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Friday, December 9, 2011

Will European Pact Survive?

The pact fashioned by Merkel and Sarkozy to solve the European debt crisis, is doomed to fail according to Brett Arends who writes today on Market Watch.  His main point is, will an independent nation  allow other nations to dictate what benefits the government will provide its citizens or what taxes its people will pay. In other words the debtor nation would be conquered, not by military action, but by a financial takeover. 

In the case of Europe, Hitler must be kicking himself. This is the easiest blitzkrieg ever! Greece and Portugal would be dictated the terms of their financial takeover by Germany and France and not a shot was fired! Can Italy and Spain be next on the menu?

Will these countries or their citizens, agree to this? Will this be the way the world works in the future? If so, the United States better get its act together very soon or we will be next.

China and Japan must be watching Europe very intently for if it works there, the US will be  one of the next takeovers. It only makes sense.  We are indebted up to our eyeballs, unemployment has steadily been around 9%, our government cannot get out of its own way to make a plan, and nothing will happen for the next 11 months unless there is an emergency.  

In this way, China and Japan would guarantee that the money they invested in Treasuries will be paid back. They would control how much money was spent on defense, foreign aid, domestic spending, infrastructure spending and social benefits (social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare etal). 

This is so out-of-the-box scary thinking that I am sure many will disagree with assumptions. However, if it works in Europe and if we don't get our act together to cut spending and yes, maybe increase taxes, we will be the next victim.

My hope is that it will fail in Europe and that the whole experiment can be abandoned and those naysayers can say "Tom, you were wrong again!"

What are your comments?
Conservative Tom

Why Merkel-Sarkozy pact is doomed to fail

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — If you want to understand the latest Franco-German proposal to “save” the euro, imagine this.
Imagine the governments of China and Japan demanding they be given the legal right to override the U.S. budget’s legislative process if needed, and to impose tax hikes and spending cuts on the American people as needed.
After all, China and Japan are our biggest creditors. The U.S. government owes them trillions. We’re not quite as deeply in debt as a share of our economic output, as Europe’s naughtiest Nellies. But we’re not far behind either.
Markets rallied this week on hopes that the leaders of the European Union will at long last solve the region’s budget crisis. Center stage is the new proposal from Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. They want to turn Europe into, effectively, a federal government, with the power to impose budget discipline on wayward members.
Their proposal is preposterous. Anything can happen in this life, but it would be remarkable indeed if this idea got off the ground. Anyone pinning their hopes that this will solve the crisis needs to think it through.
Why would the Portuguese accept the right of Germany to impose budget cuts on their country? Why would the Greeks?
Would we accept that role for the Chinese and the Japanese, the biggest holders of Treasury debt? How would you feel if you opened the paper to be told that the new Sino-Japanese “Fiscal Stability Commission” in Washington had just slashed your grandma’s Social Security checks by one-third, scaled back federal highway repairs, and that it would impose a 10% national sales tax?
That is, after all, effectively what is being offered to the people of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
It’s absurd. There is no reason why these countries should have to surrender sovereignty. They can simply, where necessary, default. A default by, say, Louisiana would not destroy the dollar. Neither did the bankruptcy of Enron or Lehman.
The British look smarter and smarter for staying out of the euro area in the first place. Prime Minister John Major, and then, later, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, each took the decision to keep the British pound free. At the time fashionable opinion predicted disaster for the Brits. So much for that.
(Predictably, fashionable opinion now says the Brits look “isolated” for staying out. Really, you couldn’t make it up).
It has long been clear the Franco-German duo wanted to use their shared currency to bludgeon the continent into something closer to a federal system.
Any investor pinning their hopes on this bird flying needs to be aware it looks a lot more like a turkey than an eagle.
This week’s meeting of European leaders already marks the fifth “summit” to solve the region’s debt crisis since early 2009.
My favorite comment this time: “After a series of ‘final’ summits, it would be nice this time to have a real ‘final’ summit.” That was from Standard & Poor’s chief European economist, appropriately-enough named Jean-Michel Six. What’s the betting Mr. Six will be attending Summit No. Six in the new year?

Brett Arends is a senior columnist for MarketWatch and a personal-finance columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Evidence That Obama Is No Israeli Friend

In the following article by Isi Leibler, we see how the recent events all telegraph the anti-Israel
attitude of the Obama Administration. This should anger any reasonable person who knows that Israel is the only friend that America has in the Middle East.

Comments by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton or other functionaries who do Obama's bidding are very clear.  This Administration sucks up to the Arabs at the expense of the only democratic country in the area. Why do they do that? Is it the oil? Is it the influence of the Saudis? Does Obama feel a kinship with the Arabs?
Only time and a psychiatrist's couch will really tell us what his real motivation is.

Here is the article, let us know what you think.
Conservative Tom

Islamic ascendancy intensifies US appeasement

Isi Leibler - The Jerusalem Post, December 7th, 2011

Ironically, US President Barack Obama portrays himself as a friend of Israel while soliciting funds from Jewish donors, but two senior members of his team provided chilling insights to what Israel may expect should the current administration be returned to office.

After reaffirming that the US retains “an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta crudely told a Brookings Institution forum that it was high time for Israel to “get to the damn negotiating table.” He ignored the fact that even after a 10-month settlement freeze, the Palestinians had refused to engage in direct negotiations with Israel.

Panetta’s repetition of the mindless mantra that Israel is “partly” responsible for its diplomatic isolation and his demand for further Israeli unilateral concessions to end the conflict would certainly be welcomed by the Arabs as an extension of their long-term strategy to dismantle the Jewish state in stages.

Furthermore, Panetta’s demand for Israel to “reach out to mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability,” specifically with Turkey and Egypt, failed to address either Israel’s extraordinary efforts to retain good relations with Egypt, despite the ascendancy of jihadist groups there or the fact that Erdogan’s Turkey is now openly allied with the genocidal Hamas. For a US secretary of defense to implicitly blame Israel for the erosion of relations with these countries is simply outrageous.

Finally, the secretary warned Israel that if Jerusalem acted alone in relation to Iran, it would place America in an unenviable position, cost many lives and lead to global economic chaos. As former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams observed afterward, Panetta eased Iranian concerns by effectively nullifying longstanding American statements that “all options are on the table” to curb the nuclear threat.

PANETTA’S ADDRESS was followed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pontificated on Israel as a democratic state criticizing proposed legislation in Israel that would limit foreign funding for nongovernmental organizations.

This issue has indeed generated a great deal of controversy in Israel, but it is unprecedented and inexcusable for an American official to become involved in a domestic Israeli debate or to publicly criticize the government of a purportedly close ally. This is especially true in light of the fact that Clinton has hardly been forthright in condemning human rights violations or anti-Semitic outbursts in Muslim countries or by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. As these groups emerge as the new dominant forces in these countries, her silence in this matter is deafening.

Even more disconcerting were Clinton’s remarks concerning a marginal number of misguided Israeli soldiers who sought to boycott events in which female singers participated. This issue, and the clumsy manner in which it was handled by the IDF, has admittedly distressed many Israelis. But what business is it of the secretary of state, again – especially when she cannot bring herself to address women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries? Furthermore, her comparison of this episode with the segregation of African-Americans in the 1950s does not merely reflect her ignorance. That, and her comment that this Israeli behavior reminded her of the way Iranians treated women, is downright offensive.

Finally, Washington’s ambassador to Belgium, a former major Jewish fundraiser for Obama named Howard Gutman, told European Jewish leaders and lawyers that “a distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” The innuendo was that Muslim anti-Semitism is a by-product of Israeli intransigence in the Middle East, and therefore, can be understood and implicitly justified. It is of note that these sickening remarks were made by the US ambassador to one of the most anti-Israeli countries in Europe, Belgium.

THESE OUTBURSTS signal that despite favorable public opinion and congressional support, Israel continues to face hostility and difficulties from the US administration. Senior officials like secretaries Panetta and Clinton do not make comments like these without the backing of the president.

The timing of these provocative outbursts – concurrent with the radical Islamist tide sweeping across North Africa – makes them especially reprehensible. Egypt’s election victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi groups mean Israel’s worst fears have been realized – the country is now surrounded by a ring of fanatic, hostile Islamic states. The Muslim Brotherhood, creator of Hamas, is an outright jihadist organization whose charter unequivocally calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews.

In this context, it is exasperating and sickening to be subjected to delusional spins by Western politicians and liberal media suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood has turned a new page, is now tolerant and, to quote some US administration officials, is even in the process of becoming “secular.”

In addition, the only issue over which Sunnis and Shi’ites have been able to overcome their passionate differences is their frenzied hatred of Israel. From Sunni Arab Egypt to Shi’ite Persian Iran, the anti-Semitic propaganda that is published in the state-run media of every country in the Islamic Middle East is indistinguishable from the vilest Nazi propaganda. But again, this is an issue that is off the radar for the Obama administration.

IT BEHOOVES the president, and other Western leaders, to take note of the fact that in the Islamic grand order, Israel and the Jews are merely the “canary in the mine” and represent a minor component of their global ambitions. An Islamic victory over Israel and murder of all its Jewish citizens would not ease tensions. Rather to the contrary: it would embolden Islamists towards their goal of conquering Europe and ultimately the world.

Israel can do little to influence the course of events in the Arab countries and its leaders have wisely stood aside, but the time has surely come for the Obama administration to recognize that its policies of appeasement have led to disastrous consequences. Instead of trying to mollify Islamists by distancing themselves and making one-sided criticisms against Israel, they should gird themselves for a long-term struggle against fanatical Islamists who have been conditioned into believing that they can best achieve their global objectives through intransigence and intensification of violence.

American Jews can make an important contribution in this area. Yet alas, most of their leaders fail to condemn these reprehensible remarks directed against Israel by leading Obama Administration officials. While as expected, the Zionist Organization of America and the Jewish Republicans protested, the response from other Jewish organizations was extraordinarily muted.

Abe Foxman of the ADL condemned Panetta’s remarks as did David Harris of the AJC in a far more understated manner. The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the US Belgian Ambassador.

Yet, until now, the Jewish establishment responded to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s offensive remarks with deafening silence.

The traditionally robust responses by American Jewish leaders to such hostile remarks by public officials were sadly lacking.

One is even tempted to suspect that they have collectively decided not to rock the boat and to eliminate any contentious references to Israeli-associated issues from political discourse related to the forthcoming elections. How else can one explain the paucity of meaningful response to such provocations? Which leads us to ask, will Jews at the grassroots level remain satisfied that their principal spokesmen remain silent on these issues?

Our Representatives Are Stupid

Yesterday I wrote (Dems have it backwards!) that there were many legislators who do not read the bills they are passing. Today CNS reports that both McCain and Lindsey Graham did not know that the recently passed Defense Appropriations bill lifts language that bans beastiality and sodomy from the military Code of Conduct. CNS has two stories and the links are listed at the end of my rant.

Neither of these elder statesman of the Republican Party knew that the repeal was in the bill. Huh?  Didn't they read it?  I guess the answer is a resounding NO! Instead of being in a rush to deliver the bill, there should be time set aside to read and consider it, wouldn't ya think? Isn't the Senate supposed to be the deliberative house? Wrong again!

I serve on a couple boards of local organizations and I would not consider voting for or against an issue without understanding the rationale, the potential effects (both pro and con) and the necessity of the proposal. We are not dealing with big issues and I take the time, why are our representatives not doing the same when their votes effect every American?  It is beyond belief that we have dunces voting on issues about which they know nothing.

No wonder we are in such a big mess, our representatives are too busy raising money, getting graft, going on  supporter paid "junkets", sexually harassing their staff (they cannot be punished), and getting inside information (and acting on it--they cannot be punished ) to do the business we sent them there to do. That being the nation's business, not feathering their own nests. It is time to clean out the rats nest. Throw out the bums!

Below are the links, I hope you are as upset as I.
Conservative Tom

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dems Have It Completely Backwards!

Steny Hoyer (Democratic Minority Leader) bragged on Tuesday that Democrats are better than Republicans because they passed twice as many laws. Huh? Does passing bad law better than no law?  I did not know that legislating was a race to see who could pass the most laws.  I guess I am really out of it!

Sorry, Representative Hoyer, the best laws are those that encourage us to take care of 

ourselves and families, not those that let the government do it!

The really sad part of this is that those in government think that by passing laws, our lives are improved when in actuality, they are not. In fact, our lives as Americans decline every time another regulation, law,ordinance, stipulation is put into action.  For example, we cannot have a 5 gallon toilet but must put up with the new 2 gallon ones that require multiple flushes. In January you will no longer be able to purchase incandescent bulbs but must purchase the new mercury filled, environment damaging compact fluorescent ones.  Government knows better than you. You are too stupid to make these choices so big daddy must tell his dumb kids what to do!

On top of that, most law makers don't even know what is contained in the bill before they vote on it.  Remember Former Speaker Pilosi saying, "we must pass the bill, so that we can find out what is in it" when talking about ObamaCare.  Shouldn't those who are pushing the bill onto us, have knowledge of the intent, the outcomes and the language of the bill  before casting their yea or nay? One would think so, but that is not the case.

One of the Michigan delegation, John Conyers Jr.  of Detroit, when asked about the Obama Care bill said he was too busy to read it. Isn't that their job? If you don't know what is in the bill how can you vote for or against it?  Isn't it your responsibility as our representative is to know what the laws you are passing means to your constituents? Oh yes, they are in a race to see how many bills they can pass in one session.  That really makes a lot of sense. Pass anything and everything and who cares what the results are.  It's kinda like the captain who says "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."

One last point.  In civics class in 8th grade we learned  that "ignorance of the law is no excuse."  I am sure you have heard that before.  Unfortunately, in today's world that cannot  any longer be true. If the legislators who pass the law don't know what is in it, how can a lowly citizen? I am sure that each and everyone of us break laws each and every day. Most of us do it inadvertently (a few on purpose) but how can you know when you do. The laws, ordinances and regulations passed by the many branches of government (Federal, State, Local) as well as regulatory agencies are so overwhelming that anyone who tried to keep up with them would never catch up, nor fully understand them.

Once again, government has become too large and passing of more laws does nothing but to reduce our freedoms and to generate fees for lawyers when we make a mistake and inadvertently break a law. We need to simplify our lives and government officials like 
Representative Hoyer only make it more complex.

What is your opinion?

Conservative Tom


Hoyer: Dems Better than GOP Because Dems Made Twice as Many Laws

Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer after health care vote
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laughs as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland speaks during a press conference after the House passed health care reform in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, March 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
( - House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that Congress has been less productive in 2011 under the GOP-controlled House than under the Democrat super majority in 2007, because in their first year in power his colleagues were able to pass more than twice as many bills as Republicans have.
He claimed that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bears the responsibility of Congress being unproductive in 2011.
“When we took over [in 2007] we were a lot more productive, and we got more bills by a factor of two being signed by a Republican president,” Hoyer said during his weekly pen and pad press briefing.
Hoyer compared Congress’ legislative accomplishments in 2007 when Democrats took it over from Republicans to those in 2011 when Republicans took over the House from the Democrats.
“In 2007 George Bush is president of the United States, so it’s not like we were dealing with a Democratic president who simply had signed all our bills – 131 signed into law [in 2007] as opposed to 62 [in 2011] – 50 percent as productive,” said Hoyer.
He then pointed out that in 2011 28 “major bills”, which he said include the continuing resolutions and the three trade bills, were signed into law as oppose to 60 in 2007.
“Again by a factor of 100 percent more or they did 50 percent of what we did,” added Hoyer.
He then said that 165 bills were passed through the GOP-controlled House in 2011 compared to 478 bills when Democrats took over the House in 2007.
Hoyer acknowledged that a lot of the bills that passed the House in 2007 “were these congratulatory resolutions, which we’re not doing now, and as you see we have saved extraordinary amounts of time to do very substantive work.
Regarding House roll call votes, the majority leader then said, “888 votes in 2011, 1,122 votes in 2007,” later adding, “committee mark ups, 336 mark ups in 2011, almost 600, 598 mark ups in 2007.”
Hoyer added that House Republicans conducted “less hearings in 2011 than we did in 2007. Not by a great factor – by about 100 – 1,447 to 1,550.”
Hoyer went on to criticize the Republican-controlled House for voting on “political message bills for their base, a relatively narrow base.” Those bills, he said, included legislation to repeal the new health care law and “put insurance companies back in control of health care. They know that’s not going to pass the Senate. They know the president is not going to sign.”
“On the real important pieces of legislation that they knew must pass” such as the continuing resolutions and bills to increase the debt limit, Republicans “could not garner a majority of their party for it. As you know we were not able in 2007 to garner majority votes for the propositions that we thought were important. They would not have passed because the Republicans weren’t voting for it,” Hoyer said.
When asked if the speaker bears “a lot of a lot of the responsibility for the fact that Congress had an exceptional unproductive year,” Hoyer said, “Yes.”
“I certainly think the answer to that question is the Speaker is … you know he is the top legislator in the Congress, elected by all the House, who has the responsibility to move legislation,” responded Hoyer. “Certainly from that criteria, Speaker Pelosi was a very productive, effective speaker.
“We moved a lot of legislation through the House [in 2011], which the speaker must have known, we knew, had no chance in the Senate, but it was their political message they’ve been pursuing their political message, not policy. To that extent, yes I think the speaker bears responsibility. He is after all the leader,” he added.
In an Oct. 27 letter to his colleagues, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the reforms that Republicans brought to the House in 2011 “have helped fulfill the Speaker’s commitment to a more deliberative legislative process.”
“For example,” added Cantor, “the House has taken 800 roll call votes through October 14 of this year. By the same time last year, the House had taken just 565 votes.”
“Oversight, investigation, fact-finding, and problem solving is a job best suited for our committees and because of our emphasis, committees have enjoyed a boom of activity, holding 1,276 hearings and 194 markups to date,” the majority leader added later.

Definition of Out of Touch--Obama

With his speech yesterday in Kansas, Obama has proven that he does not understand American greatness, the American experience or American history. Anyone who listens to this speech and understands what has made this country great knows that Obama MUST be a one term President.  

When he says that a small government has never worked, what the bloody heck does he mean?  Until the 1920's this government was tiny as it had to rely upon tariffs and other fees to fund it. Yet in the same time the country became a world power.               

When the income tax was passed, that all changed. Now the government could continually increase the rates, reduce deductions, and give special favors to
their friends and spend to their hearts desire.  We went from a lending nation to now the largest debtor nation in the world!  

This country was built on the backs of strong minded, independent individuals who saw an opportunity and exploited it to create the freest, most productive nation the world has ever seen.  Some of these individuals came over on the Mayflower and some continue to come here to seek opportunity and make their fortune based on their own productivity, creativity and sweat.

To say that this country has not worked is an insult to all immigrants who have
made this country great.  It was not the government that made the country, it was people, salt of the earth hardy stock who busted their tails to make their children's life better than theirs was.

Government is an impediment to progress. It creates nothing and only devours assets. President Obama has it entirely backwards and we should allow him to back right out of White House.  He is an embarrassment and owes all of our ancestors an apology. 

If this man gets re-elected, it will be the end of the American dream. It will be crushed under the weight of an over-bloated, intrusive, freedom crushing government.  No longer will it be the land of opportunity, it will be just like the other Socialistic European countries that we are bailing out with our dollars. The problem is that there will be NO ONE to bail us out.

Wherever you stand on politics, this speech crossed the line into dogma completely foreign to the American experience.  We cannot afford another four years of his lack of leadership.

Conservative Tom

Obama: Limited Gov't That Preserves Free Markets 'Doesn't Work. It Has Never Worked'

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaking at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomia, Kan., on Dec. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
( - In a speech delivered at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas, on Tuesday, President Barack Obama argued that while a limited government that preserves free markets "speaks to our rugged individualism" as Americans, such a system "doesn't work" and "has never worked" and that Americans must look to a more activist government that taxes more, spends more and regulates more if they want to preserve the middle class.
"'[T]here is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. 'The market will take care of everything,' they tell us," said Obama. "If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes--especially for the wealthy--our economy will grow stronger.
"Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers," Obama continued. "But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
"Now, it’s a simple theory," said Obama. "And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.
"It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression," said Obama. "It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.
Embed »
"Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history," said Obama. "And what did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class==things like education and infrastructure, science and technology, Medicare and Social Security.
"Remember that in those same years, thanks to some of the same folks who are now running Congress, we had weak regulation, we had little oversight, and what did it get us?" said Obama. "Insurance companies that jacked up people’s premiums with impunity and denied care to patients who were sick, mortgage lenders that tricked families into buying homes they couldn’t afford, a financial sector where irresponsibility and lack of basic oversight nearly destroyed our entire economy.
"We simply cannot return to this brand of 'you’re on your own' economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country," said Obama.
To read the full speech as transcribed by the White House click here.