Saturday, March 21, 2009

Presidential Briefing

When the Department Of Defense briefed the President this morning, they told President Obama that two Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's surprise, all the color drained from Obama's face. Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in his hands, visibly shaken, almost in tears.

Finally, he composed himself and asked, " round numbers, ah...just how many is a brazilian?"

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Jay Leno Gets It! We should all be scared.

Earlier this week, President Obama was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Leno made the following remarks to the President:

Well, here’s something that kind of scared me. Today they passed this thing that
says we’re going to tax 90 percent of these bonuses. And the part that scares me
is, I mean, you’re a good guy — if the government decides they don’t like a guy,
all of a sudden, hey, we’re going to tax you and then, boom, and it passes. I
mean, that seems a little scary as a taxpayer.

President Obama completly ignored these comments and began talking about general tax policy.

Comment: Leno gets it! We should all be scared.

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Selective Taxation is Tyranny

by David Boaz, Cato Institute

Everybody’s angry. But anger doesn’t make good law. And there are real questions about both the wisdom and the legality of such legislation. Bloggers like Conor Clarke, Megan McArdle, and Eugene Volokh have asked if the bonus tax is legal or constitutional. And thank goodness for bloggers who ask the questions that members of Congress and print journalists seem to ignore! [full article]

This article points out that the confiscatory taxation of the AIG bonuses likely violates the constitutional ban on bills of attainder and ex post facto laws. Even if the bill to confiscate the AIG bonuses could be drafted to pass constitutional muster however, it is a tyrannical abuse of power.

We should not let our populist anger at AIG and the Obama-Dodd conspiracy that engineered this outrage rush us into violating basic principles of American governance. As this article states: "The rule of law requires that like people be treated alike and that people know what the law is so that they can plan their lives in accord with the law." The rule of law is more important than getting even.

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Taxing Away Those Bonuses

As outraged as I am that AIG paid out millions in bonuses with taxpayer dollars and as outraged as I am that it apparently happened with the complicity of the Obama administration, I am not in support of the effort to tax away those bonuses. We need to take a deep breath before we do something else stupid.

On Thursday the House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted a bill that would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid since Jan. 1 by companies that received significant bailout funds. That seems dangerous. It is using taxing authority in a vindictive manner. I am not sure what part of the constitution it violates, but surely it must be unconstitutional. Tax authority should not be used in a way that is arbitrary and punitive and just targets certain groups. If we are going to use taxing authority in this manner then who else can we go after? How about companies that pollute the environment? Instead of suing them and proving they did wrong, congress can simply tax their profits at 90%. How about gun manufactures? How about tobacco companies? How about pornographers? How about gangster rappers? How about doctors who perform abortions?

Democracy has been described as two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. That looks like what is happening. Democracy has got to be about more than simple majority rule. It is also about rule of law and fairness and protecting the unpopular. Do we really want to go down that road of just taxing away the earnings of people we don’t like?

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Dodd, Obama and Geithner need to come clean. Sign this Petition.

Dear Rod,

Our nation has been in turmoil this week over the bonuses paid at AIG. After taxpayers infused nearly $200 Billion into the private firm, AIG paid out nearly $165 million of that in bonuses to their executives. The New York Times reported that these bonuses included $33.6 million for 52 people who have already left the failed insurance company and more than $1 million each to 73 people.

If it was not bad enough, we are beginning to hear that many of our nation's elected officials might have known about these bonuses. Worse, it appears that Democrat Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd actually sponsored an amendment in the so-called stimulus bill to protect these bonuses. The question is, why did he do that? Did Obama and his Treasury Secretary not only know about these bonuses in advance, but actually work to support them?

Senator Chris Dodd slipped into the Obama stimulus bill a secretive provision to protect these specific AIG bonuses. That much we do know.

It is shocking. We need to find out why he did it and hold him accountable. He and others are trying to run and hide from the criticism. We cannot let them.


We are going to press them in the news media and on Capitol Hill to tell the American people the truth. And, we are launching a special effort right in U.S. Senator Chris Dodd's home state of Connecticut to hold him accountable for his actions.

As the days of the week have passed, we waited to see if they would truly admit to their involvement in the AIG bonus scandal and come clean. However, for days all they have done is point fingers at each other, at previous administration officials, at current administration officials and then at anyone and everyone else to deflect attention from themselves.

As more information leaked out about their involvement they then changed their story and all at once tried to claim responsibility. It was a purposeful shift to try and throw us off the trail, to deflect media criticism, create confusion, and stop the search for answers. We cannot allow them to succeed. What has become clear is that we, the American people, must stand up and demand the truth.


At the center of this controversy are three people.

One is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who admitted to not paying his own personal taxes even prior to taking the job as Treasury Secretary, a job where he will oversee the IRS. Geithner said they were "careless mistakes" that he failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes. (We have heard that from a number of Obama appointees.) Then in February testimony before Congress he used the word mistake again in reference to his banking plan saying, "we will make mistakes," and the market instantly fell 380+ points. He has been careless with his money and ours, now we cannot allow him to pass off the AIG bonuses as just another "careless mistake."

Geithner has been a central figure in the government's push for bailouts and the spending of our hard-earned taxpayer money on the so-called stimulus and on failed company bailouts. As President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, prior to becoming Treasury Secretary, he has been a principle architect of the bailout strategy. The Washington Post noted, "When the government rescued AIG in mid-September (2008), no one was more central to the decision than Geithner." Obama actually promoted his bailout experience in selecting him as Treasury Secretary.

Now, in just the last few hours we have learned that Geithner knew about the bonuses for days, but the truth may be that he knew about them for weeks as far back as the time when we first pushed their bailout. What is he hiding?


Even worse than Geithner's involvement and that of the President, however, may be the involvement of Senator Chris Dodd, the former Chairman of the Democrat National Committee and Democrat candidate for President, who is now the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.

Over the last year the ACU has pointed out some of Chris Dodd's most troubling actions:
SPECIAL MORTGAGE PERKS FOR HIMSELF AND HIS DEMOCRAT BUDDIES - last July ACU disclosed media reports that Chris Dodd was part of the FoA, or Friends of Angelo program, named for Countrywide Mortgage Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo which provided special Countrywide loan rates for politically connected officials. The individuals who got special mortgages? Bill Clinton's former budget director, the man chosen by Obama to pick Joe Biden as his running mate, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Democrat Kent Conrad and, yes, Chris Dodd.

HELPING CREATE THE FINANCIAL CRISIS - our financial crisis was started by the subprime mortgage mess. Dodd helped support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's purchase of subprime loans. The WALL STREET JOURNAL wrote in their editorial last summer on Dodd, "You'll love this one. In the strange accountability of Washington, the same folks who put taxpayers on the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now demanding ransom to let taxpayers bail them out." The Journal reported Dodd publicly attacked critics who were "repeatedly raising alarm bells about the risks Fannie and Freddie pose to the financial system." He promoted and protected them and in return he received more PAC money from them than any other politician. A Journal editorial said, "In any other business, Mr. Dodd would be begging forgiveness."

SUPPORTING ACORN - Not only has ACORN been raided by the FBI for falsifying voter registration records, ACORN directly promoted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's involvement in subprime loans. In return Chris Dodd attended meetings at ACORN offices and promoted their efforts "to stop foreclosures." More shocking, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the stimulus bill a contained a provision to provide taxpayer funding for ACORN. This is the same stimulus bill that apparently became the vehicle for Dodd's support of AIG.

With this track record the American people should not be surprised that it was Senator Chris Dodd who slipped in the secret provision to specifically protect the now infamous bonuses at AIG. The question is why and what is he hiding?


While conservative members of Congress were fighting against the pork-filled stimulus bill, Dodd was working for the AIG bonuses - meeting behind closed doors with Treasury officials and the Obama administration writing his amendment that specifically allowed for the multi-million dollar bonuses. As CNN pointed out, "final language in Dodd's amendment specifically excluded bonuses from contracts signed - before the stimulus bill's passage - a fact which allowed for the AIG bonus payout."

If you received a bonus at AIG you might say, "thank you,"... just as Fannie Mae did with their PAC donations to Dodd when he supported them ...just like ACORN who has showered him with praise. But the taxpayers of the United States are left thankless for the havoc he continues to wreak on our nation. So, the question is, how does Dodd remain in the Senate after all of this? The simple answer is that the people of Connecticut elected him.


We have created a special CHRIS DODD CONNECTICUT MEDIA PAGE. When you sign the petition, support ACU and hit "submit" you will be taken to a page where you can find this special, new ACU Chris Dodd media site. On our Dodd Media Site, you can find contact information for media all over Connecticut; both newspapers for letters to the editor and talk radio shows. You can contact them and express your outrage to the people of Connecticut who sent Dodd to the U.S. Senate. Why did they do it? Are they still proud to have him representing them in Washington? Will they try to send him back to Washington? Let them know what you think.

Please sign the petition below, support ACU's effort, and then click submit to be taken to this special Dodd Media page.


The third person at the center of this scandal is President Barack Obama. The ACU has repeatedly warned about government infusions of taxpayer money into private companies. We have opposed these bailouts and stimulus packages. Barack Obama's agenda to grow the size of government has enabled these activities.As our Chairman David Keene said this week, "the bonuses are a political issue because the money comes from you and me. We shouldn't have been asked to put it up in the first place and if we hadn't, it would simply be an issue between the management and stockholders. And, if I was a stockholder, I would have been outraged that a bunch of managers who managed to ruin my investment were getting a bonus. But the real mistake was putting the money into AIG in the first place."

The ACU opposed the stimulus package from the start. We delivered petitions from you and others against this bill. Every Republican in the House opposed it and almost every Republican in the Senate did too, and at least they cut hundreds of millions from it. But now in addition to the billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending we now have the AIG crisis too.

ACU will continue to fight these efforts with your help. Please sign the petition here, now and we will do so.

Don't let Chris Dodd escape accountability. Sign the petition, support ACU and visit the Chris Dodd media page now to express your opinion.


Dennis Whitfield
Executive Vice President

P.S. Don't let Chris Dodd hide from his actions. Help us get to the truth. Send the message to his own voters, right in Connecticut. Ask them why he is in the Senate. Do so after you sign the petition here, now, to make Obama, his Treasury Secretary and Chris Dodd come clean on their actions, now.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spare me the Phony Shock and Outrage

I share the outrage being expressed by members of the Congress, the press and the public over the $165 million AIG paid in retention bonuses to employees with our tax money. However, I am more outraged that Congress passed a stimulus bill that permitted these bonuses. This did not just happen by accident. Language in the stimulus bill originally prohibited paying of bonuses to recipients of bailout money. That language was changed in the Conference Committee to allow this to occur.

According to the Huffington Post, it was at the urging of the Treasury Department that Senator Chis Dodd changed the language of the stimulus bill to allow recipients of bailouts to receive bonuses. Then, the Democrats in Congress passed the 1100 page, trillion-dollar bill without ever reading it.

This really stinks! Chris Dodd, the number two recipient of AIG campaign contributions, should be indicted or resign. We should know what the President, who as Senator was the number one recipient of AIG campaign contributions, knew and when he knew it. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should resign in disgrace. Everyone who received campaign contributions from AIG should return them. Legislators should pledge to know what they are voting on before they vote in the future.

Please spare me the phony shock and outrage from Obama and the Democrats who engineered and allowed this to occur. Obama and Chris Dodd are deep in AIG's pocket. This is old-fashioned corruption on an unprecedented and grand scale. How the public can still believe Obama represents transparency and change is beyond me. If these first few weeks are any indication, this may be shaping up to be one of the most corrupt administrations in history. When will some of the dirt start sticking to Obama? The foxes really are guarding the chicken house, the lunatics are running the asylum, and most Americans still think Obama is the messiah.

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ALG Demands President Obama and Members of Congress Return AIG Campaign Kickbacks

March 19th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today in a letter urged President Barack Obama and members of Congress to “return the $4.37 million they received in campaign contributions from AIG since 1989, including the $644,218 they received in 2008.”

“If the American people are to believe all the angry words and threats coming from the White House, President Obama must return the $104,332 he received from AIG during the 2008 campaign cycle,” declared Wilson in a statement.

According to, AIG gave some $644,218 to candidates for federal office in 2008. According to Wilson's letter, “[I]n return, it received from the Federal Reserve some $173 billion in taxpayer-guaranteed loans. That represents nearly a 27 million percent return on their 2008 'investment' into politicians' loyalty.”

“The 2008 money received by the President and members of Congress should clearly be returned, but more than that, the honorable thing would be for any politician who has ever received a penny from AIG to return it to the American taxpayers who are now paying to keep the company afloat,” Wilson said.

“These campaign kickbacks must be returned,” Wilson added.

President Obama received $104,332 from AIG in 2008 of the $110,332 in contributions he has ever received from the company. “President Obama received 94.56 percent of the money he has ever gotten from AIG, and yet he has not returned it since the bailouts began in September,” said Wilson.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in 2008 received $103,900 of the $281,038 he has ever received from AIG. According to the letter, “in the 2009 'stimulus' legislation, [Dodd] inserted the amendment that guaranteed that bonuses would be paid by adding language to a spending cap that specifically excluded executive bonuses included in contracts.”

“Only 11 of the 314 members of the Democratic Congressional majority voted against the 'stimulus' and protecting the AIG bonuses, and now they act shocked as they pretend to have never read the 1100-page bill that they are responsible for that cost $787 billion,” Wilson said.

Wilson believes that campaign contributions from AIG and other bailout firms represent “a clear case of pay-to-play corruption.”

“The corrupt cesspool in Washington needs to be drained where 'too big to fail' firms get taxpayer-guaranteed bailouts from 'too compromised to resist' politicians,” Wilson concluded.

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Good morning Sunshine!

economic crisis, sunshine,Obama cartoon

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Michael, Hang in there. I support you.

When the Republicans were going through the process of selecting a new chairman, I watched the debates between the candidates and was impressed by Michael Steele. I was hoping he would be selected, but actually thought he was a long shot.

I was very pleased when he won. I think that after eight years of George W. Bush, we needed new leadership not tied to the Bush Administration. I also thought we needed a new face of the party to show that we are not just the party of angry old white men. I also thought we needed someone with a practical business-like approach to administering and growing the party.

With the party is such disarray, Steele does not have an easy job. The party has always had its factions. Trying to keep the economic conservatives, the social conservatives, the main street Republicans, the neo-con Republicans, and the libertarian-leaning Republicans all headed in the same direction must be much like trying to herd cats. Trying to unite the party has got to be daunting task. I sometimes have the feeling that the animosity within the party and between the factions is deep and bitter, but I hope I am wrong.

I call my blog “A Disgruntled Republican” and I find there are a lot of disgruntled Republicans, but they are disgruntled for different reasons. Face it; a lot of the real activists in the party were less than enthused with the Party’s nominee for president. I thought John McCain was a good candidate and represented the party well. Given the Bush legacy and the economic meltdown, I think McCain did as good a job as anyone could have done under the circumstances. I respect, like, and admire John McCain. I get the feeling however, that a lot of Republicans feel that the nominee was forced on the party by alien forces. Sometimes I feel like the lone ranger, in saying I actually was a McCain supporter. Many feel that McCain was a “RINO.”

One of the favorite epitaphs Republicans throw at each other is RINO for “Republican in name only.” Despite thinking of myself as a Republican and a conservative, I have been called a “RINO” myself on more than one occasion by those who disagreed with my position on this or that issue. Castigating each other for being less than ideologically pure and trying to push others out of the party is not conducive to party growth and harmony. It seems that at any one time that half the party is trying to purge the other half. We don’t need to be the party of the little tent.

Many of the disgruntled are now turning on Michael Steele. Michael Steele is taking a lot heat for his mild criticism of Rush Limbaugh and for a comment he made about abortion. Both issue are being taken out of context and blown way out of proportion.

Below is an excerpt from the GQ interview where Michael made his abortions comments that caused such controversy.

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?

Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

Explain that.

The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

You do?

Yeah. Absolutely.

Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

This simply does not seem that offensive to me. It is a little confusing and a little inarticulate. An interview is not like writing an essay where one can carefully construct their arguments. If you yourself have ever been interviewed, you are probably a little more understanding than if you have never been in that position. People should take his comments in context of the interview. He is not advocating abortion. He is clearly pro-life.

Here is what Steele had to say about Limbaugh that got him in such hot water: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes it’s incendiary, yes it’s ugly.”

Of course Rush will magnify any criticism. With hours a day of radio time to fill and ratings to maintain, Rush loves a good fight.

To see Steele’s comments in context, please follow this link to Politico. Be sure and see the video clip next to the article where, in a heated exchange, Steele makes those comments about Rush. What he said should not be that big of a deal. Steele has wisely, I thought, tried to put the Limbaugh controversy behind him, yet some are calling for his head.

On various blogs and chat groups, I am seeing a growing call for Michael Steele to resign. The last thing we as Republicans need at this time is for a change in leadership at the top of the party. We do not need a party blood bath. I, for one, am well pleased with Michael Steele and his leadership of the party. I am going to send the RNC another contribution and attach a note of support for Michael Steele. Let us cut the guy some slack and support him.

Michael: Hang in there. I support you.

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