Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Hits - December 14, 2011

The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill to extend the temporary 2% reduction of the payroll tax used to fund Social Security benefits for 1 more year.  This is being requested by President Obama.  However, in granting the President his request, the GOP Majority in the House also tied making a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a continuation of the federal employee pay freeze, a reduction of federal government workforce, postponed the Obamacare scheduled cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates to Doctors and Hospitals - and offset the higher costs by increasing premiums for high income seniors, and makes substantial changes to unemployment insurance - increasing assistance to the long term unemployed, but reducing the duration of benefits from 99 weeks to 59 weeks.

President Obama has threatened to veto this bill if it reaches his desk and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this bill is dead on arrival in the Seante.  This response is threatening another bill, the Omnibus Spending bill for FY2012 which is needed to fund government operations from 12/17 to 9/30/12 - the balance of the fiscal year.  As it stands now, the Federal Government runs out of funding 3 days from now and we are facing the spectre of another government shutdown.

The Democrats are playing a risky game of brinkmanship with their approach.  Across the cable news programs, Congressional Democrats are stepping up with the standard talking points about the importance of the extension of the payroll tax reduction for the 'middle class' while demanding huge tax increases on the 'wealthy' to 'fix the economy'.  They fully expect the mainstream media to continue to provide them with the cover they need to play this game - and to blame the Congressional Republicans if the tax reduction isn't extended for another year or if the Government shuts down.

In Europe, the International Monetary Fund is warning that Greece is slipping fast on their responsibilities towards fiscal reforms and austerity.  They cite Greek government leaders who are shirking their responsibilities to push and enact needed reforms to reduce the Greek nanny state.  Investors are fleeing Greek banks in increasing numbers and fears of a Euro region recession in early 2012 also are not helping the circumstances.

Because the 'Merkozy' deal fails to address the root causes of the fiscal crisis in many European countries, the irresponsible fiscal policies, the nanny state, the marginally viable banks, and none of the members, or banks, are changing the way they operate, the next major Eurozone crisis is only weeks away.

We're seeing the first sings of this as today the Euro dropped against the US Dollar, falling below $1.30 USD and the latest Italian bond auction struggled as yields soared.

The increasingly irrelevant Time Magazine has announced their 'Person of the Year' for 2011.  Rather than selecting someone / something worthwhile like Seal Team 6 or the US Military, Time Magazine has decided that the focal point for the year is the 'Protester' linking the Islamists of the Arab Spring and the Marxists, Jacobins, and Anarchists of OccupyWallStreet.  As demonstrated on so many other blogs - this is the photo that Time should be using on their cover to announce their selection...

Or perhaps this 'nicer' one...calling for mass murder....

In New York City, a cafe adjacent to Zuccotti Park which was negatively impacted by the OWS occupation of the Park, has closed with 91 jobs lost.  Way to stick it to the 1% - costing 91 of the 99% their jobs.  I suppose they will 'justify' it by saying 'sacrifices need to be made'.

In his testimony to Congress, former Senator, former NJ Governor, and former head of the failed commodities brokerage MF Global, Jon Corzine said that he had no idea what happened when it came to the $1.2B in missing client funds at MF Global.  However, this is apparently not the case...

In a hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Terrence A. Duffy, the chief executive of CME Group, said a senior female executive of MF Global told a CME auditor that Corzine — the former chief executive officer and chairman of the firm — was aware of a $175 million loan of customer money to a European affiliate of the now-bankrupt commodities brokerage.

“Mr. Corzine was aware because our employee had heard this, on the phone—‘Send back 175’ — and said he was aware of this loan,” Duffy told the Senate committee.

Duffy didn’t elaborate on the exact nature of the $175 million loan that Corzine had allegedly known of, or whether that specific loan was among those that were illegal and improper. Futures firms are required to segregate customer money from the firm’s own funds, though there are circumstances under which moving customer money is permitted, provided there is sufficient collateral.

“The only thing I can tell you [is] that MF Global transferred customer money to its broker dealer, and that Mr. Corzine was aware of the loans being made from segregated accounts,” he said. When asked for elaboration, a CME spokesman said the firm would not comment beyond the remarks Duffy made at the hearing.

It seems as if Mr. Corzine has opened himself up for a possible perjury add to other possible crimes related to his mismanagement at MF Global.

Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder made a major address yesterday in Texas on what he defines as voter rightsformer DoJ Attorney J. Christian Adams notes on PJ Media, AG Holder has now gone on record opposing election integrity laws and endorsing voter fraud. 

Powerline has an excellent analysis of the rationale...
The Obama administration needs all the votes it can get, given its unpopularity with the American people. The question is, will the administration get those votes by persuading legitimate, eligible voters, or will it try to make up the deficit by enabling the casting of millions of fraudulent votes by Democratic Party activists? At the moment, it looks as though the latter is the Obama administration’s chosen course.
In Connecticut, the Mayor of New Haven is asking the State of Connecticut to allow illegal immigrants and non-US citizens to vote in local and state elections.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the board that is responsible for the certification of the petitions for the recall of Governor Scott Walker, has announced that it will not do its job to verify the legality of the petition signatures in their own endorsement towards voter fraud to benefit Democrat interests.  They will count as valid signatures like 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Adolph Hitler' as long as a Wisconsin address is provided.
The 2012 Election is going to be one of the most crooked in the history of this country - at least the most since the 1960 Presidential election where widespread suspected voter fraud was believed to have propelled John Kennedy into the White House.  That was the irony of the location of Holder's speech - LBJ won his first election to Washington on the basis of leveraging voter fraud to get enough ballots (87 vote victory margin) to win.

The Obama Administration is on the verge of yet another scandal around alternative energy and crony capitalism - benefiting a firm that has connections to the President's campaign.  Called 'Jet-Fuel-Gate', this is the 'New' Solyndra - and again demonstrates that Solyndra was not a 'one off'....The US Navy was just forced to buy 450,000 gallons of biofuels from an Obama connected firm at the outrageous price of $16 per gallon...

On This Day in History....

December 14, 1911 - Today is the 100th Anniversary of Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole successfully reaching the Pole for the first time.  Amundsen beat Robert F. Scott's expedition by nearly a month.  Scott's party did eventually reach the Pole on January 17, 1912, but all 5 members of the Scott team perished on the return trip.  The last 3 dying only 17 kilometers from their supply cache, but too weak from lack of food and the brutal conditions to continue.

December 14, 2010 - US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered with weapons provided by the Obama Administration to Mexican Drug Cartels under the DoJ's Operation Fast and Furious program.

Around the world today -
  • Iran threatens to conduct military maneuvers to close the Straits of Hormuz
  • Oil prices spike at the possibility of Iran closing the Straits
  • Reports are coming out that US Military forces, at the invitation of King Abdullah II, are staging near a Jordanian military base about 5km - 10km from the Jordan / Syria border. This as violence continues in Syria - with over 5,000 civilians now reported killed by the Assad regime.

No comments:

Post a Comment