons running our government and its even dumber agencies of every sort, we find out the newest even dumber move!

Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns ( stupid is as stupid does).

Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer:

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products.

The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.

The Atlantic's Megan McArdle, an asthma sufferer, noted a while back that when consumers are forced to use environmentally friendly products they are almost always worse:
Er, industry also knew how to make low-flow toilets, which is why every toilet in my recently renovated rental house clogs at least once a week. They knew how to make more energy efficient dryers, which is why even on high, I have to run every load through the dryer in said house twice. And they knew how to make inexpensive compact fluorescent bulbs, which is why my head hurts from the glare emitting from my bedroom lamp. They also knew how to make asthma inhalers without CFCs, which is why I am hoarding old albuterol inhalers that, unlike the new ones, a) significantly improve my breathing and b) do not make me gag. Etc.

Well, tough cookies asthma sufferers! You should have written bigger checks to the Democratic party while you had the chance.

When will these morons be thrown out?

I was happy to see that during the most recent GOP candidates debate, one of the candidates simply said that if elected the first department to be defundsed and thrown out would be the EPA...RIP!

Of course before you nuts out there start writing how all the water will be poisoned, normal EPA common sense monitoring should stay but the rest OUT!!!!


As we all knew anyway, this is only the tip of the iceburg that the federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years, a watchdog report says.

Such payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general, Patrick McFarland.

In one case, the son of a beneficiary continued receiving payments for 37 years after his father's death in 1971. The payments - totaling more than $515,000 - were only discovered when the son died in 2008.

The government has been aware of the problem since a 2005 inspector general's report revealed defects in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Yet the improper payments have continued, despite more than a half dozen attempts to develop a system that can figure out which beneficiaries are still alive and which are dead, the report said.

"It is time to stop, once and for all, this waste of taxpayer money," it said.

Office of Personnel Management spokesman Edmund Byrnes said he could not immediately comment on the findings. But the report said OPM Director John Berry agrees that stopping the improper payments should be a priority.

There are about 2.5 million federal workers who receive over $60 billion in benefit payments from the program each year.

Federal officials have tried matching the fund's computer records with the Social Security Administration's death records, checking tax records and improving the timeliness of death reporting.

OPM has also sampled its records of all recipients over 90 years old to confirm whether they are still alive. In 2009, there were more than 125,000 recipients identified as over 90 and about 3,400 over 100 years old.

Both the Obama administration and Congress have made it a higher priority to crack down on improper government payments.

Last year, government investigators found that more than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each from the massive economic recovery package went to people who were either dead or in prison.


By Jason Grotto, Tribune reporter

All it took to give nearly two dozen labor leaders from Chicago a windfall worth millions was a few tweaks to a handful of sentences in the state's lengthy pension code.

The changes became law with no public debate among state legislators and, more importantly, no cost analysis.

Twenty years later, 23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds thanks to the changes, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation found.

Because the law bases the city pensions on the labor leaders' union salaries, they are reaping retirement benefits that far outstrip the modest salaries they made as city employees. On average, their pensions are nearly three times higher than what the typical retired city worker receives.

No one from either the state Legislature or city government will take credit for the law, which passed in 1991, and the process of drafting pension legislation in Springfield is so shrouded in secrecy that there's no way of knowing exactly whom to hold responsible.

The Tribune and WGN-TV found that Senate President John Cullerton was one of only 10 lawmakers on the committee that inserted the changes into a much larger bill. He's also the only one who is still in office.

Cullerton, who declined to be interviewed for this story, denied being involved in the changes and issued a statement that acknowledged the law now looks like a bad idea.

"Municipal pensions should be for the hard-working municipal employees, who typically toil in obscurity, loyally contribute to the pension funds and aren't about to get rich off of their retirements," he said in a prepared statement. "Outliers such as those highlighted by the WGN and Tribune reports should be corrected in order to help restore the system's fiscal and public integrity."

Making changes won't be easy, however. That's because the state constitution says pension benefits cannot be diminished once they are earned.

Pension experts from around the country say they've never heard of such a perk for union leaders. They warn that it not only creates opportunities to scam the system but also robs the city of its ability to control pension costs. The city doesn't set union salaries, the most important ingredient in determining the size of the leaders' pensions.

What's more, none of the labor officials retired in the traditional sense. Even as they collected their inflated city pensions, they held on to their high-paying union jobs. A decade ago, those public pension funds were flush, but they're now in such deep financial trouble that they threaten to burden taxpayers and dues-paying union workers alike.

"At a time when the public is going to be asked to pay higher taxes for fewer services, the revelation that there are benefits being paid for work that doesn't directly relate to official city business is outrageous," said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan policy research group.

"It also undermines the hardworking government employees when state statutes are manipulated to benefit a handful of people," he said.

Since the 1950s, city workers who take leaves of absence to work full time for unions have been able to remain in city pension funds if they choose. The time they spend at their union jobs counts toward their city pensions.

But few labor leaders took the deal until the law was changed in 1991 to base those workers' city pensions on their union salaries instead of their old city paychecks, dramatically boosting the amount they could receive.

And every year, those city pensions grow by 3 percent. Records show the top earners are:

•Liberato "Al" Naimoli, president of the Cement Workers Union Local 76. He retired last year from a $15,000-a-year city job that he last held a quarter-century ago. Today, Naimoli receives more than $13,000 a month from the city laborers' pension fund even as he continues to earn nearly $300,000 annually as president of Local 76. His city laborers' pension will pay him about $4 million during his lifetime, according to a Tribune/WGN-TV analysis based on the funds' actuarial assumptions.

•James McNally, vice president of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. He receives nearly $115,000 a year even though at the time he retired, in 2008, he had not worked for the city in more than 13 years. He was only 51 when he started collecting a city pension. By the time he turns 78, he will have received roughly $4 million from the city laborers' fund.

•Dennis Gannon, former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. In 2004, he began receiving more than $150,000 a year after retiring at age 50 from a $56,000-a-year city job that he had left nearly 13 years earlier. He received his city pension while collecting a salary of about $200,000 from the federation. During his lifetime, the city municipal pension fund will pay him approximately $5 million. Gannon told the Tribune that he was only following the law in filing for a city pension.

Earlier this month, the Tribune and WGN-TV reported that Thomas Villanova, a top labor leader, was receiving a city pension of $108,000 a year even as he earned credits in a second pension through his union for the same time period, in violation of state law. He had given up the credits and faced no penalty.

And last year, a Tribune investigation showed how city and union officials have exploited Chicago's financially damaged pension funds for political reasons and personal gain through a series of legislative maneuvers. The pension gift from government officials to union leaders is a previously hidden example of this pattern.

Blame game

The process of changing pension laws often lacks transparency, and there is virtually no accountability. When problems arise, city pension fund officials blame the Legislature. Legislators blame city officials and labor leaders while they, in turn, blame city pension fund officials.

Not one current or former legislator contacted by the Tribune and WGN-TV will take responsibility for the 1991 perk for labor leaders, and state records don't reveal exactly who made it happen.

Here's what is clear: In April 1990, then-Sen. Emil Jones presented a bill aimed at increasing pension benefits for city employees in the municipal pension fund. Other members of the Senate and the House also added provisions before the bill passed both chambers by the summer.

The bill didn't include the perk for labor leaders at that point, records show. But because the versions passed by the two chambers differed slightly, each chamber appointed five members to a conference committee to iron out the differences.

Although the 10 lawmakers were supposed to reach a compromise on what had passed already, during their meetings more than 100 provisions were added to the bill. The new, much larger bill included the pension deal for labor leaders.

"These provisions incorporated within this bill have been agreed to by the (city) administration and the pension system and the laborers," Jones told his Senate colleagues the day the bill passed in January 1991. "The people in the city of Chicago came together and agreed."

Jones, currently chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, declined to be interviewed for this story.

At the time of the change, Cullerton was the House Democratic floor leader, which meant he served as field general for Speaker Michael Madigan, ensuring bills moved efficiently and jibed with the speaker's priorities.

Through a spokesman, Cullerton said he doesn't recall the bill and played no role in drafting the pension giveaway to union leaders. He also said the Legislature's process for passing pension laws is more transparent today than it was in 1991 and that he has directed staff to research the legislation identified by the Tribune and WGN-TV.

"In retrospect, one can see how, year after year, pension funds were used as credit cards by governors and lawmakers to prop up state spending rather than face tough action on either raising revenues, cutting services or both," he wrote.

Changes to Illinois law often begin with something known as a shell bill, which usually alters one word or date in a specific article and section of the code. Shell bills are a type of placeholder that allows lawmakers to make more substantive changes later in the session, often without scrutiny.

Many of the pension provisions inserted in 1991 had corresponding shell bills that previously altered one word or date of the same article, section and paragraph. Among them was a bill that made a minor change to the exact section and paragraph where the union perk would be codified.

That bill was filed by two men who were state senators at the time: Jeremiah Joyce, a close political ally of former Mayor Richard M. Daley's, and John Daley, a brother of the former mayor's and now a Cook County commissioner.

Joyce did not respond to interview requests, and John Daley said he doesn't remember the bill. "I don't recall it at all," Daley said.

Two days after the pension changes passed the Legislature, the city's unions lined up to endorse Mayor Daley in his first re-election campaign. He would go on to serve as mayor for the next 20 years with firm support from organized labor.

Contributions not on pace

To report this story, the Tribune and WGN-TV requested records on every union leader who has applied for the pension perk through the city's municipal pension fund and its laborers' pension fund. The inquiry focused on labor leaders who worked for city government and have retired.

Each year, the 23 labor leaders receive about $1.8 million from the funds. That works out to an average of about $80,000.

Another 13 union officials are accruing benefits in the city funds but have yet to retire, and six more received the deal after taking a union leave from the Chicago Public Schools.

Using assumptions made by the funds' actuaries, the Tribune and WGN-TV calculated the total lifetime benefit of each retiree and total amount their contributions would be worth, assuming an 8 percent return on investment each year.

Of the approximately $56 million the retired labor leaders stand to collect during their lifetimes, roughly half won't be covered by their pension contributions, the analysis found.

With billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, that's a drop in the bucket. But it provides a window into why the funds have deteriorated: Contributions have not kept pace with increasing benefits.

McNally, for example, stands to receive approximately $4 million from his city pension. He received credit for 34 years of city service even though he spent more than a third of that time working for Operating Engineers Local 150. And he was able to retire from the city at 51 through an early retirement incentive aimed at trimming the city's workforce.

In order to receive pension credit for his union work, McNally, who earns about $200,000 a year from his job with the union, had to make contributions as if he'd been working for the city all along.

What's more, he or his union would have to cover the city's portion of his pension contributions in addition to the employee share. In all, McNally contributed less than $200,000 to cover the credit he earned as a labor official, records show.

McNally declined to be interviewed for this story but provided a written statement.

"I had the option to continue making contributions to my (city) pension, which required me to personally pay both my share and the city's share," he wrote. "Making these payments required a very significant financial commitment from me and my family."

However, for six of the 13 years of union service applied to his city pension, McNally didn't have to make contributions for the city's share. Chicago got a pass on making contributions toward the laborers' pension fund between 2000 and 2006, and the same arrangement applied to McNally.

That's one reason the pension fund is in such bad financial shape — and why city taxpayers and current city workers will end up covering a large chunk of McNally's pension.

None of these pension deals could happen without the blessing of city government, which has granted lengthy leaves of absence to union officials. The average leave of absence for city employees who are on a leave to work for a union is nearly eight years. Roughly a third have been on leave for more than 12 years.

No city worker has received a longer leave of absence than Naimoli, who retired last year at age 58 from a $15,000-a-year city job as a cement mixer even though he hadn't held that job in more than 25 years.

Normally, city leaves of absence expire after a set period of time, and employees are required to renew the leaves or lose their jobs. Yet when the commissioner of the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation approved Naimoli's request for a leave in 1986, no expiration date was filled in.

That indefinite leave allowed Naimoli to receive a city pension that is paying him about $157,000 a year even as he collects a $292,000 salary from Local 76.

"Any leave of absence that is granted for more than a year raises questions about whether that position is even necessary for ongoing operations of city government," Msall said. "Current city workers are being asked to take furlough days and receive reductions in compensation. To be granting these extended leaves of absences is a very cruel irony."

Naimoli, who did not return phone messages requesting an interview, is now the highest-paid annuitant in the city laborers' pension fund. The average retired city worker receives about $29,000 a year.

Producer Marsha Bartel and reporter Mark Suppelsa of WGN-TV contributed.