Posts Tagged ‘bush’

Step One in Screwing the Taxpayers

February 26, 2009

When President Bush was pushing for his massive bank bailout plan, the concept was for the government to take a stake in the failing banks and eventually make money for taxpayers.  I was not in favor of the bailout  because I knew that in the end, the taxpayers would get nothing.

The new scheme for Citi to get more government funding is step one in this process of screwing over the taxpayers.

When the government gave Citi $45 billion of taxpayer dollars in the TARP package, it got warrants for preferred shares.  These could be converted to common stock, which could then be sold by the government, hopefully at a profit.

Now, Citi is in need of more money, and their plan is to have the government to convert their preferred shares of common stock, at or close to the current share price of $2.50.  This will give Citi about $45 billion in cash and the government would become the shareholder of 40% of the company.

When the TARP was enacted, Citi’s share price was just below $20, so in order for the taxpayers to make money, we would have to convert the shares above that price.  By converting them at $2.50, we are taking a 88% loss! 

Serving the best interest of Citi is NOT the protection taxpayers were supposed to receive in the TARP program!

Also, the bigger side effect of the government becoming a 40% shareholder in Citi is that we will not be able to let it fail or nationalize it.  If either of those occur, shareholders (taxpayers) are wiped out.  We will have to keep pumping more money into the failed bank, keeping it on life support.

The bank bailout was a horrible program and idea from the start.  We were sold the fact that the taxpayers would be protected by taking a stake in the failing banks, and then selling the stake for a profit down the road.  This new plan by Citi is a direct contradiction of these protections, and is the first step of screwing over the taxpayers.  This turns the plan into a huge transfer of wealth and a direct giveaway to banks.  We will never see a penny of returns on the $700 billion we “invested” in the failing banking industry.

More Obama “Change”

February 4, 2009

Today, President Obama warned of a “catastrophe” that would happen if Congress did not pass his $900 billion stimulus package.

Isn’t this just more of the same fear-mongering that has been going on in Washington for the last eight years?  Weren’t we scared with all the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein supposedly had?  Weren’t we just scared into passing the first TARP bill because we were about to fall into an abyss? 

Now we’re supposed to sit back and not fight a wasteful trillion dollar package because of an impending “catastrophe?”

Aren’t we already into the “abyss” and in a “catastrophe?”  We’re in the deepest recession in 20 years, the stock market lost 30% of it’s value, failing banks are being propped up, and every day there are thousands of layoffs.  Attention to Obama – we’re already there, bud.

Spending and debt is what got us here in the first place.  It’s not going to get us out.  We need real change and real plans, not just huge dollar amounts and catchy names for the next bailout.  We need to cut spending and restore order to our economy, not make it worse by running around like a chciken with it’s head cut off, without a plan throwing trillions of dollars around.

So far, Obama’s “change” is looking like a continuation of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration.

Source:  AP

Obama is a Quick Learner

January 8, 2009

Taking a cue from the outgoing Bush Administration, Barack Obama today decided that scare tactics and fear mongering were needed to get his stimulus package to pass through Congress.

Here’s what he said today at a press conference (the whole article is here):

“I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible,” Mr. Obama said. “If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits.”

This ranks right up there with Hank Paulson’s “abyss” speech.

Looks like Obama’s “change” is just more of the same.  He can give a great speech, but when it comes down to it, he’s just your normal politician.

23 Percent? That’s it?

December 22, 2008

Today, a CNN poll came out that 23 percent of Americans think Dick Cheney is the worst Vice President ever.

In the same poll, 76 percent didn’t know who Dick Cheney was, and the other 1% thought he was doing a good job!

In reality though, over 30% thought Cheney had done a good job.  To me, that is a great example of how uninformed the American people are.  Just because you’re a Republican doesn’t mean you have to say he did alright.

Bush might go down as the worst President ever, but to me, he was at least genuine in his efforts to guide this country.  Cheney seemed to be a behind the scenes power monger who only wanted to serve himself and his interests.

I don’t think Obama/Biden are going to do any better for this country either.  We’re just going to shift our war to Afghanistan and we’re going to spend until we have some sort of upswing in the economy and Obama will look like the hero.  Until we get someone in office who believes in the Constitution, sound monetary policy, and a non-interventionist foreign policy (ie, Ron Paul), we’re just going to have more “worst vice presidents ever.”

Thank God Cheney Can’t F-ck Us Anymore

December 21, 2008

Today, Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush Administrations actions of basically wiping their ass with the Constitution of this once great country.

The Face of Evil

The Face of Evil

He defended the domestic wiretapping, uses of exectutive power, and torture of terrorism suspects, saying he would do it all over again.  Also, Cheney said that the President has no checks and balances in the War on Terror and could launch a nuclear strike without Congress or the Courts to defend our country.

Really? Nuclear War?  What planet is this guy from?  Civil liberty?  Right to privacy?  Not in Cheney’s book.  He doesn’t care about anything except making the President the new King of the US.  While the neo-conservatives lost this election to Obama, they will be back and they will further advance their agenda of making the Executive Branch the sole source of power in the US.  I can’t believe Cheney has the gall to go on TV and spew this garbage!

Can we use this interview as an admission of guilt and throw this clown in prison for the rest of his life for treason?  As citizens, it is our job to hold our leaders accountable and follow the Constitution, which is the only document that grants power to certain branches of government.  Instead, we have let the Executive Branch grab more and more power.

Look at all the programs the Bush Administration has enacted – domestic wiretapping, recording out internet use, searching and seizing your property without a warrant, the Patriot Act, the right to go to war without Congress, setting up hidden prisons around the world, jailing US citizens without the right to trial, the new financial czar, the office of economic stability, and now the auto czar.  Not only have we stripped rights away from individual citizens, we are now nationalizing our financial system and our auto industry.  The government is really becoming “Big Brother.”

While the powers Bush grabbed seem to be used for fighting terror, how do we know Obama or the next President will not take this power further?  What if the next president decides that anyone who protests the government is supporting terrorists?  He could jail these protesters without the right of habeus corpus because of the powers he has taken. Or, he could search my home right now for writing this blog.  The powers granted to him allow the Executive branch to do this without a warrant.

Sure, he may never use these powers en masse against his own people, but who really knows?  Just the fact that this is possible should be enough to energize the public.  Instead, we are too busy fighting over gay marriage and other issues that do not directly effect our lives.  If we put the same passion behind restoring the government of this country to the vision of our founding fathers as we do in debating gay marriage, we would have a revolution starting tomorrow morning.

I know government will only get bigger under Obama, but hopefully he will have the common sense enough to restore some of the checks and balances on his power that Cheney and Bush have granted themselves.  I’m so glad that Cheney will be gone in a month and won’t have the chance to screw up our country any longer.  Hopefully, he’ll just go sit on the board of some company and f-ck over some shareholders, and not every single citizen of the United States.

Religion and Government Meet at the Hospital

December 18, 2008

Today, President Bush passed the “Conscience Rule” which protects doctors and nurses from performing medical procedures that are against their religious beliefs.  The main procedure that is involved in this discussion is abortion.  The new rule enacted by Bush allows hospitals to still receive Federal funding if they choose to not perform procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs.

First and foremost, I do not believe that the Federal Government should be funding these hospitals at all.  Only hospitals that are run by the Federal Government, like the VA Hospitals, should get Washington money.  There is no point in my tax dollars going to support some private hospital in New York.  Local and regional hospitals should get their funding from local and state sources.  This will never happen though, until the Fed funds get cut off.

I also have no problem with doctors recommending or denying treatments based on their beliefs.  However, if it is in the emergency room or in a life or death situation, the doctor should put their beliefs aside and put saving the life first.

The decisions on treatments though, including abortions, life support or euthinasia, should be between the doctor and the patient and maybe the patient’s family.  If you have the same beliefs as your doctor, it should be an easy decision.  If you conflict with your doctor, you should find a new one.  The government should not get involved at all.  Why should politicians in Washington dictate the kind of care you get?

This can be hard though, because of our broken, HMO based healthcare system.  It is not easy to just find a new doctor.  Most of the time, you’re just assigned a name and number of a doctor’s office and off you go.  The doctor patient relationship is not about building a personal relationship anymore, instead it is a business partnership.

While treatment or denying treatment based on religious beliefs is a very touchy issue, we should realize that government has no say in the issue.  This is between the patient and doctor, not bureaucrats and politicians.  The sooner we get the Federal Government out of these decisions, the better for all involved.  Patients will get the treatments they want, and doctors can operate freely without the fear of government intervention.

Problem with the Big Three Bailout

December 14, 2008

There was one huge problem with the Big Three Bailout from the start:  They didn’t ask for enough.

Look at the TARP, the 700+ billion dollar bailout of the fiancial system.  They had the balls to come to the table asking for almost a trillion dollars.

Everyone was so scared, “Jeez, they need $700 billion!  It must be serious!”  Paulson kept saying words like “abyss” and “crisis” and Bush eloquently said “this sucker could go down.”  They duped Congress and the Senate by asking for a number so astronomical, they couldn’t say no.

If the Big Three had come in and asked for $200 billion from the start and talked about falling into an abyss, I bet they would have had a bailout already!

Obama = More of the Same

November 9, 2008

Today, the incoming Obama administration announced they would use “executive orders” to cancel out some of the executive orders the Bush administration has signed, or will sign in the coming days.  Some of these concern stem cell research and drilling for oil and gas on Federal land in Utah.

Read about it here on the BBC website.

This, in a nutshell, is a big problem of what’s wrong with the government of this country right now.

These executive orders are an abuse of the power by the executive branch which contradict one of the main points of our Constitution and the founding fathers.  There is a separation of powers and checks and balances for a reason.  Our country began when we broke away from the Monarchy of England, and the founding fathers did not want to be governed by an all-powerful central government again.

Why is there no outrage among members of Congress?  Probably because they are part of the Washington establishment that is meant to take power away from the individual citizens of this country.  They know the more power they have, the less chance they have of being unseated in Congress.  Also, they know that when their party is in the White House, their agenda will be on the favorable end of these orders.

If the President can write an executive order about stem cell research based on his religious or personal beliefs, what’s to stop him from signing other beliefs into law?  It won’t happen overnight, but the more power that is handed over to the executive branch, the closer we become to being ruled as a dictatorship.  There will not be one leader, but the executive branch will be a small cartel of power.

The apathy and complacency of the citizens of this country is amazing.  I don’t think most of the people even know what executive orders are and how they are a slap in the face of the Constitution.  If you read this, please tell a friend or colleague.  The more people who know, the more our voices will be heard.  We need to put the power back into the hands of Congress and the electorate.  A weaker federal government and stronger state governments is necessary to the strength of this nation moving forward.  We need another revolution, started from the ground up, to restore this nation to the principles in the Constitution on which it was founded.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment, however short or long you want.

Our Isolationist Foreign Policy

October 31, 2008

In case you missed it, which you probably did considering how little news coverage it received, on October 27th, the US launched a cross-border raid from Iraq into Syria.  In this attack, they killed at least 6 people, one of them who was supposedly a key figure in smuggling foreign fighters into Iraq from Syria.

Then, today, the US launched 2 separate missle attacks from unmanned drones that killed over 20 people, one of them an Al Qaeda leader, in Pakistan.

Both of these acts were carried out across the Iraqi border, into Syria and Pakistan, respectively.

And you wonder why we’re hated in the Middle East?  We completely disregard international law, violate the borders of other countries, and are willing to kill civilians to get a supposed Al Qaeda operative.

Does anyone believe that these raids are actually helping quell the insurgency?  If anything, they are creating more hatred and resentment directed towards the US, which in turn inspires people to fight against us.

We need a foreign policy that uses diplomacy and negotiations, not brute force and bullying other countries.  These raids might help killing insurgents in the short term, but in the long run, they are adding multiple fighters for every one we kill.

Our goal should be stabilizing Iraq and then getting out.  We should use diplomacy and not sanctions and force to promote change in the region.

Some people feel it is the duty of the US to be the world police because we are the only remaining “super power.”  However, this policy is isolating us from the rest of the world, straining alliances, and costing us trillions of dollars.  We need to end our empire, bring our troops home, and promote peace and change by example and through diplomacy.

Sending the Wrong Message

September 25, 2008

So, I read about President Bush’s address to the nation tonight.  He was urging the American public to accept the bailout.  One of his quotes was:  “It will help american businesses and consumers get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs.”

Can you believe that?  Credit for their “daily needs.”  What happened to paying cash?  What happened to living within your means?

If this is the message the President is sending, we are nowhere near the end of this credit crunch.  Once credit becomes available, we’ll max it all out again.

Of course, this is coming from the administration that has run up the largest national debt in our history, so maybe this is business as usual…