The Audacity of Dishonesty

1. Announcing a massive $26 billion mortgage deal with “abusive” banks, the president blamed everybody for record foreclosures except the party most culpable: government.

Speaking Thursday from the White House, Obama scolded “irresponsible” and “reckless” lenders, who “sold homes to people who couldn’t afford them.”

Yeah, they dragged people into it, held them down and forced them to do it!

And the people came in and demanded it first!

Back in 2003, as the Examiner’s Philip Klein points out, <Barney> Frank said that the government-sponsored entities were not in any sort of crisis. “The more people exaggerate these problems,” Frank told the New York Times, “the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

For the most part, private firms such as Countrywide Financial were issuing “nontraditional” mortgages in order to package them off to Wall Street and make money, not to please Barney Frank. Like most policymakers, Frank didn’t appear to see the housing bubble or looming subprime crisis before it was too late. (WP)

He <Obama> also cited buyers who bought homes bigger than their budgets, and Wall Street bankers who packaged the shaky mortgages and traded them for “profit.”

“It was wrong,” he asserted. And now the nation’s “biggest banks will be required to right these wrongs.”

Obama acts as if the private sector bears all the responsibility for the mortgage mess. But he and his attorney general know it’s merely a scapegoat for the reckless government housing policies they and their ilk drafted and enforced in the run-up to the crisis.

Starting in the mid-1990s — in a historic first — it became federal regulatory policy to force all U.S. lenders to scrap traditional lending standards for home loans on the grounds they were “racially discriminatory.”

President Clinton fretted that blacks and other minorities could not qualify for mortgages at nearly the same rates as whites and Asians. So Clinton codified more “flexible” underwriting standards in a “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending,” and entered it into the Federal Register.

At the same time, he set up a little-known federal body made up of 10 regulatory agencies — the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending — to enforce the looser standards. It threatened lenders to either ease credit for low-income borrowers or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related bad publicity. It also threatened to deny them expansion plans and access to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“The agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form,” the 20-page document warned financial institutions. The task force enforced these policies throughout the Bush administration.

According to Peter Ferrara, senior fellow at the Carleson Center for Public Policy:

“This overregulation reached the point of forcing lenders to discount bad credit history, no credit history, no savings, lack of steady employment, a high ratio of mortgage obligations to income, undocumented income, and inability to finance down payment and closing costs, while counting unemployment benefits and even welfare as income in qualifying for a mortgage.

“This” he said, “turned into government-sanctioned looting of the banks.”

The Justice Department — along with HUD, which regulated Fannie and Freddie — proved the most aggressive members of the fair-lending task force. Eric Holder, then acting as deputy AG, ordered lenders to actually “target” African-Americans for home mortgages they couldn’t otherwise afford. Obama cheered Holder on as an inner-city community organizer who also pressured banks to ease credit for home borrowers.

In other words, the same two officials now leading the charge to punish “abusive” lenders had egged them on before the crisis.(IBD)

2. The Obama administration is now telling liberals that it is not backing down on its new health-care mandate, even as it coos of compromise to religious groups appalled by it. These messages may seem to be contradictory, but actually the administration has been quite consistent: Nothing it has ever said on this issue has been trustworthy.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, has been the leading misleader. The administration, recall, has decided that almost all employers must cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients in their employees’ insurance plans — even if those employers are religious universities, hospitals, and charities that reject those practices.

So she has tried to make the mandate seem more moderate than it is. In USA Today, she writes that “in the rule we put forward, we specifically carved out from the policy religious organizations that primarily employ people of their own faith.” Taken at face value, this statement would seem to imply that Notre Dame could escape the mandate if it fired its non-Catholic employees. That policy would be outrageous: What gives the federal government the legitimate authority to tell a religious institution how it should structure its mission? But in fact the administration would make the university jump through several more hoops. It would also have to expel its non-Catholic students. And even these changes would not be enough, since the university would continue to do much more than attempt to inculcate religious beliefs in its students — which is another test the administration requires for the exemption to apply.

Sebelius says that three states have religious exemptions as narrow as the one the federal government has adopted. The notion that the federal government is imposing the model of three very liberal states — New York, Oregon, and Vermont — on the entire country is not comforting. But even in those states, some employers have been able to sidestep the mandates by, for example, organizing their insurance under federal regulation, which until now has not overridden conscience. The new mandate eliminates that escape route.

Joel Hunter, one of Obama’s pet pastors, says “this policy can be nuanced.” (“I have come to bring nuance,” as Matthew 10:34 does not say.) He is wrong. Either the administration will back off, and allow religious organizations to follow their consciences, or it will not. If it chooses the former course, it may still find a way to increase access to contraception — which is not especially scarce, by the way — but it will have to replace its current policy, not just “nuance” it. (NR)

“Nuance” is the new Orwellian phrase for LYING. 🙂

It’s “complicated” 🙂

But the assurances were greeted Tuesday with skepticism from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been leading the opposition to the new requirement.

“So far, ‘work this thing through’ is just the sugar-coated version of ‘force you to comply,’ ” Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel for the conference, said in an e-mail.

Remember, compromise with a Liberal means that you compromise your principles to do what THEY want you to do.

3. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked to respond to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comment that the lack of a budget creates “uncertainty” which is “negative for growth.”

Carney responded: “I have no opinion; the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.”

1,017 Days and Counting!

4. EPIC <The Electronic Privacy Information Center >director Ginger McCall notes that monitoring what people are saying about government policies goes too far and has a chilling effect on free speech.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of political dissent has no legal basis and is contrary to core First Amendment principles,” she said.

“The language in the documents makes it quite clear that they are looking for media reports that are critical of the agency and the U.S. government more broadly,” said McCall. “This is entirely outside of the bounds of the agency’s statutory duties.”

DHS officials have admitted that monitoring of social networks for negative opinion was undertaken by the agency, but claim that the operation was a one off test and was quickly dropped as it did not meet “operational requirements or privacy standards,” which “expressly prohibit reporting on individuals’ First Amendment activities.”

EPIC argues otherwise and has presented evidence that suggests the practice is being held up by the DHS an an example that should be emulated.

“They are completely out of bounds here,” McCall said. “The idea that the government is constantly peering over your shoulder and listening to what you are saying creates a very chilling effect to legitimate dissent.(Info Wars)

5. Mexican cartel suspects targeted in the troubled gun-trafficking probe known as Operation Fast and Furious were actually working as FBI informants at the time, according to a congressional memo that describes the case’s mission as a “failure.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that guns were allowed into the hands of Mexican criminals for more than a year in the hope of catching “big fish.”

The memorandum from staffers with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating a drug-trafficking organization and had identified cartel associates a year before the ATF even learned who they were. At some point before the ATF’s Fast and Furious investigation progressed — congressional investigators don’t know when — the cartel members became FBI informants.

“These were the ‘big fish,’ ” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates. … Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.”

According to Issa and Grassley, the cartel suspects, whose names were not released, were regarded by FBI as “national-security assets.” One pleaded guilty to a minor offense. The other was not charged. “Both became FBI informants and are now considered unindictable,” the memo says. “This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious — to target these two individuals and bring them to justice — was a failure.”

Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.

6. Deputy Attorney General James Cole had informed the committee in a letter last week that it would be “impossible” to comply with the document request by Issa’s deadline.

At issue are thousands of pages of internal Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) documents from last year which the Justice Department has provided to the investigating Justice Inspector General, but which the Justice Department initially indicated are not subject to congressional review because of the constitutional separation of powers.

7. Last Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions about his role in the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. However, instead of answers, Congress got more defiance, more arrogance, and more wasted time with an attorney general who clearly feels no sense of obligation to the American people or our rule of law. …

In a rash attempt to deflect attention away from himself and his own irresponsibility, Holder let Congress know that the Obama administration is still working toward the day when it can reinstate former President Bill Clinton’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. According to Holder:

“This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.”

It’s difficult to follow Holder’s logic here, but it goes something like this …

The Obama administration — particularly Eric Holder’s Justice Department — oversaw an epic scandal whereby our own federal government illegally funneled thousands of firearms into the hands of Mexican drug lords. This contributed to the death of one U.S. Border Patrol agent and hundreds of Mexicans.

Despite being head of the Justice Department and our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Eric Holder claims he doesn’t know how or why this scandal occurred, or even who under his charge may have authorized it. He also refuses to turn over critical documents to congressional investigators that could help prevent something this tragic and corrupt from ever happening again.

Therefore, Obama and Holder are confident that if they can ban a large number of the legal firearms that law-abiding Americans use every day for self-defense, hunting, and recreational and competitive target shooting, it will help solve Mexico’s crime problem.

Now don’t you feel better… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Budget, We Don’t Need No Stinking Budget!!

We need more conferences and summits!

If we obfuscate enough may they will just get tired and go away!

We have to put off doing anything hard or effective because we don’t wanna! 😦

In what a senior Republican aide calls “a dramatic turn of events,”
Senate Democrats have — at least for now — forestalled plans to
release their alternative to Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget.  Why?
Because the White House has called for yet another bipartisan summit.
This week’s forthcoming White House meetings are not to be confused
with the bipartisan fiscal commission the president appointed then
ignored, mind you — nor should they be conflated with the new round
of Biden-supervised bipartisan talks the president outlined in his
awful debt speech last month.  No, these are new meetings — and
they’re scheduled to occur on the exact days Senate Democrats were
preparing to, at long last, present their own concrete 2012 fiscal
blueprint.  How curious.

After much cajoling, Senate Republicans finally managed to win
assurances from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
that his party would reveal an on-paper plan to counter the Ryan
budget.  “We were preparing for it,” the GOP aide says, suggesting
that the mark-up process was expected to begin mid-week.  Then, a few
things changed:  Sen. Conrad briefed his Democratic colleagues on the
contents of the plan (behind closed doors, of course; the public still
hasn’t gotten a whiff of Democrats’ plans), and Harry Reid immediately
began expressing reservations.  He cautioned his caucus against
prematurely endorsing the document.  “[Reid seemed] less than enthused
about Sen. Conrad releasing something that would be on paper, and
therefore subject to analysis,” the aide says.

Facing a possibly embarrassing rift within the party and a soft but
looming deadline, the White House has intervened just in the nick of
time by requesting meetings with both Senate caucuses.  As a result,
public consumption and examination of the Senate Democrats’ budget has
been postponed indefinitely.  “The mark-up is off for now.  Instead we
have yet another summit,” the Republican laments.

I’m no budget expert, but wouldn’t it make more sense for the White
House to hold off on hosting these grand gatherings until after
Democrats produce their alternative to the Ryan budget?  If the
president is going to assume the role of mediator-in-chief, it seems
intuitive that the mediation process would unfold more effectively if
there were two separate plans on the table, each of which would serve
as a basis for negotiation.  Instead, the president has summoned
Senators to the White House before a second plan can be released.  Why
is that?  “Good question,” the aide responds.  The likely answer is
simple:  Political gamesmanship.  Democrats would prefer to focus the
public’s attention on a twisted caricature of the GOP plan.  Putting
their own document on the table invites scrutiny and comparisons, and
complicates their all-in Ryan demonization campaign.  That might be a
positive development for good-faith negotiations, but it’s detrimental
to Democratic point-scoring.  In short, this White House stunt looks
like little more than a political lifeline for Harry Reid.

UPDATE –  The Senate Budget Committee’s ranking Republican, Jeff
Sessions, seems suspicious and dismayed:
“The announcement of these summit meetings at the White House is a
stunning development. It has been 740 days since the Democrat Senate
has passed a budget. This week Senate Democrats were finally going to
unveil their plan for saving this nation from fiscal disaster and
present that plan in the Senate Budget Committee. The plan has been a
closely guarded secret, and Republican requests to make it public and
to share it with members before they meet to work on it have been
rebuffed. And now, by calling for this summit, it would seem the
president has effectively cancelled this week’s planned unveiling of
the Democrat budget.”
Oh, and here’s a tidbit for YOUR Budget (to remember in 2012 when “Rambo” Obama is trying to obfuscate with the help of his Liberal Media Minions):

The most recent Negative Equity report from CoreLogic showed 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010. With falling house prices, CoreLogic will probably show more homeowners have negative equity in Q1.

More than half of single-family homes with mortgages in Phoenix have negative equity, that is homeowners owe more than their home is worth.(KFYI)

Don’t worry, Be Happy. He’s a Likeable Guy, so re-electing Obama will not doom this country in the slightest!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

The Fakevoer

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Our dear President is out on the Campaign trail yet again, touting how great he is. And he saved America! Rejoice!

It’s Hope 2.0!

<<barf bag on standby>>

They passed a sweeping Financial Reform bill. But like the Health Care bill where one the biggest problems was totally ignored for political reasons, Tort Reform, in the Financial Reform bill, Fannie & Freddie and the shadow of the subprime mortgages still out there, was ignored.

The Democrats, who created this mess, want to ignore the 800 lb Gorilla Cancer in the body.

With good reason, they were the main force behind creating it!

You can’t talk about the housing crisis or reforms without talking about the affordable-housing goals HUD slapped on Fannie and Freddie. That is, unless you’re Tim Geithner.

The Treasury secretary hosted a summit Tuesday to discuss redesigning the mortgage-finance system — 75% of which is still controlled by Fannie and Freddie, which are still bleeding billions at taxpayer expense.

Geithner vowed to fundamentally “change” the failed government-sponsored mortgage giants. Yet, suspiciously, he didn’t offer how. Nor did he explain why they lowered their underwriting standards and collapsed under the weight of subprime loans and securities. So here’s a refresher:

• In 1996, as part of Clinton housing policy, HUD required that 42% of Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgage financing go to “underserved” borrowers with unproven or damaged credit.

• To help them meet that goal, HUD, their regulator, authorized them to relax their lending criteria.

• HUD also authorized them to buy subprime securities that included loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.

• Unhappy with the results — despite Fannie and Freddie committing trillions in risky low-income loans — HUD in 2000 raised its affordable-housing target again, this time to 50%.

• By 2008, HUD’s target had topped out at 56%. And Fannie and Freddie had drowned in a toxic soup of bad subprime paper.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan insists that affordable-housing goals aren’t to blame. “We should be careful not to learn the wrong lesson from this experience,” he said, “and sacrifice an important feature of the current system: wide access to mortgage credit.”

This is revisionist history. Fannie and Freddie e-mails confirm that executives then were under huge pressure to meet “HUD goals.”

But as Orwell warned, whoever controls the present controls the past. And right now, the people who pushed Fannie and Freddie — along with our entire financial system — off the cliff in the name of “affordable housing” are running the show.

Just look at some of the experts Geithner invited to his Potemkin summit. Like ex-Clinton aide Ellen Seidman, who became head of the Office of Thrift Supervision. She aggressively enforced Clinton’s beefed-up Community Reinvestment Act, which codified the “flexible” underwriting that Fannie and Freddie adopted.

You can’t talk about the housing crisis or reforms without talking about the affordable-housing goals HUD slapped on Fannie and Freddie. That is, unless you’re Tim Geithner.

The Treasury secretary hosted a summit Tuesday to discuss redesigning the mortgage-finance system — 75% of which is still controlled by Fannie and Freddie, which are still bleeding billions at taxpayer expense.

Geithner vowed to fundamentally “change” the failed government-sponsored mortgage giants. Yet, suspiciously, he didn’t offer how. Nor did he explain why they lowered their underwriting standards and collapsed under the weight of subprime loans and securities. So here’s a refresher:

• In 1996, as part of Clinton housing policy, HUD required that 42% of Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgage financing go to “underserved” borrowers with unproven or damaged credit.

• To help them meet that goal, HUD, their regulator, authorized them to relax their lending criteria.

• HUD also authorized them to buy subprime securities that included loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.

• Unhappy with the results — despite Fannie and Freddie committing trillions in risky low-income loans — HUD in 2000 raised its affordable-housing target again, this time to 50%.

• By 2008, HUD’s target had topped out at 56%. And Fannie and Freddie had drowned in a toxic soup of bad subprime paper.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan insists that affordable-housing goals aren’t to blame. “We should be careful not to learn the wrong lesson from this experience,” he said, “and sacrifice an important feature of the current system: wide access to mortgage credit.”

This is revisionist history. Fannie and Freddie e-mails confirm that executives then were under huge pressure to meet “HUD goals.”

But as Orwell warned, whoever controls the present controls the past. And right now, the people who pushed Fannie and Freddie — along with our entire financial system — off the cliff in the name of “affordable housing” are running the show.

Just look at some of the experts Geithner invited to his Potemkin summit. Like ex-Clinton aide Ellen Seidman, who became head of the Office of Thrift Supervision. She aggressively enforced Clinton’s beefed-up Community Reinvestment Act, which codified the “flexible” underwriting that Fannie and Freddie adopted.

Seidman argued that Fannie’s and Freddie’s support for “low-income and minority communities” — especially now amid a wave of foreclosures — is “absolutely critical.” She wants government to take an even larger role in pushing housing for “underserved markets.”

The “underserved” were the poor, and minorities, that couldn’t pay them anyhow. But what the hell, if you can get a million dollar house with a multi-thousand dollar mortgage and a job at 7-11 for nothing down, why not. 🙂

Let’s buy some votes. Then when it all blows up in our face, blame it on “the rich” and George W. Bush!!

Yeah, that’s the ticket!! 🙂

Comment on the article: It’s simple! Underserved means undeserved but we will give it to you anyway in exchange for your vote. Problem is it works, for the short term but with h*** to pay in the long term.

Seidman argued that Fannie’s and Freddie’s support for “low-income and minority communities” — especially now amid a wave of foreclosures — is “absolutely critical.” She wants government to take an even larger role in pushing housing for “underserved markets.”

“The private sector will not do it on its own,” Seidman said, “and we should just stop having that debate.”

Excuse us, but homes aren’t a right. People who lost their homes can go back to renting. There’s no shame in that. The shame came when government pushed them into homes they couldn’t afford. And the housing bubble it created hurt everybody in the end.

Echoing Seidman, Geithner asserted that whatever replaces Fannie and Freddie must continue to “provide access to affordable housing for lower-income Americans” and to guarantee loans.

In other words, Fannie and Freddie aren’t going anywhere. They’ll just be absorbed into the government, most likely Treasury or HUD, or both.

Why must taxpayers continue subsidizing homeownership through a government-guaranteed secondary mortgage market run by a government-protected duopoly?

Within the proper framework, we’re confident that private firms can originate and securitize mortgages more efficiently — and do so without the politically injected risk or taxpayer liability.

Wells Fargo, for one, would gradually replace Freddie and Fannie with private “mortgage conduits” that buy loans on the primary market and roll them into a common mortgage-backed security.

They’d assume the risk on the underlying mortgages, while the government would guarantee only the MBSes. To protect taxpayers, the conduits would pay into an insurance fund.

The plan maximizes the use of private capital while limiting Washington’s role to assuming catastrophic risk.

Other charter privileges enjoyed by Fannie and Freddie would be eliminated, including their Treasury line of credit, state and local tax exemptions, and weak capital requirements.

Above all, the plan would curb HUD’s interference in the mortgage market. No more unrealistically high affordable-housing goals. No more NINJA — no income, no job or assets — loans.

After years of dissembling and denial, Rep. Barney Frank has finally come out. He now says bankrupt government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “should be abolished.” Better late than never.

‘There were people in this society who for economic and, frankly, social reasons can’t and shouldn’t be homeowners,” Frank said in an interview with the Fox Business Network and sounding a lot more like an elephant than a donkey. “I think we should, particularly, stop this assumption that you put everybody into homeownership.”

After years of blaming heartless Republicans and Wall Street for the crisis caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and their predominantly Democratic supporters in Congress — it’s refreshing to hear a member of the Democratic Party admit his mistakes.

It’s especially true of Frank, who, more than any other elected official, championed the cause of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Indeed, Frank is most responsible for stopping GSE reform in the early 2000s, at a time when such a move might have prevented the financial meltdown.

Maybe Frank, like so many others in his party, is feeling the heat in this November’s election. Democrats’ popularity is plunging after years of economic incompetence that has left America’s once-thriving economy a shambles.

But give him his due: Frank’s comments mark a major departure.

In 2000, when Rep. Richard Baker proposed more oversight for the GSEs, Frank called concerns about Fannie and Freddie “overblown,” claiming there was “no federal liability whatsoever.”

In 2002, again, Frank said: “I do not regard Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as problems. I regard them as assets.”

In 2003, he repeated himself in opposing reform, saying he did not “regard Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as problems.”

Even after a multibillion dollar accounting scandal hit Freddie Mac just a month after those remarks, Frank insisted nothing was wrong. “I do not think we are facing any kind of crisis,” he said.

By 2004, Fannie had its own accounting scandal. Frank again insisted it posed no threat to the U.S. Treasury. Even if the two went belly-up, he said, “I think Wall Street will get over it.”

Of course, he had it exactly backward. We’ve already spent $148 billion of taxpayer money on the two losers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it will ultimately cost taxpayers $389 billion to bail them out. Even that may be too little; at least one private estimate put the final toll at $1 trillion.

No surprise here. Even today, more than half of all mortgages are funded or underwritten by Fannie and Freddie. They hold more than $5 trillion of the $10.7 trillion or so in total U.S. mortgages.

We’ve spent a lot of money for Barney Frank’s education in financial reality. Today, he’s basically saying he and his party were wrong all along.

That’s a good start. But how about an apology? Or even a frank admission that his party’s indefatigable support of Fannie and Freddie — which, prodded by the Community Reinvestment Act, created and funded the massive subprime market that later collapsed — was to blame for our multitrillion dollar meltdown and the loss of millions of jobs?

Others are edging in that direction. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner this week held a conference on Fannie’s and Freddie’s future, and he too seems chastened. “We will not support returning Fannie and Freddie to the role they played before conservatorship, where they fought to take market share from private competitors while enjoying the privilege of government support,” he said.

That, too, is good to hear. As we have advocated for years — since 1996, to be exact — Fannie and Freddie should be dismantled or privatized.

We hope actions match the rhetoric — that Geithner’s “conference” on Fannie and Freddie wasn’t just political window dressing before November’s midterm elections.

Let’s get government out of the business of encouraging homeownership, an undertaking at which it has failed miserably.

Now that the idea is dead, let’s bury it once and for all.

As late as 2008, after the tide of losses and foreclosures washed away Fannie’s and Freddie’s remaining capital, Frank was adamant that it was all Wall Street’s fault: “The private sector got us into this mess … the government has to get us out of it.” (IBD)

But dear, Barney, it was thy.

“Slowly but surely, we are moving in the right direction. We’re on the right track,” Obama told a group of about 40 in the backyard of Rhonda and Joe Weithman’s home, a Cape Cod on quiet E. Kanawha Avenue in Clintonville,OH. “After 18 months, I have never been more confident that our nation is headed in the right direction,” Obama said.

Rasmussen:  Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Likely Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, August 15.

While down slightly from the last two weeks, confidence in the nation’s current course has ranged from 27% to 35% since last July. Following Congress’ passage of the national health care bill in late March, the number of voters who said the country was heading in the right direction peaked at 35%, the highest level of optimism measured since early September 2009.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of Democrats feel the country is heading in the right direction. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Republicans and 77% of voters not affiliated with either political party feel the country is heading down the wrong track.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all voters say the country is heading down the wrong track, up two points from last week.

So let’s review: 60+% are against the Health Care Bill. 60+% are for a secure border. 60+% are against the Ground Zero Mosque. 60+% are saying we are on the “wrong track”.

Sixty percent (60%) of U.S. voters say most members of Congress don’t care what their constituents think, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

So that’s why Democrats think they are doing a good job! 🙂

After all, your alternative is…<cue evil organ music> REPUBLICANS! <<dramatic music sting>> and we all know that is the way to Hell itself! 🙂

Personally, I’d rather just have Conservatives. Which leaves out Democrats anyhow but also leaves out the RINOs.

What we don’t need now is to go from a Progressive Cancer to a RINO Virus.

But we really don’t need is more government “involvement”. 😦

How’s That “New” Image Working

President Obama and the Liberals all said we needed to “improve” our image all over the world and to apologize for the “cowboy” attitudes of George W. Bush. To erase the the “ugly american”.

So he went around the world apologizing to everyone and anyone would would listen.

And proclaimed it a success.

So when I saw this story on FoxNews, I chuckled cynically:

Looking for a job? Well, if you’re an “arrogant American,” you had better search elsewhere.

An information technology staffing firm based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., posted an advertisement for a technical writer that warned that an “arrogant American” would not flourish in the position.

“Exelon is looking to provide these proposals to Chinese businesses, so someone who is respectful and understands Chinese culture is preferred. An arrogant American will not work well in this role,” the listing read.

The ad, posted by Viva USA, an information technology consulting firm, has since been removed. Varuna Singh, the company’s development manager, told FoxNews.com it received the language from its client, Exelon Nuclear Partners, and the wording somehow got past a “junior recruiter” who posted the advertisement on CareerBuilder.com.

“We are taking it down immediately, this was a mistake,” Singh said. “This was not wordage by Viva. This was sent into us by the client, but we, as the staffing company, should have looked into it before posting.

Singh apologized for the error, citing “negligence” on the company’s behalf.

Judith Rader, a spokeswoman for Exelon, said the company apologizes for the “offensive and inappropriate” language contained in the job posting.

“Exelon was surprised and very disappointed to see this job posting including this offensive and inappropriate language,” a statement to FoxNews.com read. “This statement was not approved by Exelon and in no way reflects the company’s policies and values. We regret that this language appeared in recruiting materials that were prepared by a third party and not approved by Exelon. We apologize for this error and the offense it has caused. We are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again. Exelon is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, and we make every effort to attract and retain talent of all backgrounds.”

The “apology” is very Politician-speak isn’t it?

By the way: Exelon is a provider of energy services with an electric and natural gas distribution and is the largest nuclear operator in the United States.

You know the 8.5 billion Obama just promised for building a new plant. Hmmm…

Ferne Wolf, a St. Louis-based employment law attorney, said the posting “sounds like national origin discrimination” and suggested the advertisement be brought to the attention of EEOC officials.

“I think a jury could reasonably conclude that there’s already a predisposition [by the firm] that Americans are arrogant,” she said. “That’s like saying ditzy blondes need not apply.”

Maybe they’ll hire a Muslim. 🙂

From Iran-Daily.com

A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group today called on Congress to probe allegations of anti-Muslim bias at the taxpayer-funded agency that advises the president and other government officials on issues related to religious freedom worldwide.
Current and former staff and commissioners of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom say the agency discriminates against Muslim staffers, targets Muslim countries for extra scrutiny, focuses disproportionately on the persecution of Christians, and downplays violations of religious rights in places like Israel and Europe, prnewswire.com reported.
A Muslim policy analyst contracted by the commission recently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that her contract was canceled because of her faith and her past affiliation with an American Muslim organization.
The commission was created by Congress in 1998 as part of the International Religious Freedom Act. It has a $4.3 million budget. Next year, Congress must decide whether to extend the commission’s life beyond its 2011 sunset date.
“The disturbing allegations of anti-Muslim bias at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom must be investigated by Congress prior to instituting any necessary reforms,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to promote the religious agendas or pet projects of those with an ideological ax to grind.”

Awad noted that the commission devoted extensive resources to examining the textbooks used at an Islamic school in Virginia, despite the fact that the agency was created to monitor religious freedom overseas.
In 2001, a group of American Muslim, Christian and secular organizations criticized the commission’s lack of balance in its reporting on violations of religious freedom.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CAIR being the basically terrorist advocacy group that will pounce on you if you so much a look cross-wise at any Muslim.

If my house get’s fire bombed, or the IRS suddenly seizes my assets, you’ll know why.

That’s Image Making at it’s finest.

Las Vegas:

President Obama flew into Las Vegas Friday, $1.5 billion in TARP money in hand. It seemed a make-up bouquet for his remarks singling out the city as no place to spend money. But is pork really the answer?

The president had been blamed by Nevada’s governor and Vegas’ mayor for damage to the local economy in the last 12 months after he twice scolded Americans about blowing their cash in the city famed for casinos and entertainment.

“When times are tough, you tighten your belts,” he told a New Hampshire town hall on Feb. 2. “You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Vegas officials say his remarks affected more than just spendthrifts. Comments such as those above and in 2009 prompted the cancellation of 340 Las Vegas events last year, according to officials, and were directly linked to the shutdown of the Ritz-Carlton this year, which threw 400 workers out of their jobs.

Now Obama’s back, offering what’s essentially a $1.5 billion welfare handout as a means of making up with the economically battered city. The problem, though, is that he doesn’t address what’s really killing Vegas — a lack of jobs and a struggling economy that’s having a hard time creating them.

For starters, the “bouquet” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It kind of stinks — of politics. The cash will be funneled through state housing finance agencies “to design programs,” as the White House blog vaguely puts it. The conduit will flow through the door of corrupt community organizers such as Acorn, which get their cash from such agencies to conveniently skirt federal rules that prohibit handing taxpayer money to these groups.

Second, the dollars also will be shared with five states, and not on an equal basis, opening the way to favored political constituencies, while 45 other states get nothing. You can bet electoral politics will figure in that distribution.

Third, the flowers are old and wilted. Friday, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced that the mortgage crisis had turned a decisive corner with a drop-off of foreclosures. To shovel $1.5 billion in subsidies into the market that’s just beginning to correct itself will only distort the market more and delay recovery.

If Obama would focus on policies that benefit the entire country instead of trying to make choices about who’s in favor or who’s not, the jobs problem would solve itself and nobody would get upset if he scolds workers about Vegas. Tax cuts, free trade and an end to using paid-back TARP funds as a political piggy bank would make it up to Vegas. And the rest of us, too. (IBD)

But don’t worry he appointed a commission to look into the problem of the deficit, while he continues to pork people into submission.

How’s that New Image going…Oh, that’s right, it will be on full bore show on Feb 25 for the “summit” on Health Care.

Get your barf bags ready.