Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Obama Pushes False GM Success Story

By Investor's Business Daily



Politics: The Obama camp can't stop clucking about how he saved GM and the car industry. But if the GM bailout is such a success story, why can't it pay back its debt to taxpayers?

The president's new campaign video narrated by actor Tom Hanks claims GM has "repaid" its loans. But in a revelation by the special inspector general monitoring the TARP bailout program, GM and GMAC together still owe the biggest share of the remaining $119 billion TARP debt.

Of the top bailout recipients, GM is the biggest laggard, the TARP watchdog says in his latest quarterly report to Congress. Bank of America, Citigroup, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial all have paid off their debt and left the TARP program. Even AIG has paid back more than 75% of what it owes taxpayers.

GM, on the other hand, still owes more than half the $50 billion in federal funds it received when the combination of the recession and its costly union contracts drove it into bankruptcy. And its lending arm, GMAC (now Ally Financial), still owes $14.5 billion.

What's worse, it's not clear that GM actually repaid what it's gotten credit for repaying. Check out this note buried in the inspector's report: "As part of a credit agreement with Treasury, $16.4 billion in TARP funds were placed in an escrow account that GM could access only with Treasury's permission."

As it turns out, GM got Treasury's OK to "repay" more than $6.7 billion "using a portion of the escrow account that had been funded with TARP funds." So GM is merely paying the government back with government money, not money GM is earning selling cars, as the administration has claimed.

Worse, GM in effect is still borrowing money. Consider this item from the report: "What remained in escrow was released to GM." Bottom line: Taxpayers have not been paid back and are still on the hook as GM continues to require government help. Yet Obama has hailed the GM bailout as the signature achievement of his big government programs.

"On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen," the president said. "Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's No. 1 automaker."

Even that's a stretch. GM edged tsunami-crippled Toyota by counting sales at its joint ventures in China, which aren't wholly owned subsidiaries. And the government is directly subsidizing new GM auto lines like the star-crossed Chevy Volt.

Ford, which didn't take TARP funds, grabbed market share from GM and is now more profitable. Ironically, Ford for the first time in years has outsold GM in the number of cars bought by the federal government - although Washington still owns a huge stake in GM. Not exactly a vote of confidence.

In North America, Ford just recorded its highest quarterly profit since 2000. GM missed profit estimates in the fourth quarter. And analysts are not sanguine about its first-quarter results due Thursday.

The GM story is hardly what we're looking for in terms of a recovery. That Obama is touting it as a top economic achievement speaks volumes about his policies.

RENAME THE SECAUCUS RAIL STATION FOR A REAL MILITARY HERO



Why do politicians have to build monuments to themselves? Did New Jersey not already go through this with the ill-fated Governor Brendan Byrne Arena?

THE ISSUE: Naming public buildings after self-serving politicians is indefensible, and naming the Secaucus Rail Station after Sen. Frank Lautenberg is no exception; especially when there are DOZENS OF MILITARY HEROES. (some examples here)

THE SOLUTION: Removing this vain, egotistical tribute to a questionable politician and replacing it with a real hero is an easy fix – we just need to let NJ know how we feel – Please sign this petition. ITS FAST, EASY and IT WORKS
Op-ed:
With Obama...it’s all about ME, MYSELF, and I!!!
By: Diane Sori

Today is one year since Osama bin Laden was taken out by Navy SEAL Team 6, yet if you listen to the bloviatings of Barack Hussein Obama, you would think he single-handily flew himself to Pakistan, knocked on bin Laden’s front door, and blew the most wanted man in the world away himself!

And why do I think this...just read some of what Osama has said recently on national TV:

“I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction I...”

You get my drift...it’s all about I, I, I...me,me,me...with this narcissistic usurping traitor!

We listened to Obama brag so much about the killing at the time it happened, and we know that he continues to do so to this day, but on this one-year anniversary shouldn’t the remembrances have been about the brave SEALS who actually carried out the mission, and about the victims off 9/11 and their families who now have at least some closure.

But in Obamaland, the land of ‘I,I, I...me, me, me,’ self-gratification takes precedence over all.  Thankfully,  former and current Navy SEALS have been continuously lambasting Obama for taking sole credit for killing bin Laden, and have also been calling him to task for using these Special Forces SEAL operators as political fodder for his re-election campaign. 

What Obama the narcissist doesn’t understand, or worse yet, refuses to understand, is that taking down bin Laden, the murderer of 3000+ Americans, was really a decision that should have come easy...a simple GO would have been enough for an honorable man, a man who is supposed to be the leader of a nation still reeling from 9/11, but for Obama, the most dishonorable of men, this decision took hours and hours, and in the end he had to be pushed into giving the order.  Pushed and cajoled into giving an order that would help a still grieving nation rest more easily.

And why the delay...beyond the obvious that he sides with his muslim brethren against America every chance he gets, is the fact that he needed to twist these events to serve his own purposes.  Obama needed time to make this event all about him; he needed time to rewrite the scenario so he would be the hero; and he needed time to make those who actually did the deed became second tier players to his cleverly crafted self-promotion campaign.

And proof of this is how Obama has now taken the events of that day and turned them into a campaign advertisement glorifying himself, while at the same time defaming Mitt Romney who doesn’t even officially have the nomination yet and whose comments he totally took out of context!


Barack Hussein Obama is running scared, so scared that he will lose his re-election bid that he takes an event which should have only been about payback and closure for 9/11, and he turns that event into his own personal, ‘me, me, me...it’s all about me’ moment deliberately forgetting all the preparations, sacrifice, and team effort that was needed to bring the death of Bin Laden to fruition.

Shame on you Obama for not only making a mockery of the presidency in what should have been a victory for ALL America, but shame on you for turning it into a victory solely for you and you alone.  The Bible says that come Judgment Day each person shall be judged by their fruits, well you Mr. Obama shall be judged by the rotting, spoiling fruits you continuously pound America and Americans with.  Hope you like the heat Mr. Obama, because where you're going it WILL most definitely be hot!






Documents reveal al Qaeda's plans for seizing cruise ships, carnage in Europe
By Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, CNN

(CNN) -- On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards.

Buried inside them was a pornographic video called "Kick Ass" -- and a file marked "Sexy Tanja."

Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence -- more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group's most audacious plots and a road map for future operations.

Future plots include the idea of seizing cruise ships and carrying out attacks in Europe similar to the gun attacks by Pakistani militants that paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Ten gunmen killed 164 people in that three-day rampage.


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Terrorist training manuals in PDF format in German, English and Arabic were among the documents, too, according to intelligence sources.


U.S. intelligence sources tell CNN that the documents uncovered are "pure gold;" one source says that they are the most important haul of al Qaeda materials in the last year, besides those found when U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a year ago and killed the al Qaeda leader.

One document was called "Future Works." Its authorship is unclear, but intelligence officials believe it came from al Qaeda's inner core. It may have been the work of Younis al Mauretani, a senior al Qaeda operative until his capture by Pakistani police in 2011.

The document appears to have been the product of discussions to find new targets and methods of attack. 

German investigators believe it was written in 2009 -- and that it remains the template for al Qaeda's plans.

Investigative journalist Yassin Musharbash, a reporter with the German newspaper Die Zeit, was the first to report on the documents. One plan: to seize passenger ships. According to Musharbash, the writer "says that we could hijack a passenger ship and use it to pressurize the public."

Musharbash takes that to mean that the terrorists "would then start executing passengers on those ships and demand the release of particular prisoners."

The plan would include dressing passengers in orange jump suits, as if they were al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and then videotaping their execution.

Lodin and a man called Yusuf Ocak, who allegedly traveled back to Europe with him, are now on trial in Berlin where they are pleading not guilty. Ocak was detained in Vienna two weeks after Lodin's arrest.

According to a senior Western counterterrorism official, their names were on a watch list, and when they handed over documents at a European border crossing, their names registered with counterterrorism agencies.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. Ocak is also charged with helping to form a group called the German Taliban Mujahedeen, and is alleged to have made a video for the group threatening attacks in Germany.

Prosecutors believe the pair met at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's tribal territories and were sent back to Europe to recruit a network of suicide bombers.

"We do not know what those men were up to but there are certain files of information that would make it plausible that they were probably thinking of a Mumbai-style attack," says Musharbash.

In the fall of 2010, a year after the document was written, European intelligence agencies were scrambling to investigate a Mumbai-style plot involving German and other European militants -- which sparked an unprecedented U.S. State Department travel warning for Americans in Europe.

"I think it is plausible to think that the 'Future Works' document is part of that particular project," says Musharbash.

"Future Works" suggests al Qaeda was an organization under great pressure, without a major attack to its name in several years, harried by Western intelligence. If anything, its predicament is even more dire today.

"The document delivers very clearly the notion that al Qaeda knows it is being followed very closely," 

Musharbash tells CNN. "It specifically says that Western intelligence agencies have become very good at spoiling attacks, that they have to come up with new ways and better plotting."

Part of the response, according to the document, should be to train European jihadists quickly and send them home -- rather than use them as fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- with instructions on how to keep in secret contact with their handlers.

What emerges from the document is a twin-track strategy -- with the author apparently convinced that al Qaeda needs low-cost, low-tech attacks (perhaps such as the recent gun attacks in France carried out by Mohammed Merah) to keep security services preoccupied while it plans large-scale attacks on a scale similar to 9/11.

Those already under suspicion in Europe and elsewhere would be used as decoys, while others would prepare major attacks.

That is yet to materialize, but Musharbash believes a complex gun attack in Europe is still on al Qaeda's radar.

"I believe that the general idea is still alive and I believe that as soon as al Qaeda has the capacities to go after that scenario, they will immediately do it," he says.

While "Future Works" does not include dates or places, nor specific plans, it appears to be a brainstorming exercise to seize the initiative -- and reinstate al Qaeda on front pages around the world.
______________________________________________________

Editor's note: This story is based on internal al Qaeda documents, details of which were obtained by CNN. German cryptologists discovered hundreds of documents embedded inside a pornographic movie on a memory disk belonging to a suspected al Qaeda operative arrested in Berlin last year. The German newspaper Die Zeit was the first to report on the documents.

SEALs slam Obama for using them as 'ammunition' in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

By Toby Harnden / Mail Online

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

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Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool
Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I'd go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they'd do something else, then I'd go ahead and let them explain it.’
 
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice - it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago
Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound
Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It's one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room... all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun.

As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same
Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

Mr Kyle added: ‘He's trying to say that Romney wouldn't have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it's going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

A former intelligence official who was serving in the US government when bin Laden was killed said that the Obama administration knew about the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts in October 2010 but delayed taking action and risked letting him escape.

‘In the end, Obama was forced to make a decision and do it. He knew that if he didn’t do it the political risks in not taking action were huge. Mitt Romney would have made the call but he would have made it earlier – as would George W. Bush.’

Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who spent 13 years on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: ‘Bush should get partial credit for putting the system in place.

‘Obama inherited a very robust package with regards to special ops and the intelligence community. But Obama deserves credit because he got bin Laden – you can’t take that away from him.

‘My friends that work in Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that have been on video teleconferences with Obama on these kill or capture situations say that Obama has no issue whatsoever with making decisions and typically it's kill. He’s hitting the kill button every time. I have a lot of respect for him for that.’

But he said that many SEALs were dismayed about the amount of publicity the Obama administration had generated about SEAL Team Six, the very existence of which is highly classified.

‘The majority of the SEALs I know are really proud of the operation but it does become “OK, enough is enough – we’re ready to get back to work and step out of the limelight.” They don’t want to be continuously paraded around a global audience like a show dog.

‘Obama has a very good relationship with the Special Operations community at large, especially the SEALs, and it’s nice to see. We had the same relationship with George W. Bush when he was president.’

It was ‘stretching a little much’ for Mr Obama to suggest only he would have made the decision. ‘I personally I don't think Romney would have any problem making tough decisions. He got a very accomplished record of making decision as a business professional.

‘He may not have charisma but he clearly has leadership skills. I don’t think he'd have any problem taking that decision.’

Clint Bruce, who gave up the chance of an NFL career to serve as a SEAL officer before retiring as a lieutenant after nine years, said: ‘We were extremely surprised and discouraged by the publicity because it compromises the ability of those guys to operate.

‘It’s a waste of time to speculate about who would and wouldn’t have made that decision. It was a symphony of opportunity and intelligence that allowed this administration to give the green light. We want to acknowledge that they made that decision.

‘Politicians should let the public know where they stand on national security but not in the play-by-play, detailed way that has been done recently. The intricacies of national security should not become part of stump speeches.’

Watch the ad here:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137636/SEALs-slam-Obama-using-ammunition-bid-credit-bin-Laden-killing-electio