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Archive for the ‘Barney Frank’ Category

>Angst Blogger Calls Barney Frank a Hypocrite

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Frank assails bonuses paid to executives at AIG

Larry Summers: AIG Bonuses 'Outrageous' Play Video ABC News  – Larry Summers: AIG Bonuses ‘Outrageous’
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AIG to pay $450 mln in bonuses despite bailout  AIG plans to pay 450 million dollars in bonuses to finance executives who led the insurance giant to …

WASHINGTON – Rep. Barney Frank charged Monday that a decision by financially strapped insurance giant AIG to pay millions in executive bonuses amounts to “rewarding incompetence.”

It’s currently popular to deride AIG. Yes, they needed bailouts in 2009 — and even some in 2008 — but the pay of these executives is actually built into the bonuses they are getting. Since when does Barney Frank get to set salaries of an insurance company? Yes, he was dumb enough to bail them out, but now he must eat his words. He as much as called AIG a hypocrite, but he is an even bigger one.

Afterall, wasn’t it Frank and Chuck Schumer and Chris Dodd that got all that money for Fanny and Freddie so they could sanction house loans on people who couldn’t afford a house? Yes, it was. Barney, Chuck, and Chris caused the housing meltdown, but they don’t mind criticizing an insurance company. The Angst Blogger is not saying it’s right to get bonuses for incompetence, but he is saying that Barney saw this coming. Why did he vote bailouts for incompetent companies. My view now and then is “let them fail.” So what if they were a bank as well as an insurance company. No one is “too large to fail.” That was that trio’s sentiments when they bailed them out for the tenth time. These bailouts were wrong and they continue to be wrong.

Now we’ve got Fed Reserve Chairman Bernanke saying the recession is almost over, and do you know what? All that money given — and I emphasize the word “given” because none will come back into our treasuries — hasn’t had time to filter down and stop any recession. Recessions are not government solved, only government-driven. Like throwing gasoline on a fire, it makes it bigger.

That’s what they money has done. But, good. If it’s going to be over this year, fine. But the hypocritical Barney Frank should shut his mouth when it comes to AIG. He got into bed with them when he funded their stupidity the first time and each time thereafter and forefeited his right to be critical of anything connected to this debacle.

In fact, the Angst Blogger is outraged. He calls for Barney Frank to retire in disgrace immediately! That’s why he’s feigning outrage, himself. To cover his own incompetence and fraudulent behavior.

Echoing outrage expressed on both sides of the political aisle in the wake of revelations that American International Group will pay roughly $165 million in bonuses, Frank said he believes it’s time to shake up the company.

“These people may have a right to their bonuses. They don’t have a right to their jobs forever,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, Frank noted that the Federal Reserve Board, using a Depression-era statute, was the institution that gave AIG its initial government bailout, before Congress passed legislation providing for additional assistance. He said he did not think sufficient safeguards were built into that initial bailout by the Fed. Sure, Barney, blame the Fed, when you, yourself, didn’t build in any safeguards.

>Honesty Can Save America

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By Don White
The word “honesty” means telling the truth at all times. To be honest, we can’t be honest one day and dishonest another. The standard of honesty is found in the Bible and other holy scripture. Why aren’t we reading scriptures to our children? We are supposed to be teaching the Ten Commandments, which includes honesty, to our children in our homes, schools and churches, but where have we fallen short the past 40 years?

The libs have tried to overturn God, have taken prayer and The Ten Commandments out of public places–and look what a mess they’ve made.


Honesty in high places is missing.
Today the Wall Street Journal reported on an email written by Enrico Dallavecchia, then chief risk officer of Fannie Mae. He had done an audit and wrote in a July 2007 email to Michael Williams, chief operating officer, that Fannie “has one of the weakest control processes I ever witness (sic) in my career,”
Did CEO Franklin Raines act on that information? No! He ignored it and, consequently, he not only lost his job but his entire business had to be rescued by Washington.

But that’s not the worst of it—think of the millions of people who got house loans based on Fanny backing they could not afford. These are the very things that brought our country to its knees in the financial meltdown that is still going on.

These business leaders were too intent on making big short-term profits—and obscene multi-million-dollar bonuses and salaries– at the expense of danger signals they were receiving. They had to have had some inkling of thought that the housing bubble would not last forever and that things would degenerate into collapse of their companies and perhaps, ultimately, of the entire American financial system. To put it bluntly, they were outright dishonest.
God gave each of us a little brain button called a conscience. When we act on impulses from our consciences, we do the right thing, thus strengthening our ability to hear our conscience in the future. When we don’t, disaster always follows. Proverbs.19:5,9 states “a false witness will not go unpunished.” Constant ignoring of our conscience leads to what people say about most of Washington: “Oh, them? They don’t have a conscience.”

And yesterday Raines was trying to put the whole debacle onto regulators when he was the man in charge and the only man who could have straightened it out if he had only been honest.

Honesty in little things leads to honesty in big things, and vice versa. When you see photos of people like Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, and Charlie Rangle in the newspapers trying to explain away the fact that they arranged to get Mae and Mac and government entities to help the “poor” get the same “rights” as rich Americans, you can understand why we are in the mess we’re in.

The difference between the poor and the rich in these situations is that the poor cannot afford to own a house—even if forced on them by the Democrats. The so-called rich are more responsible than the poor—they pay their mortgages every month, they hold jobs, accumulate money to own a home and the poor do not.

It was dishonest of the Democrats to start the ball rolling towards home ownership for all people—whether they could pay for it or not. These Democrats aren’t complete idiots. They knew it would come back and bite them, except they dragged along a scapegoat, George Bush, who made our destruction a fait accompli by caving to the Democrats.

But in defense of George and Hank Paulson, John McCain and others, they introduced bills in Congress to tighten up loan requirements twice—once in 2005 and again in 2006. Both times Congress—mostly the Democrats who have been in power for the past two years—sneered at it and kept it tied up in conference so the bill couldn’t come to a vote.

This was part of the wearing down process for Bush. Someone innocently asked: “Is this guy back on drugs?” Bush effectively lied to his constituency—he ran as a conservative and for nine months has ruled as a socialist. I’m a conservative and if there was more time left on his term I would join with what’s left of the honest in Congress asking for the impeachment of not only Bush, but of Barney, Chuck, Nancy, Harry, Kennedy, Carey, and most of the Democratic Party. What’s the answer? term limits, no more than two terms.

What about honest Americans who pay their mortgages—and end up holding the bag for those who don’t? What do we do in these trying times? We go home each night and bring out the scriptures and again start teaching basic principles of Judeo-Christian law. It’s not too late to teach honesty in the home and insist on principles of truth and righteousness, of having all instructors teaching it in K1 through 12. That’s why it is necessary to re-introduce God into the classroom.

The atheists, Bill Ayers-type terrorists and others who argue against a loving God and intelligent design are arguing against teaching basic honesty and goodness backed up by standards of God found in the Bible that can’t be changed with every political wind that blows down morally bankrupt Chicago and Springfield, Illinois streets where governors are regularly tossed out of office for dishonesty, corruption, and abuse of power.

>McCain Delivered The Knockout Punch!

>Bravo For John McCain!
by Don White

Oxford, Mississippi–If you saw the debate last night you saw John McCain deliver the knockout punch.

You also saw Barak Obama display his ineptitude about foreign affairs and his lies about not increasing taxes on people making $250,000 and below. Come on, Barak, no one believes you won’t increase taxes on people making that much money. Who do you think you’re kidding?

The fundamental difference between conservatives and Democrats is that the latter believe higher taxes are the answer. Obama would increase taxes on American businesses–companies that pay on average 35 percent taxes, the second highest in the world. McCain made an excellent point when he said what would stop companies from taking their business to Ireland, which has the lowest business taxes at eleven percent? Nothing. And that means if Obama is elected you will see further job losses–just the opposite from what this economy needs at this time.

McCain is right on. Why not lower business taxes, a move that will create more new jobs? Why not build 45 nuclear power plants during the next 20 years, a move that he said would create 700,000 new jobs. Obama is against both of these moves, including more drilling. He has no imagination and would be a terrible president if elected. His spending proposals would bankrupt America.

But just as important, the older guy, McCain, had new ideas while the younger, inexperienced guy, Obama, showed what we’ve known all along–he just spouts the same worn out, discredited Democratic rhetoric that we need to tax businesses in America and lower taxes for the poor or middle class, whoever that is because he wouldn’t answer McCain’s question on that or on who was rich in America. Democrats’ mantra is tax the rich, spend, spend, spend for medical insurance and other services.

Here are the only new ideas coming out of the debates, and they’re both McCain’s: The Republican nominee called for fixing the financial meltdown by changing rules so it never happens again and pinning the blame on those who caused it–Democrats in Congress like Barney Frank and Charlie Rangle, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department, the Fed, banks, mortgage companies, and other government agencies.

McCain said he would fire all of the agency leaders and start over, and that has to include SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. Technically, a president can’t fire a Security Exchange Commission chairman, that’s the job for the SEC. Cox is a corporate lawyer who served in the Reagan White House and as a Congressman from Orange Co., Calif. for 17 years before being named to run the SEC in 2005. Insiders believe he was “missing in action” and couldn’t be located by phone when Bear Sterns went under.

Next, an aggressive and experienced McCain, speaking of Russia’s veto power in the UN and their aggression in Georgia, called for creation of a League of Democratic Nations. This body would have more power than the UN, since they’re generally in agreement and it’s members are well heeled because of private enterprise and free markets. It would, naturally, be able–along with NATO–to respond to nations like Russia that want to work with the West but want to make up their own rules of conduct which include messing with the internal affirs of other countries.

Obama had no comments on McCain’s two new ideas, and that’s because he needs a teleprompter to speak coherently and he lacks ethos. In rhetoric, ethos is one of the three artistic proofs (pistis (πίστις)) modes of persuasion (other principles being logos and pathos) discussed by Aristotle in ‘Rhetoric‘ as a component of argument. At first speakers must establish ethos. On the one hand, this can mean merely “moral competence”

McCain clearly won the debate on both the economy and national security and foreign affairs and on new ideas. He is clearly the better contemporaneous speaker, and that’s because he has real life stories and experiences to retell while Obama’s quest remains a dream and he hasn’t a clue about any of this.

McCain hit him on an obvious weak point–that Obama said that without preconditons he would sit down with Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, the North Koreans, and Amadinajab of Iran. Showing typical moral weakness, Obama tried to lie himself out of this when the record is clear, that’s what he said. Then he hummed and hawed, saying one of McCain’s advisers, Henry Kissinger, had said he would likewise sit down with foreign dictators without preconditons. McCain flatly disputed this and told the audience this was a lie. I hope someone corners Henry and he sets the world right, because those of us who have experienced his diplomacy over the past 35 years know that there were always preconditons before a president he was advising sat down with a head of state.

Obama memorized some points and things he said–not always coherently, and after a lot of “a’s and pauses” to gather his vacant thoughts. Obama said nothing about the proposed League of Democracies. Nothing about firing the agency people who were responsible for the financial meltdown. How could he. They aren’t his ideas and he’s an “empty suit.” Why aren’t they his ideas? He loves the slush fund money he and his party receives from Fannie and Freddie. He loves the earmarks he is able to make in Congress to his wife’s company. He’s corrupt, so why should he want to change anything?

These reform ideas are those of the maverick, the reformer, John McCain. That Obama has never thought about a solution to these problems as McCain has is criminal. It’s criminal because reform means the end of the kickbacks and unethical donations he receives from these government agencies. Frankly, he’s just not in a position to clean up Washington and McCain and his running mate Palin are. If America elects Obama they will elect a man who has no fresh ideas. He’s powered by the same old failed Democratic rhetoric that got us into this problem in the first place.

As Albert Einstein said: “The significant problems we solve won’t be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Bravo for John McCain!

More on Chris Cox and the SEC: The SEC is two years older than John McCain. It was created by Congress in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression. The SEC is charged with making sure that public companies accurately disclose their financials and business risks to investors, and ensuring that brokers who trade securities for clients keep investors’ interests first.

In the pro-deregulation ethos that dominated Washington over past two decades, there was little appetite for adding powers to an agency like the SEC: In 1998, when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed regulating the burgeoning derivatives market, the banking lobby, with some help from hedge funds and investment banks, quickly thwarted the measure. And Cox’s predecessor at the SEC, William Donaldson, encountered stiff opposition when he tried to push more pro-shareholder measures and subject hedge funds to more oversight. When a court struck down Donaldson’s hedge fund registration rule, Cox announced that the SEC would not seek to appeal the ruling — he took the same no-appeal tact when a court shot down an SEC effort to make mutual funds appoint an independent chairman. On the other hand, certain types of enforcement — like cases against companies that backdated stock options — have flourished under Cox. And now he’s a loud supporter of regulating the $58 trillion credit default swap market that helps companies insure against defaults on their debt — but also links financial institutions together in dangerously opaque ways.

Both McCain and Obama criticized the fact that no one both spotted a potential problem and made sure something was done to fix it. Babara Kavit of Times.com says she didn’t think the SEC had sufficient manpower, expertise, or resources to detect the problem. McCain will fix that!

“Much has been made of the SEC’s failure to spot trouble brewing at the investment banks that fell under its purview,” she wrote. “An SEC rule change in 2004 — which didn’t generate a lot of attention at the time and passed before Cox came along — let the five largest investment banks significantly raise the amount of money they could borrow. In retrospect, the new ratio — $40 dollars borrowed for each dollar of capital to back it up — was precariously high, considering smaller broker-dealers were capped at a ratio of $12 borrowed for each dollar of capital.”

All in all, this has been a good week for John McCain. He flies back to Washington to help the conservatives and Democrats come together in devising a bill that could be passed by early next week. McCain won this debate, but what will the polls show is anyone’s guess. Frankly, I am highly suspicious of polls. They call up 200 people and that, somehow, is supposed to be representative of what America thinks? I don’t think so.

>What’s The Difference Between The Ted Stevens and Charlie Rangle Scandals?

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Ted Stevens (R-AK) is a seventh-term senator, representing Alaska. Sen. Stevens is the ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and sits on several other Appropriations subcommittees.

Sen. Stevens’ ethics issues stem from his ties to the VECO Corporation; earmarks he has inserted for companies that paid his son, Ben Stevens;

(someone should investigate Barak Obama’s earmarks including one million dollars he earmarked for his wife’s employer)

Stevens’ relationship with his brother-in-law, lobbyist William Bittner; his relationship with Alaskan real estate developers Jonathan Rubini and Leonard Hyde; and the activities of his non-profit, The Ted Stevens Foundation. Sen. Stevens was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 29, 2008 on seven counts of making false statements. Sen. Stevens was included in CREW’s 2007 congressional corruption report.

Federal Indictment

On July 29, 2008, Sen. Stevens was indicted by the Department of Justice for making false statements on his financial disclosure forms. The indictment alleges that beginning in May 1999 through August 2007, Sen. Stevens engaged in a scheme to conceal “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value” from VECO and its chairman, Bill Allen, by failing to report them on his financial disclosure forms. The things of value included home improvements to the Girdwood residence, automobiles, household goods, and tools, totaling over $250,000. Sen. Stevens pleaded not guilty to all seven counts on July 31, 2008.

____________________________________________________

September 19, 2008

Washington–Republicans on Friday brought a resolution against Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to the floor of the House which is a statement against this man but Democrats control the House so this will be voted down.

The resolution called on the ethics committee to establish an investigative subcommittee in the Rangel matter within 10 days, and that Rangel should be removed as Ways and Means chairman while the investigation goes forward. The Democratic leader stood up and moved to “table,” or kill the resolution. The House is now voting on that tabling resolution. It is likely to pass, and Rangel will not have to step down from Ways and Means.

According to the indictment, Republicans see an opportunity to cite Mr. Rangel as evidence that Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats who made Republican corruption a top issue in the 2006 elections have now ceded the high ground.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-led Congress officially abandoned their promise to run the most ethical Congress in history and instead embraced the politics of corruption with open arms,” said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Any Democrats running for office who refuse to give up Charlie Rangel’s tainted cash have officially forfeited the mantle of change they claim to be running on.”

In perhaps any other year, Mr. Rangel’s ethical problems might be an extremely potent political weapon for Republicans. The powerful chairman of the House tax-writing committee, has admitted that he failed to properly report rental income from a vacation home in the Dominican Republic and owes back taxes as a result. He also faces accusations that he improperly occupied four rent-stabilized apartments in New York and used one as a campaign office.

____________________________________________________

So who’s right and who’s wrong? The view of AnstBlogger is that both Stevens and Rangle should resign from the Senate and House, respectively. The parties believe otherwise.

This year the Republicans are in an unusual predicament, with several of their own lawmakers facing more serious legal problems than Mr. Rangel.

One case in point is that of Senator Stevens, though Alaska Republicans made an audacious play this week in calling on his Democratic opponent, Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage, to return $10,000 in contributions from Mr. Rangel, who, unlike the senator, is under no criminal charges.

After Mr. Stevens was indicted in July, Republican candidates across the country returned or gave to charity thousands of dollars they had received from him. While Mr. Begich announced on Tuesday that he would similarly donate the money he had received from Mr. Rangel, he was more than happy to accuse Alaska Republicans of a double standard in making no such demand of Republican candidates when Mr. Stevens was charged.

“How ironic,” his campaign wrote in a press release. “Senator Stevens goes to trial next week on seven federal felony counts.”

A spokesman for the Alaska Republican Party, McHugh Pierre, drew a contrast between the two cases. “Rangel’s attorney has openly said that he didn’t pay taxes,” Mr. Pierre said. “Stevens says he is innocent. That’s the difference.”

____________________________________________________

AngstBlogger has a hard time differentiating between the Charlie Rangle tax problem from the Wesley Snipes embroglio. Both men admitted that they didn’t pay taxes. Rangle, though, says his was due to an oversight, if you can believe that statement. Who, claiming to have the experience and expertise to represent the 15th Congressional District of New York and to be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (which oversees all of the spending of the U.S. government), would be so naive and dumb as to just forget to pay their own taxes? That person should resign based on that statement alone or the taxpayers should remove him. Oh, but I “forgot”, these taxpayers live in Harlem and are highly indebted to people like Rangle and Barney Frank who helped push through the loose bank loan requirements for buying houses that got the U.S. into this huge financial mess we are now facing.

Next time someone says lower loan requirements, put up a stiff upper lip and say no! Lower loan requirements for minorities always comes back to haunt the taxpaying, mortgage honoring public. What they are really asking for is for “normal” Americans to buy that house for the “poor.” Yeah, sure we will!

Wesley Snipes’ case is on appeal but he faces a three-year prison term for non-payment of taxes. He may be in prison as we write. Mr. Snipes was a member of American Rights Litigators, an organization founded by Eddie Ray Kahn. Prosecutors have described that organization and its successor company, Guiding Light of God Ministries, as illegal tax-evasion schemes. Someone should ask Charlie Rangle if he’s a member of this group. The jury also convicted the two co-defendants, Kahn and Douglas Rosile, on felony charges. Mr. Rosile, a certified public accountant, prepared some tax returns, including Mr. Snipes’s, for the organization and he got ten years.

Mr. Snipes, who has built a worldwide following acting in films like the “Blade” vampire trilogy, must pay up to $17 million in back taxes plus penalties and interest. The case was the most prominent tax prosecution since the billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley was convicted of tax fraud in 1989.