Saturday, October 24, 2009

Waiting for a Reply

I have emailed Senator Bill Nelson (d FL) and Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) asking them to demand hearings into the GE TARP loan and why they were given preferential treatment.

Let's see what if anything I get in response

"Hi ,
I saw one of Obama’s hatchet men is dictating how much certain people can earn. You know as well as I if compensation limits are not addressed in the terms of the original loan, the government has no legal basis to demand them after the fact.
My concern is why some companies don’t have to reduce and restructure the compensation packages of their top executives while others do. Will you demand hearings to investigate why GE one of Obama’s biggest supporters has received preferential treatment by being allowed to maintain their executive compensation, and why the rules were changed so GE could meet the requirements to obtain billions in TARP funds?
I do expect a reply to my query.
I have provided excerpts of a June 29 article in the Washington Post; the full article provides details on what was done to benefit Jeffrey Immelt chairman and CEO of GE.

“How a Loophole Benefits GE in Bank Rescue
Industrial Giant Becomes Top Recipient in Debt-Guarantee Program

By Jeff Gerth and Brady Dennis
ProPublica and Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 29, 2009

Banking companies are regulated by the Federal Reserve and not allowed to engage in commerce, but federal law has allowed a small number of commercial companies to engage in banking under the lighter hand of the Office of Thrift Supervision. GE falls in the latter group because of its ownership of a Utah savings and loan.
Unlike other major lenders participating in the debt guarantee program, including Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, GE has never been subject to the Fed's stress tests or its rules for limiting risk. Also unlike firms that have received bailout money in the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, GE is not subject to restrictions such as limits on executive compensation.”

Well I got a reply from George LeMieux.
Oct. 30th 2009
Dear Friend:Thank you for your correspondence on the Federal Reserve. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns. As you know, Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009 (S.604). This legislation would direct the Comptroller General of the United States to complete an audit of the Federal Reserve banks and the Board of Governors before the end of 2010. The Comptroller General must also report to Congress with the findings of the audit and any recommendations for further action. This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. While I am not a member of this committee, I will keep your thoughts in mind should it be brought to the Senate floor. It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of the great State of Florida in the United States Senate. I take great pride in being a native Floridian, and I look forward to the tremendous opportunity to better the lives of all Floridians. I assure you I will work hard to represent our state to the best of my ability in the U.S. Senate. If I can be of any further help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.Sincerely,George S. LeMieuxUnited States Senator
Here is Bill Nelson's reply,
Nov. 5th 2009
Dear Mr. Ewetender:
Thank you for contacting me regarding financial regulatory reform. I believe we must review and improve how we regulate the financial services industry.The President recently proposed reforms to our financial system including: extending Federal regulation to all financial derivatives such as credit default swaps, requiring larger hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), creating a regulator to monitor the financial system for threats of excessive risk, and enabling the Federal Reserve to impose tougher standards on institutions that are judged to be so big that their failure would threaten the entire financial system. The proposed reforms would also establish a new agency to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive financial services, and allow for the takeover of major financial firms in emergency situations. Congress is currently debating these measures among others and is working to craft legislation that best meets the needs of our economy.I believe we must promote and support high standards in business while discouraging companies from acting recklessly and forcing others to clean up their mess. We can no longer allow our financial system to be held hostage by a few companies that are deemed too big to fail, and we must guard against excessive regulation and an uninhibited concentration of power that would degrade the values of a free-market society.I am glad that you took the time to send me your thoughts. As Congress considers measures to reform our financial system, I will keep your views in mind. Please don't hesitate to contact me in the future.
Senator Bill Nelson
P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you'd like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at

Monday, July 6, 2009

AP Obama Slobbering

Michelle Obama bringing glamour to Moscow
By CATRINA STEWARTAssociated Press 2009-07-05 05:02 AM

FILE -- In this April 3, 2009, file photo, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, during a visit to Baden-Baden, Germany. Michelle Obama brings her superstar glamor to Moscow this weekend as she accompanies her husband on his summit with the Russian president. But the American first lady, who has wowed publics in the U.S. and Europe with her easy elegance and charm, will perhaps face a bigger challenge in winning over a Russian public that has scant respect for women who grab the limelight from their powerful husbands. Russia still has trouble with the concept of an empowered woman behind the throne. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)
Associated Press

FILE -- In this July 16, 2009, file photo, Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev is seen in Moscow. Medvedev's wife Svetlana is pious and discreet and met her husband while she was a schoolgirl. She supports charity and the arts, but has assumed no independent voice on issues facing the country. She dresses conservatively, lacking the edgy fashion sense that has attracted a nationwide following for Michelle Obama who will accompany her husband U.S. President Barack Obama on his summit with the Russian president, this weekend. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)
Associated Press Michelle Obama brings her superstar glamour to Moscow this weekend as she accompanies her husband on his summit with the Russian president.
But the American first lady, who has wowed publics in the U.S. and Europe with her easy elegance and charm, will perhaps face a bigger challenge in winning over a Russian public that has scant respect for women who grab the limelight from their powerful husbands.
In a country where a presidential candidate once quipped he'd sooner pack his wife off to a convent than allow her to dabble in politics, Russia still has trouble with the concept of an empowered woman behind the throne.
"The institution of first lady in Russia is still quite young," said Alyona Doletskaya, editor of Russian Vogue and doyenne of the Moscow fashion scene. "So there are no huge expectations on the part of Russian public."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana is pious and discreet and met her husband while she was a schoolgirl. She supports charity and the arts, but has assumed no independent voice on issues facing the country. She dresses conservatively, lacking the edgy fashion sense that has attracted a nationwide following for Michelle Obama.
Russia has known one iconic first lady in modern times: Raisa Gorbachev, wife of the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was much loved around the world for breaking with tradition by appearing regularly in public with her husband, embracing high fashion and firing off wisecracks during official foreign trips.
But she earned little affection for her boldness in Russia, where she was seen as strong-willed and ambitious.
Far from shrugging off the old constraints when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Boris Yeltsin's wife Naina assumed a lower profile behind her husband, achieving popularity by declaring indifference to politics and saying she would sooner see Yeltsin retire.
As for Vladimir Putin's wife, Lyudmilla, she only occasionally appeared in the company of her husband _ fueling widespread reports the two were estranged.
In the United States, first ladies are accustomed to coming under the media spotlight _ and Michelle Obama seems to revel in it.
On a recent trip to Paris, she impressed the fashion-conscious French with her chic designer outfits standing side-by-side with the country's former supermodel First Lady Carla Bruni. In Britain, she famously breached palace protocol by putting her arm around Queen Elizabeth II.
And she does not hesitate to speak her mind on a range of important social issues, such as health and education.
Many Russians, traditionally conservative, look askance at such assertiveness.
"A wife should be sitting at home, creating comfort and cooking food," said Zoya Getmanova, a female pensioner living in Moscow. "She could express her opinions over the dinner table, but she shouldn't meddle in politics."
Perhaps in deference to Russia's uneasiness about a political wife with popular support of her own, U.S. White House officials have suggested Michelle Obama will avoid the limelight during the visit.
Svetlana Medvedeva, meanwhile, has flitted between the shadows and the spotlight. She is liked by younger Russians, who follow her appearances at celebrity bashes and her frequent outings _ hand in hand _ with her husband.
She has acquired a reputation as a tenacious networker who helped restart her husband's career in the mid 1990s, and is said to play an influential role in his career behind the scenes. Trained as an economist, she gave up her own job to look after the couple's only child, born in 1996.
Despite all that, Svetlana barely breaks the mold crafted by so many first ladies in Russia before her.
She largely confines her public observations to carefully rehearsed speeches; she provides sympathetic interviewers with bland comments on womanhood. She dresses conservatively in tailored, pastel-colored outfits.
Michelle Obama's fashion sense attracts comparisons with Jacqueline Kennedy, and there is a Web site entirely dedicated to what she wears.
Vogue's Doletskaya is cagey about passing judgment on Svetlana's style, saying simply that she is "very representative of Russian femininity."
But when questioned about the U.S. first lady, Doletskaya becomes lively. She describes Michelle's style as "very fresh," as someone who mixes boldly "but in a very refined way."
There is a recognition that Svetlana has a difficult role to play _ managing the expectations of both a conservative older generation and ambitious, career-minded younger women who would like her to step up.
"It's not easy" to be a first lady, said Oksana Fyodorova, Miss Universe 2002. "But I think she (Svetlana) will succeed. And then we'll see who is better _ Michelle or our Svetlana."
Associated Press Writer Natalya Vasilyeva contributed to this report.
I tried to find previous articles on fashion and style written by Catrina Stewart, but found none. I did find quite a few on Russian finances. Michelle Obama needs to accessorize a bit to fully bring out her fashion sense; a pair of big floppy shoes and a red nose would bring out her true essence.
I wonder what the Russian thugs thought of a truly independent and powerful woman, Condoleezza Rice. Now that woman exuded class and style!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Obama will walk the line for socialist

New Ground 124
May - June, 2009

New Ground is the publication of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America

DSA Statement on the Israeli-
Palestinian Conflict and Winning Peace
with Justice in the Middle East

Peace in the Middle East and justice for both the Palestinian and Israeli people can only be achieved through mutual recognition by each side of the right of each people to viable and secure states of their own, in which the rights of minorities are also guaranteed.
Thus, the rejectionist politics of both the Netanyahu
administration and of Hamas are a barrier to peace. United States foreign policy should be mobilized in favor of peace forces in both camps and, in particular, against rejectionist Israeli government policies, which historically were and remain buttressed by unconditional U.S. economic and military aid.
Democratic Socialists of America deplores the continuing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip, its multi-party refusal to uproot settlements in the West Bank that block a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and its wall that brings neither long-term security to Israelis nor solidarity with its neighbors.
Further, DSA believes that the recent Israeli bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza did not advance the peace process. In seven years of intermittent rocket launchings from Gaza, 22 Israelis have been killed and scores wounded. But these numbers, as horrid as they are, pale in comparison to the loss of civilian life among the Gazan population and the squalid conditions in which they must live within borders policed by Israel. But there was a ceasefire in 2008, and if indirect negotiations with Hamas had not been abandoned by Israel it is quite likely the cease-fire would have been maintained without the Israeli military escalation. By killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians, wounding thousands more, leaving upwards of 50,000 homeless and turning whole sections of Gaza City into what even Israeli observers call “an earthquake zone,” Israel’s three-week military operation was an excessive and inhumane response to Hamas’s deplorable rocket launchings into Israeli population centers. It was also a failure in that it did little to enhance the long-term security of the Israeli people.
As even former Israeli conservative Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now admits, Israel can neither gain physical security nor perpetuate its status as a majority Jewish state unless it ends its unjust occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The international community must of course consistently condemn unjust attacks on civilians by both sides. Democratic Socialists of American urges the U.S. government and the international community to insure that the temporary ceasefire in Gaza leads to a sustained diplomatic effort to negotiate a just, two-state solution to the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. The Israeli state has a right to defend its people, but after more than 60 years of self-defense and 40 years of an unjust occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, it should be self-evident that peace and security for Israel cannot be achieved by injustice towards another people. The common Israeli/ U.S. effort to isolate, both diplomatically and economically, the Hamas regime in Gaza only served to increase Gazan support for Hamas. There can be no military solution, imposed by either side, to what is a political problem. The withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from the West Bank and the creation of an economically viable and politically independent Palestinian state would provide the Palestinian people a reason to push aside rejectionist forces within their community.
DSA also recognizes that leaving it at telling combatants to lay down their arms and embrace a two-state solution is like asking the sea to part itself. With hostilities enduring since before the time of Israel’s founding and with its holding and colonizing East Jerusalem and the occupied territories for longer than the 30 years war lasted, a political solution is both necessary and elusive. In many ways, the worst elements of both Israeli and Palestinian society are now the political leaderships of their respective nations. On the Israeli side, opportunism mixes with chauvinism as Netanyahu’s Likud-coalition government panders to the settler vote. Yet without removing the settlements, by either repatriating the settlers root and branch, buying out their holdings or acceding them as citizens with equal rights in a Palestinian state—there won’t be peace. Even a Palestinian state comprising the West Bank and Gaza, with Israel still in control of the settlements, the water and the most arable land, won’t be viable. Neither will a Hamas-led state whose main goal is reversing the Nakba. On the Palestinian side, there won’t be peace until there’s a broad pro-peace front that can compete with the Islamists—and they can only do that if they have partners among the Israelis and the U.S. citizenry, not followers cheering on an impossible military solution or endorsing an illusory “single-state” solution.
What it will take is diplomacy by outside forces to give political weight to those factions genuinely desiring peace and willing to compromise. It means freezing out the
millenarians on either side—even as we know that both Likud and Hamas must be brought to the peace table, at least in the first instance- while allowing moderate
elements on both sides of the Green line to be able not only to negotiate a peace with authority but to keep one by ruling stable states. In the short-run, a viable cease-fire in Gaza must involve international supervision of the crossing points between
Egypt and Gaza and between Israel and Gaza. The basic needs of the people of Gaza cannot be met absent normal commerce between Gaza and Egypt, Israel and the West
Bank. Re-opening the border crossings would also eliminate the Hamas rationale for abandoning the previously successful cease-fire. An internationally guaranteed cease-fire must also preclude the covert importation of arms into Gaza.
As the preponderant military force in the region, Israel can best reinitiate the peace process. Israel could help restore its tarnished international image by taking up the Arab League’s 2002 initiative as a starting point for comprehensive peace negotiations. In 2002, the Arab League abandoned its long-standing denial of the right of the state of Israel to exist and offered to recognize the state of Israel in return for the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem.
DSA recognizes that its primary political responsibility is to change a U.S. foreign policy that continues to give a blank check to Israeli government policy by prolonging its policy of massive unconditional military aid to Israel. The Bush administration’s unyielding support for Israeli intransigence harmed the people of Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself. Thus, DSA will work, along with other pro-peace forces in the American Jewish, Arab, and broader progressive community to pressure the Obama administration to adopt a balanced Middle-East approach. We support the Obama administration’s call for an end to expansion of settlements, and we urge pressure on Israel to freeze any settlement activity as a prelude to abandoning them in an effort to bring peace. Such a policy should use carrots and sticks to encourage both sides in the conflict to make the hard choices and compromises that must be the foundation of an enduring peace. As activists in the Israeli peace movement have said for generations, the U.S. cannot contribute to the security of all the peoples of the Middle East if it continues to embrace Israeli governments that block the peace process.

Are there any questions where Obama's allegiance lies?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The UN is dismayed

I was wondering if I had missed any news reports of the UN condeming Iran for murgering and brutalizing peaceful demonstrators. I searched their news website ( and found only one statement on Iran by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the last seven days.

22 June 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Secretary-General dismayed by post-election violence in iran

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General has been following with growing concern the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and is dismayed by the post-election violence, particularly the use of force against civilians, which has led to the loss of life and injuries. He calls on the authorities to respect fundamental civil and political rights, especially the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of information. The situation in Iran is of concern to the international community, and the Secretary-General calls on the Government and the opposition to resolve peacefully their differences through dialogue and legal means. He urges an immediate stop to the arrests, threats and use of force. The Secretary-General reiterates his hope that the democratic will of the people of Iran will be fully respected.

* *** *
For information media • not an official record

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: What About The Right Not To Wear Head Covering

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: What About The Right Not To Wear Head Covering

A Womans Right To Choose

The image of Nancy Pelosi in the headscarf pisses me off that a high-ranking government official representing the free women of the United States would give up her right to choose. What a whore!

I could not remember Condoleezza Rice submitting to the indignity forced on women by islamic bigots. I found the following.

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Maine Writer
About Me
Name: Juliana L'Heureux Location: Topsham, Maine, United States
Sitting in Saudi Arabia Sans Berka: Condoleezza Rice

People who follow fashion and haute couture will get a fright-night scare by checking out this webpage: ttp://;niqab. Thankfully, our United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was not interested in the latest Riyadh designs for the all concealing "berka" or Islam veil when she sat side by side with her hosts and Arab peers during a recent televised visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Congratulations and a heart felt "thank you", Madame Secretary, for making a magnificent presence in Riyadh sans berka.

In my opinion, the berka is symbolic of everything that is wrong with the Islam culture and prevents me from understanding how any good can come of this world dominant and growing religious faith. Can the Islam civilization be considered civilized when, by religious custom and via the writings of its founder Mohamed, women are required to hide themselves? We are talking about at least 50 percent of the Islam population who are required to put themselves behind scarves. This custom or practice defies modesty. It is plain suppression.