Saturday, October 5, 2013

Never before has an American president threatened and risked the U.S. economy and financial markets the way Barack Obama has in recent days. For his own narrow political ends, Obama and his minions have actually accused the Republican party of deliberately provoking a Treasury debt default because they don't agree with the Obama position on the continuing budget resolution and the debt ceiling. 
 
"As reckless as a government shutdown is ... an economic shutdown that results from default would be dramatically worse," Obama said on Thursday. Clearly targeting Republicans, he said a default would be "the height of irresponsibility."

Then, on the same day, Obama's Treasury Department released a brutal statement that said a default would prove catastrophic, causing credit markets to freeze and leading to "a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse."

So who exactly in the Republican ranks is calling for a Treasury debt default? Who? The GOP disagrees with Obama on the budget and health care, but no Republicans have ever said they favor defaulting on the nation's debt.

What's going on here?

I have a strong suspicion that Obama and his troops are trying to provoke a massive sell-off in stocks and bonds to further their political position. And a massive sell-off like that could conceivably become a self-fulfilling prophecy, driving the economy into recession. Indeed, it could drive the whole global economy back into recession, since U.S markets are the epicenter of the world's system.

This kind of political tactic is beneath the presidency. No president -- not Nixon, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes or Clinton -- has ever menaced and assaulted the financial world to achieve short-term political gains the way Obama has. This has never happened before.

And frankly, because of the extraordinary importance of our financial system, especially after the crisis of 2008, Obama's selfish tactics border on the unpatriotic. Presidents don't act that way. They are custodians of their office. They attempt to create a positive legacy for the future. And they don't try to pull down the whole system for their own gain.

This is negativism to a fault. The people in the White House and Treasury know better. But apparently they know no political bounds.

According to a Wall Street Journal story, one senior Obama official went so far as to say, "We are winning ... it doesn't really matter to us how long the shutdown lasts, because what matters is the end result."

Right now the hero of this sad episode is House Speaker John Boehner. He countered Obama by issuing a statement that he is determined to prevent a federal default. He then stated, "I don't believe we should default on our debt, it's not good for our country." Boehner even indicated he would rely on Democratic votes in the House to pass a debt-limit increase and avoid default.

The difference between Obama and Boehner on this and other subjects is that Mr. Obama lacks a sense of historical experience and doesn't recognize what a high-stakes game he is playing. Mr. Boehner, on the other hand, has the benefit of years of high-level experience, and he knows how dangerous loose lips can be in affecting the markets and economy.

Earlier this year, House Republican Tom McClintock and 106 co-sponsors introduced the Full Faith and Credit Act, which would protect the payment, principal, and interest on U.S. Treasury securities, including those held by Social Security funds, even in the event that the federal debt reaches the statutory limit. In other words, by law, not default. Two years ago Senator Pat Toomey introduced similar legislation. And more recently, House Financial Services chairman Jeb Hensarling renewed the campaign for that bill. But Obama and the Democrats have always opposed it. And how bizarre is it that Obama opposes the one piece of legislation that would make it impossible for him or anybody else to make Treasury-default accusations?

Down through the years, presidents have made policy mistakes that severely damaged the value of stocks and bonds. And roughly 100 million Americans now own stocks, while countless others own bonds. And in our interconnected world, foreign investors around the globe participate in these markets. Yet our current president would risk all these assets by making phony default charges and by virtually threatening a financial and economic catastrophe if he doesn't get his way on the shutdown and the debt ceiling.

Here's a little bit of good news: Stocks and bonds were virtually flat across the first four days of the shutdown. They have so far ignored Obama's phony default charges. And they know that the U.S. will never -- never -- default on its Treasury obligations.

So once again I argue that markets are smarter than politicians. Let's hope I'm right.
In light of the dishonor the Obama administration showed our 
WWII vets 
I thought this pic was quite fitting.


Thank you brave heroes for your service because without you 
none of us would be here.

What a freakin' joke...

Newsmax
Obamacare Website to be Shut Down for Repairs
Image: Obamacare Website to be Shut Down for Repairs
Bedeviled by technology glitches that frustrated millions of consumers, the Obama administration is taking down its health overhaul website for repairs this weekend.

Enrollment functions of the healthcare.gov site will be unavailable during off-peak hours this weekend, the Health and Human Services Department said Friday. The website will remain open for general information.

Technology problems overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets Tuesday, embarrassing the administration just when the health care law was supposed to be introduced to average consumers.

"Americans have seen once again that Obamacare is not ready for prime time," Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, said in a statement. "A dysfunctional website is the least of that law's problems."

The administration is putting the best face on the situation, noting the unexpectedly strong interest from millions of consumers. "Americans are excited to look at their options for health coverage, with record demand in the first days of the marketplaces," said the release announcing the planned fixes.

The statement was headlined: "Health Insurance Marketplace Open for Business - Week One Success."

The state-level markets were designed to be the gateway to health insurance for people who don't have access to coverage on the job. Middle-class consumers will be able to buy government-subsidized private plans, while the poor and near-poor will be steered to Medicaid in states agreeing to expand the program.

Federal and state websites experienced problems this week. Some states, including Maryland, have also announced they are scheduling repairs.

Credit card companies, banks and other online service providers regularly take down websites for repairs. That may also become a feature of the new insurance program. The HHS release did not provide a specific schedule for this weekend's repairs.

The federal site, which serves 36 states, drew millions of users, an indication of strong consumer interest. Yet many people were unable to get on the site and others encountered glitches that prevented them from successfully completing their applications.

Many encountered a screen that told them to wait, and they did, sometimes for hours. Refreshing the screen only sent them to the back of the line.

Quite a few got hung up trying to create security questions to protect their accounts. The drop-down menus providing the questions would not populate. As a result, consumers could not advance through the application process and learn if they were eligible for a tax credit to help pay premiums, much less pick a plan.

Some who did make it through were timed out because they took too long comparing plans.

At the end of the first day at most a handful of people had managed to successfully enroll through the federal site.

However, by Friday, enrollments seemed to be picking up — though not yet at desired levels. The administration is not releasing numbers.

"We are pleased that enrollment for health care coverage through the new marketplaces is picking up," the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said in a statement. "We expect enrollment to continue to increase."

The so-called Blues are major players in the individual insurance market, but some smaller insurers have yet to see any new customers.

By Monday, "there will be significant improvements in the online consumer experience," HHS said.

The upgrades include extra capacity for more users to get into the system, more technicians working round-the-clock to fix problems, and new pathways to get to the application faster. No details were given. Call centers are also getting more staff and HHS said wait times are now down to less than a minute.

The administration previously announced it is adding equipment to handle the high volume of users.

Now it looks like software fixes are also needed.

Consumers have until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage that starts Jan. 1.


Obamacare: Is It A Divide-And-Conquer Distraction?

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Obamacare: Is It A Divide-And-Conquer Distraction?
PHOTOS.COM
In March of 2010, Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) into law amid a host of economic uncertainties and unwanted Federal Reserve bailouts.

Two years before, Washington had confirmed the passage of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) measures that had already met with disapproval from, according to some polls, more than 80 percent of Americans. In the meantime, the Occupy Wall Street movement was gaining momentum, involving elements of both traditionally Republican and traditionally Democratic organizations.

Self-proclaimed “conservatives” and “liberals” were beginning to find common ground on issues ranging from the overall fiscal system to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The consensus was clear: Government had grown corrupt, power-hungry and ultimately destructive to every citizen regardless of his political affiliation.

However, certain hot-button issues always seem to flood government rhetoric and the mainstream media whenever the U.S. citizenry begins to unify, causing renewed rifts and luring Americans to fight among themselves while the cruise ship on which we are floating sinks into the abyss. Those on the left believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they love it.

Those on the right believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they despise it. But what if Obamacare’s government-controlled healthcare plan is only a secondary pursuit, while cutting America down the middle is the first goal?

Consider this: The launch of Obamacare comes at a time when the official national debt of the United States is about $17 trillion and the national deficit is some $1 trillion per year. Keep in mind that when Obama was elected in 2008, the official national debt stood at only $10 trillion. That means the Obama Administration has added more than $7 trillion in debt in only five years.

While mainstream talking heads with low IQs proclaim victory for the Obama camp because of a supposedly “shrinking” deficit, what they either fail to mention or are too stupid to understand is that the official reporting of the deficit does not account for real deficit expenditures each year. The official deficit does not include what government number crunchers call “unfunded liabilities,” like Social Security and Medicare, or off-book agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The average taxpayer suffers the costs of such expenditures yet is never counted in official statistics. If one were to tally our true national debt, including “unfunded liabilities,” it would stand anywhere from $120 trillion to more than $200 trillion. The true deficit skyrockets to more than $5 trillion per year (and growing) when such programs are included.

It is hard to say whether Obamacare costs will be openly included in official debt numbers or hidden like most entitlement programs. The point is the government has been lying for quite some time, under multiple Presidents, about the real state of the U.S. economy.

When the White House claims in its talking points that government-assisted healthcare will require a net payment of only $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, what method of accounting is used? Is this the total cost or just the “official cost” minus off-book liabilities? Even if this ends up being the full and complete spending required, how can Washington afford to burn another $1.1 trillion on top of $5 trillion a year already in the red?

If our national debt continues to climb exponentially, as it has in the wake of the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, will we see another $7 trillion or more added to the “official” number in the next five years?

According to The Washington Post, Obamacare is now a fact of life, even in the face of a government shutdown.

But is this claim really true, or is it just empty posturing? You may like Obamacare, or you may hate Obamacare; but the fact remains that we cannot afford Obamacare at this time. So my first question to proponents of socialized medicine would be: Where is the money going to come from? More taxes? How can Obamacare be funded by increased taxes, when the average median household income has fallen every year for five years in a row.

How about more taxes for the super rich? Four hundred of America’s top earners brought in an average adjustted gross income of $202 million in 2009. If each of these people were taxed 100 percent of his annual income, the resulting $80 billion in revenue would still not be enough to fund Obamacare, let alone our already existing massive debts.

If taxes won’t do the job, what about foreign treasury investment?

U.S. Treasury holdings by foreign creditors witnessed a record sell-off in June of this year, and subsequent purchases have not covered the loss in recent months.

The majority of all Treasury purchases by foreign investors are short-term bonds, meaning international faith in America’s ability to cover its debts has fallen considerably. Creditors now want only bonds that mature quickly, so that they can be liquidated at a moment’s notice. Foreign investment in the United States is currently either static or dropping, depending on the country, meaning no extra cash flow for Obamacare.

At bottom, Obamacare is doomed to failure. The money simply does not exist in order to cover the cost. The math does not add up. Period.

Now, I can understand hard-core socialists being too unintelligent to wrap their heads around this problem. After all, the average socialist thinks government funds will infinitely expand to meet the needs of infinite demand, as long as public wealth is “harmonized” in the process. Socialists are utterly unable to imagine that the money may run out one day, thus decimating the economy.

But what about the establishment? Is the establishment really unaware that Obamacare is unsustainable? I think not. The government creates our false economic reality on a daily basis. It receives the hard financial data and then spins it to suit its particular needs. Government officials are the people who are exposed regularly to our dire fiscal position, yet we are supposed to believe that they are “not aware” of their own crimes. Obama and the banking elites who pull his strings are fully conscious that our economy is on the verge of complete collapse, and they are aware that Obamacare will never survive. So why continue with the charade if there is no mathematical possibility that the program will succeed?

Social division is the only plausible answer. Universal healthcare has been a longtime pursuit of the left, and many Democrats are willing to forgo or completely ignore other dangerous political developments surrounding the White House as long as they finally attain socialized medicine. I have personally engaged in numerous debates with Obama supporters, pointing out his transgressions against the Constitution and the Mideast, his close relationships with the banking elite, and his willingness to throw aside his own promises. Amazingly, some of his supporters admit that Obama is monstrous in many respects, but they still defend him on the basis that “at least he’s going to give us free healthcare.”

In this way, the establishment has retained about 30 percent of the American population as political cannon fodder to be exploited at will by the Obama Administration. And if a government shutdown takes place over Obamacare measures, that percentage may climb as citizens are duped into believing that Tea Party Republicans and their “unwillingness to compromise” are to blame for the situation.

The establishment knows that a financial crisis is upon us, but it wants you to believe that the collapse was caused by “political gridlock,” foreign fiscal schemes or “conservative hubris.” It does not want members of the public to draw any connections between their suffering and the international banking elite behind the greater catastrophe. Obamacare is a red herring, smoke and mirrors, a distraction.

While we battle over a program that will never find adequate funding anyway, the rest of the economic system crumbles.

An abomination of the first degree...

Iran gets senior seat on UN nuclear disarmament committee

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

This is no surprise. This is the world in which the U.S. government is giving weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria. This is the world in which opponents of jihad terror such as Pamela Geller and me are barred from Britain, while supporters of jihad terror such as Mohammed al-Arefe are admitted into Britain.

This is a world in which a free nation, Israel, is derided and hated the world over, while its bloodthirsty foes who have vowed its destruction and celebrate the murders of its civilians are lauded, praised, and showered with money. This is the world in which Reza Aslan, a Board member of a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran, is feted by Jewish groups and speaks at synagogues, while staunch supporters of Israel such as Geller are banned and shunned.

The world has lost its moral compass and free nations are busy surrendering to the proponents of jihad and Sharia; so why shouldn't a genocidally-inclined rogue state which is defying the world by constructing nuclear weapons get a senior seat on the UN's nuclear disarmament committee?

"Iran gets senior seat on UN nuclear disarmament committee," by Maya Shwayder for the Jerusalem Post, October 3 (thanks to Richard):
NEW YORK – Hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu railed against Iran’s nuclear program from the UN General Assembly’s stage on Tuesday, member states elected Iran to be the rapporteur for the Disarmament and International Security Committee. 
Iran’s representative will replace Norwegian diplomat Knut Langeland. The position’s duties include relaying information and reports on disarmament and armament activities between the committee and the General Assembly.
The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, which is comprised of all 193 member states, “considers all disarmament and international security matters” and “seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.”
One of its main functions is to draft resolutions that are later debated by the General Assembly; the committee has no power to pass resolutions....
Iranian media hailed the decision.
The Islamic Republic News Agency called Netanyahu’s speech “baseless” and the Iranian response to it “powerful and well-reasoned,” and emphasized that Tehran was ready for “a sincere participation” in nuclear negotiations.
Iran is head of the Non- Aligned Movement for the period 2012 to 2015.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday, as the head of NAM, after first addressing it in his role as president the previous Monday.
In his address last Monday, Rouhani called for a Middle East that was free of weapons of mass destruction, and reiterated that Iran rejects the development, possession, or use of nuclear weapons.
Without mentioning it by name, he slammed Israel as being the only country in the region to possess weapons of mass destruction, and for not acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a document Iran has signed, though it was found to be in noncompliance.
Op-ed:
A political stalemate Republicans can win  
By: Diane Sori

In a word...LIARS!  

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, 'Prince' Harry Reid, and 'Wicked Witch of La-Lafornia' Nancy Pelosi are NOTHING but LIARS as they NOT the Republicans are the ones stonewalling ALL efforts to reach a compromise NOT only on ObamaCare, but on the government shut-down and on the debt ceiling as well.  Everything the Republicans propose...every attempt at compromise the Republicans make...is met with a resounding NO from the Democratic controlled Senate...including the Republicans proposal to keep all things related to our veterans and military up, running, and funded...as these three miscreants continue to blame the Republicans for all the country's woes.
 
Partisan politics and its worst and to say shame on the Democrats is putting it mildly.

And while Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has said, “This isn’t some damn game... The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I,” there is a bright side to the shutdown as much to their dismay, the free-spending Democrats cannot spend our taxpayer dollars while the government is shutdown.

Score one for the good guys.

And at least now Speaker Boehner has shown some backbone for at the recent press conference after his unsuccessful meeting with Obama, Reid, and Pelosi earlier this week, he stated in NO uncertain terms that he and his fellow Republicans in the House have NO intention of “rolling over” to the Democrats demands...demands that he is wise enough to see through as the Democrats bloviations that they will be willing to have “meaningful negotiations” on ObamaCare AFTER...I repeat AFTER...Republicans agree to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is pure unadulterated nonsense that only the most gullible would fall for.

Thankfully, Boehner is NOT stupid enough to believe all that nonsense because once the general budget is finalized and the debt ceiling is raised the Democrats have absolutely NO reason to negotiate on anything dealing with ObamaCare...let alone on anything else for that matter.

And if House Republicans dared to accept what Obama calls a “clean” debt limit increase free of any policy conditions it would be over...over NOT only for the Republican party itself but over for 'We the People' as well for Obama and his Democratic cohorts would have free reign to tax, spend, and drive our country further into debt...a debt that would take generations to pay off...that is if it could ever be paid off at all.

“If we’re going to raise the amount of money we can borrow, we ought to do something about our spending problem and the lack of economic growth in our country,” Boehner also said at the same recent press conference.

And how right he is even as some Republicans...RINOS all...are considering acquiescing to raising the debt ceiling, Obama continues to bloviate for anyone who will listen that acquiescing is indeed the Republicans “only way out” of this mess...while in reality it's a mess of his own doing...and that Boehner must let the bipartisan House majority vote on a bill to reopen the government...but that it must be a bill that wouldn’t affect his precious ObamaCare.

But that is a NO go and must remain so for ObamaCare can actually be used as leverage...a bargaining chip...in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. And this is something of note when considering raising the debt ceiling...the debt ceiling doesn't stop us from borrowing more to pay for new spending, it just stops us from borrowing more to pay for old spending.  

And using ObamaCare as leverage consists of taking it completely out of the general budget and having it as a 'stand alone' bill where the House Republican majority would be in control of its funding, defunding, or delaying of it...hopefully indefinitely.

So Obama can whine, whimper, and stamp his feet until he turns purple that 'there will be no negotiations over ObamaCare', but the reality is that if Obama allows our country to default on its loans under his watch, he would be finished politically as America has NEVER before under any president defaulted on obligations to pay its debt. Obama knows this and knows that defaulting would result in our economy slowing down...slowing down even more than it already has under his watch...interest rates would rise and NOT just by a few tenths of a point, already shaky consumer confidence would falter even more, the stock markets would take a major hit, and we might head back into a recession as our borrowing costs would rise to never before seen levels, as our standard of living plummets.

And that would be his legacy...and rightly so.

And if default happened, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, 32% of the government's entire spending would have to be cut immediately, because we would only be able to spend the cash on hand (around $30 billion or so) forcing the government to "prioritize" payments...meaning using the money it does have to pay for the things it deems really important and letting the bills for less-important things go unpaid for the time being.  And with Obama what he considers priority spending is vastly different from what 'We the People' consider priority spending...like we consider Medicare payments for the elderly and paying our troops a priority while Obama considers funding for his loyal freebie and handout recipients more important than anything else.

And imagine the battle over priorities that would ensue over who got what little money there was at hand.

So knowing this Obama will indeed negotiate with Republicans at the 12th hour for the simple reason that he will have NO choice but to do so or else he will be forever known as the president who sent America into default...and his narcissistic self will NEVER allow that to happen.