Tag Archives: politics

FOXNews.com – Obama Under Fire for Backing Deal to Lift Global Ban on Commercial Whaling

 

President Obama is under fire for backing a deal to lift a 24-year-old international ban on commercial whaling. (AP)

Environmentalists, already peeved with the administration’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, are accusing President Obama of breaking his campaign pledge to end the slaughter of whales.

The Obama administration is leading an effort within the International Whaling Commission to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway and Iceland, the remaining three countries in the 88-member commission that still hunt whales.

The administration argues that the new deal will save thousands of whales over the next decade by stopping the three countries from illegally exploiting loopholes in the moratorium.

But environmentalists aren’t buying it.

"That moratorium on commercial whaling was the greatest conservation victory of the 20th century. And in 2010 to be waving the white flag or bowing to the stubbornness of the last three countries engaged in the practice is a mind-numbingly dumb idea," Patrick Ramage, the whaling director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told FoxNews.com.

Several environmental groups have joined forces to pressure Obama to withdraw his support for the deal before the whaling commission votes June 20 in Morocco on whether to lift the ban that was championed by President Reagan.

The groups have run ads in major newspapers highlighting Obama’s campaign promise in 2008 to "strengthen the moratorium on commercial whaling," adding that "allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable."

"We ask you to honor your promise, stop the sellout, and save the whales," the ad reads.

The White House did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Under Obama’s deal, the three whaling countries would be allowed to keep hunting whales for a 10-year period in reduced numbers. The whaling countries in return would agree to tighter oversight of their operations, including participation in a whale DNA registry.

"We recognize that these measures do not meet the needs of those who want a complete end to whaling now, but neither can it be characterized as a whalers’ charter," the whaling commission said in a press release announcing the proposal. "We believe that it is undeniably better than the status quo."

Meanwhile a colleague of Peter Bethune, the Animal Planet star awaiting trial in Tokyo after a collision between his anti-whaling boat and a Japanese ship, says the environmental activist is doing what the international community refuses to do — save the whales.

The 1986 moratorium unquestionably reduced the number of whales killed each year. But it’s not as clear by how much. Some estimate that an average of 38,000 whales were killed each year before the moratorium reduced it to an average of 1,240.

Ramage said as many as 60,000 whales were killed before the moratorium — a figure that he says has been cut to about 1,700 per year.

"To say that the moratorium doesn’t work, that is a conscious effort to mislead or a complete misreading of the facts," Ramage said, adding that "throwing it overboard in the name of good feeling and cooperation and conciliation with Japan is jaw dropping."

Joel Reynolds, senior attorney and director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s marine mammal protection program, added that the deal is "a step backward, to a time when it was acceptable to kill whales for profit."

"The moratorium has done more to save whales than the revival of commercial whaling ever could," he said in a written statement. "We will do everything we can to stop it – and to persuade the Obama administration that it should too."

The whaling commission says it developed the proposal to improve its performance on whale conservation and the management of whaling.

"Given the wide range of views of our members, it had to be a compromise proposal," said Cristian Maquieira, head of the IWC. "And that inevitably means that no one gets everything they want.

"Given the criticism we have received from all sides, we are probably not far off the correct balance. If we did not believe that this proposal was good for whales and considerably better than the present situation then we would not have put our names to it."

FOXNews.com – Obama Under Fire for Backing Deal to Lift Global Ban on Commercial Whaling

Geithner’s dubious AIG cover up « naked capitalism

 

Let me add a few words to Yves’ last post because I don’t think she was explicit enough about what’s going on here. This was looting and a cover-up plain and simple.

A quick review: Damaging e-mails have revealed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged AIG to withhold crucial information about the deterioration of its financial condition in the lead up to its demise.  This will put further political pressure on Geithner, who has already been exposed for his dubious role in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Bloomberg leads into the story saying:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.

AIG said in a draft of a regulatory filing that the insurer paid banks, which included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA, 100 cents on the dollar for credit-default swaps they bought from the firm. The New York Fed crossed out the reference, according to the e-mails, and AIG excluded the language when the filing was made public on Dec. 24, 2008. The e-mails were obtained by Representative Darrell Issa, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

These were not e-mails revealed willingly, but rather as a result of oversight and investigation. At issue is whether the 100 cents on the dollar payments by AIG to its credit default swap counterparties were a backdoor bailout.  Most market watchers believe that AIG counterparties would have received significantly less on the free market, exposing them to tens of billions in losses instead of taxpayers (see CW story from March 2009 on this issue). So, in a very real sense, many believe taxpayers were defrauded by the government’s handling of the AIG affair.  This latest revelation only adds to that belief.

Moreover, in regards to Tim Geithner personally, this revelation is extremely damaging. Not only did he, Paulson and Bernanke mishandle the Lehman bankruptcy which triggered the panic central to the financial crisis, but he has now been personally implicated in withholding – covering up, if you will – vital evidence on the looting of taxpayers to the benefit of financial companies, some of whom are not even domestic institutions. (See my definition of terms.) You have to see this in a negative light.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that he had direct oversight responsibilities for money center banks as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  In the past, in testimony before Congress he has denied that he was, in fact, responsible for these institutions, saying “I’m not a regulator.”

I’ve never been a regulator, for better or worse. And I think you’re right to say that we have to be very skeptical that regulation can solve all of these problems. We have parts of our system that are overwhelmed by regulation.

Overwhelmed by regulation! It wasn’t the absence of regulation that was the problem, it was despite the presence of regulation you’ve got huge risks that build up.

This is just nonsense. Jo Becker and Gretchen Morgenson put it this way in April:

An examination of Mr. Geithner’s five years as president of the New York Fed, an era of unbridled and ultimately disastrous risk-taking by the financial industry, shows that he forged unusually close relationships with executives of Wall Street’s giant financial institutions.

His actions, as a regulator and later a bailout king, often aligned with the industry’s interests and desires, according to interviews with financiers, regulators and analysts and a review of Federal Reserve records.

In a pair of recent interviews and an exchange of e-mail messages, Mr. Geithner defended his record, saying that from very early on, he was “a consistently dark voice about the potential risks ahead, and a principal source of initiatives designed to make the system stronger” before the markets started to collapse.

Mr. Geithner said his actions in the bailout were motivated solely by a desire to help businesses and consumers. But in a financial crisis, he added, “the government has to take risk, and we are going to be doing things which ultimately — in order to get the credit flowing again — are going to benefit the institutions that are at the core of the problem.”

He was on the job when these firms levered up and took reckless risks that endangered our financial system. For him to absolve himself of responsibility is a disgrace. And to add insult to injury, we now learn that he urged a systemically important company to withhold evidence of his looting of taxpayers.

Tim Geithner must go.

Geithner’s dubious AIG cover up « naked capitalism

Obama ‘green jobs’ adviser quits amid controversy

It was really only a matter of time before President Obama threw his green czar under the bus. 

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama’s adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.

Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly “green jobs” with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

Obama ‘green jobs’ adviser quits amid controversy

It should be interesting to see how some in the mainstream media report this story considering the fact that they have all but ignored the controversies from the beginning. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, The Washington Post  and the New York Times refused to cover the growing number of Van Jones controversies.  As the de facto propaganda wing of the Obama administration, they tried to place a blackout on the story. This is yet another nail in the coffin of the “old” mainstream media.

Witchcraft in the White House

by Kristen Atkinson

The Obama White House is abuzz with talk of witchcraft by first grandmother, 72-year-old Marian Robinson, who lives in the White House residence. A close friend of Michelle Obama says the president is furious at his mother-in-law after learning that she was practicing Santeria, an African spirit cult, in the White House.

“The president is quite upset about this on two different levels. First, he is a committed Christian, no matter what his critics say about Reverend Wright. He is adamant that Sasha and Malia be raised with Christian influences. He does not want them to be involved with African voodoo. And secondly, he is worried about the political fallout if his enemies get wind of this. Rev. Wright was bad enough, but this would be political suicide,” a close friend of Michelle’s confided.

Religion took center stage during the campaign last year when videos showed the Rev. Jeremiah Wright shouting “God damn America.” Obama was forced to distance himself from the since-retired pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where he worshiped for 20 years. Many people were shocked by the videos and questioned Obama’s fitness to be president. Since taking office, Obama has avoided worshiping in public and now prefers the chapel at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

This is how it happened. Marian Robinson became increasingly frustrated as her husband, Fraser Robinson, was hobbled by multiple sclerosis in the late 1980s. The family pastor prayed with her and counseled her, but “she turned to Santeria in a desperate hope,” Michelle’s friend said. “Michelle put her foot down when she heard that her mother took her dad to ceremonies where they did spells and trances, and sacrificed animals, chickens and goats I think. But Marian was desperate and kept going anyway, even when her husband was to sick to go with her. I don’t think the president knew anything about this earlier because it was before they met. Michelle and Craig (her brother) wanted to close the book on this and never talked about it again after their father died in 1991.”

The first grandma appears to be worried about her health now, even though doctors pronounce her in good shape. “Marian invited an old friend from Chicago to visit her at the White House, and she performed a Santeria ceremony in the residence. When Michelle saw this woman, a voodoo priestess she recognized her from when her father was sick, she had a fit. When she told the president about it, he blew up and said, ‘No voodoo in the White House. Absolutely. I don’t care what you call it.’ As far as I know, it only happened once,” the friend said.

The president was “totally in favor” when his mother-in-law moved into the White House as a live-in babysitter for 11-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha. Obama reportedly told Michelle that her mother will have to go back to Chicago if she does not “stop this witchcraft mumbo-jumbo immediately” and ordered the Secret Service to not allow Marian’s friend to return to the White House.

via http://atkinsonsadvice.blogtownhall.com/2009/08/15/witchcraft_in_the_white_house.thtml

Doctors opposing health care bill jam town hall meeting | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Physicians jammed a town hall meeting in The Woodlands on Thursday, expressing fears about the cost and effectiveness of a health care reform bill that could come up for a vote in Congress as early as September.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, hosted the meeting attended by about 90 physicians at Memorial Hermann Hospital-The Woodlands.

“The bottom line is that doctors don’t want socialized medicine — another flawed health care system like Medicare. They don’t believe it will lower the costs or improve quality,” Brady said. “Medicare is already going bankrupt and not quality care. It also shifts medical costs onto other paying customers. It needs to be fixed first.”

via Doctors opposing health care bill jam town hall meeting | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

Nancy Pelosi: Town Hall Protesters ‘Carrying Swastikas’

via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGzAi4vZqYI

Editor: My guess is that the dems will salt some townhall meetings with a few swastikas to cover Nancy’s mouth.  Its ashame that a debate has to devolve into this kind of name-calling.

Of course, Nancy will avoid those swastika wearing unwashed masses with a fund raiser on her back lawn.

The two-day “issues conference” starts next Friday night with a dinner for roughly 170 guests on the back lawn of Pelosi’s multimillion-dollar home in the fashionable Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.

The following day, Pelosi will shepherd her guests to a Napa Valley winery with buildings designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry; the speaker and her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, own a nearby vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to her annual financial disclosure report.

I guess that the only real people to Nancy are those that she drinks wine with …

see also … http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/06/politics/politico/main5218560.shtml

Washington Post sells access, White House denies involvement | Washington Examiner

The Washington Post has long prided itself on its access to the capitals elite. Now, it appears, the paper is willing to sell that access. In a flier circulated to Beltway lobbyists, the Post touted a “salon” program which gives “exclusive access” to “Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds” for between $25,000 and $250,000.

via Washington Post sells access, White House denies involvement | Washington Examiner.