Friday, July 31, 2009
Great summits in world history
Munich Summit 1938
Potsdam Summit 1945
Kennedy-Khrushchev Summit in Vienna 1961
Nixon-Mao Summit in China 1972
The Beer Summit-Washington 2009
Biden: I tell ya, guys, we need to go to Ukraine. The babes are hot!! Hey, you heard this one? Knock-knock."
Gates: "Who's there?"
Biden: "Sgt Crowley."
The news media had a ball with this week's "beer summit" at the White House. Some cable outlets were featuring a countdown ticker until the beer was served, while another was showing viewers an aerial map of the White House grounds to show exactly where the Big Moment would take place, We even know what beers each man drank, for crying out loud. In the end, Joe Biden was invited to the party-to lighten things up I guess.
I thought that Sgt Crowley acted with with class in his post-beer interview-being careful not to fan any more flames (since he never fanned the flames to begin with) but also not conceding from his position that he acted properly in the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.
Of course, we don't know what the four gentlemen said to each other, but it is my hope that Crowley spoke up for the policemen of America who are so frequently accused of racial profiling every time they have to encounter a black person on the street. I am sure he got a lot of lecture from Gates (and Obama) about the insidiousness of racial profiling. Since he himself teaches the subject at the police academy, I am sure he is well versed on the topic and the past history of arbitrarily harassing blacks (which is what I would define racial profiling as). I have an idea that Sgt Crowley spoke just as frankly to Gates as Gates did to him on the subject of being called a racist every time a white man and black man have a disagreement. It is not fair and it has become very tiresome.
What the teachable moment is that President Obama is talking about I have no idea. Hopefully, he has learned not to jump into an issue in which, by his own admission, he has no personal knowledge, and declare that one side acted stupidly-then have to waste the next several days of his precious time trying to clean up his mess. Any "teachable moment" would have involved taping the conversation, which, in itself, would have destroyed any usefulness.
At this point, I would like to share a story from my youth. When I was 14 years old and growing up in Los Angeles, I was a punk, pure and simple. I thought I was a tough guy and liked to get into fights. One night, I was thrown out of an amusement park for some stupid thing I didn't do and escorted out by an LAPD cop. He was an older guy probably burned out and counting the days to retirement. He took me into a side room and filled out a card on my (field Identification card). I was angry because I didn't deserve to get thrown out of the park. Three times I called him a "dirty cop". The third time, he proceeded to kick my butt. After that, I started listening. In the end, perhaps realizing he had crossed the line, he became friendly let me go since my attitude had dramatically changed. So was he wrong in what he did? Sure. Did I deserve it? You bet.
None of that suggests that Professor Gates should have been roughed up for his verbal tirade. But the point is that my incident had nothing to do with race. The cop was white and so was I. (I still am.) The lesson is when you engage in a dispute-verbally or physically-with the police, only bad things will happen. Gates was out of line and engaged in disorderly conduct. A couple of days after the incident, I caught a snippet of Gates being interviewed by someone in front of an outdoor crowd (I assume it was at Harvard.) I only caught a part, but I heard Gates talk of how this white cop was obviously not prepared for a black man to "get in his face". (I am paraphrasing, but that is an accurate description of what Gates said.) So, I am now satisfied that Gates, as other witnesses have said, was being verbally abusive and acting in a disorderly manner that would have justified a charge of disorderly conduct. To say that Crowley was engaging in racial profiling is absurd. He was called to the scene of a possible home break-in and acted accordingly. He had no idea who he was going to encounter, and I have heard no witness state that Crowley was being other than professional in his behavior.
Again, teachable moment? Aside from the fact that white and black Americans view race through entirely different lens, which we know, I would like President Obama to tell us what we should learn from this.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
by Maggie at Maggie’s Notebook
Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli is responsible for reversing voter fraud charge against the New Black Panthers, but many had a hand in it after the interested “political” and “racial” factions put their heads together.
After intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling precinct, decked out like a military thugs from a third world country, wielding at least one 2-ft. long nightstick, a civil lawsuit was filed. The three men charged refused to show up for their court cases for five months - that’s 5 months - and they did show! The government won a default judgement in federal court against the New Black Panthers and three of their men. In April, however, department lawyers were told to drop the case - after already procuring the default judgment. Unbelievable.
Why would the case be dropped? Wouldn’t you know it is always about politics?
Front-line lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were unexpectedly told by their superiors in late April to seek a delay after a meeting between political appointees and career supervisors, according to federal records and interviews.
If that doesn’t make your blood boil…this will:
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler told The Washington Times that the department has an “ongoing obligation” to be sure the claims it makes are supported by the facts and the law. She said that after a “thorough review” of the complaint, top career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division determined the “facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants.
Schmaler is certainly a Liberal. She had the audacity to says “we [DOJ] are committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws protecting anyone exercising his or her right to vote.” Only Liberals have that special kind of audacity. What about the people of Philadelphia? What about the people inside and outside the polling place? What about Mr. Bull - a man who signed an affidavit tell what he saw that day?
Schmaler says claims must be supported by facts and the law. How about the default judgment? But beside that, there was witness with a sworn affidavit. He is a “longtime civil rights activist and a former aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Here is a portion of Bartle Bull’s affidavit:
In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll,” he declared. “In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi … I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location.
Can you believe that the DOJ never did get around to entering Mr. Bull’s affidavit! I know it is drama to say that I want to cry for this country and for my children, but that is how I feel. This is not justice. Where is the ACLU on behalf of the American voter?
The guilty are Acting-Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, appointed by Barack Obama, who delayed the case. Then King discussed it with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli. He accepted the counsel of King:
She and other career supervisors ultimately recommended dropping the case against two of the men and the party and seeking a restraining order against the one man who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place. Mr. Perrelli approved that plan, officials said.
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (F-VA), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee was prevented from interviewing the “front-line” lawyers who brought the charges. That’s transparency for you!
Why am I being prevented from meeting with the trial team on this case? Mr. Wolf asked. “There are many questions that need to be answered. This whole thing just stinks to high heaven.
Yes, it stinks to high heaven, as most everything does connected to this administration. No need to worry, however, Wolf can’t get anywhere with it, but Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has some pull and he is meeting with King next week. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is also to be allowed in the door. More from Rep. Wolf:
If showing a weapon, making threatening statements and wearing paramilitary uniforms in front of polling station doors does not constitute voter intimidation, at what threshold of activity would these laws be enforceable? Mr. Wolf asked.
Here’s a quote from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights:
…in a June 16 letter to Justice that the decision to drop the case caused it “great confusion, since the NBPP members were “caught on video blocking access to the polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters during the Nov. 4, 2008, general election.
Though it had basically won the case, [through default] the [Civil Rights Division] took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges , the letter said. “The division’s public rationale would send the wrong message entirely — that attempts at voter suppression will be tolerated and will not be vigorously prosecuted so long as the groups or individuals who engage in them fail to respond to the charges leveled against them.
To date, the Washington Times says their request for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has yielded nothing.
AG Thomas Perrelli, whose word was the final decision, raised more than $500,000.00 for Obama for the presidential election.
I cannot begin to express my high-volume anger right now.
The New Black Panthers are identified as the party’s chairman, Malik Zulu Shabazz, an attorney and a D.C. resident. The nightstick bully is alleged to be Minister King Samir Shabazz, of Philadelphia and head of the Philadelphia NBPP chapter; and Jerry Jackson, Philadelphia. The people of Philadelphia were subject to a thug from Washington, D.C.! The suit against these men alleged:
The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with “a dangerous weapon”and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4.
The complaint said the three men engaged in “coercion, threats and intimidation, … racial threats and insults, … menacing and intimidating gestures, … and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote.” It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would “continued to violate … the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country.”
In case you are not white with anger…yet, one more reminder: these men never did respond to the charges or appear in court. Could you get away with this? I could not.
The New Black Panthers in Philadelphia want us to know how responsible and credible they are. They’ve “suspended” their chapter in that city “until further notice.” No elections to abuse coming up any time soon. Time to hit the streets and abuse someone there, or meet-up with ACORN for a little fun at the expense of voters everywhere. And what about Malik zulu Shabazz, who called Michelle Malkin a “political prostitute” - all cozy back home in Washington, D.C. where voters need no abuse to do the bidding of the New Black Panthers.
In the photo above, King Samir Shabazz (L) and Jerry Jackson (R), both of Philadelphia. See them all in the video below.
Black Panther Voter Fraud
Photo courtesy National Geographic Channel via WashingtonTimes
Amir Abdel Malik Ali-on a previous visit to UCI
George Galloway-British MP-and buffoon, who spoke May 21.
Ex-Congresswoman-and buffoon Cynthia McKinney at UC-Irvine, May 13, 2009 with her "security" in red and black t-shirts
I am cross-posting an article by Aaron Elias, a pro-Israel student at UC-Irvine. He describes last May's Muslim Student Union-sponsored Israel-bashing, which featured plenty of radical speakers and frayed tempers. Of course, these are the same events as I have written about for over two years, but it might be refreshing to read the accounts from another voice.
"To see a firsthand example of Islamic fundamentalist anti-Semitism, you need look no further than the University of California, Irvine.
The campus’ Muslim Student Union is nationally infamous for their annual anti-Israel week (which they unsuccessfully christen “Palestine Awareness” week) and for the vitriolic anti-Semitic language of some of their speakers. The MSU is the type of organization proud to invite the scholar-wannabe Norman Finkelstein, which it did in 2008.
This past May, the MSU’s anti-Israel week was perhaps more gorged with controversy than ever before. A number of campus groups organized in order to petition the co-sponsors of the week-long carnival of misinformation of the nature of the event they had agreed to co-sponsor. As it turned out, many of these campus groups were unaware of the controversial nature of anti-Israel week, as the MSU delegates who pitched it to them failed to objectively and accurately describe it. As a result of the petition, five co-sponsors reneged their participation. In addition, one of the MSU’s scheduled speakers — Gideon Levy, a Jerusalem Post journalist — also canceled his attendance.
The anti-Israel event this year was dispersed over three weeks rather than one, with the second week serving as the main course. The wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing cast of speakers the MSU invited this year featured Reem Salahi, a National Lawyers Guild delegate; Anna Baltzer , a so-called “renowned” humanitarian voice on the Israeli-Arab conflict who has colored Zionism as a “racist movement”; Cynthia McKinney, a Green Party candidate and former member of Congress who was nearly arrested in 2006 for punching an officer at Capitol Hill; and the coup de grace of every anti-Israel week across the Western U.S., Amir Abdel Malik Ali — an Oakland imam who has repeatedly accused Jews of controlling U.S. media, the economy, and perpetrating
Reem Salahi hosted an event during the first week exploring Israeli “war crimes” during the Gaza offensive in the beginning of the year, broken down into six sections designed to systematically refute pro-Israel claims (Israel does not target civilians, Israel alerted Palestinian civilians before airstrikes). Salahi force-fed the audience a warped, hobbled logic to reject these claims (civilians died in Gaza as a result of collateral damage, so Israel is targeting them. Salahi only saw one flyer during her trip to Gaza, so Israel didn’t warn civilians about airstrikes).
Anna Baltzer and Cynthia McKinney gave speeches of no notable interest during the second week, aside from the usual “Israel is a criminal state” and “Israel is unjustly perpetuating a holocaust.” McKinney did recount her experience of attempting to sail to Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and expressed outrage as she said her boat was “rammed” by an Israeli warship — an action she for some reason did not predict before she tried to illegally cross a military naval blockade meant to block weapons smuggling.
Malik Ali, as usual, stole the show with his inflammatory anti-American and thinly veiled anti-Semitic rhetoric. A Muslim radical who glorifies the image of the militant rebel and hails Hamas and Hezbollah as “brothers,” Ali spoke first at a noontime public event in the thick of student traffic and then later at a more private evening event.
The contrast between the two speeches was incredible. Where he at least attempted to conceal his Jew-hate in the daytime with monikers like “Zionist Jew,” Ali let loose with both barrels in the nighttime like some sort of anti-Semitic werewolf. Ali accused the Zionist students on campus of controlling the school’s administration, blamed the Jews for 9/11, and rejected the idea that the situation in Sudan could be a genocide and instead blamed the U.S. for it. Ali also declared that the Jews worship Satan, described world class Jew-hater Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “pretty good guy,” and named Hamas as “victims of Israeli oppression.” Ali even proudly called Allah a “terrorist.” Most astonishing, though, was his blatant call to the students to engage in violence:
"Stand up to the dean … and those policies and unjust rules you [the dean and Zionist students] just made up. … We are moving into a phase of civil disobedience — there’s no other choice except to disobey."
That Ali would have dared to express any of these beliefs at his public speech amidst a throng of students is laughable.
In recent years, it seems the MSU has become less concerned with distribution of fact and more concerned with constructing offensive and misleading displays on the campus. Students this year witnessed an Israeli flag torn, burned, and splashed with red paint drooping from a mock “apartheid wall” covered in incriminating photos of Palestinian victims (often taken out of context) and what is meant to be information on the conflict. A cardboard Israeli tank was introduced as an extension to the wall this year. It sported a picture of Anne Frank wearing a kaffiyeh, suggesting that the Jewish icon of Holocaust suffering would oppose the idea of a Jewish state. A few days after it was put up, however, the picture was covered up (with a kaffiyeh, what else?) and taken down.
Speculation was that the UCI administration had finally put on its big-boy pants and told off the MSU, but an MSU student soon admitted that Anna Baltzer told the organization to remove the photo.
One would assume that the UCI administration would eventually step in and declare that that such behavior is unacceptable and the rhetoric that the MSU’s speakers spew is offensive and risks inciting violence. However, despite petitions and urging by countless groups both on and off campus, the administration has refused to denounce the MSU’s activities as hateful and dangerous. People can only speculate as to why this is. Some believe that the chancellor of the school fears being sued should he single out the MSU for hate speech. Others believe they simply don’t have the chutzpah.
In addition to all the disguised bigotry and half-truths that color the MSU’s anti-Israel week, it now seems they are resorting to underhanded thuggish tactics in order to discredit the opposing perspective. During Malik Ali’s public daytime speech, a number of pro-Israel students set up a booth and walked around holding boards with damning excerpts from the Hamas charter. After the speech, these students were confronted by a group of Muslim students.
“So I hear you guys like killing babies,” a student at the group’s fore said to the group of pro-Israel students, the first statement any of the Muslim students made.
The confrontation quickly dissolved into hostility and almost became physical if not for the students on both sides who attempted to separate the two factions. However, even before the situation degenerated, a female Muslim holding a camera was seen hovering around the group of Muslim students and switching it back and forth between the two groups. When the situation almost became a fight, she rushed to the fore of the Muslim students and held the camera ready to take pictures.
This behavior, coupled with the blatantly childish and irrelevant statement the Muslims chose to greet the Zionist students with, suggests that the entire situation was premeditated in an attempt to goad the pro-Israel students into a fight, which the MSU could then take pictures of and tell their own story about. As despicable as it was, the Zionist students walked away and refused to respond to the taunting.
While criticism of Israel is perfectly legitimate (there is a saying that nobody criticizes Israel more than Israelis), outright damnation of it, fabricating information, and calling students to violence are not activities any school organization should be allowed to exercise.
If not stopped, whether by its own incriminators, school administration, or outside forces, it can lead to some dangerous situations. If you need an example of the dangers of allowing hate speech as free speech, look back to February of this year, when Zionist students at a college in Toronto were chased by an anti-Israel mob and forced to barricade themselves inside the campus’ Hillel office. Their attackers pounded on the glass doors and shouted things like “Die bitch, go back to Israel” and “Die Jew — get the hell off our campus.” The students had to wait for the local police to arrive and safely escort them from the office.
Another incident erupted at University of California, Berkeley last year in November, when members of Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted a Zionist Freedom Alliance concert featuring rapper Kosha Dill z by hanging PLO flags from a balcony directly over the stage. When ZFA member Gabe Weiner attempted to remove the flags, SJP member Husam Zakharia punched him in the head. Zakharia was promptly beaten to the floor by Weiner and Yehuda De Sa. Yehuda told Israel National News: “Several other members of SJP, including female students, attempted to attack Weiner and De Sa but when three more ZFA activists entered the scene, the male members of SJP — who regularly use physical intimidation to silence Zionist students — hid behind female members of their group and refused to step forward and fight.” The school paper published the SJP version of the events, and the administration asked leaders of both groups to meet with each other.
The problem of not only verbal but physical hostility directed at Jewish and Zionist students on college campuses is becoming a bigger problem. It is important to remember the aforementioned incidents when witnessing such blatant anti-Semitism on college campuses and anywhere else. One can only hope that people will recognize it for the inane and bigoted antagonism that it is, and it goes without saying that one certainly cannot afford to allow for this destructive and dangerous mindset within society.
As Winston Churchill said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”'
Fousesquawk comment: Excellent description by Elias of this latest round of MSU events, which were labeled: Israel-The Politics of Genocide" and which featured, as always, a veritable who's who of misfits and mad-hatters as speakers.
By the way, if you are not aware, the National Lawyer's Guild was originally founded in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA. It was not the first time one of their reps had spoken at UCI. To this day, you will see them involved in any legal issue designed to make the USA look bad.
As for the confrontation described, I happened to witness part of it. The MSU had a table in the area and it was there that they were engaged in a long back and forth with pro-Israel students. Tempers did flare, and at one point, the pro-Israel students were told by an MSU member to get away from the table and the area. I asked a bored-looking campus policeman to go over and make sure there was no fight. Fortunately, no fight erupted.
Rest assurred in a few months, this will all be back at UCI with another group of misfits speaking (Malik Ali will surely be back.) The one common thread almost all of them have is that they hate Israel. And you know what? They hate America too.
And I will be there to point it out.
Beware: The mammoth cost of health care should be the last of your concerns, because the legislation, itself, will put the quality of your life at risk.
I received the following in an email from Maggie's Notebook contributor, Jim Simpson at Truth or Consequences. A health care vote is coming in the Senate if Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama stamp their foot a few more time. DO NOT think this is over until after recess. If you've been checking the headline, you know that is not the case.
Now is the time to ramp-up the fight. Even in the newly, supposedly re-worked plan to make it more palatable to Republicans, dire issues still remain.
Forget about cost. The issues are:
1) The day the plan takes effect, if you change your job, you will never again be able to have a private plan, no matter what your new employer offers you. You will be on government health care, like it or not. Do not be deceived that you will have an option.
2) Five years after the plan goes into effect, if you are still with same employer, on a private plan, your employer's plan must match the government plan.
3) Your medical records will be in government hands. If you believe the President when he says your records will be private, remember that we cannot keep homeland security and military information private. If ever anything is communist, taking charge of our health records is absolutely dictatorial. This is one you should care deeply about.
4) Doctors pay will be bundled: he/she will not be paid for when he/she treats you but by how the government deems he has managed your case. Your doctor will be removed from guiding your care in all ways.
5) We are told that no one will be excluded from this plan - but the truth is seniors will be excluded. No more hip or knee replacements, no more pace makers - all of that is probable. And what good is to be covered if you doctor cannot treat you adequately?
There is so much more. Please visit Ironic Surrealism for a list of tweets from people who are going through the bill line-by-line and quoting the bill. To give you some idea what you'll find some astonishing tweets. Here's an example:
Fed Govt mandates eligibility 4 State Family Planning Svcs. Say abortion & State Sovereign.What you do in the next few hours may determine the future of healthcare in this country. You have to call the following Senators RIGHT NOW.
Nurse Home Visit Svcs – “increasing birth intervals btwn pregnancies.” Govt ABORTIONS any1?
While we all have been breathing a sigh of relief that the Healthcare bill would not come up for a vote before the Senate recess, Rahm Emmanuel and the Senate Democrats are quietly managing to manipulate Republican Senators into supporting a changed healthcare bill worked out in a six-member panel of the Senate Finance Committee. The Washington Post reported today that A VOTE MAY OCCUR BEFORE THE RECESS.
The members of that panel are listed below. It has not been voted on in Committee yet, but if it wins with Republican support, the Democrats will call the bill "Bipartisan" then remove whatever positive changes Republicans made when the Senate version goes to the Conference Committee to work out differences with the House bill. The House bill is the terror that everyone has been commenting on, and with Pelosi in charge, it WILL NOT CHANGE. THIS IS THE BILL THEY WANT, and it brings with it the following horrors: euthanasia for seniors, drastically reduced healthcare availablity, no private healthcare at all, taxes, taxes and more taxes, wiping out the private healthcare industry and on and on. The bill will destroy both our healthcare system and add yet another body slam to an economy already reeling from Obama's other monstrous initiatives.
CALLING IS BEST. ONLY FAX OR E-MAIL IF YOU CAN'T GET THROUGH. E-MAIL ONLY IF YOU ARE FROM THE STATE. Beg them, plead with them, tell them anything, but try to convince them not to support it. Tell them you will withhold donations to any and all Republicans if they support it. This bill is a DISASTER!! Tell them that. Put them on the defensive. Make sure they hear your voice!!
CALL THE DEMOCRATS TOO. If you are a democrat, tell them you will withhold donations to any and all Democrats if they vote for it. Let them know that you are outraged. Yesterday in my calls to Congressmen I expressed my shocked disbelief that anyone could possibly be so reckless and irresponsible as to dream up such an overtly destructive piece of legislation. They need to know how we feel!
Pass this e-mail on to everyone you know and urge they do the same.
Chuck Grassley (Ranking Member)
Phone: (202) 224-3744
Fax: (202) 224-6020
Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946
Phone: (202) 224-3424
Fax: (202) 228-0359
Toll free: (888) 250-1879
Max Baucus (Chairman)
Phone: (202) 224-2651
Fax: (202) 224-9412
Phone: (202) 224-5521
TDD: (202) 224-1792
Tollfree (in NM): 1-800-443-8658
Phone: (202) 224-2043
Fax: (202) 224-7776
FOXNews just announced that the House has reached a compromise with Blue Dog Democrats.
Details later. The announcement is that they have cut $100 BILLION from the bill. If you believe that...see me about a good deal on the Empire State Building and a secret way to build your real estate portfolio.
Health care stealth in Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Loren Spivack, who owns the Free Market Warrior kiosk in the Concord Mills Mall in North Carolina, is facing exile from the mall after his lease expires this month because he dared sell merchandise that wasn't too flattering of our Dear Leader, Barack Hussein Obama. That's right, despite all the rhetoric from the Left about having an open debate during the Bush Presidency, a few 'impeach Obama' bumper stickers has libtards bursting their pampers, and working to have Mr. Spivack's business thrown from the mall! Tonight, Loren Spivack joins us on Political Vindication Radio to discuss his battle against the agents of political correctness. Must he fight alone? No! Call in tonight and let him know you're supporting him!
Show time starts at 6pm PST, chat room opens 15 minutes before we go live on the air. If you want to join in on the conversation, the call in number 646-652-4598.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE AND TO JOIN THE CHAT ROOM!
On July 23, I posted an article on the upcoming San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, in which the film "Rachel" was to be shown. To repeat, Rachel Corrie was a young Jewish American activist and member of the International Solidarity Committee (ISM), a group devoted to the destruction of the Jewish state. She went to Gaza in 2003 and was accidentally struck and killed as she sat in front of a bulldozer in the process of taking down a house connected with a terrorist tunnel used to transport weapons to be used against Israel. Her parents have since become anti-Israel activists and travel around giving speeches, associating themselves with some pretty radical and vile groups and individuals both in the Middle East and here in the US.
The Corries meeting with that great man of peace, Yassir Arafat
The presentation of the film about Rachel Corrie and a scheduled speech by her mother, Cindy Corrie had led to many objections from Jews, not only in the San Francisco area, but world-wide. On July 25, the film was shown, and Mrs Corrie gave her speech. The crowd was mostly composed of members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (another anti-Israel group) and the International Solidarity Movement as well as the American Friends Service Committee, all leftist groups opposed to Israel. Two of the principle figures are Donna and Darlene Wallach of the ISM, two Bay Area Jewish activists who have traveled to Gaza and met with Hamas officials.
The usual riff-raff (Top: Donna and Darlene Wallach of the International Solidarity Movement), second from top: Darlene Wallach applauding) -Photos by SFJFF Watch
After Corrie's speech, only three questions were allowed. The one critical questioner was greeted with jeers and catcalls from the loons in the audience.
Prior to the film, Dr Mike Harris, a pro-Israel speaker was given the podium and spoke for 10 minutes presenting his case against the film. The video is below. Listen and hear the catcalls, insults and disruptions from this crowd of storm troopers wearing Palestinian kaffiyas (head scarves with the black and white doo-dads). In spite of the jeering and attempts to shut him down, Mr Harris courageously goes through his speech and makes his points.
Keep in mind that these three groups who were involved in this event claim they are for peace-though they will never condemn Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers against Israelis. Some laughed when the names of Jewish victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel were mentioned. Ar one point, someone cried "Sieg heil". And when Mr Harris pointed out the fact that the ISM had put on a dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to the US, the audience cheered.
Another interesting fact should be mentioned; funding for the event was provided by the Jewish Federation of San Francisco, which bills itself as a Jewish advocacy group. I really wonder just what it is this organization does. If they are like the Jewish Federation of Orange County, they are pretty questionable in my humble view. (The director of the Orange County chapter feels-he told me himself-that there is no anti-Semitic problem going on at UC-Irvine in regards to the annual hate-fests put on by the local Muslim Student Union. Enough said about them.)
What I find especially troubling is that while many Jews are active in speaking out against anti-Semitism (and yes, defending Israel), so many other Jews either turn a blind eye-or completely go over to the other side and align themselves with those who would destroy not only Israel, but Jews world-wide if they could. In the case of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, while I am not in favor of censorship, I wonder what is the purpose of having a Jewish film festival if you are going to feature speakers, films and events which defend those who would murder Jews.
There is a term that many Jews use to describe these types; "self-hating Jews". Since I am not Jewish, myself, I have chosen not to make this judgement about others. But sometimes, I really wonder.
It is so perplexing.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I was raised to believe that all people living in the United States would be safe and secure in their homes, schools, temples or churches and businesses. But in the last few years it seems that is no longer the case. Especially for Jewish Americans.
We have witnessed an upsurge in the number of violent acts either committed against Jews, such as the attack in Seattle which the killer was given a mistrial. Or the attack on the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Then there was the group of American Muslims who planned a series of attacks on Jewish targets.
The authorities did a good job with those, but the Jewish community knows they and our elected leaders allow behavior such as this:
to occur without a word condemning it.
Once, in Europe, Jews finally had enough and took up the sword. American Jews have had enough it seems. They now know that the government will not protect them. They now know that they have to protect themselves. And they are doing just that.
Starting in late July, a group of Israeli combat veterans will be holding a training camp in New York to teach advanced self-defense techniques to Jews in U.S. communities. An increasing number of American Jews have expressed interest in the program following a wave of anti-Semitic incidents worldwide over the past year, organizers report.I guess this is the sort of unification and change that we were promised under President Obama. It is more like the return to the regime under that great Muslim hero: Adolph Hitler. Seen here with his good pal the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
The group calls itself Kitat Konenut New York – a reference to the “rapid response teams” active throughout Judea and Samaria. Rapid response teams in Israel, comprised of local civilians who are IDF veterans, have often been the first on the scene of terrorist attacks and other emergencies, and have prevented casualties.
It was founded in 2006 in response to a shooting attack at a Jewish center in Seattle, Washington. One woman was murdered in the attack, and several others were wounded.
The group is apolitical, and does not take part in demonstrations. “Our agenda is to protect Jews,” says group member Yonatan Stern.
However, the group does have a firmly held political belief. “We believe in the constitutional right to bear arms,” Stern says. Kitat Konenut encourages all American Jews to learn how to use weapons, and to purchase their own firearms for self-defense.
Read the full story here.
I suppose that the President just forgot about this bit of Muslim history when he made his historic address in Cairo.
An editorial in the July 25th Tulsa World is wrong again, not to mention biased again, not to mention muddying the facts again. As the Tulsa World rolls off the presses every night, the assumption on the editorial page is that America Whites are racists, and racist Whites are Republicans.
Today's unattributed editorial headline is "Who Goes There?" Harvard prof's arrest sparks debate. The problem is, this editorial doesn't debate.
This journalistic endeavor begins with a question: "If the Harvard professor who was arrested while trying to break into his own home were white, would he have been arrested at all?" "You can't say for sure" this piece says "because the circumstances are still unclear and you don't know the arresting officer or the professor."
Really? We have police reports by the arresting officer, a White man and an attending officer, a Hispanic officer, as well as at least one Black officer on the scene who has given his support to Sgt. James Crowley publicly.
The Tulsa World calls the details "cloudy," but at no time has Professor Henry Louis Gates charged that the police report was not factual. Maybe that's because there were plenty of witnesses, including neighbors that were not city officials.
It's important to note, that the Tulsa World thinks it important to note, that two Black Massachusetts officials have apologized to Professor Gates. That would be Governor Deval Patrick, a close friend of Barack Obama and Cambridge mayor, Denise Simmons. Maybe we should also point out that these two Black people didn't bother to apologize to Sgt. James Crowley.
I don't know about you, but as a White person, I take offense to it, just as Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce was offended when Senator Barbara Boxer lost her way in a Senate hearing this week. Boxer countered some claims Alford was making about global warming job losses by quoting only Liberal dissenting Blacks. Alford asked her why she didn't quote Asians or ...." That's racial," he said and he was right. See the video below - it gets good at about 1:30 in.
This unnamed Tulsa editorialist opines on the bad behavior of the Cambridge police:
Black students and professors have complained for years that Cambridge and campus police are guilty of racial profiling. and it is a fact that blacks and Latinos are stopped by police more than other ethnic groups.Really? If you are stating a fact then back it up. How can we believe your assertion that the Cambridge police are racist? And call it what it is. This was not racial profiling. A neighbor called the police to the scene.
Speaking of that racist, profiling Cambridge police department, cut them some slack. After all, Barack Obama was issued 17 parking violations during his time as a student at Harvard and only paid two of them until he began his presidential campaign. Quite generous treatment from the Cambridge police actually. Had that been me, a White woman parking in a bus stop, my car would have been towed.
And speaking of Barack Obama, it is ironic that you choose not to mention Obama in this tale of the professor and the cop, because after all, he is the story.
This sorry excuse for an editorial is what Tulsans are treated to for their money, everyday, and that's a fact that I'll back it up with any single issue of the Tulsa World that you can find.
The article ends with those so familiar words intended to show that perhaps you are just a little less racist than everyone else:
There is no doubt that racism is alive and well in the United States....If nothing else, the Gates episode gives us a reason to talk about our problems and the opportunity to move forward.What is sad is that no matter what American's of any color do, institutions like the Tulsa World can't stand to see things getting better. How long have we heard that Whites would never help elect a Black for president, and yet that is exactly what we did. If you want to criticize, at least do it honestly. Point out the fact that a conservative Black has a triple mountain to climb to get to a national political office or high-up in Ivy League academia, for that matter. About the only time that happens is when a conservative of any color can appoint a Black to the major leagues, because Liberal Whites and Blacks disdain conservative Blacks. If you are conservative and you are Black in America, you are nothing more than a bigoted White.
Sadly, racism will always be with us. And that should only make our resolve stronger.
by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook
According to Nancy Scheper-Hughes a willing participant in an illegal operation to sell his own kidney documented his story on video as it happened at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. The kidney seller says "I met a broker in Brooklyn and I sold my kidney." Speculations are that Rabbi Levy-Izhak (Isaac) Rosenbaum, arrested in a human organ trafficking FBI sting this week, may be involved. Albert Einstein Medical College in New York City is also implicated.
Scheper-Hughes says she has a copy of that video. She tried to interest 60 Minutes in it, but the video quality is poor. Scheper-Hughes says she took the video to the New York Academy of Sciences in September 2008. She showed a portion of it, and said the viewers could not believe it, but they recognized the doctors and the hospital.
Professor Levy-Izhak (Isaac) Rosenbaum of Brooklyn is believed to be associated with some of these claims from Scheper-Hughes. Read more about Rosenbaum's arrest for human organ trafficking and Scheper-Hughes charges against him.
Another hospital mentioned in the audio below is Albert Einstein Medical College. Scheper-Hughes says she met with an agent in Philadelphia who was also a Rabbi. He didn't seem to think Rabbi Isaac Rosenbaum's actions were illegal - "Isaac is a good man," and is probably making some money on the side.
Scheper-Hughes confronted Albert Einstein management. In a meeting, she said:
I have the charts of a dozen Israelis who were illegally operated on in this wonderful academic hospital, in your unit, using a broker in New York City and using donors they had never met, and they lied and said they were relatives, sometimes they didn't speak the same language. What were you doing there?
She says she was escorted out of the meeting, she had the name of the doctors and one of them was sitting at the table.
Professor Scheper-Hughes says the broker paid more for the kidney of a healthy college student than for that of a not-so healthy person.
More to come on Mt. Sinai and Albert Einstein hospitals. Below is the audio between Brian Lehrer and Scheper-Hughes from WNYC. Click the arrow on the left to begin play.
Isaac Rosenbaum is Rabbi Arrested for Organ Trafficking
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The seven Baha'i community leaders now on trial for their lives in Iran
Iranian Baha'i women hanged in 1983 for teaching Baha'i classes to Baha'i schoolchildren
Among the other disturbing issues going on in Iran-with their nuclear development and crackdown on protesters, one other issue has been largely lost to public attention; that is the severe persecution of the Baha'i religious minority in Iran. What kind of persecution are we talking about? We are talking about arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, rape, murder, torture, a denial of education-just about anything you can imagine.
The Baha'i faith was born some 150 years ago in Iran (then Persia)under its founder and Messenger Baha'ullah. It is a peaceful religion, which recognizes one God and places great emphasis on the brotherhood of all human beings. Baha'is are not troublemakers in Iran; on the contrary, they are model citizens, who adhere to obeying established authority. Their religion, which counts some 3 million world-wide, has spread to other parts of the world as well, including the US, which has about 100,000 adherents. Since its inception, however, the followers of the faith, some 300,000 in Iran, have been subjected to some form of persecution at various levels-not only in Iran, but also in other Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt.
In 1896, subsequent to the assassination of then-Shah, the Baha'i community in Yazd was attacked by mobs, and several people were killed. In 1933, the Government of Iran banned Baha'i literature, refused to recognize Baha'i marriages, and the Baha'i national center in Tehran was demolished. Under the Islamic Republic, which began with the revolution of 1979, this persecution has worsened dramatically as a part of official government policy.
The present-day Iranian constitution recognizes only Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism (an ancient Persian religion) as legitimate religions. Such recognition is denied to Baha'ism, which the mullahs consider an apostasy of Islam. Thus, under the present Islamic regime, persecution has been the order of the day for the Baha'is, many of whom have left Iran.
In 1983, four years after Khomeini seized power in Iran, ten female Baha'i schoolteachers were arrested, tortured, prosecuted and executed by authorities for teaching religious classes to Baha'i children. The women, aged 17-57, refused to recant their faith in exchange for being spared. They walked bravely to the gallows and died for their religious belief.
In August 1983, the prosecutor-general of Iran, Hojatoleslam Hossein Musavi Tabrizi, ordered that all Baha'i organizations in the country be shut down, to which the Baha'is obeyed. It did not stop the attacks. According to a Time Magazine article dated February 20, 1984, in the ensuing months, a Baha'i farmer was lynched and a Baha'i woman was killed by a mob just after having given birth. A spokesman for the Baha'i HQS in Wilmette, Illinois told Time that "unless things change, Baha'is in Iran are going to be annihilated." Indeed, thousands lost their homes and possessions, while Baha'i facilities and cemeteries were sacked and desecrated including their holiest shrine, The House of the Bab in Shiraz.
Baha'i temple in Wilmette, Illinois
And it continues. Presently, the Iranian government continues to persecute this minority in a systematic manner. Since 1979, it is estimated that over 200 Baha'is have been killed or executed, hundreds imprisoned, and tens of thousands have lost jobs, pensions and educational opportunities. (Baha'is are precluded from attending universities). In addition, Baha'i holy places, cemeteries and shrines have been seized or desecrated by authorities. Also largely lost among the recent mass arrests of young dissidents in Iran's streets is the fact that seven leading Baha'is (two women and five men)have been imprisoned since last year and were scheduled to go on trial for their lives this month, a trial that was just postponed a couple of weeks ago.
The seven Baha'i leaders – Behrouz Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Affif Naeimi and Mahvash Sabet – have been charged with a variety of crimes, according to official Iranian news reports. They include "propaganda against the system," "insulting religious sanctifies," and "being corrupt on earth," a charge that is punishable by death. The seven prisoners have not been allowed to see a lawyer. (The nature of the charges gives you an idea of the mentality of the Iranian authorities.)
The plight of these Baha'is has been protested by various human-rights organizations and governments including Australia and Canada. The UN has passed resolutions on Iranian human rights issues specifically mentioning the Baha'is. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also taken up the issue of Baha'i persecution in Iran.
All, unfortunately, to no avail.
Why, you might ask, are the Baha'is so threatened in Iran? It is simple; since their inception, they have been considered a threat to the dominant religion-Islam. Under the Islamic Republic, this has especially been the case. The mullahs who run Iran simply will not tolerate what they consider an apostate religion that threatens Islam. Therefore, Baha'ism and its adherents must be persecuted, imprisoned, killed, raped and their assets seized or destroyed.
Part of the "Axis of Evil"? You bet.
So how will the fate of the 300,000 Baha'is in Iran play out? Despite international protests, the Iranian government seems determined to continue its mistreatment of this religious minority until they have disappeared-one way or the other. Maybe they feel they can terrorize this "apostate" group into renouncing their faith in favor of Islam. If the 1983 example of the ten courageous schoolteachers is an example, it will not work. Will the government allow these 300,000 people to emigrate? While I have recently been critical of the US resettling certain refugee groups into the US, this seems like a group worthy of refugee status, a group that would make a positive contribution to wherever they go.
Ultimately, it may take the downfall of this evil regime to save its Baha'i community. In the meantime, public exposure is necessary, which is why I am making this small contribution.
Friday, July 24, 2009
A note from Radarsite: This Radarsite article was originally published over a year ago. However, for some reason it has been attracting a lot of attention lately. Now that Obama has moved beyond his lofty campaign rhetoric, and actually begun pushing some of his wildest left-wing Socialist agendas through congress -- or, as with the 100 or so tsars, deftly circumventing it altogether -- many Democrats are beginning to see the light. Now that his most recent outrageous comments about the "stupidity" of the Cambridge Police having the temerity to arrest a black man have irretrievably brought out his hateful racist agenda for all to see, some on the left are finally starting to get a little nervous. Now can we say we told you so? Now, after all those alarmist essays which so many of us were writing before that fateful election can you finally see what we were all talking about? Could Obama actually destroy America? Is he well on his way to doing just that? - rg
Political hyperbole? Right-wing alarmist propaganda?
Most protest movements begin as an organized expression of a legitimate grievance -- some perceived societal injustice, perhaps in response to actual governmental or judicial tyranny. If the timing is right and the issues resonate, successful protest movements can flourish and quickly grow into full-fledged revolutions, and revolutions can often degenerate into bloody civil wars.
Is America presently in the midst of such a potentially explosive scenario? Unfortunately, the signs appear to be more and more ominous. Since those traumatic events of September 11, 2001, this nation has been resolutely dividing itself into two increasingly hostile and irreconcilable camps. That reasonable 'middle ground', traditionally amenable to compromise, has been steadily shrinking until it has become all but hypothetical. It has been argued, not unconvincingly, that not since those anxious years in the mid-Nineteenth Century, prior to our perhaps inevitable, but monstrously destructive Civil War, has this great country been so split asunder.
Despite his oft-repeated promises to "bring America together", by his own words and actions and revealing personal associations -- and that of his prospective First Lady -- for all of his undeniable charismatic appeal, Barack Hussein Obama is simply a racist. His vision of America is racist, and his solutions to our problems are racist. His appeal is to those backward-looking, self-destructive forces of negativity and defeatism inherent in all cultures at all times. His song is not a new one, it's that same same old seductive siren song of victimization which has lured countless gullible societies to their doom -- 'You deserve more than what you have, and you would have more than you presently have, had you not been victimized by Them, the Enemy, the Other -- the colonialist, the Jews, or the Whites.'
Thus, in Barack Obama's skewered vision, America is to be seen as a battleground: it is to be Us versus Them again. The historically suppressed colored peoples of this world versus the ruthless and domineering post-colonialist Whiteys. His appeal is to the politically naive or the purposefully ignorant, those who willfully, for their own selfish motivations, deny all political and cultural progress and achievement, no matter how obvious. Far from the high-minded rhetoric of their humanistic speeches, they are simply the latest genus of that same old species of self-serving politicians -- devious, amoral and cynical. They are intellectually, emotionally, and often financially invested in defeat. They are the dangerous products of protest movements gone awry.
As history has repeatedly proven, once a nascent protest movement begins to succeed and achieve a certain level of public acceptance and validation, it can easily devolve into an entrenched political entity, virtually indistinguishable from any other entrenched political entity, with its own newly-acquired set of selfish goals and objectives. This new political entity no longer has one single clear cut societal agenda (i.e. the Cause); their efforts now become divided. One of their most important goals inevitably becomes self-perpetuation -- often by even more ruthless means than the original tyranny against which they successfully battled. At some point, this political survivalist mentality can, and usually does, completely subsume the lofty goals of the original movement. Thus a new -- and perhaps even more dangerous tyranny is born. A tyranny, like all tyrannies, whose primary mission is to sustain itself at all costs.
How many times during these last few turbulent centuries have we seen this fateful scenario play itself out on the world's stage -- in Robespierre's France, in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Castro's Cuba -- all with invariably murderous consequences?
Virtually every successful revolutionary movement which has morphed into a tyranny has sustained itself in this manner. The once fanatical revolutionaries are now battling counter-revolutionaries. Their entire raison d'etre has now become to prosecute this never-ending battle to purportedly protect the achievements of the Glorious Revolution from its innumerable reactionary enemies. This is an unalterable prerequisite to their survival; there can be no successful tyranny without enemies. Thus the Revolution becomes a perpetual 'work-in-progress', a never-ending war. Now, ironically, to admit success would be to admit defeat. They must continuously convince their followers, or subjects, that they are constantly under siege from these relentless counter revolutionary forces. The leaders are now to be viewed as society's protectors, protecting the helpless vulnerables from the predatory Enemy. And if perchance there is no viable predatory enemy, then they must create one.
The Seventies: The Bleak Landscape of Victimization:
Does it matter that Barack Hussein Obama is at least partially black? Yes, tremendously. Not to us, but to Barack Hussein Obama. It is the very essence of his being, the banner of his Crusade. Without the 'race issue', Barack Obama would be just another politician. It is his focus and his justification. And, if we are not careful it will become ours: there are many among us who have unwittingly bought into the false premise that all of the existential threats we face in this turbulent world are of our own making. They are not evidence of our real enemies evil intentions, but rather the results of our own inherent racism and prejudice. And they will proudly cast their vote for Barack Hussein Obama merely to prove to themselves and to the world that they are not racists.
However, it is certainly fair to ask, if race or color are still truly overriding factors with the American public, then how is it that we exhibited no such national hang-ups when coping with Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice? And if race and gender are still the salient issues they were in the Furious Sixties, then how does one explain the current makeup of our Democratic Presidential Candidates? One a woman, one a black? It's a pretty difficult argument to sustain.
To all but the most blind and biased liberals, the surprising victories of the Feminist and Civil Rights movements of the Sixties have been nothing short of astonishing. How anyone in today's America can watch television, go to a movie, listen to popular music, or read a national newspaper and come away feeling that either blacks or women are underrepresented is incomprehensible. Today there are women and blacks -- and, yes, lesbians and homosexuals and transgenders -- in every conceivable facet of American life -- in the military, the media, the business world, sports, entertainment, politics. Only those deeply invested in a contrarian agenda would be cynical enough to deny it.
We, the United States of America, have come closer in this Twenty-First Century to achieving a pure meritocracy than any other civilization in history. But will this undeniable fact impress those self-doomed generational victims and their professional enablers? Hardly. For these aging warriors of the Sixties and their current ideological offspring the very concept of victory is an unpleasant, perhaps even a deadly admission. For without a battle, what use are warriors? If gender-based and racial parity have actually been achieved, then what possible use do we have for a Gloria Steinem or an Al Sharpton ? What, then, can these poor dispossessed Bands of Brothers -- or, more often, Sororities of Sisters -- do with their disbanded warriors ? What roles can there be in today's meritocracy for a NOW or an NAACP? Those roles which would actually benefit man -- or womankind, they have, to their everlasting dishonor, steadfastly refused to even consider. These disenfranchised organizations could help to change the world, but they cannot get past their own deflated and bruised egos. The feminists could be rising as one powerful voice in support of their oppressed sisters in Islam; and the black activists could be wooing their brothers and sisters away from the devastating consequences of a life lived as a victim. But they don't. They won't. To keep themselves in power, to preserve their personal tyrannies, they choose rather to perpetuate the myth, and seal the plight of the true victims of this world.
To vote for Barrack Hussein Obama and his dark vision of America is to vote for defeatism and negativity. It is willfully turning your back on the hope and promise of this wondrous meritocracy we call America. It is buying into the outrageous lie that America itself is the problem, and that only by changing the whole concept of Americanism can we hope to cure the evils of this world.
Would electing Barack Obama mean the destruction of America?
Only you can decide.
I wrote recently about the recent effort by a bunch of San Francisco Bay Area loons to intimidate Trader Joe's from carrying Israeli products. Fortunately, the effort fizzled and Trader Joe's and their Israeli products got an upsurge in sales.
Above is a video made June 20, at a Bay Area Trader Joe's.
So who are these yahoos with too much time on their hands who think they can bully and intimidate people? As I previously identified them, they are called the South Bay Mobilization. Another "organization" is the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDC). Take a look at them in the video. These are not 18-20-somethings. These are "grown-ups" and middle aged folks, probably academic types or just plain left-wing radicals looking for a cause du jour.
Many of these same yahoos are presently involved in the showing of the film, "Rachel" at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this week-end. (See my previous post.)
As for Trader Joes, they will undoubtedly be subjected to more harassment since they have chosen to stand up to the bullies. So don't forget to support this store-and don't forget to pick up a few Israeli products while you're there.
The following is a breakdown of Inspector General Neil Barofsky's report before the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, ending June 30, 2009. Don't run away. You need to know this.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is the chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. I do not see this report linked on the webpages. Perhaps it is there, but I have not found it.
The following is the essence of the report, in my estimation. Below the "essence" is the full text. When you see text in between brackets [ ], those are my comments. I have used some short cuts in the "essence" but have not changed the meaning in anyway (you can check that for yourself as I have provided the page numbers.
Note that I have interchanged SIGTARP (Special Inspector General TARP) with "we."
Transparency: ...repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations believed essential to providing basic transparency.
Use of Funds Generally: Other than in a few agreements...Treasury has declined to adopt this recommendation, calling any such reporting "meaningless"...
Valuation of the TARP Portfolio: Treasury has retained asset managers and is receiving such valuation data...but has not committed to providing such information except on the statutorily required annual basis [does that mean no valuations have been provided as TARP is not yet a year old?]
Page 3 and 4
Regular disclosure of PPIF Activity, Holdings, and Valuation: ...the taxpayer will be providing a substantial portion of the funds that will be used to purchase toxic assets in the Public-Private Investment Funds (PPIF)...all trading activity, holdings, and valuations of assets...Not only should the disclosure be required as a matter of basic transparency in light of the billions of taxpayer dollars at state,...but the disclosure would serve well one of Treasury's stated reasons for the program in the first place: the promotion of "price discovery" in the illiquid market. Treasury has indicated that it will not require such disclosure.
In the need to balance transparency...Treasury's default position should always be to require more disclosure rather than less...provide the American taxpayers as much information about what is being done with their money as possible. Unfortunately, in rejecting basic transparency recommendations, TARP has become a program in which taxpayers (1) are not being told what most of the TARP recipients are doing with their money, (ii) have still not been told how much their substantial investments are worth, and (iii) will not be told the full details of how their money is being invested....
Imposition of Information Barriers, or "Walls," in PPIP: we noted conflicts of interest and collusion vulnerabilities were inherent in the design of PPIP...PPIF managers will have significant power to set prices in a largely illiquid market...PPIF managers having an incentive to overpay significantly for assets or otherwise using the valuable, proprietary PPIF trading information to benefit not the PPIF, but rather the manager's non-PPIF business interests. We made recommendation to impose strict conflicts of interest rules....Treasury adopted many of the recommendations...HOWEVER, Treasury has declined to adopt on of our most fundamental recommendations - the requirement for imposition of an informational barrier or "wall" between the PPIF fund managers making investment decisions on behalf of the PPIF and those employees of the fund management company who manage non-PPIF funds. Treasury has deceided not to impose such a wall...despite that it has been done in other Government bailout-related programs...the risk is the reputational risk that Treasury could face if a PPIF manager should generate massive profits in its non-PPIF funds as a result of an unfair advantage...leaving Treasury vulnerable to an accusation that has already been leveled against it...that Treasury is using TARP to pick winners and losers...benefiting a chosen few at the expense of the dozens of firms that were rejected, of the market as a whole, and of the American taxpayer...putting in jeopardy the fragile trust the American people have in TARP and the government.
Pages 5 - 8
Discussion that $643.1 billion of the $700 billion will be spent in 12 programs. To date, $643.1 billion has been committed, $441 billion has actually been spent. There is a chart on page 6 of Total Potential Funds Subject to SIGTARP Oversight as of June 30, 2009. On page 7 is a chart of Incremental Financial System Support, by Federal Agency.
Details the Special Inspector General's Investigations Division and the misdeeds of programs around the country who have taken client's monies while falsely identifying themselves as TARP.Page 9
Through June 30, 2009, SIGTARP has 35 ongoing criminal and civil investigations. These investigations include complex issues concerning suspected accounting fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, mortgage servicer misconduct, mortgage fraud, public corruption, false statements, and tax investigations. Two of SIGTARP’s investigations have recently become public: [see the list inside the document below
Future Audits - Assessment of use of fund by TARP recipients, including the Making Home Affordable Mortgage Modification Program
Page 9 and 10
[We're told how the IG's office is putting people to work in America - expecting that final number to be 160 new hires] [That's 160 people just to watchdog the hundreds already being paid to do so, including Joe Biden] SIGTARP did not know their own budgetary needs when the FY2010 budget was put together, and have asked for a budget of $23,300,000.00. THAT'S TWENTY THREE MILLION, THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!
[Don't get me wrong, the Inspector Generals are the good guys in this scenario and if they can make Treasury be transparent, and then put those in prison who deserve to be in prison, if and when fraudulent and criminal, then $23,300,000.00 is a bargain, I guess.]Page 10
Ends with making nice and saying that basically Treasury has cooperated with SIGTARP's information requests - AND while SIGTARP and Treasury have disagreed "vociferously,"...SIGTARP believes that Treasury has engaged actively in consulting with SIGTARP about it's concerns. [Problem is, as you can see above, Treasury has consulted and then rejected the consultations.]
Follows Statement of Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector general Troubled Asset Relief Program:
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY UNTIL RELEASED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS STATEMENT OF NEIL BAROFSKY SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL TROUBLED ASSET RELIEF PROGRAM BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS July 22, 2009 Chairman Moore, Ranking Member Biggert and Members of the Committee, I am honored to appear before you today to deliver to this Committee my quarterly report to Congress. In the nine months since the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”) authorized creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”), the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) has created 12 separate programs involving Government and private funds of up to almost $3 trillion. From programs involving large capital infusions into hundreds of banks and other financial institutions, to a mortgage modification program designed to modify millions of mortgages, to public-private partnerships using tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to purchase “toxic” assets from banks, TARP has evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale, and complexity. Moreover, TARP does not function in a vacuum but is rather part of the broader Government efforts to stabilize the financial system, an effort that includes dozens of inter-related programs operated by multiple Federal agencies. WARRANTS Pursuant to one of the initial TARP programs, the Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”), Treasury allocated $250 billion to provide funds to qualified financial institutions to build capital, increase the flow of financing, and support the economy. As of March 2009, Treasury forecast spending only $218 billion in this program. The economic terms of the CPP transactions were that, in exchange for the TARP infusions, Treasury received senior preferred stock of the banks that pays a 5% dividend for five years and 9% thereafter. Consistent with the terms of EESA, Treasury also received warrants – option to purchase additional stock. For publicly traded banks, Treasury received warrants of common stock; for privately held banks, Treasury received warrants for additional preferred shares, which were immediately exercised. As banks repurchase their CPP investments, they have the option to purchase the warrants. How those warrants are valued is an important matter that greatly affects the taxpayers’ return on these investments. As a part of SIGTARP’s oversight efforts, we have been coordinating our efforts with other agencies to avoid duplication, and it has been my pleasure to work with my co-panelist from the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), Thomas McCool, and with the Congressional Oversight Panel (“the Panel”), chaired by co-panelist, Professor Elizabeth Warren. As a part of this coordination, on June 10, 2009, SIGTARP entered into a special coordinated effort with the Panel to examine the pricing of warrants in the context of the return of CPP funds by TARP-recipients. The Panel issued a July 10, 2009, report valuing the warrants that Treasury had bought to date. SIGTARP plans to conduct an audit of the warrant repurchase/sale process and will have the benefit of the Panel valuations as context. SIGTARP’s audit will examine several key questions, including exanimation of the process Treasury has established to value the warrants for re-purchase, whether Treasury follows a clear and consistent process in considering potentially differing valuations of warrants, and the extent to which Treasury has established an objective basis for its ultimate valuation decisions. SIGTARP, if appropriate, will issue recommendations with the report of this audit. OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST SIGTARP has made a variety or recommendations concerning the TARP program and has worked hard to advance the general understanding of the TARP. With respect to recommendations, one of SIGTARP’s most important oversight responsibilities is to provide recommendations to Treasury so that TARP programs can be designed or modified to facilitate effective oversight and transparency and to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. SIGTARP’s reports detail these recommendations and provide updates on their implementation. Two categories of recommendations, however, are worth highlighting in particular: Transparency in TARP Programs Although Treasury has taken some steps towards improving transparency in TARP programs, it has repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations that SIGTARP believes are essential to providing basic transparency and fulfill Treasury’s stated commitment to implement TARP “with the highest degree of accountability and transparency possible.” SIGTARP’s July 21, 2009, Quarterly Report includes one new recommendation and there are several other additional unadopted recommendations from prior quarterly reports: • Use of Funds Generally: One of SIGTARP’s first recommendations was that Treasury require all TARP recipients to report on the actual use of TARP funds. Other than in a few agreements (with Citigroup, Bank of America, and AIG), Treasury has declined to adopt this recommendation, calling any such reporting “meaningless” in light of the inherent fungibility of money. SIGTARP continues to believe that banks can provide meaningful information about what they are doing with TARP funds — in particular what activities they would not have been able to do but for the infusion of TARP funds. That belief has been supported by SIGTARP’s first audit, in which nearly all banks were able to provide such information. Valuation of the TARP Portfolio: SIGTARP has recommended that Treasury begin reporting on the values of its TARP portfolio so that taxpayers can get regular updates on the financial performance of their TARP investments. Notwithstanding that Treasury has now retained asset managers and is receiving such valuation data on a monthly basis, Treasury has not committed to providing such information except on the statutorily required annual basis. Disclosure of TALF Borrowers Upon Surrender of Collateral: In TALF, the loans are non-recourse, that is, the lender (Federal Reserve Bank of New York) will have no recourse against the borrower beyond taking possession of the posted collateral (consisting of assetbacked securities (“ABS”)). Under the program, should such a collateral surrender occur, TARP funds will be used to purchase the surrendered collateral. In light of this use of TARP funds, SIGTARP has recommended that Treasury and the Federal Reserve disclose the identity of any TALF borrowers that fail to repay the TALF loan and must surrender the ABS collateral. Regular Disclosure of PPIF Activity, Holdings, and Valuation: In the PPIP Legacy Securities Program, the taxpayer will be providing a substantial portion of the funds (contributing both equity and lending) that will be used to purchase toxic assets in the Public- • • • Private Investment Funds (“PPIFs”). SIGTARP is recommending that all trading activity, holdings, and valuations of assets of the PPIFs be disclosed on a timely basis. Not only should this disclosure be required as a matter of basic transparency in light of the billions of taxpayer dollars at stake, but such disclosure would also serve well one of Treasury’s stated reasons for the program in the first instance: the promotion of “price discovery” in the illiquid market for MBS. Treasury has indicated that it will not require such disclosure. Although SIGTARP understands Treasury’s need to balance the public’s transparency interests, on one hand, with the interests of the participants and the desire to have wide participation in the programs, on the other, Treasury’s default position should always be to require more disclosure rather than less and to provide the investors in TARP — the American taxpayers — as much information about what is being done with their money as possible. Unfortunately, in rejecting SIGTARP’s basic transparency recommendations, TARP has become a program in which taxpayers (i) are not being told what most of the TARP recipients are doing with their money, (ii) have still not been told how much their substantial investments are worth, and (iii) will not be told the full details of how their money is being invested. In SIGTARP’s view, the very credibility of TARP (and thus in large measure its chance of success) depends on whether Treasury will commit, in deed as in word, to operate TARP with the highest degree of transparency possible. Imposition of Information Barriers, or “Walls,” in PPIP In the April 21, 2009, Quarterly Report, SIGTARP noted that conflicts of interest and collusion vulnerabilities were inherent in the design of PPIP stemming from the fact that the PPIF managers will have significant power to set prices in a largely illiquid market. These vulnerabilities could result in PPIF managers having an incentive to overpay significantly for assets or otherwise using the valuable, proprietary PPIF trading information to benefit not the PPIF, but rather the manager’s non-PPIF business interests. As a result, SIGTARP made a series of recommendations in the April Quarterly Report, including that Treasury should impose strict conflicts of interest rules. Since the April Quarterly Report, Treasury has worked with SIGTARP to address the vulnerabilities in PPIP, and SIGTARP made a series of specific recommendations, suggestions, and comments concerning the design of the program. Treasury adopted many of SIGTARP’s suggestions and has developed numerous provisions that make PPIP far better from a compliance and anti-fraud standpoint than when the program was initially announced. However, Treasury has declined to adopt one of SIGTARP’s most fundamental recommendations — that Treasury should require imposition of an informational barrier or “wall” between the PPIF fund managers making investment decisions on behalf of the PPIF and those employees of the fund management company who manage non-PPIF funds. Treasury has decided not to impose such a wall in this instance, despite the fact that such walls have been imposed upon asset managers in similar contexts in other Government bailout-related programs, including by Treasury itself in other TARPrelated activities, and despite the fact that three of the nine PPIF managers already must abide by similar walls in their work for those other programs. If nothing else, the reputational risk that Treasury and the program could face if a PPIF manager should generate massive profits in its non-PPIF funds as a result of an unfair advantage, even if that advantage is not strictly against the rules, justifies the imposition of a wall. Failure to impose a wall, on the other hand, will leave Treasury vulnerable to an accusation that has already been leveled against it — that Treasury is using TARP to pick winners and losers and that, by granting certain firms the PPIF manager status, it is benefitting a chosen few at the expense of the dozens of firms that were rejected, of the market as a whole, and of the American taxpayer. This reputational risk is not one that can be readily measured in dollars and cents, but is rather a risk that could put in jeopardy the fragile trust the American people have in TARP and, by extension, their Government. TARP in Context During the last 36 hours there has been considerable media coverage and interest in section 3 of SIGTARP’s July Quarterly Report, which attempts to place the TARP into context in terms of how it has evolved and of the greater government-wide effort. TARP, as originally envisioned in the fall of 2008, would have involved the purchase, management, and sale of up to $700 billion of “toxic” assets, primarily troubled mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”). That framework was soon shelved, however, and TARP funds are being used, or have been announced to be used, in connection with 12 separate programs that, as set forth in Table 1 below, involve a total (including TARP funds, loans and guarantees from other agencies, and private money) that could reach nearly $3 trillion. Through June 30, 2009, Treasury has announced the parameters of how $643.1 billion of the $700 billion would be spent through the 12 programs. Of the $643.1 billion that Treasury has committed, $441 billion has actually been spent. TOTAL POTENTIAL FUNDS SUBJECT TO SIGTARP OVERSIGHT, AS OF 6/30/2009 ($ BILLIONS) Total Projected Funding at Risk ($) $218.0 ($70.1) Projected TARP Funding ($) $218.0 ($70.1) Program Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”) Brief Description or Participant Investments in 649 banks to date; 8 institutions total $134 billion; received $70.1 billion in capital repayments GM, Chrysler, GMAC, Chrysler Financial; received $130.8 million in loan repayments (Chrysler Financial) Government-backed protection for auto parts suppliers Government-backed protection for warranties of cars sold during the GM and Chrysler bankruptcy restructuring periods Purchase of securities backed by SBA loans Automotive Industry Financing Program (“AIFP”) 79.3 79.3 Auto Supplier Support Program (“ASSP”) 5.0 5.0 Auto Warranty Commitment Program (“AWCP”) 0.6 0.6 Unlocking Credit for Small Businesses (“UCSB”) Systemically Significant Failing Institutions (“SSFI”) Targeted Investment Program (“TIP”) Asset Guarantee Program (“AGP”) Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”) Making Home Affordable (“MHA”) Program Public-Private Investment Program (“PPIP”) 15.0 15.0 AIG investment 69.8 69.8 Citigroup, Bank of America investments Citigroup, ring-fence asset guarantee FRBNY non-recourse loans for purchase of asset-backed securities Modification of mortgage loans 40.0 301.0 1,000.0 40.0 5.0 80.0 75.0 50.0 Disposition of legacy assets; Legacy Loans Program, Legacy Securities Program (expansion of TALF) Capital to qualified financial institutions; includes stress test Potential additional funding related to CAP; other programs 500.0 – 1,000.0 75.0 Capital Assistance Program (“CAP”) TBD TBD New Programs, or Funds Remaining for Existing Programs Total 131.4 131.4 $2,365.0 – $2,865.0 $699.0 Note: See Table 2.1 in Section 2 for notes and sources related to the information contained in this table. As massive and as important as TARP is on its own, it is just one part of a much broader Federal Government effort to stabilize and support the financial system. Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, the Federal Government, through many agencies, has implemented dozens of programs that are broadly designed to support the economy and financial system. In our most recent quarterly report, we summarize these programs and the total potential support to the financial system as of 6/30/09, there is approximately $3.0 trillion outstanding, $4.7 trillion is the total support to date, including money that has been paid pack and programs that have ended. In total, the potential federal support through all of these programs is approximately $23.7 trillion, as indicted below: INCREMENTAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM SUPPORT, BY FEDERAL AGENCY SINCE 2007 ($ TRILLIONS) Maximum Total Potential Current Balance Federal Reserve FDIC Treasury — TARP (including Federal Reserve, FDIC components) Treasury — Non-TARP Other: FHFA, NCUA, GNMA, FHA, VA Total $1.4 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.3 $3.0 Balance as of 6/30/2009 $3.1 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.3 $4.7 Support Related to Crisis $6.8 2.3 3.0 4.4 7.2 $23.7 Notes: Numbers affected by rounding. Amounts may include overlapping agency liabilities, “implied” guarantees, and unfunded initiatives. Total Potential Support does not account for collateral pledged. See the “Methodology for Estimating Government Financial Exposure” discussion in this section for details on the methodology of this chart. Other agencies include: FHFA, National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”), Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). For a full description of the backup for these numbers and the methodology for calculating them see Section 3 of our July Quarterly report. Oversight Activities of SIGTARP The oversight activities discussed above and all other SIGTARP efforts to date are detailed in SIGTARP’s reports dated February 6, 2009, 1 April 21, 2009,2 and July 21, 2009. Additionally, on July, 20, 2009, SIGTARP issued an audit report concerning how recipients of CPP funds reported their use of such funds.3 In February 2009, SIGTARP sent survey letters to more than 360 financial 1 See http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/congress/2009/SIGTARP_Initial_Report_to_the_Congress.pdf. See http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/congress/2009/April2009_Quarterly_Report_to_Congress.pdf. 2 3 See http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/audit/2009/SIGTARP_Survey_Demonstrates_That_Banks_Can_Provide_Meaningfu_%20Information_On_Their_Use_Of_TARP_Funds.pdf. and other institutions that had completed TARP funding agreements through January 30, 2009. The audit report finds that, although most banks reported they did not segregate or track TARP fund usage on a dollar-for-dollar basis, they were able to provide insights into their actual or planned future use of TARP funds. For some respondents the infusion of TARP funds helped to avoid a “managed” reduction of their activities; others reported that their lending activities would have come to a standstill without TARP funds; and others explained that they used TARP funds to acquire other institutions, invest in securities, pay off debts, or that they retained the funds to serve as a cushion against future losses. In light of the audit findings, SIGTARP renews its recommendation that the Secretary of the Treasury require all TARP recipients to submit periodic reports to Treasury on their use of TARP funds. SIGTARP’s Investigations Division has developed rapidly and is quickly becoming a sophisticated white-collar investigative agency. Through June 30, 2009, SIGTARP has 35 ongoing criminal and civil investigations. These investigations include complex issues concerning suspected accounting fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, mortgage servicer misconduct, mortgage fraud, public corruption, false statements, and tax investigations. Two of SIGTARP’s investigations have recently become public: • Federal Felony Charges Against Gordon Grigg: On April 23, 2009, Federal felony charges were filed against Gordon B. Grigg in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, charging him with four counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud. The charges are based on Grigg’s role in embezzling approximately $11 million in client investment funds that he garnered through false claims, including that he had invested $5 million in pooled client funds toward the purchase of the TARP-guaranteed debt. Grigg pleaded guilty to all charges and is scheduled for sentencing on August 6, 2009. FTC Action Against Misleading Use of “MakingHomeAffordable.gov”: On May 15, 2009, based upon an action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), a Federal district court issued an order to stop an Internet-based operation that pretended to operate “MakingHomeAffordable.gov,” the official website of the Federal Making Home Affordable program. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants purchased sponsored links as advertising on the results pages of Internet search engines, and, when consumers searched for “making home affordable” or similar search terms, the defendants’ ads prominently and conspicuously displayed “MakingHomeAffordable.gov.” Consumers who clicked on this link were not directed to the official website, but were diverted to sites that solicit applicants for paid loan modification services. The operators of these websites either purport to offer loan modification services themselves or sold the victims’ personally identifying information to others. SIGTARP is providing assistance to FTC during the investigation. • More than 50% of SIGTARP’s ongoing investigations were developed in whole or in part through tips or leads provided on SIGTARP’s Hotline (877-SIG-2009 or accessible at www.SIGTARP.gov). Over the past quarter, the SIGTARP Hotline received and analyzed more than 3,200 tips, running the gamut from expressions of concern over the economy to serious allegations of fraud. Further, SIGTARP is in the process of completing audit reports concerning executive compensation restriction compliance, controls over external influences on the CPP application process, selection of the first nine participants for funds under CPP (with a particular emphasis on Bank of America), AIG bonuses, and AIG counterparty payments. In addition, SIGTARP is undertaking a series of new audits, as follows: • Follow-up Assessment of Use of Funds by TARP Recipients: This audit will examine use of funds by recipients receiving extraordinary assistance under the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions program, the Automotive Industry Financing Program, as well as insurance companies receiving assistance under CPP. Governance Issues Where U.S. Holds Large Ownership Interests: The audit, being conducted at the request of Senator Max Baucus, will examine governance issues when the U.S. Government has obtained a large ownership interest in a particular institution, including: (i) What is the extent of Government involvement in management of companies in which it has made sizeable investments, including direction and control over such elements as governance, compensation, spending, and other corporate decision making? (ii) To what extent are effective risk management, internal controls, and monitoring in place to protect and balance the Government’s interests and corporate needs? (iii) Are there performance measures in place that can be used to track progress against long-term goals and timeframes affecting the Government’s ability to wind down its investments and disengage from these companies? (iv) Is there adequate transparency to support decision making and to provide full disclosure to the Congress and the public? Status of the Government’s Asset Guarantee Program with Citigroup: The audit examining the Government’s Asset Guarantee Program (“AGP”) with Citigroup, based upon a request by Representative Alan Grayson, will address a series of questions about the Government’s guarantee of certain Citigroup assets through the AGP such as: (i) How was the program for Citigroup developed? (ii) What are the current cash flows from the affected assets? and (iii) What are the potential for losses to Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Reserve under the program? Making Home Affordable Mortgage Modification Program: This audit will examine the Making Home Affordable mortgage modification program to assess the status of the program, the effectiveness of outreach efforts, capabilities of loan servicers to provide services to eligible recipients, and challenges confronting the program as it goes forward. • • • Operational Status Regarding SIGTARP’s operational status, we continue to filling out our ranks. As of July 20, 2009, we have hired 70 personnel, and have several new hires to begin over the coming weeks. Currently, SIGTARP’s senior and upper-level management ranks are for the most part in place, and, thus, we anticipate that hiring will proceed rapidly. SIGTARP’s efforts have been assisted by dual compensation and direct hire authorities that it has been provided via statute and regulation. We are very pleased with our progress, and we are confident that SIGTARP will achieve its current goal of approximately 160 full-time employees by the second quarter of FY 2010. Nonetheless, section 121(j) of EESA, as amended, provided $50 million for SIGTARP, but this figure will not be sufficient to fund SIGTARP’s activities through FY 2010. SIGTARP had not been established when Treasury submitted its initial FY 2010 budget request to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), during the summer of 2008. Additionally, SIGTARP was not in a position to definitively project its FY 2010 needs when OMB reopened the FY 2010 budget in the early spring of 2009 (i.e., SIGTARP’s key management and budget personnel either had not yet been hired or had just arrived). Thus, SIGTARP was effectively precluded from submitting a substantive request for additional funds when the budget was reopened. SIGTARP, accordingly, submitted to Treasury a request for an amendment of the FY2010 budget request in the amount of $23,300,000. Cooperation In spite of accounts in the media, to date, Treasury has cooperated with SIGTARP’s information requests. Moreover, although SIGTARP and Treasury have disagreed, sometimes vociferously, over the design and implementation of TARP programs, SIGTARP believes that Treasury has engaged actively in consulting with SIGTARP about its concerns. Chairman Moore, Ranking Member Biggert and Members of the Committee, I want to thank you again for this opportunity to appear before you, and I would be pleased to respond to any questions that you may have.
President Obama says he sees a lack of humility among bankers today. He said the industry "should be more focused on products we're providing consumers. Let's make sure we're operating in a more secure, safe fashion." Weigh that against the Treasury's lack of humility and their complete failure to operate in a "more secure, safe fashion."
Rush has interesting commentary.