Thursday, April 23, 2009

TARP Forever

Many Americans were outraged when the federal government created the TARP program to bail out banks to the tune of $700 billion. What's more outrageous is that several of the banks now want to pay that money back and the Obama administration will not let them.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether the Bush administration acted appropriately in bailing out the banks. However, what they were doing was without doubt, based on economics. Treasury Secretary Paulson was trying desperately to stablize the banking system. What Obama is doing is based on politics. He doesn't want the money back - he wants control. He wants control over who the banks loan to and what they pay their executives.

Stuart Varney, Wall Street Journal:
If [GM CEO] Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can't a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can't special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit -- until now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Live Tea or Die

To follow-up on the infamous CNN video of last week's tea parties, here's a great article by National Review's Mark Steyn.

CNN's Susan Roesgen : Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets $50 billion dollars out of this stimulus? That’s $50 billion dollars for this state, sir.

Steyn: Really? Who knew it was that easy? $50 billion dollars! Did those Navy SEALs find it just off the Somali coast in the wreckage of a pirate skiff in a half-submerged treasure chest, all in convertible pieces of eight or Zanzibari doubloons?

Or is it perhaps the case that that $50 billion dollars has to be raised from the same limited pool of 300 million Americans and their as-yet-unborn descendants?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

There's been a lot of noise about Homeland Security's warning about right-wing extremists (and no, they are not just plotting to put Bill Clinton's DNA on Monica's dress this time). While the report is a little offensive to veterans and raises some civil rights issues, what's more interesting is how this fits with the Obama administration's view of the threats facing this country.

This administration has gone through a lot of trouble to convince us that Islamist terrorism is not nearly the danger George W. Bush made it out to be. We no longer use the verbiage "war on terror" or "enemy combatants." Actually "terror" is out altogether. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitan prefers "man-caused disaster." National Review wonders if someone perpetuating one of these acts will be called a "man-caused-disaster-causing man." As for "war on terror", it is being replaced around the White House and the Pentagon by "Overseas Contingency Operation."

Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo. The new director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, was asked what we will do with all the man-caused-disaster-causing-men imprisoned there. He replied, "If we are to release them in the United States, you can't just... put them on the street... We need some sort of assistance to them to start a new life and not return to some of the conditions that may have inspired them in the first place." Wait, so not only are at least some of the terrorists going to be released inside the U.S., but we will give them welfare too?

With this approach to the real threats facing civilization (other than socialism), is it any wonder people are concerned about the latest intelligence assessment?

Tea Party

This woman has no idea why people would be upset about out of control, unprecedented in modern times government spending. "Don't you know Illinois is getting stimulus money?" She views these people with absolute disgust - a bunch of nuts, mind-numbed robots doing the bidding of Fox News - people too stupid to understand the greatness of Obama.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Foreign Law in Our Courts

NYT reports on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg's view that foreign law should be taken into account in rulings from the Court: “I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law."

Ginsburg also doesn't understand (or refuses to accept) her role as a Supreme Court justice. Her job is to be a check on the power of the other branches of government, using the United States Constitution to determine whether legislation passed by the other branches fits within the constraints the Constitution places on those branches. Foreign law is not the US Constitution, therefore it has no relevance. What does a German judge's ruling (or an Iranian judge, for that matter) have to do with the US Constitution?

Citing foreign law is just an excuse to do things that aren't constitutional. Simply search the world for a judge somewhere who agrees with you and cite his/her ruling as precedent. Or are only judges from certain countries worthy? Should we put more weight on the French high court than the Pakistani high court? What happens if Justice Roberts wants to cite the Czech Republic court and Ginsburg cites the Dominican Republic high court?

President Obama has stated that he will seek to add more Supreme Court justices like Ginsburg.