New Witch Hunt

Bankers warn the administration’s new “disparate impact” home-lending regulation will wreak havoc in credit markets, replacing merit standards with political correctness.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the controversial new anti-discrimination rule earlier this year. Now enforced by every federal regulator dealing with banks, it has the effect of criminalizing credit standards used to qualify borrowers for home loans.

Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America jointly filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that under the new HUD rule:

“Virtually every lender in the United States could be sued for using non-discriminatory credit standards simply because variations in economic and credit characteristics produce different credit outcomes among racial and ethnic groups.”

In their 33-page brief, filed in support of a landmark housing case pending before the court, they complain that HUD recently launched 22 separate investigations against lenders alleging that their policies of requiring minimum credit scores “had a disparate impact on minorities in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

Dozens of similar actions have been brought against lenders by Attorney General Eric Holder. He is basing claims of bias on statistics showing differences in loan outcomes by race while ignoring racially neutral credit-risk factors that explain those differences.

Under disparate impact’s low standard of proof, the government doesn’t have to show lenders intentionally discriminated against borrowers.

For the first time in history, businesses are being ordered to justify the necessity of a certain level of return on investment given the racial impact resulting from the use of credit-score thresholds.

The mortgage trade groups argue the formalized disparate-impact rule also effectively criminalizes other legitimate business practices, including minimum down-payment requirements, sliding loan rates and the charging of brokers’ fees.

Banks today face increased litigation risk simply by complying with sensible lending standards for hedging against risk. So what? Who cares? Banks are greedy and probably deserve to be investigated.

Actually, we should all care, because we’ll all end up eating the legal and compliance costs banks will have to front under this race-baiting witch hunt.

The social engineers and race demagogues in this administration are trying to enforce a balance in financial outcomes that risks another collapse of the housing market. The Supreme Court must put an end to a scheme so reckless, unfair and unconstitutional.

But , of so Agenda driven and “fair”.

Ever notice how unfair “fair” is??

When is job security a bad thing? Right now.

Believe it or not, for all the scare-mongering about downsizing, outsourcing and Walmartizing, job security has never been stronger. But all it really indicates is that the U.S. labor market is the least dynamic it’s ever been.

To be sure, it’s counterintuitive that job security is so strong when 11.3 million Americans are still officially unemployed — 3.7 million more than at the peak of the last business cycle expansion in 2007. But it’s true.

Today an employed person faces only a 2% probability of losing his job in a given month, according to data from the Department of Labor. That probability has never been lower.

But job security for the employed doesn’t help the unemployed.

Today an unemployed person enjoys only a 26% probability of becoming employed in a given month. That’s some improvement over the horrifying 19% probability the jobless faced at the worst of the Great Recession. But it’s now more than four years since that recession officially ended.

At this stage in the previous two expansions, an unemployed person had at least a 40% chance of getting work. In earlier expansions it was even better.

The labor market is frozen now, with joblessness just as secure as employment. Yes, today you are less likely to lose your job than at any time since records started being kept in 1948. But if you don’t have a job, you’re very unlikely to get one.

In one sense it’s a vicious circle. When it is so difficult to find a job, no one will risk leaving the job he has. And with no one willing to leave his job, there are fewer openings to accommodate the unemployed.

A healthy labor market is one in which there is a dynamic interplay of employment and unemployment, where human capital rapidly transfers itself to where it is most valuable in a classic process of creative destruction.

But this is a vicious circle we can break any time we wish. All we have to do is reverse the policy errors that exacerbate and prolong it by destroying supply-side incentives — for those who supply their labor, and for those who supply the jobs.

On the labor-supply side, of the 11.3 million unemployed, 1.5 million are receiving special extended unemployment benefits. While surely not princely, these benefits defer from months to years the crunch-time that forces recipients to seek taxable work rather than enjoy tax-free leisure.

But that’s the Companies/Republicans fault, not Obama and Co… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

The Light

Once again, the President likes to blame everyone else for the lack of success he has seen when it comes to Obamacare.

“But until then, when we’re getting outspent four to one and people are just uncertain about what all this means for them, we’re going to continue to have some polls like that,” Obama said. “And me just making more speeches explaining it in and of itself won’t do it. The test of this is going to be is it working. And if it works, it will be pretty darn popular.”

Even with a new PR blitz (costing $700 Million Dollars), the President can’t win over the public opinion:

“Over the course of six months to a year, as people sign up, and it works, and lo and behold, the people who already have health insurance are not being impacted at all other than the fact that their insurance is more secure and they are getting free preventive care, and all the nightmare scenarios and the train wrecks and the ‘sky is falling’ predictions that come from the other side do not happen, then health care will become more popular,” Obama said.

And when the train does wreck, naturally, it will be someone elses fault! 🙂

The New “Cash for Clunkers”…

Way back in 2009, President Obama’s Treasury Department launched the Home Affordable Modification Program, a massive authorization to help homeowners struggling with their mortgages in the wake of the financial crisis. 1.2 milllion people participated in the program at a cost to taxpayers of $4.4 billion.

A report [pdf] dropped this week from the Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) that HAMP has a stunning failure rate. Of the 1.2 million HAMP participants, 306,000 have re-defaulted on their mortgages, at an additional cost to taxpayers of $815 million. What’s more, another 88,000 homeowners in the HAMP program have missed payments and are at risk to re-default.

Twenty-two percent of homeowners who have re-defaulted on their HAMP permanent mortgage modifications have moved into the foreclosure process. The Administration’s stated goal for the housing initiative was “to help as many as three to four million financially struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to a level that is affordable for borrowers now and sustainable over the long term.” However, since 2009, during each year of the program, an increased number of homeowners redefaulted on HAMP permanent mortgage modifications. Redefault rates of the oldest 2009 HAMP permanent mortgage modifications have continued to increase as they age at a redefault rate of 46%. The 2010 HAMP permanent mortgage modifications are redefaulting at a rate of 38%. Treasury’s data continue to demonstrate that the longer homeowners remain in HAMP, the greater the chance that they will redefault on their permanent modification and fall out of the TARP program. For the substantial number of homeowners who redefault, their modification was not sustainable. It is crucial that Treasury recognize this problem and take proactive steps to ensure that HAMP lives up to its promise and potential.

HAMP has been re-authorized to be in effect through 2015. (Townhall)

Gee, that mean through the mid-term election and that a lot of people who were going to default before because they couldn’t afford it have defaulted again. NO! that’s shocking… :

But at least it’s safe until after the election. Just like the employer mandate. Fancy that…

Detroit

As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.

Detroit wants insurance exchanges to cover retirees like Thomas Berry, a former police officer.

“There’s fear and panic,” said Michael Underwood, an ailing Chicago Police Department retiree.
Readers’ Comments

Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.

Just dump all those poor bastards on the rest of us. It will save the city and make ObamaCare costs skyrocket and of course, more popular….

Say, isn’t that sort of a Bailout?? 🙂

The light at the end of this tunnel is a bullet train!

 

Fail Fail Again

If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again…

Concerned that foreclosed subprime borrowers won’t qualify for another home for years, housing-rights groups want banks to offer them “dignity mortgages.” Here we go again.

This is the left’s latest scheme to make amends for its disastrous experiment to socialize mortgages for people who could not afford homes before the crisis and should never have been approved in the first place.

But it won’t end any better, especially for the inner-city minorities whose credit the left’s already ruined.

Housing activists’ new bright idea is approving home loans for people who have rebuilt their finances since losing their job and their homes during the crisis, but who still have bad credit.

Though required to make a down payment, inner-city housing groups could front them the money.

This new type of loan they’re pitching to bank regulators would come with a higher rate to cover the higher risk.

But it would be capped so that deadbeat borrowers would pay only up to 1.25 percentage points above creditworthy borrowers.

So if, for example, a customer with sterling credit and 20% down payments got a 3.5% fixed rate, the risky applicant would get OK’d for 4.75%.

Reset Clause

But if he made timely payments for five years, the rate would drop to 3.5%, and the extra money paid in interest would be used to reduce the mortgage balance.

Only, the borrower doesn’t always have to pay. If he loses his job or his spouse, a “reset clause” lets him suspend payments temporarily.

But here’s the real kicker: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac eventually would be required to take the loans off banks’ hands.

That’s right, those same failed government wards that epically collapsed and brought down the entire mortgage industry with them after taking on too much subprime risk before the crisis.

The so-called dignity mortgage is the brainchild of Greenlining Institute’s Bob Gnaizda and Operation Hope’s John Bryant, who worry low-income blacks and Latinos are being denied credit in the wake of record subprime defaults.

They cite recent Fed lending data that show just 4% of all home loans were made to African-Americans, who make up 13% of the population, and 6% to Latinos, who represent 16%.

Ignoring credit-score data explaining the shortfalls, they charge that banks are “redlining” minorities again.

Redistributionists At Work

Both groups have redistributionist agendas. Greenlining is a Berkeley, Calif.-based anti-redlining group that before the crisis shook down banks for subprime mortgages for minorities with bad credit.

Recently, it argued for expanding the Community Reinvestment Act — a prime suspect in the lending debacle — to correct racial “inequities” in everything from stock ownership to business contracts to employment.

Bryant, meanwhile, is a major Obama supporter.

As IBD first reported, his inner-city group is a one of the recipients of millions in payola extorted from banks by Attorney General Eric Holder during his witch hunt over “lending discrimination.”

“You get your dignity back,” Bryant told foreclosed borrowers, “a chance to reset your life without being called a bum or your credit ruined.”

Don’t fret, he and Gnaizda tell worried bankers, they’ll make sure this new class of superdeadbeat applicant gets financial counseling.

This time, they promise needy borrowers will pay their bills, and in exchange for their altruism, lenders will get CRA credit from regulators.

Where have we heard this story?

Dignity mortgages are just repackaged subprime loans promoted by the same radical groups that trapped minorities in them the last time.

Thanks, but no thanks. We don’t need a sequel to this financial horror show.

But just like the original, it won’t be there fault in 10 years or so when it all crashes again.
It’s never there fault. They aren’t held accountable. So they will continue bang their head against that wall until they win.
IF they just try hard enough, long enough and have the best of intentions they will succeed! 😦
Thus, they never learn there lesson.
And we pay the price.

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

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

More Justice & Freedom For All And To All a Good Night

More “Justice” from the Justice Department.

Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

The federal government, as has been widely noted, has pressed few criminal cases against major lenders or senior executives for the events that led to the meltdown of 2007. Finding hard evidence has proved difficult, the Justice Department has said.

The government also hasn’t brought any prosecutions for dubious foreclosure practices deployed since 2007 by big banks and other mortgage-servicing companies.

Banks in the past two years have foreclosed on the houses of thousands of active-duty U.S. soldiers who are legally eligible to have foreclosures halted. Refusing to grant foreclosure stays is a misdemeanor under federal law.

The U.S. Treasury confirmed in November that it is conducting a civil investigation of 4,500 such foreclosures. Attorneys representing service members estimate banks have foreclosed on up to 30,000 military personnel in potential violation of the law.

And in thousands of cases, documents required to transfer ownership of mortgages have been falsified. Lacking originals needed to foreclose, mortgage servicers drew up new ones, falsely signed by their own staff as employees of the original lenders – many of which no longer exist.

But the mortgage-foreclosure mess has yet to yield any federal prosecution against the big banks that are the major servicers of home loans.

The Justice Department doesn’t disclose pending investigations, making it impossible to say if criminal inquiries are underway. Officials in state attorneys’ general offices and lawyers in foreclosure cases say they have seen no signs of any other federal criminal investigation.

I’m sure it’s all politics, everything else at this Justice Department is.

It’s a massive new assault on Christmas across U.S.

If you thought attacks easing up, think again

a) In November this year, the Air Force Academy apologized for an email promoting Operation Christmas Child– a Christian-based charity and relief program providing more than 8 million holiday gifts to impoverished children in 100 countries around the world – after it was accused of religious intolerance.

God Bless us, everyone…Even poor kids. 🙂

“This is a proselytizing entity of Franklin Graham,” said Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein.

According to the report, Weinstein filed a grievance on behalf of 132 Academy personnel, including two sets of Muslim-American parents.

Bet you won’t here about poor kids getting the screw on the Ministry of Truth Media…

b) Across the country, Christmas lights, Christmas trees  and menorahs are banned in public areas.

Atheists and “free-thinkers” sue cities into submission, forcing removal of all things “Christ” on public property during the Christian holiday.

“I think people mistake tolerance for muzzling,” Andrew Walther, vice president of communications for Knights of Columbus, a group that has been at the forefront of the campaign to “Keep Christ in Christmas” for more than five decades, told WND. “The entire point of the First Amendment, to have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, is that we can practice our faith and we can speak publicly about things that matter to us.”

According to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans agree and want to “keep Christ in Christmas.” A Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll of 1,026 adults found 64 percent of Americans favor a greeting of “Merry Christmas – an increase of three percent over last year – while 31 percent prefer “Happy Holidays and four percent are unsure.

And to be politically correct you wait until the other person says something so you know what is acceptable to say. 🙂

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have been banned from wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas” in official mailings paid for by tax dollars, according to a Dec. 12 memo. One Hill staffer told the Washington Examiner, “I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no ‘Merry Christmas.'” , Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., and Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., have written a letter asking both Republican and Democrat members to insist that the rule be overturned.

“We are not celebrating winter this December,” the letter reads in part. “We are celebrating significant moments in two religions that have fundamentally shaped our nation – and as Members of Congress who represent thousands of constituents celebrating these holidays, we ask you to reconsider these outdated and restrictive rules.” Walsh told the paper the rule is an example of “political correctness run amok”: “It is outrageous that members can’t wish our constituents Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah.”

“A group of Christmas carolers was thrown out of a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD, after the post office manager told them they were not allowed to sing Christmas carols on government property.”

“They were only a few notes into their carol when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront the carolers,” JP Duffy, who was standing in a line with his wife and two-year-old daughter, told Fox News.

According to the report, the customers standing in line began to boo the postal worker as he ordered the carolers to leave.

In other parts of the world …

In Australia, three-year-old children at the Inner Sydney Montessori School in Sydney have been banned from singing about Jesus at their end-of-year sing-along. All references to the birth of Jesus Christ have been removed from their song sheets, according to London’s Daily Telegraph.

A London resident claims an inspector ordered him to remove Christmas decorations outside his family’s home, then demanded his birth certificate and photographed him. According to the London Evening Standard, the inspector said the lighted Christmas wreath on the front door was a fire hazard.

In a case of ultimate “war on Christmas” irony, the mayor of the Israeli town of Nazareth Illit has banned Christmas trees. At Christmas time last year, Mayor Shimon Gapso dubbed public display of the Christian symbol provocative and banned the trees from public areas. “Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen – not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” he told the AFP.

“I don’t really understand where the anti-Christmas fervor comes from, and I don’t think it’s a nod in the direction of tolerance to be quiet in the face of people who are calling for the banning of something most Americans celebrate,” Walther said. “Tolerance demands that we get to celebrate our holy day and talk about it and we don’t have to take that out of the public square or be quiet about it because it’s our constitutional right to do that.”

But Liberal “tolerance” is like Liberal “civility” just shut up and do as you are told by them and nothing else. Don’t even think about it.

Unnamed residents in Pittman, N.J., contacted the Freedom from Religion Foundation – a group that boasts of dozens of legal “successes” in blocking school prayer and other Christian-oriented events and traditions – and complained about a Knights of Columbus banner hanging over a street that reads, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” claiming it violates the U.S. Constitution. The foundation said it has asked the town to remove the sign. “It’s a group endorsing religion over a public right of way,” Andrew Seidel, the group’s constitutional consultant, told CBS.

Mayor Michael Batten said, “I think it’s a sad state of affairs that our country, we kowtow to the minority and not the majority of people who like that sort of thing to stay.”

 ‘Reason for the Season’

Because of the Christian implication, a flashing sign with the words “Remember the Reason for the Season” was removed from an electronic marquee outside Lincoln Southeast High School in Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, contacted Principal Patrick Hunter-Pirtle, who instructed staff to remove the message.

“What ‘reason for the season’ leaps to your mind?” ACLU-Nebraska Executive Director Laurel Marsh asked a World-Herald reporter. “It would be very difficult to read that and not take it as a reference to Christianity. It’s a kind reference, a gentle reference, but nonetheless a reference.”

Atheists attack nativity

In Santa Monica, Calif., atheists complained about a 58-year tradition of displaying life-size paintings of the Nativity story at Palisades Park, the Los Angeles Times reported. They argued that the scene was a religious display in a public park, so they applied for space to share their anti-religion message.

Of the 21 park plots for displays, the atheists won 18 in a lottery overseen by the Santa Monica city attorney. The Nativity story typically spreads across 14 displays, but it had to be shortened to only three and crammed into two plots this year.

Patrick Elliott, a lawyer for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, told the Times a 58-year tradition is no justification for violating the limitations between church and state.

“Just because they’re long-standing doesn’t mean they’re right,” he said

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, called the Nativity scene a “territorial attempt by Christians to impose their beliefs in this season.”

But them imposing their “territorial attempt” is complete correct and righteous because after all, they are Liberals and they are so much better than the rest of us peasants and you should learn to bow down to your masters and do what they want when they want because they want without question.

“Nobody is out there preaching like these guys. They’re out there in a blatant attempt to try to stamp out religion and ruin people’s Christmas,” Loudon Country Supervisor Kenneth Reid said. “The atheist groups over the past two years have used it as an opportunity to try to ban everything. It’s no longer sufficient to be an atheist, they have to go out there and proactively try to deny and make sure other people don’t believe in God.”

And secularism is a main tenant of Communism and many Leftists these days.

“The whole thing is a separation of church and state issue,” Rick Wingrove, Virginia state director for American Atheists told ABCNews.com. “We’ve been accused of trying to destroy Christmas, and that could not be further from the truth. There’s no war on Christmas. If there were a war on Christmas, I would have gotten a memo.”

These numskulls have no idea what “separation of Church and State actually means” but then again, they did go to Liberal Socialist indoctrinating public schools most likely.

Like These:

Claudia Landeen School, a K-8 school in the Lincoln Unified School District, is prohibiting those items as a proactive step. According to the report, the school has received no complaints about the Christmas decorations.

Superintendent Tom Uslan told the TV station there are a “myriad of religious affiliations (at the school). We don’t want a pervasive theme of a class to represent one religious affiliation.”

A memo to teachers said they are still allowed to decorate with snowflakes and snowmen, which, according to the message, is “safe.” (aka politically correct)

In upstate New York, the Batavia City School District has declared that “Christmas and Hanukkah will no longer be celebrated in classrooms.”

According to WROC-TV, the district refused to allow holiday to be displayed in classrooms and teachers are discouraged from writing or saying “Merry Christmas.”

The Tyranny of The Minority and the Small minded Control freaky Left.

“I think it is punishing the majority to possibly help a very few,” said David Logan, a parent of a child at Molin Upper Elementary School. “I was raised by a Jewish mom, and I see no reason to ban the practice. Why hurt the majority for a few? Don’t you think they’ll understand?”
NO, THEY WON’T. They are Liberals. They want to control everyone and everything. So NO, they aren’t capable of understanding.
And besides, it’s not “fair”!! 🙂
So happy Winter everyone. It’s all you’ll have left (pun intended). 🙂
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

SEXIST! 🙂
And discriminatory against the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered!!!
And he’s probably a White guy too… 🙂
Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Matter of Identification

A Classic Thanksgiving Moment, Brought to you by your friends at WKRP:

And as God is my witness, I still think Spending Even More will work!! — Barack Obama. What a Turkey. 🙂

Here’s another reason to throw them all out:

The Senate is set to vote on a bill next week that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.

“The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,” writes

Chris Anders of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being

Under the ‘worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial’ provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1867:, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor Monday, the legislation will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill.

But remember who controls the Senate– The Democrats.

So throwing them all out sound pretty good at this point.

In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved so-called DNA barcoding – a standardized fingerprint that can identify a species like a supermarket scanner reads a barcode – to prevent the mislabeling of both locally produced and imported seafood in the United States. Other national regulators around the world are also considering adopting DNA barcoding as a fast, reliable and cost-effective tool for identifying organic matter.

And since humans are “organic matter” how long before they come for you!??

Then there’s money and power.

The war against the financial sector is no accident. Rather, it was carefully planned over decades as part of a social crusade to wipe out what the left calls “financial apartheid.”

Starting in earnest in the 1990s, coat-and-tie radicals gathered in Washington and conspired to use banks to “democratize” credit. They socialized the mortgage industry after declaring traditional underwriting standards “racist.” Bankers were ordered to “reinvest” in unprofitable areas, and reallocate capital to people who posed credit risks.

When those risky loans went bad, radicals blamed “greedy” bankers and “predatory” lenders. Today, they want to punish bankers and lenders by forcing them to “repair the damages” that they themselves caused. And they don’t care if it drives many of them out of business.

In fact, President Obama is deliberately trying to downsize the financial sector. He and his social engineers think it accounts for too big a share of the economy. Obama says his sweeping new regulations are designed to clamp down on bank profits and limit the finance industry’s influence in the U.S. economy.

“What I think will change, what I think was an aberration, was a situation where corporate profits in the financial sector were such a heavy part of our overall profitability over the last decade,” he said, adding that his “more vigorous regulatory regime” will “inhibit” the industry’s growth.

Think about it: Obama is engineering a controlled starvation of America’s most vital industry — capital, the lifeblood of the economy — as punishment for allegedly causing a crisis that anti-bank community organizers and housing-rights zealots like him actually caused.

Why is Obama at constant war with “fat cat bankers” and Wall Street? His mentor, Chicago socialist Saul Alinsky, identified banks as one of the “power sectors” topping the industrial food chain, and therefore a top “target” for street agitators like Obama.

“The target, therefore, should be the banks,” Alinsky wrote in “Rules for Radicals,” the bible of the left.

This was drilled into Obama by his Alinsky trainer, Jerry Kellman, who first hired Obama as a South Side Chicago organizer, according to the book, “The Great American Bank Robbery.” “The real enemy,” Kellman told Obama, are “the investment bankers.”

Obama was trained in Alinsky agitation tactics in Los Angeles and Chicago. After Harvard, he returned to South Side to train Acorn and National People’s Action leaders. They, in turn, deployed busloads of thugs to terrorize bankers into making easy loans and subsidies in a multitrillion-dollar shakedown that sped the collapse of the banking and housing industries.

Obama also represented alleged victims rounded up by Acorn and NPA in class-action lawsuits against Citibank and others. The ilk that wrote “Rules for Radicals” wrote the rules for “fair lending.” Now they’re helping write them again to leverage banks anew, and make credit for the uncreditworthy even easier.

This financial disaster didn’t just happen. It was engineered. It was designed by people with radical agendas to redistribute credit and, ultimately, your wealth. And they are just getting started. (IBD)

Big Brother is Watching.

But at least you’ll have your bar coded fish!!

 

Small Business Saturday

Remember the outrage from the administration over hefty bonuses paid to AIG executives in 2009? Back then, shortly after AIG was bailed out by American taxpayers, the company went through with already planned bonuses to top executives.

The bonuses, which totaled $165 million, sparked a hot national debate over how much freedom private companies should have to pay large bonuses after they had become dependent on taxpayers. The House and Senate passed measures calling for the taxing of executive bonuses for bailed-out companies to the tune of 70-90 percent.

The president reacted forcefully: “”[I]t’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”

Last week, another set of bonuses for bailed-out companies got decidedly less bad press. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to whom taxpayers have already given hundreds of billions, doled out $12.79 million in bonuses to its executives for meeting modest goals.

One could argue that there’s no outrage from the administration over the Fannie and Freddie bonuses because the total amount of bonuses is so much smaller.

But in fact, the average executive bonus is far larger.

Fannie and Freddie spent $12.79 million on 10 bonuses for an average of $1.27 million per bonus.

AIG spent $165 million on 400 bonuses for an average of $412,000 per bonus.

That’s about three times the level of bonus for bailed-out Freddie and Fannie execs compared to AIG. Some have argued that the AIG bonuses were different because they went to people who caused the problem, which is true, but only partly. A lot of them were going to people outside the parts of AIG that caused the trouble, but the criticism of AIG remains valid.

At Fannie and Freddie, the bonuses are going to those who are attempting to mitigate taxpayer losses, and the argument is that Fannie and Freddie have to compete with private sector salaries in order to get the best to do the mitigating.

Nonetheless, lawmakers are moving toward limiting bonuses for these executives. Even if true, it is a galling argument that we must shell out more money to Fannie and Freddie simply because they’ve already lost so much of our money that we need to give them lots of our money to prevent the loss of more of our money.

Doesn’t the president wonder, “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” (Mary Katherine Ham)

Nope. From what I hear, he’s been off golfing again. Gotta have your priorities. 🙂

After all, wouldn’t you want to make millions of running your company into the ground!!

WACO, Ga. — A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company’s trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:

“New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.”

“Can’t afford it,” explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. “I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C.”

Looman’s company is U.S. Cranes, LLC.  He said he put up the signs, and first posted pictures of the signs on his personal Facebook page, six months ago, and he said he received mostly positive reaction from people, “about 20-to-one positive.”

But for some reason, one of the photos went viral on the Internet on Monday.

And the reaction has been so intense, pro and con, he’s had to have his phones disconnected because of the non-stop calls, and he’s had to temporarily shut down his company’s website because of all the traffic crashing the system.

Looman made it clear, talking with 11Alive’s Jon Shirek, that he is not refusing to hire to make some political point; it’s that he doesn’t believe he can hire anyone, because of the economy. And he blames the Obama administration.

“The way the economy’s running, and the way my business has been hampered by the economy, and the policies of the people in power, I felt that it was necessary to voice my opinion, and predict that I wouldn’t be able to do any hiring,” he said. 

Looman did receive some unexpected attention not long after he put up his signs and Facebook photos. He said someone, and he thinks he knows who it was, reported him to the FBI as a threat to national security. He said the accusation filtered its way through the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and finally the Secret Service. Agents interviewed him.

“The Secret Service left here, they were in a good mood and laughing,” Looman said. “I got the feeling they thought it was kind of ridiculous, and a waste of their time.”

So Bill Looman is keeping the signs up, and the photos up — stirring up a lot of debate.

“I just spent 10 years in the Marine Corps protecting the rights of people… the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment and the [rest of the] Bill of Rights,” he said. “Lord knows they’re calling me at 2 in the morning, all night long, and voicing their opinion. And I respect their right to do that. I’m getting a reaction, a lot of it’s negative, now. But a lot of people are waking up.” (11alive.com)

Comment on website: Herbert Hubbel · Howell High School

Last year I was unemployed the early part of the year. I had one very good position that I was first in line for. But as soon as Obamacare passed and he learned more about it from his insurance carrier, he cancelled hiring me or anybody else. I am still in touch with the company owner and he still has not hired anybody due to his benefit cost and other expenses climbing rapidly due to Federal Government rules and regulations implemented by the Obama administration.
#2: We are not hiring because there are not enough sales to support more employees. The view over the horizon, because of Obama, is cloudy and risky, at best. We are already in precarious positions and just trying to hold on. Many, many businesses have folded. Many, like me, have put all our retirement funds into the business just to keep the minimum number of employees just to hold on, waiting for the next election, hoping for anyone but the destroyer of this economy. The economy goes up and down. Obama is using the bad economy as a tool to accoumplish his goals. Read his books. Listen to his words. He gets more of what he wants when we are suffering and vulnerable. OWS is a great example.

The US economy is resilient and will recover on its own, excluding the unthinkable decisions Obama has made. If those decisions are not obvious to any of you, then you are not paying attention, or you wouldn’t believe them if they were explained to you. But just a very few are the housing failier and domestic oil. Obama gets an F-. How about Cash for Clunkers and $8500 for home purchases, all at the expense of gov. spending at taxpayers expense. Union payoffs for political campaign funds. The list is endless.

 It’s not that businesses want to punish Obama by not hiring. Businesses exist to make a profit, hire and expand, and make more profit. We have no choice now in not hiring because Obama’s decisions are destroying this economy and our futures. We have no choice until sanity returns to DC. Don’t forget to vote against EVERY Democrat US Senator. It will take real power to undo what has been done.

Fascinating…

Because what celebration of small business would be complete by the Obama administration without reaffirming the mounds of red-tape that Obama and his confederates have saddled small business with?

“Overall, the Obama Administration imposed 75 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid-FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion,” reports Heritage. 

In contrast, there were only six deregulatory actions by the Obama administration saving $1.5 billion says the Heritage report. 

And those costs were just the cost by the government to implement the regulations, not the overall cost to industry- that is; not the costs to you and I.  

In terms of the overall impact on the economic health of the country, the figure is much higher. 

“More specifically, the total cost of federal regulations has increased to $1.75 trillion,” writes the federal government’s own Small Business Administration.

Heritage reports that that’s nearly twice the amount that the government collects annually in individual income taxes. Ouch!

The costs are a hidden tax, not just on the rich, says Heritage, but on everyone equally.

But because regulations prevent the creation of new jobs, it hits the poor and middle class particularly hard, “while the updated cost per employee for firms with fewer than 20 employees is now $10,585 (a 36 percent difference between the costs incurred by small firms when compared with their larger counterparts),” says the SBA.

In other words, small employers take it on the chin at the rate of $3,810.60 per employee more than the big guys do.

It’s not hard to figure why the Obama administration is creating jobs at a post-war low. Jobs aren’t the goal. Fundraising is. That’s why dog and pony shows like Small Business Saturday loom so large for Obama and his corporate pals.

They serve as a reminder that Obama “cares” about little guys [cough, hack], while giving him an opportunity to put the squeeze on the Big Guys. 

If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Obama is the Great Fabricator.

For Obama, every day is just another episode of the Beltway Unreality show, where acting is much more important than actually doing something; where pop-culture trumps substance. (John Ransom)

And as we all know, it’s all about him.