Friday, October 31, 2008

Boortz: TO THE UNDECIDED VOTER

I snagged a copy of Neal Boortz 'Undecided Voter' piece because I think it will be important to review from time to time, especially if The One gets himself elected.
 
Definitely something to think about...
 
 
Nealz Nuze  

TO THE UNDECIDED VOTER
 

By Neal Boortz

© 2008 Neal Boortz

This is long; very long. Hey, I'm a pretty entertaining writer ... so give it a go. If you're an undecided voter in this presidential election the least you owe your country is to try to base your final choice on some substantive facts. No, I don't have all the facts here ... but I have enough of them to perhaps convince you that voting one particular way on November 4th might not be the most brilliant move you've ever made.

This election is my 10th. My 10th presidential election since I became a radio talk show host. My 10th election since I began spending more time than the average American thinking about, researching, reading about and talking about the choices voters face. Look; I mean no arrogance here. It's just that the average American doesn't spend from 15 (then) to 22.5 (now) hours a week over the period of a presidential race talking about the candidates, the issues, the non-issues and the consequences of voter choice.

Never in those ten elections can I remember choices so stark and possible outcomes so perilous. For the record, over those 10 elections I voted for the Republican candidate six times and the Libertarian four. Never have I voted for a Democrat for president. I see no need to vote for a Democrat since I have no plans or desires to become a ward of the government. Somehow I don't think 2008 is going to be the first time.

I've noted that some other "pundits" out there are starting to post, in columns and in their blogs, the reasons they are going to vote the way they are going to vote. I'll make no attempt to refute their (oh-so refutable) arguments here. Instead, I'm just going to put my thoughts and reasoning in writing just to cleanse my mind. If you can make some use of them; whether it is for laughter, talking points or intellectual consideration, have at it. Me? I'm just pulling the handle.

The Race Factor

Are many black voters going to vote for Barack Obama primarily because of race? Of course, many will. Surveys and polling have shown that the figure may reach 20%. I think it's well more than that. Is race a sound reason to cast a vote? Probably not. Is it understandable? Absolutely. I cannot fault a black American for voting for Obama. It may turn out to be a negative vote insofar as their dreams and goals are concerned. It may not work out all that well for their children, especially if they're ambitions and talented. But I don't think many of us can absolutely say that we wouldn't be casting the same vote were we in their shoes.

If you are a white American there is no way in the world you can look at this election through the same eyes as a third or fourth generation black American citizen. Several months ago a caller to my show suggested that Barack Obama's ascendency in the presidential sweepstakes was Black America's biggest accomplishment. I disagreed. Though I can't remember the exact words, I said that, in a general sense, the shining moment for Black America may have been the show of patience and restraint shown by black men when they returned from putting their lives on the line in World War II and in Korea to a country with segregated schools, colored waiting rooms, whites only water fountains, beatings, lynchings, water hoses, police dogs and systematic discrimination pretty much every where they looked. The restraint showed by black Americans during the civil rights struggles of the 50's and 60's, though not universal, was something to behold.

Now .. try, though you won't succeed, to put yourself into the mind of a black American. How can you experience or understand the legacy of segregation, violence and second-class citizenry your ancestors went through and not take pride in a black American on the verge of winning the presidency? How many black American voters do you think are uttering to themselves: "If my grandfather had only lived to see this." It takes a great deal of maturity and a clear understanding of the possible future consequences for someone to put their racial pride aside and swim against the tide on this one. So, there will be no name-calling, at least not here, for people who cast their vote on the basis of race in this election. As I said, It's understandable.

And Then There's the Race Card

This really isn't really a reason to vote for or against Barack Obama, but you do need to know what the next four years are going to be like with an Obama presidency.

During the campaign there have been some rather amazing charges of racism. Let's see if we can remember a few:

  • Using the word "skinny" to refer to Obama is racist.
  • "Community organizer" is a racist term.
  • Any reference to a connection between Obama and Franklin Raines, the former head of Fannie Mae is racist ... that would be because Raines is black.
  • All references to Jeremiah Wright are racist; that being due to Wright being black.
  • Referring to Obama as "eloquent" is racist because it infers that other blacks are not eloquent.
  • For goodness' sake, don't say that Obama is "clean."
  • This just in from The Kansas City Star: Calling Obama a "socialist" is also racist because "socialist" is just another code word for black.

And so it goes. We've also had several pundits, columnists and opinion-makers flat-out state that if you are white and you don't vote for Barack Obama it can only be because he's black. There is simply no other legitimate reason to deny this wonderful man your vote. Vote for McCain, you're a racist. Simple as that.

Now let's consider the next four years under President Obama. He is certainly going to introduce ideas and pursue policies that are pure poison to many Americans; especially achievement-oriented self-sufficient citizens. Whenever anyone dares to utter a word in opposition to any Obama position or initiative you can be sure that there is going to be someone waiting close by to start screaming "racist!" By the end of Obama's first year in the White House virtually every white American will have been called a racist for one reason or another. So, what else is new?

The Republicans

One thing for sure ... the Republicans deserve exactly what is happening to them in this election. It's just too bad the rest of the country has to suffer the lion's share of the punishment the Republicans so richly deserve. In 1994 the voters were fed up with Clinton and the Republicans swept to control of both houses of congress, largely on the strength of Newt's Contract with America. Do you remember some of the promises? One that sticks in my mind is their promise to dismantle the Department of Education. Republicans – in 1994 – recognized that the quality of American education had been going steadily downhill since this government behemoth was formed. Well, that was then ... this is now. The size of the Education Department, as well as the cost, has doubled. Republicans did this, not Democrats.

As a matter of fact, it's not just the Department of Education; it's our entire federal government. Spending has doubled. Size has doubled. All under the Republican watch inside the beltway. Pork barrel spending is completely out of control, and Republicans are behind the wheel. Education and pork spending aside, we have the Medicare prescription benefit, McCain-Feingold, Sarbanes-Oxley, a tepid response to Kelo vs. New London ... all elements of a well-deserved Republican drubbing. The problem here is that the cure, that being Barack Obama, might well be much worse of than the disease.

The Republicans don't deserve power in Washington just as you don't deserve a boil in the center of your forehead. There are worse things, however. Complete Democrat control or, in the case of your forehead, a nice big melanoma. Pretty much the same things, actually.

It's not that the Republicans did everything wrong. They got the tax cut thing right, and they responded correctly, for the most part, to the radical Islamic attack on our country. They just did so much wrong at the same time. They got drunk with power, and the hangover affects all of us.

Obama's Friends

By "Obama's Friends" we mean the likes of Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko and other assorted miscreants. I could spend a lot of time here detailing the crimes of Obama's friends --- and make no mistake, they were his friends. At this point I don't think that any votes are going to be changed one way or another by detailing the corruption of Rezko, the America-hating of Wright or the unrepentant terrorism of Ayers. Suffice it to say that Obama was close to all of these people ... and these were associations born of mutual interests and philosophies. If you think that it is fair to judge the character of a person by observing the people they surround themselves with, then the judgment of Barack Obama would be a harsh one.

Obama's varied storylines regarding his relationship with Ayers have, to say the least, been interesting. The list is incomplete, but thus far we have:

  • He was just a guy who lived in my neighborhood.
  • I was only eight years old when he was throwing bombs.
  • I didn't know about his history when we started working together
  • I thought he had been rehabilitated.

Yeah ... I guess it's OK if you form a close relationship with a bomb-throwing terrorist, as long as he threw the bombs when you were a kid. Works for me. Work for you? In a similar vein, It must be OK if your pastor rails against America, as long as you aren't in church on those particular days. Or maybe we should say as long as nobody remembers actually seeing you in church on those days.

One interesting point: If Barack Obama was applying for a security clearance as a government employee, these associations would disqualify him. We are, my friends, about to have a president who doesn't qualify for a security clearance. Pretty pathetic. If Barack Obama becomes president, he would not even qualify to be his own bodyguard.

Obama's Tax Policies

You may consider this to be horribly old fashioned, but I operate on the principle that governments have the power to tax so that governments can collect the money needed to pursue and pay for the legitimate functions of that government. By "legitimate functions" I'm referring to law enforcement, national defense, a system of courts to adjudicate interstate disputes, national infrastructure and the costs associated with running the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government.

Now we can get into quite an argument over what constitutes a "legitimate" function of government, but let's save it for later. Suffice it to say that Barack Obama has a much different picture of our government's taxing authority than many of us do.

Before we go on, let me remind you of a point that I first heard made by former Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne. Government has one unique power that you don't have, and neither do I. This is a power that is denied all private businesses and individuals in this country. That power .. the power unique to government .. is the power to use deadly force to accomplish its goals. If you have a business; a restaurant, for instance; you have to convince people to come to your establishment for a meal. You can advertise for customers, but they make the decision whether or not to give your restaurant a try. When the customers do come in it is up to you to deliver to them a superior product with exemplary service. This is how you get them to come back. Not through force, but through value and service.

Not so the government. You have no choice as to whether or not you are going to be a customer of government. Your patronage is compelled and your payments are extracted at the point of a gun. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall said that "the power to tax is the power to destroy." The power to tax in the wrong hands can certainly bring destruction to our economy and even to our country. I submit to you that the power to tax in the hands of Barack Obama is dangerous: Dangerous to you personally, and dangerous to the very fabric of our Republic.

Just take a look at some of the rhetoric Barack Obama uses when he talks of his plans to increase taxes on the evil, hated rich. In a television interview with (I think) Charles Gibson, Obama was asked if he understood that tax increases have often resulted in decreases in government revenue. Obama responded that he was aware of this fact. He was then asked why, then, would he be so eager to raise taxes? Obama responded that, to him, tax increases were simply a matter of "fairness." In other words, Obama didn't wish to use the police power of the state to collect taxes necessary for the legitimate functions of government; he wanted to use his taxing power to promote some vaporous "fairness" in our economy. After all, as Obama put it, the people he wants to tax have more money than they actually need and he wants to give that money to people who really do need it.

Now I ask you, does any of that sound vaguely familiar? Hmmmmm, let's see. I know I've heard something like that somewhere before. Wait! I think I have it. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Some character named Marx made slogan quite popular around 1875 in a writing called "Critique of the Gotha Program." This phrase is one of the most well-known principals of communism. You can yell, scream, spin around on your eyebrows and spit wooden nickels all you want, but what Barack Obama is pushing here, at least insofar as his tax policies are concerned, is communism. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering Obama's self-professed affinity for communist student groups and communist professors during his undergraduate years. Oh, you didn't read that? Maybe that's because you read his second book, not the first one. But what the heck. He's eloquent, isn't he? And he has a good narrative.

As I've indicated, I've been doing talk radio for 39 years now. I was on the air when we were fighting communism in Southeast Asia. I was flapping my jaws when Soviet leaders seriously entertained dreams of world communism. Throughout all of those years I was never one to scream "communism" every time someone came up with an oddball idea on governance, and I never once found a communist under my bed. But now, at least when you consider tax policy, we have a candidate for president who seems very comfortable with some basic communist principals. Too comfortable. But none of this should really bother you ... right? A little communism or socialism never really hurt anyone that you can remember. Besides, Europe is telling us that they'll like us again if we vote for Obama. That pretty much overrules everything, doesn't it?

Does this reflect your philosophy?

Come on! Put the celebrity worship aside for a moment. Put skin color aside. Just think about Obama and his "spread the wealth around" tax policy.

Let's talk heartbeats. Sounds weird, but I'm going somewhere here. A bit of Internet research led me to the fact that the average number of heartbeats in a life time for a human being is about one billion. To make this more understandable, the average human heart beats around 70 times a minute. In one eight-hour work day your heart beats around 33,600 times. This is your heart beating .. every beat subtracted from the one billion .. every beat a part of your life gone, never to be recovered. If you are a moderately successful human being Barack Obama is going to take about 13,000 (39%) of those heartbeats away from you every working day. Put your finger on your wrist and feel your pulse. Feel every heartbeat. Just count up to 100. How much of your life went by as you counted? You can't get those beats back. They're gone, for good. Remember, you only have a finite number of those beats of your heart left ... and Obama wants 13,000 of them every working day of your life. Those heartbeats – your life – being expended creating wealth. Your heartbeats, your wealth. Obama wants them. You don't need them. Someone else does. The police power of the state.

Taxes are a nasty little reality of life. Nobody wants anarchy. Government is a necessity. Government, though, is not supposed to create winners and losers. Government is not, as Obama intends, to be used as an instrument of plunder. Almost all Americans are perfectly willing to surrender an appropriate percentage of their earned wealth to fund the legitimate functions of government. I, for one, don't want to see my wealth confiscated because some bureaucrat has determined I don't "need" it, and then have to watch as that wealth is used to buy votes from someone who is simply too lazy to generate the income they need by themselves ... or, as Obama puts it, "spread around."

What is Obama going to do? How does he determine "need?" What data does he use to determine "fairness?" Maybe he'll set up some bureaucracy staffed with like-minded leftists who will use data collected in the last census and from those pesky American Community Surveys to establish a basic "need" level for people living in different areas. Once it is determined how much of a person's wealth they really don't "need," it will be a simple matter of confiscation and redistribution to those who do need it. After all, that would be "fair," wouldn't it? Come on, it's not exactly like you worked for that money.

Listen to the rhetoric of the left. Those who are in need are called "the less fortunate." This means that their status as needy was due to nothing but bad luck. It stands to reason, then, that those with more than they need were just lucky. The fortunate and the less fortunate. The lucky and the not so lucky. And here comes Barack Obama riding over the rainbow on his Unicorn to set everything right and make it all fair. Isn't that the world you want to live in?

There's a quote that's been floating around since I began my talk radio career. This quote is most often attributed to someone named Alexander Tyler writing in 1787 about the fall of the Athenian Republic. Others have said the guy's name was Tytler. Let's not argue spelling right now ... let's just get to the quote, because the quote goes to the heart of this presidential election:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

Think about this, my friends. Isn't this exactly what we're seeing right now? In fact, hasn't this pretty much been the theme of Democrat Party election politics for nearly as long as you can remember? Here we have Barack Obama promising that he's only going to raise taxes on the evil rich who make over $250,000 a year while 95% of Americans will get tax cuts. Think of this in terms of votes; higher taxes for 5% of the voters, lower taxes for the other 95%. It really doesn't take all that much brainpower to figure out how this is going to work at in an election does it? You take money away from the people whose votes you don't need, and give it to the people whose votes you do need. So very simple. The result is that people have, in fact, discovered that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. Who is promising those wonderful goodies? That would be Barack Obama. Just what percentage of voters out there do you think are going to vote for Obama simply because he is promising them someone else's money? My guess is that the number would be high enough to constitute the margin of victory for The Great Redistributionist.

Somehow I had this idea when I was growing up that if you wanted something bad enough, you would work hard until you got it. That was then. This is now. Now you vote for it. That's change you can believe in.

Those Amazing Vanishing Jobs

Barack Obama repeatedly tells the American people that he is going to cut taxes for 95% of them. Now that's a pretty nifty trick when more than 40% of Americans don't pay income taxes in the first place. Tell me please ... just how do you cut taxes for someone who doesn't pay taxes?

Here's the fancy narrative (Obama supporters just love that word) that the Obama campaign has come up with. Even if you don't pay income taxes, you still pay payroll taxes. So Obama is going to give these people who only pay Social Security and Medicare taxes an offsetting tax credit. At this point Obama's plan becomes almost impossible to explain. It's convoluted, to say the least, but that's out of necessity. When people started reminding him that about one-half of the people he's going to cut taxes for don't pay taxes he had to come up with something. The bottom line is this. Obama says that he is not going to take the cost of his tax credits from the Social Security Trust Fund. That's nice, considering the fact that this so-called Trust Fund exists only on paper anyway. But if that money isn't subtracted from the Trust Fund ... where does it come from? Obama's people explain that at first the deficit will just have to increase while these checks are written. Later they'll just go out there and get the money from those "rich people."

OK ... so there we are. It's tax the rancid rich time so that money can be transferred to the poor. But just who are these evil rich people destined to be beaten down by Obama's taxes? At first Barack Obama defined them as "people making over $250,000 a year." That definition had to change when it became known that the $250,000 a year figure was only for a married couple filing a joint tax return. In a heartbeat Obama changed his rhetoric to note that the tax increase would nail "families," not "people" earning over 250 grand. If you're single, the figure will be somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000, depending on who you're talking to. We'll try to let you know when Obama settles on a hard figure.

There's your first lie.

So, what does all of this have to do with jobs? Well the very people that Barack Obama wants to nail with these tax increases are the people who create most of the jobs in our economy; America's small business owners.

The Democrats spend no small amount of time excoriating corporations. To listen to a Democrat candidate corporations and lobbyists are the sole sources of evil in our society. Oh ... and right wing talk show hosts. Well, you can forget these evil, nasty corporations for now. Fact is 70% of all jobs in our economy come from America's small business owners. The Small Business Administration recently reported that 80% of all new jobs are being created by these small business owners. These are people who report all of their business income on their personal income tax returns. As such, they are squarely in the crosshairs for The Chosen One's tax increases.

If you are an American concerned about your job with a small business ... and if you vote for Obama ... then you very well could be cutting your own economic throat. Think about it. If the small business owner(s) who employs you has his taxes increased by Barack Obama he is going to look for a way to replace that money. So where does he go to replace his income lost to Barack's tax increases? The best way would be to cut expenses. Well guess what? You're an expense! Will it be your job that is cut to compensate for the increased taxes? Maybe you'll be lucky and just have to forego your next raise. Maybe there would just be a cut in your pay or a reduction in benefits. Cast your vote and take your chances!

In recent days the McCain campaign has finally started to warn people about the possible consequences of Obama's tax increases on America's small businesses. This has forced the Obama campaign to come up with a response. Initially Barack Obama started saying that he was going to give a break on capital gains taxes to small businesses. This worked for a while until people started figuring out that small businesses don't pay capital gains taxes. Back to the drawing board, and this time they came up with a beauty. It's a con, but it works. Barack Obama is now telling the media and anyone else who will listen that 95% of America's small businesses don't make $250,000 a year, and thus won't be affected by Obama's tax increases.

That's the second lie. A lie of omission.

Obama's statistics may be accurate .. or nearly so. But the statement leaves one very important statistic out. Initially when you hear that "95% of all small businesses" line you probably think that this 95% employ about 95% of all of the people working for small businesses. You could think that, but you would be wrong.

The trick here is that the vast majority of America's small businesses are just that ... small. I owned a title abstract business in the 80's that had one employee. My wife owned a travel agency that had two employees. Neither of these small businesses came anywhere near the $250,000 line.

When you think about it you will understand that the important statistic here is the percentage of small business employees who will be affected, not the percentage of small businesses.

The October 21st edition of The Wall Street Journal addressed this issue in an article entitled "Socking It to Small Businesses." The WSJ reports that Obama is right "that most of the 35 million small businesses in America have a net income of less than $250,000, hire only a few workers, and stay in business for less than four years." There's more to the story though: ".. the point is that it is the most successful small and medium-sized businesses that create most of the new jobs.. And they are precisely the businesses that will be slammed by Mr. Obama's tax increase." The Senate Finance Committee reports that of those who file income taxes in the highest two tax brackets; three out of four are the small business owners Obama wants to tax.

The WSJ reports that the National Federation of Independent Business says that only 10% of small businesses with one to nine employees will be hit by Obama's tax increase. However, almost 20% of the small businesses that employ from 10 to 19 people will get nailed, and 50% of small businesses with over 20 employees get punished.

Again ... it is not the percentage of businesses that will have to pay the increased taxes; it's the percentage of the total of small business employees who work for those businesses. The Obama campaign is counting on you not making that distinction; and they know the media won't make it for you; so Obama's "95% of all small businesses don't make $250,000" line will probably rule the day.

Come on folks. These are your jobs we're talking about here. It's time to take your blinders off and see through some of this Obama rhetoric. The Obama campaign has some wonderful people working for them to tell them just how to parse words to hide intent and meaning. Just because they're trying to fool you doesn't mean that you have to be so easily suckered. When Obama talks about change .. he may well mean that you are going to have to change jobs. Now that's change you can believe in, right?

Pandering to the Unions .. at Your Expense.

Now since we're talking about jobs here, you need to be up to speed on The Messiah's "Employee Free Choice Act." Let me step out on a limb here and say that applying the words "free choice" to Obama's plan to eliminate secret ballots in union elections is like applying the words "fun sex" to an act of rape. Freedom has nothing to do with Obama's plan, and fun has nothing to do with rape.

Going in you need to recognize that union membership has been falling for decades. You only see growth in union membership in government employee unions. This, of course, is troubling to union leaders. It is also troubling to Democrats. Unions, you see, almost exclusively support Democrat candidates, both with money and time. Big money and lots of time ... and it's all behind Obama's candidacy.

To know what Obama is up to here, you need to know how union organizing works under the current law. Union organizers circulate a petition among employees. Employees are asked to sign a card saying that they would like to be represented by a union in their workplace. If a majority of the workers sign the cards the employer has the option of immediately recognizing the union and allowing them to organize the workplace. More often the employer will call for an election – an election using secret ballots. Every employee will be given the opportunity to express their desire to join or not to join a union in secret. Their co-workers will not know how they voted. They can prance around the workplace touting their support of unionization all they want in order to impress or appease their fellow workers, especially those who are trying to organize the union, but then vote "no" on the secret ballot if that's how they truly feel.

How, you might ask, do Democrats feel about the secret ballot in union elections? For a clue let's go to a letter from 16 House Democrats dated August 29, 2001. The letter was written on the letterhead of California Congressman George Miller, a Democrat representing the 7th District of California. That letter reads:

[Letterhead of George Miller, Congress of the United States]

Junta Local de Conciliacion y Arbitraje del Estado de Puebla
Lic. Armando Poxqui Quintero
7 Norte Numero 1006 Altos
Colonia Centro
Puebla, Mexico C.P. 7200

Dear members of the Junta Local de Conciliacion y Arbitraje of the state of Puebla.

As members of Congress of the United States who are deeply concerned with international labor standards and the role of labor rights in international trade agreements, we are writing to encourage you to use the secret ballot in all union recognition elections.

We understand that the secret ballot is allowed for, but not required, by Mexican labor law. However, we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise chose.

We respect Mexico as an important neighbor and trading partner, and we feel that the increased use of the secret ballow in union recognition elections will help bring real democracy to the Mexican workplace.

Signed:

George Miller

Bernard Sanders

Lane Evans

Marcy Kaptur

William J. Coyne

Bob Filner

Martin Olav Sabo

Joe Baca

Dennis J. Kucinich

Fortney Pete Stark

James P. McGovern

Barney Frank

Zoe Lofgren

Calvin M. Dooley

Barbara Lee

Lloyd Doggett

So there you go. These 16 Democrats are on the record as being solidly in favor of using secret ballots in union recognition elections. So far, so good ... because that, as they point out in their letter, is clearly the right stance.

That brings us to piece of legislation – a piece of Obama sponsored legislation --designated as H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act. Would you care to guess just what H.R. 800 does? Well, that's simple. It will eliminate the secret ballot in union recognition elections. You got it! Obama has decided to really do something nice for the union bosses that are supporting him in this election, and he is determined to do away with secret ballots in union elections. When H.R. 800 gets passed ... and trust me, with Barack Obama in the White House, this thing will become law ... the union organizers will visit all of the workers, perhaps even visiting some of them in their homes, and "urge" them to sign the card calling for a union. I can hear it now: "Mrs. Johnson, wouldn't you and your children want your husband to be represented by our union at his job?" Now put yourself in the worker's place! Are you going to say no? This organizer is sitting in your living room looking at you and your wife and saying "You do want to be represented by our union in your workplace, don't you?" And you're going to tell him no?

Are you getting the big picture here? This is nothing less than Barack Obama and his Democrat pals legitimizing union intimidation in the workplace. If you don't see that, then there is virtually no hope for you when it comes to understanding basic politics. It's payback the unions time .. pay them back for all of that financial support and all of those volunteer hours. Besides ... the more union members there are the more union dues the union bosses have to spread to Democrats as campaign contributions.

But – we're saved, right? After all, we have those 16 Democrats who signed that letter to Mexico. What was it they said? Oh yeah: " ... we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise chose." So these 16 Democrats will certainly put up a spirited defense of secret ballots in union organizing elections, right?

Well ... um ... maybe not. You see, four of these congressmen (Dooley, Sabo, Evans and Coyne) are no longer in the Congress. One of the signers, Bernie Sanders, is now a Senator. That leaves 11 of the 16 signees still in the house to defend the principal of the secret ballot.

I'm afraid we have a small problem though. It seems that every one of the 11 remaining signees is now a sponsor of H.R. 800. In fact, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act was actually introduced by none other than George Miller – the very California Democrat on whose letterhead that letter to Mexico was written. Bernie Sanders is a sponsor of the same legislation in the Senate along with Barack Obama. No surprise .

On the one hand we have these Democrats writing a letter extolling the virtues of a secret ballot in union organizing elections, and then they sponsor a bill eliminating those very secret ballots! And here's Barack Obama pledging to sign the bill as soon as it comes to his desk! So what changed between 2001 and 2007? What happened that made these 12 Democrats go from believing that a secret ballot in a union election was "absolutely necessary," to introducing a bill eliminating those "absolutely necessary" secret ballots? Control of congress; that's what changed. In 2001 the Republicans ran the show. In 2007 it was the Democrats ... and it was time to return some favors to union bosses. Do you know what you're seeing here? You're seeing just how much power unions have over Barack Obama and the Democrat party. It doesn't matter what kind of letter you wrote, or what stance you took in the past --- when we say "frog" you had better jump.

Let me tell you what is going to happen as soon as Barack Obama is elected. Employers are going to look at the so-called Employee Free Choice Act and they're going to be very afraid. They know what a union can do to their business and their profitability. Just look at our auto industry. So employers are going to immediately start working to minimize the damage. How do you do that? Well, automation is one way. Go ahead and buy that machinery you need to automate much of your workplace. That will allow you to get rid of these employees before they can unionize. You might also want to consider the possibility of moving some of those jobs overseas where union intimidation might not be such a negative factor in your business operations.

When Obama gets his unionization by intimidation thing in place – and he most certainly will – jobs are going to be lost and businesses will fail. This is the price Obama is willing to pay to pay back the unions who have supported him.

Just another reason to vote for The Chosen One, right?

The Supreme Court

This is getting to be a bit long. We're over 6,200 words here. So let's end this message to the undecided voter with a few words about the Supreme Court.

It is quite possible that Barack Obama will get to make one, maybe two Supreme Court appointments before he's through in Washington. It is also possible that he will have a filibuster-proof Senate to help him ram those choices through.

I'm a lawyer, and I've always had this strange idea that the U.S. Supreme Court should base its decisions on the supreme law of our land, our Constitution. Many people think differently these days. A recent and rather shocking survey showed that around 80% of people who support Barack Obama believe that the Supreme Court should base its decisions not on the Constitution, but on what's "fair." Egad! On the other hand, the strong majority of McCain voters believe that the Supremes should look to our Constitution as the final authority.

Let's just make this short and sweet, because I know you want to get out of here. If Barack Obama gets those two nominations, and if the Democrat Senate rubber-stamps them, then we are going to have a Supreme Court making decisions based on their liberal definition of "fairness" with some consideration to foreign court decisions tossed in. This is perhaps Obama's greatest opportunity to do permanent damage to our Republic; permanent and irreparable damage. It's one thing when Barack Obama talks about wealth seizure and redistribution in terms of "fairness." It's quite another when that talk is legitimized by a Supreme Court decision.

So, dear undecided voters ... as Og Mandino (a great American) once said: "Use wisely your power of choice." There's a lot hanging in the balance.

There. I'm done.

==================================
 

Fact Check: Palin's Alaska spreads its wealth

Well the silly political season is almost over. I'm sure you're as tired of it as I am. But, there's still work to do. If we have to drag McCain's carcass over the finish line ourselves we need to do it to keep NObama out of the White House. Not that I have anything against the man personally. I just think his politics stink to high heaven.


When I heard Keith Olberman ranting about Sarah Palin being "socialist" because they "shared the wealth" in Alaska I laughed it off. What an idiot. He doesn't even know the difference between socialism and free enterprise. But now I'm seeing the quote flying all over the place.

Are HALF of the people in this country really that stupid? Is public education in this country really that far gone, that people don't know socialism from capitalism?

What Alaskans have is a product. It's called oil and gas (among many other resources they have). Alaska is set up so all residents have OWNERSHIP in that product. When the product is sold they all get a piece of the profits. That, my friends is not socialism! That is CAPITALISM. They have ownership much like any shareholder who owns stock in a company. When the company makes money and pays out a share of the profits in the form of dividends, THAT'S NOT SOCIALISM.

Socialism is when THE GOVERNMENT takes some of YOUR WEALTH (the end product of YOUR efforts) and redistributes it to others who they deem worthy but who otherwise have no ownership in your product, all in the interest of "fairness".

Er, Big difference, don't you think?

In NObama's world, he wants to take some of your property and "spread" it to people who had no part in earning it. (With a big fat cut off the top for government of course.) That's socialism. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs![" -- Karl Marx

So when some nut case starts regurgitating Olbamamerman's 'socialist' talking points to you, you will know what to say!

Fact Check: Palin's Alaska spreads its wealth



And while I'm at it I might as well address this Robin Hood thing I keep seeing. Some of these same people keep equating NObama's plan to "spread the wealth around" to what Robin Hood did. No. Robin Hood did not just rob from the rich and give to the poor. If you think that you missed the whole point.

In his battle against injustice and tyranny Robin Hood stole the ill-gotten gains from the illegitimate king and his corrupt followers and returned the money to the people it was stolen from. (Kinda like Bush's tax cuts following Clinton's tax hike!)


A short review: socialism bad. more socialism more bad. Redistribution of wealth = socialism. (remember: socialism bad). Higher taxes means fewer jobs. Who do you think hires people? The poor? This is the Land of Opportunity not the land of a 'right' to have everything free from cradle to grave. socialism leads to communism every time it's tried. Read history. Why does history repeat? Because people keep falling for warm fuzzy 'hope' and 'change' platitudes from smooth talking socialists. socialism bad.

This country was not founded on socialism. It did not become the greatest country in history in its 250 short years of existence based on socialism. It is built on FREEDOM and OWNERSHIP. Freedom creates OPPORTUNITY. Opportunity creates WEALTH. Socialism is the exact opposite of freedom. You can't have both!

----------

Three follow-up questions I wish Joe the Plumber had asked NObama:

1. Don't you think that everybody has the same chance at success as I (or you) do?
2. How will taxing my success make someone else more successful? (Aside from politicians and bureaucrats skimming off the top.)
3. Do you think rich people make poor people poor? That is, do you think there is a finite amount of wealth that must be shared?

===========================

“That is what change means for Barack the Redistributor: It means taking your money and giving it to someone else.”




==================================

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Damning Archival Audio Barack Obama Doesn't Want You to Hear

What's wrong with socialism?'

between the lines



'What's wrong with socialism?
Posted: October 27, 2008

'Socialism on the March'
Posted: October 20, 2008


=====================================]

Big Media pull out all stops for Obama

What ever you do I hope you'll vote out 'Big Media' this election.  Their bias towards Obama and the Democrat party, which used to be a thinly veiled secret, is not even hidden any more. They call themselves journalists but they are nothing more than henchmen and propagandists for the Democrat party.  Many of the Big Media companies are losing subscribers in droves and they don't seem to understand -- or care -- why. Seems people might actually want news in their newspapers and not yesterday's stinking fish.
 
 
 
==============================================
 

 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Did Saddam Hussein bagman help Obama buy mansion?

And the hits just keep on coming. 
 
This guy has had more brushes with shady characters than any politican I have ever seen. If this background were that of a Republican he would be out of play in a day.  Yet more and more of these people keep surfacing in NObamas dark hidden history.
 
"He's a guy in the neighborhood"..... "His kids go to the same school as mine."
 
It doesn't necessarily mean he's sleeping with them all. But come on. Even if there's only a passing bump in the night, look at the company this guy keeps.
 
The worst part is, this is only what we know... so far.
 
What do we not know?  And are we going to wait until after November 4th to find out?
 
My Mamma told me you will become who you hang around with.  My Mamma was a smart woman.
 
Character counts.  McCain/Palin is the only choice.
 
 
Did Saddam bagman help Obama buy mansion?
Photo confirms Rezko financier linked with late Iraqi tyrant
Posted: October 28, 2008  9:22 pm Eastern  © 2008 WorldNetDaily
 

 
Here's another one from today...
 
 
Related: 
 
===================================================
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2008

A reply to a reply

I got this reply from a cousin that I included in my email "Subject: 2001 OBAMA: 'TRAGEDY' THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED"

Thought you might like to see my reply.

Your thoughts?


Larry/Dad

=====================

"I didn't know you were one of the wealthy ones that wants 4 more years of the same. Ruth"


Hi Ruth,

No I'm not rich, but I don't begrudge the rich, either. What I don't want to see is America move into outright socialism. Socialism is not what built this country. Socialism is not what made it great. It was built on freedom. Freedom to pursue unbridled opportunity. Freedom to unlock your potential and achieve your dreams. I don't think government should be stepping in to define what my dreams should be, or to take what they deem to be my "excess" to redistribute to those they deem more deserving.

"The United States of America — five percent of the world's population — leads the world economically, militarily, scientifically, and culturally — and by a spectacular margin. Any one of these achievements, taken alone, would be cause for enormous pride. To dominate as we do in all four arenas has no historical precedent. That we have achieved so much in so many areas is due — due entirely — to the structure of our society as outlined in the Constitution of the United States. -- National Review Online: Shame, Cubed"

Wealth is not a finite thing like a pie that must be shared or spread around. Rich people did not make poor people poor. I was born and raised in a house with no indoor bathroom. Today I own 7 bathrooms. I was the second (my brother being the first) in my entire ancestry that I know of to attend college. I've traveled to many parts of the country and a few places outside the country. Who did I make poor by working for and achieving my dreams? What has my success got to do with anyone else? By accumulating wealth, did I take it away from someone else?

This is, in real life, the classic tales unfolding like the Ant and the Grasshopper and the Little Red Hen. Any child can read these stories and understand that it's not right for the farmer to force the Hen share her bread after all the other animals refused to help her produce it. It's not right for the government to force the Ant to share his savings when the grasshopper sat around all summer playing.

Yes, we need to pay taxes (although did you know that 40% of Americans pay NO Federal income tax?). Yes, we need to help those in real need, the aged and disabled. But too many people are climbing on that bandwagon that shouldn't be there. Government can't fix everything for everyone. That's not their job.

There's one more story that comes to mind of the little boy who wanted to help a butterfly who was struggling to hatch. So he opened the cocoon to let him out and it crippled the butterfly. His father explained that the butterfly needed to struggle out of the cocoon on his own because the process made him stronger. By opening it for him, the butterfly never got to exercise his wings.

I don't have any great love for Bush. He's rarely seen a spending bill he didn't like. He's been as big a spender on social issues as any Democrat ever has before. I also have not been a big fan of McCain's. But I believe he's at least more inclined to support the Constitution than to try dismantle it in the name of "economic justice" through "redistribution of wealth". (I'm more voting against Obama than for McCain).

Obama has a dark, hidden past that the media has been reluctant to dig into, for whatever reasons. But slowly, maybe too slowly, bits and pieces are coming into the light. He is not what he appears to be. He's well spoken, and has a warm reassuring voice. But his real goals remain mostly hidden and I think the "change" he talks about is not the real change he has in mind.

I have watched government welfare try to open the cocoon for too many people. It has crippled their motivation to 'exercise their own wings'. I think one of the most dangerous statements you can ever hear is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Best to you,
Larry

2001 OBAMA: 'TRAGEDY' THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED

If at this point you're still not completely convinvced that Obama is a full-fledged Marxist socialist then listen to this audio posted to YouTube of him on a radio show in 2001, explaining, not whether it's right or wrong, but how best to implement redistribution of wealth as a means of REPARATIONS (aka "economic justice").

2001 OBAMA: 'TRAGEDY' THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED

Nobama does not want to become President to benefit America. He wants to become a NATIONAL 'Community orgainzer'. NOW I KNOW what a 'community organizer' is: One who works through legal, legislative or any other means available for achieving a re-balancing of wealth under the guise of 'civil rights'.



Two men were sitting at a bar having a beer and the first one says, "You know the way to fix this country's problems is to just redistribute the wealth equally to all to make it fair."

The second guy sips his beer, thinks for a bit, then says, "That will never work. The most productive people, the movers and shakers, the achievers and the entrepeurial would go to work and make it all back and be right back where they were in just a few years.

The first guy jumps up all excited, "No! You don't understand! I mean ANNUALLY!"


Welcome to Obamaworld. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs![" -- Karl Marx




Larry

===============================

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Smears' About Obama Largely True

 
As if we didn't already know this
 

'Smears' About Obama Largely True

 
================================
 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Investor's Business Daily: The Audacity of Socialism

Investor's Business Daily has an 18 part series you should read before the election.  It even has free audio on each section so you can listen to it.
 
It's 18 more examples explaining why we should shun NObama's socialist/Marxist ideaology.
 
Click the title:
 
 
 
 
 
Remember:
 
Why NObama? Space does not allow. In short: socialism bad. more socialism more bad. Redistribution of wealth = socialism. (rem: socialism bad). Higher taxes means fewer jobs. Who do you think hires people? The poor? This is the Land of Opportunity not the land of a 'right' to have everything free from cradle to grave. socialism leads to communism every time it's tried. Read history. Why does history repeat? Because people keep falling for the warm fuzzy platitudes of socialists. socialism bad.
 
========================================
 

Orwellian Intimidation: The Future of America?

If anyone has any doubts of the depths the liberal left will stoop to regain power in this country, this should lay them to rest.  'Joe' is an average working guy who dared speak directly to their Messiah, to ask a simple question, and he didn't even get on his knees to do it. They won't have that, Joe! 

Let that be a lesson to the rest of you who think there is an ounce of character in the loony left.  They will attempt to destroy anyone who gets in their way towards total power. Whether it's public humiliation and vilification from the left-obamedia, or government intimidation by liberal bureaucrats, they have been relentless in their pursuit to destroy.  (And clinton thought he had it bad.)

The Columbus Dispatch : Government computers used to find information on Joe the Plumber

I love the comments lambasting Joe for even thinking he could exercise his Constitutional right to run for Congress. He is vilified as being 'stupid' and a 'moron' and thinking he's some 'American Idol'.  The same dull tripe we've been hearing about Sarah Palin.

Aside from their conservative views, liberals can't stand the thought of an average (conservative) guy or gal running for office because they see their leaders as their daddy; their Master; even their Messiah.  They want to be taken care of. They don't like working and they believe they have a 'right' to have what everybody else has. You got a color TV, I have a 'right' to a color TV. You got a cell phone, I have a 'right' to a cell phone. You work and pay for health benefits, I have a 'right' to health benefits too. And so on. Only a Sugar Daddy, with a soft reassuring voice, can get you all those things by just asking.  They sure don't want anyone talking about them taking personal responsibility for themselves and their families. (Why, you must be a racist!).  They don't want to hear about opportunity, and working and earning those things.  They just want it. And they want it now.

It's ironic that they make fun of Palin and Wurzelbacher for not having any experience, yet their Messiah is probably one of the most inexperienced people in politics.

I'm so sick of watching rich lawyers and other zany, self-aggrandized millionaires running this country into the ground. Their approval rating in congress is lower than a widely hated, lame duck president. Whatever their grandiose qualification are, it ain't working.  Believe me, 500 Sarah's and Joe's couldn't do worse if they tried! Maybe a little 'common man, common sense' approach is just what we need in Washington.  I think Congress should work like jury duty. We're ALL in the pool of names (well, the legal ones anyway) to serve a term and then we're done.  How hard can it be? Even Ted Kennedy can do it.

'Joe the Plumber' Mulling Run for Congress

Go for it, Joe!  But watch your back.  The elitists don't like the uppity field help comin' on up into the house uninvited.  Some pigs are just more equal than other pigs.

Larry

=====================================================

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Election Night In Grant Park: Construction Begins

 
I sure hope America wakes up on election day
and turns this big shin dig into a concession stand!
 

Election Night In Grant Park: Construction Begins

City Vows To Bill Obama Campaign For All Costs
Associated With Massive Outdoor Bash

 
========================================
 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Barack Obama lines up a cabinet of stars as John McCain struggles on

This is called counting your chickens before they hatch.
 
NObama will not win.
 
 
 
========================================
 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obama Pulling Away in Newspaper Endorsement Race

 
If this is not smoking gun evidence that the major newspapers are
in the tank, liberally-biased "news" organizations I don't know what is.
 
It won't be enough.  NObama is going to lose this election.
How's that for an endorsment?
 
 
==================================================

Thursday, October 16, 2008

OBAMA FIRES A 'ROBIN HOOD' WARNING SHOT

Comparing Obama's socialistic ideology to the story of Robin Hood is outrageous. Robin Hood stole from the GOVERNMENT and the corrupt citizenery that were in kahoots with the GOVERNMENT, NOT from the PEOPLE. Obama is stealing from THE PEOPLE, taking his bureaucratic cut and then doling it out to those he deems worthy of the ill-gotten gains. Socialism will always lead to communism. SOMEBODY has to be in "control". This country is headed in that direction a lot faster than I ever thought I'd see in my lifetime.
 
 
===================================================
 

Polls lie

Polls. Gotta love 'em.  Keeps the liberals happy.  Just don't believe them! 
 
 
COPYRIGHT 2008 ANN COULTER

=========================================
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Northland Couple Warns of Political Credit Card Fraud

 
=======================================
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

THEY GAVE YOUR MORTGAGE TO A LESS QUALIFIED MINORITY

 
September 24, 2008

On MSNBC this week, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter tried to connect John McCain to the current financial disaster, saying: "If you remember the Keating Five scandal that (McCain) was a part of. ... He's really getting a free ride on the fact that he was in the middle of the last great financial scandal in our country."

McCain was "in the middle of" the Keating Five case in the sense that he was "exonerated." The lawyer for the Senate Ethics Committee wanted McCain removed from the investigation altogether, but, as The New York Times reported: "Sen. McCain was the only Republican embroiled in the affair, and Democrats on the panel would not release him."

So John McCain has been held hostage by both the Viet Cong and the Democrats.

Alter couldn't be expected to know that: As usual, he was lifting material directly from Kausfiles. What is unusual was that he was stealing a random thought sent in by Kausfiles' mother, who, the day before, had e-mailed: "It's time to bring up the Keating Five. Let McCain explain that scandal away."

The Senate Ethics Committee lawyer who investigated McCain already had explained that scandal away -- repeatedly. It was celebrated lawyer Robert Bennett, most famous for defending a certain horny hick president a few years ago.

In February this year, on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes," Bennett said, for the eight billionth time:

"First, I should tell your listeners I'm a registered Democrat, so I'm not on (McCain's) side of a lot of issues. But I investigated John McCain for a year and a half, at least, when I was special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee in the Keating Five. ... And if there is one thing I am absolutely confident of, it is John McCain is an honest man. I recommended to the Senate Ethics Committee that he be cut out of the case, that there was no evidence against him."

It's bad enough for Alter to be constantly ripping off Kausfiles. Now he's so devoid of his own ideas, he's ripping off the idle musings of Kausfiles' mother.

Even if McCain had been implicated in the Keating Five scandal -- and he wasn't -- that would still have absolutely nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis currently roiling the financial markets. This crisis was caused by political correctness being forced on the mortgage lending industry in the Clinton era.

Before the Democrats' affirmative action lending policies became an embarrassment, the Los Angeles Times reported that, starting in 1992, a majority-Democratic Congress "mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains."

Under Clinton, the entire federal government put massive pressure on banks to grant more mortgages to the poor and minorities. Clinton's secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Cuomo, investigated Fannie Mae for racial discrimination and proposed that 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers by the year 2001.

Instead of looking at "outdated criteria," such as the mortgage applicant's credit history and ability to make a down payment, banks were encouraged to consider nontraditional measures of credit-worthiness, such as having a good jump shot or having a missing child named "Caylee."

Threatening lawsuits, Clinton's Federal Reserve demanded that banks treat welfare payments and unemployment benefits as valid income sources to qualify for a mortgage. That isn't a joke -- it's a fact.

When Democrats controlled both the executive and legislative branches, political correctness was given a veto over sound business practices.

In 1999, liberals were bragging about extending affirmative action to the financial sector. Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Brownstein hailed the Clinton administration's affirmative action lending policies as one of the "hidden success stories" of the Clinton administration, saying that "black and Latino homeownership has surged to the highest level ever recorded."

Meanwhile, economists were screaming from the rooftops that the Democrats were forcing mortgage lenders to issue loans that would fail the moment the housing market slowed and deadbeat borrowers couldn't get out of their loans by selling their houses.

A decade later, the housing bubble burst and, as predicted, food-stamp-backed mortgages collapsed. Democrats set an affirmative action time-bomb and now it's gone off.

In Bush's first year in office, the White House chief economist, N. Gregory Mankiw, warned that the government's "implicit subsidy" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combined with loans to unqualified borrowers, was creating a huge risk for the entire financial system.

Rep. Barney Frank denounced Mankiw, saying he had no "concern about housing." How dare you oppose suicidal loans to people who can't repay them! The New York Times reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "under heavy assault by the Republicans," but these entities still had "important political allies" in the Democrats.

Now, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, middle-class taxpayers are going to be forced to bail out the Democrats' two most important constituent groups: rich Wall Street bankers and welfare recipients.

Political correctness had already ruined education, sports, science and entertainment. But it took a Democratic president with a Democratic congress for political correctness to wreck the financial industry.

COPYRIGHT 2008 ANN COULTER
 
===============================================

Obama's 95% Illusion - WSJ.com

 

It depends on what the meaning of 'tax cut' is.

 
 
Obama's Tax "Cuts" and "Credits" are Just a Disguise for New Deal 3
 
==============================================
 

Next on school agenda: Teaching communism

Save your children!  Get them out of public schools, especially in Kalifornia!
 
 
=======================
 

Federal Reserve caused Great Depression

There you have it. Government meddling in the free market strikes again.
 
 
 
And now history repeats....
 
================================
 

Scorecard for Understanding the Mortgage Scandal

Banks and mortgage lender failures are not the scandal. The scandal is that the crooks that bled these banks dry are not in jail.  That includes the corrupt CEOs and other company officials, the people who ran Freddie/Fannie, as well as the politicians who have been involved and have benefited from these companies who remarkably all have D's after their names. Dodd, Schumer, Frank, the list seems endless.  Why are these quasi-government companies spending millions of dollars bribing, er excuse me, lobbying Congress anyway?  They are the government!
 
After chastising the oil company CEOs for getting big salaries and bonuses how could these scumbag cretins even begin to justify the huge salaries and bonuses that were being handed out at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?  $90 million dollars in 5 years??? WTF?????  How can anyone even justify that with a straight face?
 
I hope people wake up soon and realize that the corrupt politicians are not only robbing the taxpayers blind, but they are doing it with impunity. In the end who pays?
 
We must get government out the banking business, the mortgage business, and God forbid we need to keep them out of the healthcare business. They screw up everything they touch.
 
 
 
WND Exclusive
MONEYNETDAILY
Your scorecard for understanding mortgage scandal
Find out who's who in the 'Rogues Gallery' of economic crisis

Posted: September 25, 2008
10:45 am Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

As Congress works on a $700 billion bailout plan for the U.S. financial system, the FBI has extended fraud investigations to 26 companies involved in mortgage lending. Authorities are attempting to determine whether any of the firms have participated in accounting fraud, insider trading or inflating values of mortgage-related assets. The FBI has not disclosed a list of companies under investigation, but the following are just a few firms in distress and executives under scrutiny.

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-related losses forced the U.S. Treasury to take over the quasi-governmental mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the nation's largest financers of home mortgages.

Last year, federal regulators charged Freddie Mac with negligent conduct for its role in a four-year securities fraud accounting scandal, MSNBC reported. Former president and chief operating officer David Glenn, former chief financial officer Vaughn Clarke and former senior vice presidents Robert Dean and Nazir Dossani agreed to pay civil fines totaling $515,000 and restitution payments amounting to $275,548.

Former Freddie Mac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Syron told MSNBC last year, "We take these charges seriously, and that's why the Freddie Mac of today is a very different company than the Freddie Mac of the past."


Richard Syron

The company promised to no longer violate securities laws, according to the Associated Press. News of a 2003 scandal revealed Freddie Mac had misreported earnings by $5 billion since 2000.

Freddie Mac's high-level executives were removed from their positions, and the company was forced to pay a $125 million civil fine in a settlement with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

In a federal lawsuit, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Freddie Mac "engaged in a fraudulent scheme that deceived investors about its true performance, profitability and growth trends."

However, the scandals were far from over. In July, the New York Times reported Freddie Mac's chief risk officer gave Syron a memo in 2004, warning him that the company was granting problematic loans that could endanger the firm. Two dozen high-level executives confirmed that Syron had ignored the advice.

Freddie Mac former chief risk officer, David A. Andrukonis, told the Times Syron would not listen when told the company would become exposed to losses.

"He said we couldn't afford to say no to anyone," Andrukonis said.

Freddie Mac would continue to buy riskier loans for the next three years.

Syron has received compensation of more than $38 million since 2003. Meanwhile, stock prices plummeted, and more than $80 billion of shareholder value vanished.

Now, the FBI is investigating both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for coprorate fraud. It will determine whether the companies intentionally misled the stock market by claiming the businesses were faring better than they actually were.

Fannie Mae

In 2006, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight accused former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Franklin D. Raines and two other executives of manipulating earnings from 1998 to 2004 so they would receive bonuses totaling $115 million.

Civil charges were filed against Raines, who is also a former budget director for President Bill Clinton; J. Timothy Howard, former chief financial officer; and Leanne G. Spencer, former Fannie Mae controller. Raines is paying a $24.7 million settlement, an additional $2 million fine and he was forced to forfeit $15.6 million in stock options. Howard agreed to pay $6.4 million, and Spencer agreed to pay $275,000. Fannie Mae has agreed to pay a $400 million civil settlement to the OFHEO and the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Franklin D. Raines

According to the Wall Street Journal, Freddie and Fannie own or guarantee about $5.2 trillion worth of mortgages. The riskiest loans held by Freddie and Fannie are known as "Alt-A" and subprime mortgages, worth about $780 billion, or about 15 percent of the total portfolio. The recent federal government takeover of Freddie and Fannie passes to U.S. taxpayers the contingent liability for failures in the entire $5.2 trillion loan portfolio held by the two mortgage giants.

Both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have come under fire for allegedly having donors and campaign advisers tied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the New York Times reported. The companies are said to have contributed money to protect them from stricter regulations while purchasing risky mortgages.


Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.

McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was reportedly paid a total of $35,000 a month from 2000 to 2002 by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. McCain told the Times Davis no longer works for the mortgage giants and has had "nothing to do with it" since he left the payrolls. However, another New York Times report alleges Freddie Mac paid Davis $15,000 each month from 2005 through August 2008. The McCain campaign responded to the Times article, saying Davis separated from his consulting firm in 2006 and has never been a paid lobbyist for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Democrats received the largest political contributions from the companies. As WND reported, Obama in his three complete years in the Senate is the second largest recipient of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae campaign contributions, behind only Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the powerful chairman of the Senate banking committee.

According to OpenSecrets.com, from 1989 to 2008, Dodd received $165,400 in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions, including gifts from PACs and individuals. He is followed by Obama, who received $126,349 in such contributions since being elected to the Senate in 2004.

In 2005, McCain warned of the coming mortgage crisis and pressed for regulatory reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Countrywide Financial


Angelo Mozilo

In addition to being the former Fannie Mae chief executive, Franklin Raines is also one of several "friends of Angelo," or FOAs. These VIPs accepted loans at below-market rates with preferential terms from Countrywide Financial, a now bankrupt loan originator in the subprime mortgage debacle. Only prominent people were allowed to participate in the low-key program, named for former Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo, that did away with points, fees and borrowing rules.

A Washington Post profile published July 17 said Raines was then playing a role advising the Obama presidential campaign on mortgage and housing policy. As WND reported, he also received $90 million in his five years as Fannie Mae CEO, from 1999 to 2004. He was forced to retire when reports surfaced that the company had hidden profit fluctuations. Fannie Mae was the biggest buyer of Countrywide mortgages.


James Johnson

Another former CEO of Fannie Mae and former adviser to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, James Johnson, is reported to have accepted more than $7 million in FOAs from Countrywide. Johnson was appointed to head Obama's vice-presidential selection committee, but he was forced to step down when the Countrywide controversy surfaced in June. As WND reported, Johnson earned $21 million in just his last year at Fannie Mae.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, also received an FOA from Countrywide Financial. At the same time, he recently proposed the federal government bail out failing mortgage lenders, including Countrywide. According to Condé Nast Portfolio, Dodd also received $21,000 in campaign donations from the company since 1997. From 1989 to 2008, Dodd also received $165,400 in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions, including contributions from PACs and individuals, followed by Obama, who received $126,349 in such contributions since being elected to the Senate in 2004.


Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also accepted a $1.07 million FOA from Countrywide, as did former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, according to a report by Condé Nast Portfolio.

Jackson received his loans in 2003 when he was deputy H.U.D. secretary under President Bush. Sahalala served under the Clinton administration and became president of the University of Miami before receiving two Countrywide FOA loans in 2002. Holbrooke, former adviser to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, received one of the VIP loans in 2001.

Condé Nast Portfolio reveals the Countrywide code of ethics bans executives and employees from "improperly influencing the decisions of government employees or contractors by offering or promising to give money, gifts, loans, rewards, favors, or anything else of value." Likewise, federal officials are not allowed to accept gifts, such as loans not available to the general public.

Countrywide also has a registered lobbyist, and strict rules ban senators from accepting gifts worth more than $100 in a single year. According to reports, it has granted hundreds of millions of dollars in special FOA loans every year to politicians, officials, executives, celebrities and other VIP borrowers.

Bank of America penned a deal to aquire the company in early 2008 after its shares plummeted from $45 to less than $5 in one year. Countrywide is now said to be under FBI investigation for securities fraud.

Indymac Bank

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. was sent into freefall after Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, escalated the crisis by publicly leaking his June 26 letter to the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He warned that the bank was on the brink of collapse.

Schumer said he was "concerned that IndyMac's financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers and that the regulatory community may not be prepared to take measures that would help prevent the collapse of IndyMac," according to the Wall Street Journal.


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Schumer's letter sent IndyMac customers into widespread panic, and they quickly withdrew their money from the bank – to the tune of $1.3 billion.

OTS Director John Reich told the Journal Schumer's letter gave the bank "a heart attack." However, Schumer has not expressed remorse for the letter. He says he was simply doing his job when he cautioned regulators about an impending collapse.

"It's what legislators are supposed to do," Schumer told the Journal. He said faulting him is like blaming "the fire on the guy who called 9-1-1."

While the bank had experienced some mortgage portfolio losses prior to the incident, OTS has directly attributed IndyMac's closing to Schumer's letter.

A government takeover of IndyMac Bank is estimated to have cost the FDIC between $4 billion and $8 billion. According to the Associated Press, the FBI is currently investigating IndyMac for fraud and providing home loans to risky borrowers.

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Lehman Brothers


Richard Fuld (ThisisMoney.co.uk)

Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld was awarded a $22 million bonus in 2007 after the bank's net profit was reported to have risen by 5 percent to a record $4.2 billion, according to Reuters. Now the company, formerly known as Wall Street's fourth largest investment bank, has filed one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history.

According to Reuters, Fuld "played a game of brinksmanship, refusing to accept offers that could have rescued the firm because they didn't reflect the value he saw in the bank."

Fuld could have sold a 25 percent stake in the company to Korea Development Bank for $4 billion to $6 billion before the collapse. But according to Wall Street Journal reports, Fuld claimed the offer was too low.

Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 11. Now, the company is under investigation by the FBI to determine whether the company misled investors about its assets and pushed agencies to inflate its ratings.

Washington Mutual


Kerry Killinger

After Washington Mutual lost more than 70 percent of its market value this year following mortgage-related losses, the Seattle-based bank has been seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC sold its banking assets to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion.

Washington Mutual is expected to have between $19 billion and $28 billion in total losses following risky lending practices under its former chief executive, Kerry Killinger.

The bank financed at least 43 mortgages worth $24.5 million for one family of home flippers who had a history of fraud, the Orange County Register reported. Washington Mutual, like many banks, did not conduct criminal background checks on its borrowers and liberally granted loans. Vijay and Supriti Soni of Corona del Mar had numerous felony convictions for real estate fraud schemes. They received the Washington Mutual loans last year and are now foreclosing on six properties.

Some say Washington Mutual provided adjustable-rate and subprime mortgages without cautious discrimination. The bank began to suffer when borrowers could not repay the loans.

In 2007, Killinger claimed the company changed its policy to tighten lending standards to protect it from the worsening market. Killinger was stripped of his chairman title, and the board of directors removed him from his CEO position in September. The bank reported $10.9 billion in losses over the last three quarters. It is the largest bank to fail in U.S. history.

American International Group, Inc (AIG)

Former American International Group CEO Maurice Greenberg stepped down from the company in 2005 amid allegations of an accounting scandal. Martin Sullivan succeeded him as AIG CEO and was ousted in June. He was given $19 million in termination pay, including a $15 million severance package and a bonus of $4 million, according to a July AIG 8-K form report.

Meanwhile, the federal government bailed out American International Group Inc. by granting it an $85 billion Federal Reserve loan in exchange for 80 percent of its equity. AIG CEO Edward Liddy said it made an "exhaustive effort" to borrow money in the private market, but it failed, the Associated Press reported.

The company insured risky debt and bonds against default, and some investors claim it overvalued its Alt-A and subprime mortgage-backed securities. Now the FBI is investigating the nation's largest insurer and its executives for fraud.

Bear Stearns


Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi

The New York City-based Bear Stearns Companies, Inc., a large global investment bank, collapsed after it was dicovered the bank had illiquid and nearly worthless subprime hedge funds. Investors filed claims against Bear Stearns in 2007, stating they were misled about the value of the hedge funds.

Bear Stearns Chief Executive James E. Cayne reportedly spent 10 of 21 work days playing golf and competing in a bridge tournament while executives frantically worked to prevent collapse of the funds.

Two fund managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, surrendered to federal authorities in June. They were charged with nine counts of securities, mail and wire fraud to hide mounting losses from investors. Cioffi was also charged with insider trading

In the days before the firm was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for only $2 a share in March 2008, Bear Stearns' new chief executive, Alan Schwartz, assured investors the company had sufficient liquidity.

The investment bank, having survived the Great Depression and several recessions, was purchased for less than one-tenth its market price.


Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and SEC Chairman Chris Cox

Following an onslaught of rumors about losses and liquidity issues, investors began withdrawing their money. Bear Stearns was forced to sell to its rival, JPMorgan Chase. In what was considered an unprecedented move at the time, the Fed extended a $30 billion credit line to finance the transaction.

Now, while the FBI investigates 26 firms for fraud, Congress works to approve a $700 billion bail out plan to buy troubled investments and save financial institutions from their mounting debts. The president is also asking Congress to increase the limit on the nation's debt from $10.6 trillion to $11.3 trillion – a move that could raise interest rates and weaken the dollar. Many say the bailout will reward irresponsible financial institutions and greedy executives, burdening taxpayers with the consequences in the midst of an already troubled economy.

(ref: www.worldnetdaily.com)