Tag Archives: crony capitalism

Government Gone Bad: It’s Time to Let the Export-Import Bank Die

Export-Import-Bank.Logo png

Crony Capitalism on Steroids!

By C.A. Bamford

With US debt spiraling into trillions of dollars, our economy growing at a snail’s pace and reports of mismanagement, blatant corruption and incompetence in every branch of our government surfacing almost daily, ordinary Americans are beginning to pay more attention to what is going on in the no longer hallowed halls of our nation’s capital.

One troubling example of blatant cronyism is the Export-Import Bank, which provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies to purchase U.S. products. Its charter was set to expire on September 30,, 2014, but with growing opposition to the bank, a 5 year renewal was rejected and supporters settled for a 9 month extension of its existing charter. That extension expired at the end of June.

While Ex-Im claims that 90% of its 2014 transactions supported small business, The Heritage Foundation and George Mason University’s Mercatus Center data shows that only 20% of total Ex-Im authorizations go to small businesses. A number of reports have found that the agency benefits a small number of politically-connected businesses like Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar. These are all fine companies, but do they really deserve taxpayer-funded handouts when so many other equally fine companies are struggling? In 2013, approximately 30% of the banks transactions benefitted Boeing, earning Ex-Im the nickname “Bank of Boeing”.

EXPORT-IMPORT-CHART

General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt says letting Ex-Im bank’s charter expire, ending their export subsidies for GE and others would be “economic catastrophe”, but the facts say otherwise.

House Finance Committee, Jeb Hensarling, after holding a number of hearings on Ex-Im’s future, chose not to bring a bill reauthorizing the bank through his committee. Hensarling has called the bank a form of “corporate welfare”, stating that big banks primarily profit off Ex-Im. JP Morgan & Chase Co. for example has received more than $5.1 billion from Ex-Im. “To support more robust economic growth, economic justice and equal opportunity for all, it is time to wind down Ex-Im,” Hensarling said.

Meanwhile, Ex-Im officials have revealed that there are 31 open fraud investigations and the potential for many more indictments stemming from Ex-Im transactions. A former bank loan officer, Johnny Gutierrez, pled guilty to accepting bribes 19 different times from 2006 to 2013.

Currently a non-partisan government accountability organization has submitted a FOIA request for text messages between bank officials from a top Ex-Im official, Scott Schloegel. Unfortunately, Schloegel claims that he accidentally deleted the text messages.

Only Congress has the authority to reauthorize the bank’s charter. And although support for the bank has been steadily eroding, the Senate once again voted in favor of reauthorization. In the true spirit of political gamesmanship, Democrat Senators Maria Cantwell of Wa State, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and GOP Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina held the Pacific Trade legislation hostage until (with a little encouragement from President Obama via phone) Senator Mitch McConnell caved and provided the winning margin to extend the life of Ex-Im. Graham bragged about the deal-making on Twitter; “Most important aspect of agreement is we will also have the opportunity to vote on #ExIm reauth attached to the Highway Trust Fund reauth.

The House is now set to let the bank expire and there have been discussion of the Highway Trust Fund being the vehicle for reauthorization. House and Senate Leadership should use this as an opportunity, especially after the recent Supreme Court rulings, to log a win for conservatives.

How Export-Import-Bank Works

Now based in Alaska, longtime contributor Charlene Bamford is a policy adviser and intellectual thinker who teaches at the International School

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Insanely Ridiculous Predictions of Doom and Destruction from the First “Earth Day” [1970] That Never Happened

Earth En Fuego

By Gary P Jackson

Ah, “Earth Day” the annual event where Communists, Socialists, Fascists, “progressives,” “liberals,” democrats and other greedy, power hungry bastards, who dream of having absolute power over the human race [for fun and profit] team up with their billionaire political cronies and other con artists looking to make a quick buck, using junk science [and outright bullshit] to scare the living Hell out of people who haven’t even the most rudimentary understanding of actual science and how the world really works. Naive people who will fall for anything the corrupt lamestream media tells them, despite over 100 years worth of empirical evidence [and, you know, plain old common sense] to the contrary!

Green Police

We’ve been hearing predictions of gloom and doom for the past 45 years, and absolutely NONE of them have come to pass, and yet, ignorant people lose their shit every time someone claims this or that is due to “global warming” or the new word “climate change“!

While extremists and bullshit artists today scream about global warming, and Al Gore tells us the earth “has a fever” [even though the hottest decade on record was the 1930s] back in the 1970’s, it was the coming ICE AGE, that these lunatics were using to scare otherwise normal people to death!

Starting in 1972 and all through the 70’s, Time Magazine ran articles warning of a coming Ice Age , complete with dire warnings of mass starvation, world wars [over dwindling food resources, of course] and within a decade or so, complete and total extinction of all living things: plant, animal, and human, on earth!

While today the oceans warming is a sure sign of global warming, the same condition was said to signal a coming Ice Age in the 1970’s. You simply can’t make this of weapons grade insanity up!

Time Magazine Coming Ice Age Cover

Time-Another-Ice-Age

How insane did it all get? The Central “Intelligence” Agency [the CIA, yes THAT CIA] claimed that record flooding and other extreme weather that portions of the world was experiencing in the early 1970’s was due to “global cooling” which is hilarious, when you consider today’s extremists claim any and all bad weather, including flooding, is caused by “global warming“!

CIA Global Cooling Nonsense

Of course, all of this was complete and total nonsense, and nothing but junk science, but the media, in cahoots with the liberal fascists, Socialists, Communists, democrats, and other filthy rat bastards seeking world domination, power, and riche$ played it up to the hilt in order to scare people into submission. Thankfully, this was before President Jimmy Carter federalized our education system, and children were still taught ACTUAL science. It was also, thankfully, before the internet. As a result, few people bought into the hysteria. People used to have a fair amount of common sense built into their DNA!

Both Steve Goddard and David Middleton covered the nonsense, fear-mongering, and wildly insane predictions from Time in greater detail here and here.

A few decades later, Time would use cute and cuddly polar bears to scare the living crap out of stupid people who believe anything they read in Time!

Time Magazine Polar Bear

Here’s some facts about the polar bear the extremists hope you never find out. For one thing, these cuddly little bears are actually ENORMOUS and quite VICIOUS. They have absolute ZERO natural enemies. Nothing out in the animal kingdom hunts them. The polar bears do the hunting!

Polar bears can also swim incredible distances.

According to a study conducted by the United States Geological Survey [USGS] between 2004 and 2009, polar bears are capable of swimming as far as 220 miles in one day, while the average distance a bear covers in a day is 96 miles.

From Reuters News Service:

Tue May 1, 2012 10:35pm EDT

Polar bears are capable of swimming vast distances, a potential survival skill needed in an Arctic environment where summer sea ice is vanishing, a study led by the U.S. Geological Survey showed on Tuesday.

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology, tracked 52 female polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska. Between 2004 and 2009, a period of extreme summer-ice retreat, about a third of those bears made swims exceeding 30 miles in distance, according to the study results.

The 50 recorded ultra-marathon swims averaged 96 miles, and one bear was able to swim nearly 220 miles, according to the study results. The duration of the long-distance swims lasted from most of a day to nearly 10 days, according to the study.
The bears’ movements were tracked using global positioning system collars. All the animals in the study were females because male polar bear necks are too thick for GPS-equipped collars, said Karen Oakley, a supervising biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center.

Many of the polar bears in the study had young cubs with them, and it appears that at least some of the cubs – which were not collared – might have been able to keep up with their mothers in the water, USGS officials said.

The scientists were able to track 10 of the studied bears within a year of collaring and found that six still had their cubs, the lead scientist said in a statement released by the USGS.

These observations suggest that some cubs are also capable of swimming long distances. For the other four females with cubs, we don’t know if they lost their cubs before, during, or at some point after their long swims,” Anthony Pagano, a USGS scientist and lead author of the study, said in the statement.

It should be noted that the “period of extreme summer-ice retreat” is normal and happens every summer in the Arctic and has nothing to do with “climate change“!

The extremists LOVE to show a picture of a polar bear floating on ice, presumably stranded by global warming, and the fact there is no more ice in the Arctic. NOW you know that if a bear is floating on a piece of ice, she is simply taking a break! There is plenty of ice in the frozen north, and that bear is just fine!

Now on to “Earth Day” 1970

We’ve used several sources, including Jon Gabriel and IHateTheMedia to compile a list of predictions the environmental extremists and political fascists [but I repeat myself] predicted. You’ll find my comments in […] and bold after many of them!

**We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

**Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

[ It’s 45 years later and we are still going strong!]

**We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

[The earth is more habitable now than at any time in history. Yea technology!]

**Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” • New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

This is actually TRUE! However, ignorant people confuse pollution and the general disregard for our environment, an actual issue in 1970, and the outright HOAX that is now being perpetrated by extremists, fascists, and billionaires looking to make even more money off the biggest scam in human history.

As a child I first heard the word “ecology” around 1969 or 1970, in school. There were serious problems with actual pollution in the United States as well as the rest of the world. Raw sewage and industrial chemicals were routinely dumped in rivers, lakes, and streams. It wasn’t uncommon to see people throw trash out their car windows while driving down the road!

There was a massive campaign to not only stop the dangerous practices of chemical dumping, and littering, but to clean up the damage already done. In some places we are still working on the cleanup, but America is much cleaner. Nothing is perfect, but people were made more aware and bad habits were changed. That’s a very good thing!]

**Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

**By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

[Ehrlich is the author of “The Population Bomb a book that predicted a population explosion that would end the world. He, along with Al Gore, Ted Turner and other extremist nut jobs have declared we should reduced the entire world’s population to roughly 100 million, in order to “save” the planet. There are roughly 320 million people living in the United States alone. Depending on which agency you believe, there are between 7 and 7.5 BILLION people on earth today!

Technology has allowed the development of greater sources of food from smaller plots of land. One of the biggest developments came well before Ehrlich’s wild eyed prediction. In the early 1960’s a man named Norman Borlaug created a genetically modified [GMO] strain of wheat, called Dwarf Wheat. In most of the less developed world, normal wheat would grow tall, and since there was a lack of machinery to harvest it in a timely manner, rot in the fields, as the wheat stalks simply bent over and lay on the ground. Dwarf Wheat stands erect, and allows for the manual harvesting of the crop, and gives field workers more time to do it.

It is said that, and Borlaug is credited with, saving ONE BILLION lives with his amazing creation! Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize [back when that thing meant something] as well as the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to name a few honors. This is one of the greatest advancements in history and everyone should read up on Borlaug and his Dwarf Wheat]

*** FUN FACT: Though extremists claim the earth is “out of room” for it’s population, the entire world’s population could fit in a land mass the size of Texas!

**It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

[The only people starving in the United States are the poor school kids who are forced to eat the lunches Michelle Obama thinks they should! -Search online for photos of these “fine dining” options the First Lady has provided!

So-called “scientists” tell us that obesity, or TOO MUCH FOOD is one of the greatest crisis mankind is facing these days!]

**Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

[Yeah, didn’t happen!]

**Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….
Life Magazine, January 1970

[in reality, according to multiply government studies, the quality of air in the United States has never been better! NOW the extremists claim we are getting TOO MUCH sun!!!! That said, places like China, which has fewer standards and overcrowded cities, are still facing air quality issues. This is an issue of poor standards not “climate change.”]

**At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

[See above]

**We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

[Total bullshit! We are still finding new resources for energy]

**By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

[Extremists continue to push the outright LIE that we are “running out of oil As I reported in an article entitled 2 Trillion Barrels of American Oil: Why Wealthy Arab Oil Sheiks Are Funding Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Propaganda Film

While total world resources of oil shale are conservatively estimated at 2.6 trillion barrels, The United States sits on TWO TRILLION barrels of that crude. More than all of the crude that was ever produced worldwide since the petroleum age began.

[In the article I also noted there was a recent find of 1.67 QUADRILLION (1670 TRILLION) cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic and …. :

Another staggering number is found in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. There is said to be 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, or 6 times what is held in all of Saudi Arabia.

There is so much oil in the Bakken Shale deposits in North Dakota, private investors are looking to build a $1.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Oklahoma. A hefty investment and a huge jobs program at a time we need a huge jobs program.

[Add in roughly 250 years worth of coal deposits, and the United States has enough oil and natural gas to be 100% energy independent for the next 500 to 800 years, depending on consumption rates.]

**Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

[So ridiculous that it’s hard to know what to say, EXCEPT that scientists are still discovering hundreds of new species on land and in the world’s oceans every single year! (Look it up) The earth is as vibrant and alive as anytime in recorded history!]

**The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

[Now these loons tell us the world is about to spontaneously combust from all the heat!]

** “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek Magazine

[Again, these same crackpots and scam artists are NOW telling us that all of these things that were supposed to create a new and civilization destroying Ice Age, are now causing global warming! (or as they now call it “climate change” so as to cover ANY imaginary calamity]

You will be bombarded with absolute hysteria and bullshit today. You will be told the world will end in just a few short years if you don’t turn over complete control of you life, as well as your wallet, to these extremists. Don’t fall for it.

Life is good. Damn good!!

Go out and enjoy it!

Gary Signature

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Meet the “Kronies”–Brilliance in Highlighting “Crapitalism”

by Whitney Pitcher

big g

I don’t know exactly how to characterize this, but there is a new campaign to highlight crony capitalism (or the portmanteau that I like to use–crapitalism) . This campaign–The Kronies– uses youtube clips and specially designed 80s style action figures.

Here’s the introductory video:

It hearkens me back to my childhood, but there’s no particular protagonist action figure like Heman or She-rah. Instead there are guys like “Big G”:

Whatever this campaign is, they are taking aim at both political parties, which is a good thing. I’m sure the likes of Governor Palin, Peter Schewizer and Michelle Malkin, who have focused their careers around fighting cronyism, approve.

H/T Hot Air

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Steel Resolve with Sarah Steelman: Size Matters When it Comes to President Obama

ObamaToasts

If size matters, as Mark Twain said: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

~Sarah Steelman

By Gary P Jackson

On this week’s Steel Resolve with Sarah Steelman, Sarah talks about the meetings Barack Obama is having with the powerful multi-national corporations, and how that doesn’t help small businesses on main street, who are in big trouble.

The need for reform, ending crony capitalism, is front and center in this commentary:

Size matters when it comes to President Obama. Sarah Steelman talks about Obama’s meetings with business leaders under the guise that he’s reaching out and trying to repair relationships by asking for opinions on fiscal matters. However, all of the CEOs he’s contacting are from huge companies.

Steelman says that’s business as usual in Washington. Merely meeting with guys that already wield lots of power in DC won’t cut it. What about small businesses? Steelman says if We the People want real fiscal reform we must eliminate crony capitalism.

Steel ResolveSarahNET Radio’s weekly commentary featuring Sarah Steelman

Hear Steel Resolve each week on The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla

Sarah Steelman was endorsed by Sarah Palin in her 2012 run for U.S. Senate in Missouri

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Video: Peter Schweizer and Sean Hannity Discuss Obama’s “District of Corruption”

By Gary P Jackson

Over the holidays Sean Hannity ran a special on Victory Film’s new movie District of Corruption. Here Sean and Peter Schweizer talk about Obama’s vicious circle of crony capitalism. Corruption on a massive scale.

It’s not just Obama who is corrupt though. It’s every major politician in Washington. Though many are democrats, as they are the ones in power, there are Republicans involved as well.

If you haven’t read Peter’s book Throw Them All Out I highly recommend you do so. You can also check out the Government Accountability Institute here. Plenty of solid information on the who, what, when, and where of corruption in government.

Video courtesy SarahNet.

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Stand with Rep. Sandy Adams to Protect the Taxpayer

by Whitney Pitcher

Florida’s Congressional primary will be held next Tuesday, August 14th., One primary race in the seventh district pits longtime Congressman John Mica against freshman Congresswoman Sandy Adams.  Sandy Adams is an Air Force veteran and former Orange County Deputy Sheriff and Florida state representative.

Adams, endorsed by Governor Palin both in 2010 and in this year, won a seat in Congress riding the 2010 Tea Party wave. Her record in office so far has proven to be a reform minded breath of fresh air compared to her now opponent, Congressman John Mica. In the last two years, Congressman Mica’s voting record has followed the status quo of crony capitalism, bloated government, and corporate welfare.In just the past two years voted on multiple occasions to support continued corporate welfare and poor use of taxpayer dollars. Mica voted against Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act which would have eliminated all targeted energy subsidies across the board–both for renewables and fossil fuels. Congresswoman Adams, on the other hand, voted to eliminate these energy subsidies that would have saved $90 billion over ten years. Congressman Mica stood for corporate welfare again when he voted for a bill that re-authorized the Export-Import (ExIm) bank, which the Heritage Foundation calls the “Fannie Mae of Exporters”. The ExIm bank provides taxpayer guaranteed loans to American companies who do business overseas. Congresswoman Adams took another stand against corporate welfare by voting against the re-authorization of this bank.  Congressman Mica stood for corporate welfare and energy subsidies again when he voted against a bill that would have blocked “Solyndra type” green energy loan guarantees; Congresswoman Adams voted in favor of blocking such loans. There is a crystal clear difference between the crony capitalist voting record of Congressman Mica and the pro market voting record of Congresswoman Adams.

The crony capitalism doesn’t stop with solely his recent voting record for Congressman Mica. Breitbart News reports on what the Congressman has provided his cronies as the chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

One of Mica’s pet projects is Florida’s SunRail, a 61 mile commuter rail costing around $1.2 billion dollars. The rail curiously does not connect with one of Florida’s most profitable businesses, Disney World, but does run through Mr. Mica’s congressional district. Not only will district business benefit from the Sunrail, which will serve around 2000 commuters a day, Mr. Mica’s enthusiastic campaign donor, CSX Transportation, will get $491 million of tax payer money for its freight lines.

“ ‘His dedication to SunRail is not for mass transit — it is for helping CSX to get government funds for its private freight lines,’ said State Senator Paula Dockery, a Republican and a chief critic of the project.”

The New York Times goes on to report:

Campaign finance records show that many of the contractors that worked on the project, including an engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff, have been major contributors to Mr. Mica’s re-election campaigns. So have businesses and individuals who could benefit from the project, including ICI Homes, a real estate developer that owns several sites close to a proposed SunRail station, and Florida Hospital in Orlando, whose $250 million expansion plan is contingent on getting a station on its property.

But the largess with tax payer dollars extends not only to his donors but to his family as well. Mr. Mica’s daughter, D’Anne Mica, ran a public relations firm for 8 years. One of her clients was the construction firm, PBS&J. (ABC News, January 12, 2010) In 2009, Rep. Mica earmarked $13 million of taxpayer dollars for PBS&J, coincidentally a major supporter of Florida’s SunRail.

Congresswoman Adams’ record represents a stark contrast from Congressman Mica’s cronyism and corporate welfare. This is why Governor Palin wrote today re-iterating her support for Adams:

In 2012, we have a unique opportunity to elect more commonsense conservatives to Congress, but that alone is not enough. We must support conservatives who are with us on the issues but not weighed down with the burden of crony capitalism that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Sandy Adams is just one of those candidates. She is running in Florida’s 7th Congressional District; and unlike her opponent, Sandy is free from the shackles of lobbyists and back door dealings in Washington. As someone who served in the military and as a career law enforcement officer, Sandy doesn’t have time or the patience for the business as usual ways of Washington. Washington insiders on both sides of the aisle have spent this country into massive debt and put our children’s future at risk. Let’s restore power to the people by electing a wise Congress that our next President can work with. Please join me and others like Congressman Allen West, Condi Rice, and Tea Party Express in supporting Sandy Adams today.

Congressman Mica has shown that he’s used his position in Congress to protect his cronies. Conversely, Congresswoman Adams has used her seat in Congress to protect the taxpayers–and victims of abuse. She is in a unique position as a woman and as a former law enforcement officer to lead the way on sensible legislation to protect women without the extending the law (the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA) beyond the original intent–as the Senate Democrats want to do. As Adams wrote in an op-ed this past spring:

 To make this a political issue is not only wrong but dangerous. Violence against women in this country cannot be just another campaign issue, it cannot become part of a stump speech; it must be a reflection of our best efforts as Americans united against a cycle of violence that can and must be broken. That is why I am proud to introduce, with my House colleagues, legislation that aims to improve VAWA while still keeping lifesaving programs intact. Our legislation will help ensure that money is going to the victims of abuse and not Washington bureaucrats by streamlining the grant process to make it more accountable, efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, it eliminates fraud in immigration programs and omits the potentially unconstitutional expansion of tribal court jurisdiction over non-native Americans.

As someone who knows firsthand the dangers and effects of domestic violence, I want victims out there to know that there is hope and life after abuse. Programs like VAWA, when not used for political posturing, are crucial to protecting and helping these victims. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand together on this issue without turning it into a partisan talking point. Too many lives are at stake for us to give anything less.

Representative Sandy Adams will protect rule of law and the taxpayer. To stand with Governor Palin, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Allen West, ShePAC, and Tea Party Express, please support Congresswoman Adams. You can find out more about her campaign and donate here.

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Essential Listening: Peter Schweizer on The Victory Sessions: Exposing Crony Capitalism

Peter Schweizer, President and co-founder of  the Government Accountability Institute returns to The Victory Sessions with host Stephen K. Bannon to discuss GAI’s mission to detect and expose crony capitalism. FULL INTERVIEW!

By Gary P Jackson

Stephen K Bannon has an amazing interview with Peter Schweizer. Stephen and Peter have created the Government Accountability Institute. Peter, of course is well know for exposing corruption and cronyism. He’s written numerous best sellers including Throw Them All Out and Architects of Ruin.

Above is a link to the full interview, and I’m telling you, it’s essential listening. Peter talks about the way politicians have gotten rich using their positions of power, and how, once retiring from politics, end up with high paying gigs at large corporations.

Peter lays it all out, and pulls no punches. This is a bi-partisan issue. There is massive corruption in both parties. Leadership in both parties is as corrupt as the day is long. It’s mind-blowing.

Peter also notes Sarah Palin, who has a storied career as a corruption buster, was on top of this from the start, and very supportive of his efforts.

Again, click on the link above and listen to the full interview. It’s essential for everyone to understand what is going on, and what must be done to save our nation. It’s worth every second of your time.

Corruption is rampant in government, and it’s in BOTH parties. It’s really time to drain the swamp.

Here’s a little taste of what Peter and Stephen talk about: “How Nancy Pelosi and family rips off the “99%’” courtesy SarahNet:

Here’s more from Peter via Victory Sessions:

President Barack Obama has admitted to being obsessed with seeking a solution to the nation’s economic woes. “You should know,” the president recently told UPS workers, “that keeping the economy growing and making sure jobs are available is the first thing I think about when I wake up every morning. It’s the last thing I think about when I go to bed each night.

You can’t measure how much time a president spends “thinking” about the economy. But how much time has Obama spent working on rebuilding America’s crumbling economy? Researchers at the Government Accountability Institute looked into this for a new report into Obama’s official public schedule from his Inauguration until June 30, 2012. They uncovered startling facts that reveal just how little time Obama has actually spent on economic matters.

Here are a few findings for the first 1,257 days of Obama’s presidency, based on the president’s official schedule as posted on the White House website and POLITICO:

He has spent less than 4 percent of his total time in economic meetings or briefings of any kind (assuming a six day, 10-hour workweek).

Obama spent 412 hours (or 41 10-hour workdays) in economic meetings or briefings of any kind.

There were 773 days (72 percent), excluding Sundays, in which he had no economic meetings.

So far this year, Obama has spent 24 total hours in economic meetings of any kind.

Throughout his presidency, Obama has spent an average of 138 minutes a week in economic meetings. For comparison, consider that dog owners spend an average of 130 minutes a week walking their dogs.

The researchers used a broad definition of what counted as economic meetings. For example, “Obama meets with Cabinet secretaries” counted as an economic meeting. So did “Obama meets with Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee” and “Obama meets with Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum.

On the days where an economic meeting listed no ending time, the researchers spotted Obama a full two hours — though most presidential meetings run much shorter. Still, the totals for time spent on the worst economy since the Great Depression came in shockingly low.

via Opinion: Hard facts vs. mind over fiscal matters – Peter Schweizer – POLITICO.com.

Read Throw Them All Out, Architects of Ruin and get active demanding this corruption is cleaned up, or else.

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What Both Parties Can Learn from Sheryl Crow

by Whitney Pitcher

There is probably very little that Sheryl “one square” Crow and I agree on politically, but I’ve always enjoyed her music. In 1995, she wrote a song called “Leaving Las Vegas” for a film by the same name.

Neither the song nor the film really have anything to do with gambling nor politics, but the song’s theme of leaving Las Vegas is one that both political parties should learn from, metaphorically speaking–leave behind the practice of betting with the American taxpayers’ money.

Today, President Obama launched a two day bus tour with the theme of “Betting on America” touting his support of the auto bailout and slamming Mitt Romney’s business record. This is an interesting messaging approach for a man who has twice slammed people for spending time and money in Las Vegas. While President Obama tries to tout a message of supporting the American worker (betting on America), he has actually been betting with American taxpayer money throughout his presidency. He has attempted to pick winners and losers, such as in the infamous Solyndra loan where one of his donors won a more than half billion dollar green loan and the American taxpayer ultimately lost big time. He has invested millions in biofuels, again in a company with ties to one his cronies,  for the military at cost that is 4 times the average cost for the fuel in a normal market.

However, President Obama and the Democrats are not the only ones who have been involved in picking winners and losers at the taxpayer’s expense. Republicans are also culpable, as a piece in the Washington Examiner notes of green energy loans:

George W. Bush and Barack Obama have also tried to boost wind and solar power with government money. The 2007 energy bill created a loan guarantee program in the Department of Energy, and Obama’s 2009 stimulus expanded the program, ultimately putting Solyndra’s losses and other green energy busts on the taxpayers’ back.

This kind of behavior is not limited to only green energy loans. It extend to other kinds of loans–even loans to companies like Boeing. The Obama administration has demonized Boeing for wanting to build a plant in a right-to-work state and has denounced the use of corporate jets–which Boeing produces. Even still, he has allowed for the American taxpayers to be the guarantor of loans of to companies like Boeing when he signed the re-authorization, supported by both Republicans and Democrats, of the Export Import Bank. The Washington Examiner again notes:

Obama plans to use the Export-Import Bank — a federal agency that gives taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign buyers who buy American goods — to subsidize U.S. manufacturers even when they are selling to other American companies. 

This would be a significant step in the federal government’s transformation into a venture capital firm and investment bank involved in all corners of the economy. It’s private profit and public risk. Conservative Sen. Jim DeMint calls it “venture socialism.” 

Ex-Im has been financing exports for decades. Taxpayer-backed loan guarantees push down interest rates for foreign buyers, thus greasing the wheels for U.S. manufacturers and eliminating risk for U.S. banks.

These loans are perhaps less risky than the “green” energy loans of the Department of Energy, but nonetheless, as the article states, they are ” public risk”. If the companies default, it’s at the expense of the American taxpayer.

This is why it is important to make the distinction between big government, pro business, and pro market approaches to handling the economy. This is something that Governor Palin understands very well– both in  how the government should handle green energy and  the economy as a whole. Regarding government investments in green energy, Governor Palin noted in an interview with Breitbart.com (emphasis mine):

Yes, for the private sector. I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting goals for alternative energy, but we have to be realistic. A truly effective alternative energy source needs to be efficient and profitable. No amount of Obama’s subsidizing his campaign donors’ bankrupt green energy companies—some with harebrained ideas that will never be economic—will get us to that efficient and profitable alternative. The free market will determine this. Sure, we can support research and development when it’s appropriate, but as scientists and venture capitalists continue to look for viable alternative energy sources, we should be encouraging the development of natural gas as a clean and plentiful bridge-fuel to a more renewable future. We have enough natural gas in America to be energy independent for many decades!

This is a pro-market approach to green energy, and it should be applied to all aspects of the economy. No more betting with the American people’s money. I wrote in a previous post about Governor Palin’s pro-market approach to the economy:

The big government views of the Left and the “pro business” views espoused by many in the GOP think that government exists to do things for the people or for businesses. Governor Palin is pro market. Who is empowered in a pro market economy? The consumers (the people). The people determine whether or not a business fails or succeeds by their purchasing power–not by the special loans of the big government Left or the special tax breaks of the pro-business GOPers, but of the the Galileoan pro-marketers. 

This is what makes Governor Palin’s speech in Iowa late last summer so compelling. She laid out a vision of a pro market economy–no corporate taxes, but no corporate welfare, no special tax breaks or subsidies either. In other words, let the people decide what business fail or succeed by their purchasing power. Also, as Governor Palin wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, echoing Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out,  let there be no more crony capitalism and no more special treatment of politicians.

Both parties need to stop trying to do things for their cronies and stop doing things to the American taxpayer.    The economy is not a giant casino with green energy slots or big business roulette tables, and the taxpayers should not have to finance the government’s addiction to OPM  (other people’s money) and gambling. The need to leave this “Las Vegas” behavior behind. Otherwise, the voters will continue having to choose which party is their favorite mistake, rather than the party that stands with them.

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Corruption Alert: Romney’s Choice of Michael Leavitt for Transition Team is Completely Unacceptable

By Gary P Jackson

The big news on Conservative blogs today is Mitt Romney has chosen Michael O. Leavitt, the former Utah Governor and HHS Secretary under President George W. Bush, to lead the transition, after Mitt is elected.

All of the reports note that Leavitt wants to “implement ObamaCare,” which only fires up Conservatives who fear that Romney won’t keep his word, and support repeal of ObamaCare, in the unlikely event the Supreme Court doesn’t rule it unconstitutional.

Those fears seem unfounded, and in fairness, what Leavitt supports in implementing health care exchanges on a state level. Now on the surface, that sounds innocent enough, but there is more to the story. First this from Phillip Klein:

Mitt transition pick a red flag for conservatives

Over the weekend, Politico broke the news that Mitt Romney had tapped Mike Leavitt, the former Utah Governor and HHS Secretary under George W. Bush, to lead the transition effort should Romney win the presidency. This is a very worrisome signal to conservatives holding out hope that Romney will live up to his promises to fight for limited government if elected.

As Ben Domenech details, Leavitt is one of the few Republicans who has been actively campaigning for governors to implement Obamacare’s health care exchanges at the state level. Conveniently enough, his consultancy group would profit from such an expansion of government because he has won contracts to set up the exchanges.

Though a lot of the reaction to the Leavitt appointment has focused on support for the key component of Obamacare, it’s worth noting that as governor of a very conservative state, Leavitt expanded government and fought efforts to cut taxes. As governor of Utah, Leavitt received a “D” in the Cato Institute’s 2002 fiscal policy report card – the same grade as Howard Dean that year, making him “one of the most pro–big government governors.” According to the report:

Leavitt has shown time and again that he is to the left of his party—so much so that he was nearly defeated during the Republican nominating convention in 2000. The legislature has on many occasions pushed pro-growth tax policies, only to have them rejected by Leavitt. Last year, the legislature passed a $25 million tax cut that included income tax relief. Leavitt insisted on a tax cut one-fifth that size… The only two taxes that he has reduced were the sales tax and the unemployment tax. Leavitt is a big spender extraordinaire. During his 10 years in office, real spending per capita has risen by nearly one-third. He backed a massive $2.6 billion highway construction bill and hiked the gas tax by 5 cents a gallon to pay for it.

In 2000, Leavitt backed a 7.4 percent hike in school spending, the largest increase since the early 1980s. He says improving education is the “keystone to our state’s success,” but he opposes voucher reforms. He does deserve credit for dealing with the budget crisis this year without asking for major new taxes, and he has finally slowed spending growth, but he did agree to a cigarette tax hike. The budget nonetheless faces a $175 million shortfall for 2003. Leavitt has also become known in Washington as “Mr. Internet Tax.” As head of the National Governors Association, he lobbied incessantly for a federal law to allow states to tax out-of-state Internet companies. It is ironic that one of the most conservative states in the union has one of the most pro–big government governors.

Leavitt, in short, was exactly the type of Republican the Tea Party was founded to oppose, and he’s playing a key role in planning a potential Romney presidency, and as the Politico reports, “already, plugged-in Republicans from Washington to Salt Lake City are buzzing that Leavitt could make his own transition next January into the job of White House chief of staff or as a-Valerie Jarrett like personal counselor to a President Romney.”

This is troubling on several levels. To start, as we all know, Romney’s Massachusetts health care law served as the model for Obamacare. Both plans expand Medicaid, force individuals to purchase government-approved insurance coverage and provide subsidies for people to purchase government-designed insurance on government-run exchanges. Romney was a big proponent of exchanges and supported them as governor, and now has named a leading Republican advocate of them to a key post.

The Romney campaign still insists to Matt Lewis that they still plan on repealing Obamacare. But even if we trust that’s the case (something that deserves greater skepticism given the Leavitt news) the question is what replaces Obamacare. Romney has been incredibly vague about how he would reform the health care system in the absence of Obamacare. The danger is that he could end up replacing it with a system that still has exchanges, but exchanges that are billed as having fewer regulations, lower subsidies and giving more flexibility to states. The problem is that this would still put the basic exchange infrastructure in place that a future Democratic administration could build on so the country would eventually wind up with Obamacare anyway – or something worse.

Read more here.

Even though I seriously doubt Romney has any plan to bring RomneyCare to the nation, there’s a lot to worry about here. Romney picking such a Big Government liberal Republican to head his transition team is bad enough. This is the guy who put the Medicare prescription drug program in place when he worked for President Bush. He’s an old guard Establishment Republican.

Leavitt’s record as a Big Government, tax and spend, wrong side of history, liberal Republican, is bad enough. But there is more.

Here’s what I’m not seeing reported by Conservatives, and why this appointment is more than a little bit troubling. You see, it just so happens that Leavitt’s company, Leavitt Partners, is in the health care “intelligence business.” Part of their business is “advising entities on the rapidly evolving public and private health insurance exchange marketplace.

In other words, the man who will have Romney’s ear, and most certainly be influencing policy, stands to make big bucks if President Romney follows his recommendations and pushes for these health care exchanges. If Leavitt does indeed become President Romney’s Chief of Staff, you almost know it will happen.

This should bother every American greatly. Washington is already a cesspool of corruption. One of the biggest reasons for getting rid of Barack Obama is to stop all of the cronyism. Obama has given billions to his supporters, especially those in the “green” industry. All of those businesses have gone bankrupt, but Obama’s cronies have made out like bandits.

Mitt Romney has been hammering Obama on this. We applauded his recent press conference in front of the toxic waste dump that was once the Solyndra manufacturing facility. That was a masterful move.

Appointing Leavitt sort of negates the whole thing though.

It would be one thing if Leavitt just happened to own a health care strategy company, but this goes far beyond that. Leavitt is one of the very few who has been pushing hard for these ObamaCare health exchanges to be put in place. And it doesn’t take much thought to understand why. Leavitt stands to make a whole lot of money if he can get this done.

Leavitt Partners’ entire business revolves around health care. Looking at their website, it’s a smörgåsbord of strategies and products concerning health care and how to navigate through Big Government.

Romney’s appointment of Leavitt is completely and totally unacceptable. We’ve given Mitt Romney the benefit of the doubt on a lot of things. And we understand beating President Obama this November is profoundly important. That said, we cannot allow this sort of thing to stand.

Lest you think I am being alarmist, and my charges unfounded, the left leaning National Journal reports:

Reports: Romney Transition Chief Cashed in on Obama Health Plan

Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, heads a firm that has positioned itself as a leading consultancy to help implement the Affordable Care Act, and it’s already won contracts to do so, Salon reports. On its web site, Leavitt Partners touts a section of the business that advises clients on how to implement and respond to the health insurance exchanges created by the Obama health care plan.

It’s obvious Leavitt looks to make money, and is in a position to influence the President [assuming Romney wins] to do just that. It’s crony capitalism, plain and simple.

I’m asking Tea Party leaders, and Conservative politicians, as well as Americans in general, to help me stand up to Mitt Romney and let him know straight away that this dog won’t hunt!

Many Conservatives are worried whether or not Romney understands what we demand of our next President.

Here’s his first test. [and ours]

Can we get Romney to listen to us, and do the right thing, or will he prove to be just another politician, and continue the sort of cronyism that is destroying our nation?

The appointment of Leavitt stinks to high heaven. There is a clear conflict of interest here, and there is no way this man should have the ear of the future President, while he’s pushing his agenda, an agenda he looks to profit from.

Corruption and, cronyism, are some of the biggest evils in government today. It exists at every level of government. The 2012 election is about throwing corrupt politicians out, and replacing them with honest men and women. What good will this do us, if we allow this situation to stand?

Sometimes our leaders need guidance.

Please join me in demanding Mitt Romney disassociate himself from Michael O. Leavitt, and anyone else who has a major conflict of interest with the American people.

If Romney isn’t challenged we deserve what we get.

As I said before, this is a test.

If Romney is challenged, and refuses to listen to the people, it will show that he won’t listen as President, either. If he does listen, and takes the proper action, it will go a long way towards reassuring Americans they are making the right choice in backing him come November.

The ball is in Mitt Romney’s court … and yours.

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Subsidized, Bankrupt, Corrupt: Solyndra Managers Got $368,500 in Court-Ordered Bonuses

By Gary P Jackson

One could spend all day, every day, writing about nothing but corruption involved in the so-called “green” industry. While there are hundreds of stories like Solyndra, this company is, without a doubt, the poster child for the culture of greed, corruption, and malpractice fostered by the Obama regime.

The latest though, is mind-blowing. Instead of jail sentences for all involved, Solyndra managers got court-order bonus instead, “in the best interests of the Debtors, their creditors and all other parties in interest.

Crime pays, especially if it’s in the Obama sanctioned “green” industry.

From CNS News:

CNSNews.com) – A bankruptcy court ordered $368,500 in bonuses for 20 top managers and employees of Solyndra, the solar panel firm that received $535 million from taxpayers two years before filing for bankruptcy and laying off 11,000 employees. The bonuses kicked in on March 31.

The 20 high-level workers earned a total base pay of $2.49 million before the bonuses. One of the executives earned a base annual salary of $206,499 and received a $30,000 incentive under the court order handed down on Feb. 22 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath in Delaware.

Another executive earning $189,000 in base pay was awarded a $20,000 bonus and a third, who earned $190,800,  received $15,000 more.

Most of the bonuses awarded were between $15,000 and $25,000, with the three top beneficiaries receiving $30,000, while the three lowest received $10,000 each.

The Energy Department finalized a loan guarantee of $535 million to Solyndra on Sept. 3, 2009, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – better known as the $787 billion stimulus.

On Aug. 31, 2011, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 allows a debtor company to restructure and work out agreements with creditors without being liquidated.

Court documents referred to the bonuses as a “Key Employee Incentive Plan.” The ruling determined the payouts to be “in the best interests of the Debtors, their creditors and all other parties in interest.

For a list of all of the bonuses paid, click here.

Only in Obama’s America are failures, who steal tax payer money, rewarded handsomely, while the rest of the nation suffers.

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