Obama’s University Thesis

31 08 2009

Ok, this one, like so many others, piss me off to no end! Here is a guy that wrote his thesis never once thinking it would someday become a political hot-potato. At least we can read his thesis, and people can get a look into what makes the guy tick.  

THE SAME CANNOT BE SAID ABOUT OBAMA! HIS THESIS IS JUST ONE OF THE THINGS HE KEEPS A SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Any Democrat that uses McDonell’s thesis against him is only proving what we Conservatives have known for years, that Democrats are hypocrites and liars!

Gio-

Governor’s Race Erupts Over McDonnell’s Past Views

The Virginia governor’s race ignited Monday over Republican Robert F. McDonnell’s 20-year-old graduate thesis: Democrats assailed him in e-mail blasts and interviews for what he wrote about working women, homosexuals and “fornicators,” and McDonnell tried to explain his views to crucial moderate and female voters.

Entire article here.





Obama And His Court Jester

31 08 2009

burnbaby_editedWhat do you do when the presidents poll numbers continue to go South? And what do you do when the presidents huge gamble on Obamacare reform is fast becoming an embarrassment? And finally, what do you do when the previous Vice President calls out Obama for persuing actions against CIA agents that were trying to protect us from the enemy?

You tell your National Security advisor to come up with something that has the illusion of making the president look good. This article is a complete farce!

Gio-

Obama more successful on terrorism -security adviser

WASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters) – The United States is having more success fighting terrorism under President Barack Obama partly because of his “radically different” approach to foreign policy, National security adviser Jim Jones said on Monday.

In an interview with ABC News, Jones said Obama’s efforts to reach out to world leaders and improve relations with law enforcement agencies had made it easier to track and kill terrorists than during the Bush administration.

“We have better human intelligence. We know where the terrorists are moving,” Jones told ABC.

“Because of the dialogue and the tone of the dialogue between us and our friends and allies … the trend line against terrorism is positive,” he added.

Jones spoke a day after former Vice President Dick Cheney said he has serious doubts about the extent to which Obama understood and is prepared to do what is needed to defend the United States from attack.

Complete article here.





Compensation Question For Obama

31 08 2009

Even I understand in a recession that pay raises will have to be cut, so I only want one answer out of Obama… With the 2% raise he approves of in this article for Federal employees, do the employees also get the 2.4% COLA on top of the raise?

147511516_946dd15975Here’s why I’m asking… There are going to be millions of Senior Citizens that won’t be getting a COLA in their SS Checks for the next two years. If they find out that the employees get a raise and a COLA, they may storm the White House in their wheelchairs and walkers.

Gio-

Obama Curbs Federal Pay Increases

By JONATHAN WEISMAN

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama blocked large pay raises slated for tens of thousands of federal employees Monday, overriding statutory formulas to hold pay increases to 2% in 2010.

Invoking the “national emergency” declared after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the president said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that under pay formulas set in 1990, federal employees with pay levels set according to comparable local wages are set for average pay increases of 18.9%.

White House officials say the declaration was routine. Ever since Congress passed the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act in 1990, presidents have been invoking the emergency clause to hold down pay increases due under the formula that mandates wages comparable to local pay levels.

That has created a yawning gulf. If Mr. Obama did nothing, the comparability formula would dictate a 16.5% pay increase, on top of the 2.4% cost of living increase.

That would be a $22.6 billion hit to the ailing federal budget in 2010. Cost of living adjustments alone were to boost pay by 2.4% for most federal employees.

Citing his right in an emergency to use an alternative formula, the president said he will keep the pay increases to 2%, the level he called for in his budget earlier this year.

“With unemployment at 9.5 percent in June to cite just one economic indicator, few would disagree that our country is facing serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” Mr. Obama wrote. “The growth in Federal requirements is straining the Federal budget. Full statutory civilian pay increases costing $22.6 billion in 2010 alone would put even more stress on our budget.”

Instead, the 2% pay raise will cost taxpayers $2.7 billion next year.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, expressed disappointment with the decision, noting the military is slated for wage increases of either 2.9% or 3.4%. Congress is still finalizing the 2010 budget.

“NTEU recognizes that it has been a very difficult year for the economy,” she said. “However pay parity is an important and accepted principle and reflects the reality that civilian and military workers both contribute strongly to our country and deserve the same percentage pay increase.”

Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com





Obama’s Unions

31 08 2009

0-89940-119-8Who rides roughshod over the Labor Unions in the USA?

If you guessed the Democrats and the Obama administration, you win! Check out this next piece about the Attorney General of Nevada, a pawn for Senator Harry Reid, and marching orders to the Union to ‘stand-down and retreat’.

Gio-

AG to AFL-CIO: Back off so stimulus money can get where it’s going

By Jon Ralston · August 27, 2009 · 5:15 PM

Related files

A couple of days after the AFL-CIO, apparently shilling for Democratic legislators, tried to stop energy stimulus money from being spent by the Gibbons administration, the attorney general’s office has sent the umbrella union group a stinging letter. The missive essentially says the AFL misinterpreted a health insurance provision and should not delay the program. The AFL-CIO announced today it is backing off.

And once again it appears as if the Democrats and their allies tried to delay stimulus money from being spent. The AG letter is at right.





Illegals Get Obamacare!

31 08 2009

Congressional Research Agency Confirms Illegal Aliens Will Get Health Benefits Under House Bill

H/T to stalwart patriot and member of Giovanni’s World, Steve.

 borderjumpLast Tuesday, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which is the non-partisan “research arm” of the United States Congress, issued a report that concludes that illegal aliens will be able to receive benefits under the House health care bill (H.R. 3200) through two major loopholes. (See CRS Report and FAIR Press Release, August 26, 2009).

According to its own website, CRS is a legislative branch agency that provides Congress with “policy and legal analysis” that is authoritative, objective and accurate. (CRS website). The latest CRS report validates what FAIR has been saying for the past month and a half — that illegal aliens will be able to receive taxpayer-funded health benefits under the House health care bill. (See FAIR’s Legislative Updates, July 20, 2009; July 27, 2009 and August 3, 2009).

The House bill creates an “exchange” and “all individuals,” which would include illegal aliens, are eligible to participate in the exchange. Anyone who participates in the exchange, and does not otherwise have health insurance, can either enroll in the public option plan created by the House bill or enroll in a private insurance plan. Accordingly, the first loophole that provides illegal aliens with health insurance is the ability for illegal aliens to freely enroll in the taxpayer-subsidized public option. According to CRS, “H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens — whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently — from participating in the Exchange.” (CRS Report). Accordingly, illegal aliens can enroll in the public option, courtesy of the American taxpayers, to meet their health insurance needs. (See CNN.com, August 2009).

The second major loophole is the failure to require any meaningful verification procedure for taxpayer-subsidized insurance credits. Under the House bill, individuals who buy private insurance through the Exchange may receive an affordability credit to offset the cost of insurance. This credit is ostensibly limited to individuals lawfully present in the U.S., but CRS (like FAIR) notes the complete absence of any provision in the House bill that requires verification of eligibility for the affordability credits. Without such a mechanism, there is nothing in the bill that will prevent illegal aliens from receiving this taxpayer subsidy to buy private health insurance.

These conclusions by CRS should eliminate any remaining doubt about whether illegal aliens will receive health benefits under the bill. As a result of this report, President Obama can no longer characterize the concerns about the illegal alien health care loophole under the bill as “misinformation.” (See FAIR’s Legislative Update, August 24, 2009 and FAIR’s Health Care Podcast, August 24, 2009). In addition, Members of Congress can no longer claim the bill prevents coverage for illegal aliens, and the media can no longer suggest this concern is a “myth.” (See FAIR’s House bill summary and Townhall.com, August 27, 2009).

Copied directly from the…

The Federation for American Immigration Reform or FAIR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tax the Rich!

31 08 2009

goodbye

People vote with their feet.

This is what results when taxes on the rich are increased beyond what they are already paying.

Currently, Americans making $171,550 to $372,950 are at the 33% federal income tax bracket. Those making $372,950 and above are at the 35% bracket. [For source, go HERE.]

The wealthiest Americans — the top 1 percent — pay 35% of all taxes in America. The not rich — half of all Americans — pay only 4% of the taxes. By some estimates, a full 43% of all Americans pay no federal taxes at all because of the many exemptions, deductions and refundable credits (read: free money) of the revenue code.

But the super-rich are not stupid. They also have the means to be very mobile. As illegals migrate to America to escape poverty in their home countries, super-wealthy Americans are leaving.

~Eowyn

…………..

More US wealthy opt to surrender their citizenship

David Bain – August 17, 2009 – http://www.wealth-bulletin.com/rich-life/rich-monitor/content/1054959505/_

As offshore havens comply with transparency demands, a growing number of ultra-wealthy Americans are handing back their passports

Private client lawyers and relocation specialists are reporting a surge in wealthy Americans living abroad who are prepared to give up their citizenship to avoid the scrutiny of US tax authorities.

Although such a move means they have to pay an exit tax, lawyers say this is a price people have become more willing to pay this year, now the fall in asset values has reduced the size of the imposition.

Jay Krause, a partner at private-client specialist law firm Withers, said: “The number of inquiries from US citizens wanting to expatriate from their citizenship has increased rapidly in the last year.”

The level of interest is set to increase following the tax disclosure deal between the US Government and UBS of Switzerland, involving the names of 5,000 alleged US tax evaders being handed over to the authorities. The UK concluded a tax deal with Liechtenstein last week.

Because of this, many ultra-wealthy individuals who have chosen to become stateless now cruise outside coastal waters in their mega-yachts in the belief that if they stay on the move, tax authorities will not be able to catch up with them. One analyst who did not want to be named, has estimated the number of stateless tax evaders amounted to a few thousand.

This implies the quantity of money outside the grasp of global tax authorities could be trillions of dollars.

Under US tax laws, the worldwide income of any US citizen or resident is subject to tax. The US is the only country in the world that requires its citizens to stump up, no matter where they live.

Krause said current economic conditions are making it more conducive for Americans to contemplate paying exit tax demands from the US Internal Revenue Service. “The mark-to-market provision in the Exit Tax from the IRS is a big incentive,” he said.

In the final months of the Bush administration, the US Government introduced a package of tax reforms that included an amendment to the exit tax on US citizens and long-term green card holders who expatriate the US.

The tax allows US citizens and permanent residents wanting to renounce citizenship or permanent residency to pay a one-off income tax on gains over $600,000 (€420,000). All assets beyond this amount are valued at mark-to-market.

The exit tax allows a clean break from the US tax system from the date of expatriation without imposing the previous 10-year period after expatriation where tax rules used to apply – another big incentive, say lawyers.

One of the other benefits of the amended exit tax is that a former US citizen who has expatriated will be able to travel to the US without his income becoming taxable. Under the previous exit tax this was not possible.

Krause said many people looking to give up US citizenship are accidental Americans. These are either those born in America when their non-citizen parents might have been living there for a short period, or the offspring of an American parent living abroad. Both categories qualify automatically for US citizenship.They may not take up a US passport, but they will still be subject to US taxes unless they expatriate. “More and more accidental Americans are looking at the fall in asset prices in the last year and taking up the option to expatriate,” said Krause.

Official figures on US expatriate cases reported by the IRS every quarter show about 90 people giving up their citizenship in the first half of 2009.

But one prominent lawyer, who did not want to be named, said: “There has been for some time a view that the IRS has been under-reporting these numbers.”

The IRS denies this. Some argue the figures are more or less meaningless. John Gaver, who edits right-leaning website Action America, said in an article published on the site: “What these lists fail to show is the vast and increasing numbers of wealthy US citizens who are just ‘dropping out’ – taking all of their wealth and leaving the US without renouncing. They just disappear off the US tax rolls and appear on some other country’s tax rolls.”

Anecdotal evidence also suggests there has been a surge of inquires from Americans looking at taking up citizenship of another country.

Christian Kälin, a partner at residence and citizenship planning consultancy Henley Partners, said his firm has had a big rise in such inquiries.

He said: “Tax reasons might be the biggest reason why US citizens will want to drop their passports, but security issues will also influence their decisions.

“For example, we saw a huge surge in inquires from US citizens contemplating acquiring an alternative passport after the Mumbai killings.”

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November targeted Americans among other foreigners.

Kälin said citizenships of the Caribbean Islands and western European countries prove to be the most popular for ex-American passport holders.

He said: “St Kitts and Nevis is the favourite alternative citizenship option for US citizens. Many will also be looking at Austrian citizenship, but it costs the most.”

St Kitts and Nevis is favoured for its perceived security, while Austria is one of the few European countries where it is possible to purchase citizenship.

Typically, it will cost $400,000 to secure a St Kitts and Nevis passport, whereas Austrian citizenship might run into several million euros.





Negative Bank Deposit Interest Rates

31 08 2009

oppression

This is ominous.

~Eowyn

……………..

Bankers watch as Sweden goes negative

By Andrew Ward and David Oakley – August 27 2009 – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5d3f0692-9334-11de-b146-00144feabdc0.html?&nclick_check=1

For a world first, the announcement came with remarkably little fanfare.

But last month, the Swedish Riksbank entered uncharted territory when it became the world’s first central bank to introduce negative interest rates on bank deposits.

Even at the deepest point of Japan’s financial crisis, the country’s central bank shied away from such a measure, which is designed to encourage commercial banks to boost lending.

But, as they contemplate their exit strategies after the extraordinary measures of the past two years, central bankers will be monitoring the Swedish experiment closely.

Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, has hinted he may follow the Swedish example as the danger of a so-called liquidity trap, where cash remains stuck in the banking system and does not filter out to the wider economy, is an increasing concern for the UK.

Hoarding is exactly what happened in Japan earlier this decade when the Bank of Japan implemented quantitative easing between 2001 and 2006.

Japanese banks refused to lend, in spite of central bank stimulus, because of fears over the dire state of the economy.

If this continues to happen in other economies, central bankers may be left with little choice but to follow the Swedish example. John Wraith, head of sterling rates product development at RBC Capital Markets, says: “The success of the UK’s quantitative easing experiment hinges a lot on whether the banks will use the extra money they are getting for lending to individuals and businesses.

“If there is no sign of this over the next few months, then the Bank of England might consider a negative interest rate. In essence, it is a fine on banks that refuse to lend.”

In the UK, for example, nearly £140bn has been injected into the economy through central bank purchases of government bonds and corporate assets, mainly from the commercial banks.

However, since the QE project was launched on March 5, a lot of this money, which in theory should be used by the commercial banks for lending to businesses and individuals, has ended up at the Bank of England in reserves.

Commercial bank deposits have risen from £31bn in early March to £152bn at the end of July – the latest figure.

This in itself is not a problem as the banks could be using this big increase in their reserves to step up their lending to the private sector. The more the banks have in reserves, the more they are allowed to lend.

However, there is no sign yet that they are using their much bigger reserves to lend on. The latest money supply figures for lending are still fairly anaemic.

It is why Mr King did not rule the possibility of negative interest rates when asked about the Riksbank model this month following the unveiling of the quarterly inflation report. “It’s an idea we will certainly be looking at, whether the effectiveness of our asset purchases could be increased by reducing the rate at which we remunerate reserves,” he said. His comments are one reason why yields on short-dated UK government bonds have fallen to record lows and why sterling has been under pressure in the currency markets.

Initially, Mr King gave QE six months before it would start taking effect. That time limit is up next week. If there are no signs in the money supply numbers, particularly in the key M4 lending excluding financial institutions, then the policy may start to look a distinct possibility.

In Europe, the European Central Bank is considered less likely to introduce negative interest rates.

This is because it has maintained higher official rates than other banks and used money market operations to act as a stimulant instead. For example, it offered commercial banks unlimited funds for one year at the end of June.

But it does have the same problem as the Bank of England in assessing the success of its policy. Like the UK, commercial bank deposits at the ECB have shot up in the past few months.

At this stage, the US also seems unlikely to introduce the policy as there has been little debate on the matter and no hints from policymakers about it being an option.

At the Riksbank, which now has a deposit rate of minus 0.25 per cent, the most vocal advocate of the policy is deputy governor Lars Svensson, a world-renowned expert on monetary policy theory and a close associate of Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, since they worked together at Princeton University.

According to the minutes of the Riksbank’s July meeting, Mr Svensson dismissed the “zero interest rate mystique” that had “exaggerated the problems” associated with zero or sub-zero rates.

“There is nothing strange about negative interest rates,” he said.

Henrik Mitelman, chief fixed income strategist at SEB, the Swedish bank, said that the negative deposit rate, combined with a cut in the repo rate to an historic low of 0.25 per cent, sent a powerful signal to the market that the Riksbank intended to keep rates close to zero until economic recovery was well under way. “What the Riksbank did was very brave. They decided to see if markets could cope with it and the markets have.”

Carl Milton, fixed income analyst at Danske Bank in Stockholm, cautions that the Riksbank decision was not as pioneering as some have portrayed. The Bank routinely keeps its deposit rate 50 basis points lower than the repo rate to regulate liquidity in the market, he says. When the repo rate was cut to 0.25 per cent, the deposit rate was automatically forced into negative territory. “It was not something put in place to punish banks or to force them to lend,” he says.

Moreover, Swedish banks make relatively little use of the central bank deposit facility, limiting the impact of negative rates.

But by breaking the taboo surrounding sub-zero rates, the Riksbank may have set an important precedent that others could use to greater effect. Don Smith, economist at Icap, says: “Sweden’s policy is certainly very interesting. We will have to wait and see what happens there. This is certainly a very unusual policy, but these are very unusual times.”