The Great Conciliator is showing possible signs of growing a spine. Sources report that notorious financial firm Goldman Sachs and mine operator Massey Energy Company are being probed for potential criminal charges.

For far too long, Corporate America has had the privilege of paying fines to resolve the consequences arising from behavior that would be classified as criminal were it conducted by private citizens. Frequently, these fines are paid “without admitting guilt,” a technicality that permits corporations to use the fine as the basis for significant tax write-offs.
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How much is enough?

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Filed Under Obama News, Policy on Apr 29 

Yesterday, Quincy, Illinois served as the latest stop on The One’s perpetual campaign trail. He believes that if he talks often and long enough, the words which he reads from his TelePrompTer will somehow morph into reality and suddenly all of America will start to chant “Yes We Can”.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have to live in this strange world commonly referred to as “reality”.

During his canned stump speech, The One took a risk and unplugged himself from the TelePrompTer and spoke “off the cuff” for a few minutes about his effort to reform the way Wall Street does business. I’ll omit – for the sake of brevity – a discussion regarding The One’s non understanding of basic business principles.

Here’s a taste of The One’s off Prompter remarks:

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Obama goes to Quincy, Illinois for a speech at the convention center and notices the Quincy Tea Party Rally in progress. What does the Obamanation do? He calls out SWAT because they are SO dangerous.

See just how dangerous they are here:

As the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em in your own primary, quit and run as a spoiler.”

“Crist to Run as Independent in FL Sen Race”

Two questions about http://www.callaconvention.org:

1. Have you heard of it?

2. Would you support it?

From Call a Convention:

Democracy in America is stalled.

From the Right and the Left, citizens are increasingly coming to recognize that our democracy does not work as our Framers intended. Reform of any kind is stalled by a status quo that profits from blocking change—even the change of a smaller government, or simpler taxes. Neither side in the political debate benefits from this inertia.

This site will help organize the one method our Framers preserved for escaping from captured government—an Article V convention. If we can get 34 states to pass a resolution calling for a convention, then all sides will have the opportunity to argue for the changes they believe will restore our democracy. Any amendment proposed must then be ratified by 38 states to become law.

Visit http://www.callaconvention.org

As someone who works for the so-called “corporate cronies” (i.e. the banks on Wall Street), I get to see capitalism at its best and the damage (and cost) that the government can do when it gets involved in the private sector.

The financial regulatory bill floating around Capitol Hill is a disaster and it’s targeted toward the wrong crowd.  Wall Street did not steal our money or cause the economy to crash.  It was a combination of the government pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to loosen mortgage loan standards, Fannie and Freddie loosening those standards and individual consumers who bought houses they couldn’t they afford.  The bubble burst and it caused the economy to come crashing down… just like every other bubble burst that we’ve had.  Remember the tech bubble burst of 2001?  Luckily we had a President in power who had already decreased taxes and acted quickly to stimulate the economy, rather than focusing on other issues like health care, the environment and apologizing for America.

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President Obama made an appeal to new voters for the 2010 elections. Worry that the Democratic Party will lose large numbers of seats in both the House and the Senate have prompted the release of a short video from the President. With recent losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, I wonder how affective this will be. I am also surprised at the specification of which particular groups the Democrats hope will support him, and which groups are conspicuously left out. I wonder if this is the “change’ they were looking for.

Bertha Lewis, the chief executive officer for the group, said ACORN was getting by on about $4 million annually rather than its one-time $25 million budget.

Welcome to our world! The entire country is on ‘life support.’ The ironic thing is that many would argue that ACORN was a major player in the economic breakdown by forcing banks to loan money to unqualified home buyers. Additionally, the reason they are on ‘life support’ is the ‘bad publicity’ they have received recently. Uh . . . it couldn’t be accusations of voter registration fraud, and unethical practices by employees, caught on camera by undercover reporters, could it? Nah, didn’t think so. Ms. Lewis and company may have to learn to tighten some belts. After all, the tax payers who provided much of that $25 million, are at present tightening their belts.

On Thursday, President Obama called for the nation’s economic elite to end resistance to his plan for new financial regulations. In a scene reminiscent of his community organizer days, Obama told the Wall Street cognoscenti, “I’m here because I believe that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of the country, but in the best interest of the financial sector.”

There is no more pathetic display than a desperate parent pleading with a spoiled, petulant child. In those cases, stern and uncompromising authority is the best course of action. Yet it is this meek tone Obama chose to take with the leaders of Wall Street; his protestations regarding Wall Street excesses were far too mild given the economic collapse they engendered.
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I suppose passage of the health care infringement reform gives the US govt license to regulate the American diet. ObamaCare is just a means to an end. As if incurring a fine for noncompliance or picking up the tab for everyone else weren’t bad enough; Big Brother needs to further dabble with menu items and eating habits. I guess they think we’re too stupid to do it ourselves.

Take for instance the salt issue. Earlier this week the FDA announced its plans to regulate the amount of salt in processed foods (a.k.a. a lot of the stuff you buy at the local grocery store). The government interfering in our lives again? I know. Hard to believe.

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In case you missed it:

Fifty three percent of likely Arizona voters are concerned that the state’s tough new law targeting illegal immigrants will also be used to violate the civil rights of United States citizens.

The majority of them support it anyway.

Such is the state of the state of Arizona, where frustration is the official state emotion and our official nickname?

With one stroke of a pen it was changed Friday from Grand Canyon State to Police State.

Read the rest.

We Will Remember from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

Note from David: Welcome yet another newbie to the pond, Rochelle!

Protesters from a gay rights activist group heckled President Obama at a fund raiser for Senator Barbara Boxer this week. The President shot back in true ‘I’m the teacher you’re the student’ style by saying “do you want to come up here?”

Have we lost so much civility that we shout down even the President? CNN writer, Paul Steinhouser calls it “another sign of the frustration by opponents of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Perhaps, but I think it’s just plain rude. I also wonder at the media’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek chidings directed towards this group of protesters. Especially in light of the mock indignation leveled at the Tea Parties for far more civil behavior.

The University of Virginia’s political prognosticator Larry Sabato is out with an interesting nugget this morning: State Attorney General positions are the grooming grounds for governorships. He writes, “There’s an old joke about the National Association of Attorneys General—their registered name is supposedly the National Association of Aspiring Governors.”

In Virginia three of the last seven governors have been AGs. In part, this is because Virginia has a very short ballot, electing only the lieutenant governor and attorney general in addition to governor, and the governor is limited to one consecutive four-year term. (Virginia is the only state remaining with such a prohibition.) The other statewide elected officials are naturally considered in line for the statehouse, and they often run flat out for four years to get the promotion.

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Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in history. In his Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, he commits to “creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” The full document on openness in government can be read at WhiteHouse.gov.

I guess that only applied back when Obama still believed everyone loved him. And it certainly doesn’t apply when one of Obama’s core base groups is protesting him! Didn’t they get the memo?

Americablog posted the below video of capital police closing Lafayette Park (next to the White House) to prevent reporters from covering a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” protest.

So, when do we get to the transparent part?

neighbors

Sometimes four illustrated panels say more than the provebial thousand words.

What a spectacular day is would be if we could have a President of the United States who might include in his inaugural address something such as this lesson on government:

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned–this is the sum of good government.

Oh what would it be like if the President believed it essential that the federal government were to practice these principles:

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COMCAST and Kelsey Grammer to launch ‘RIGHT NETWORK’…

Tehran Touchdown

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Filed Under Races 2010 on Apr 19 

Opting for a gray blazer instead of his trademark Members Only jacket, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boasted that his gay-free nation is so powerful no one would dare invade it.

Massive troop occupations are so 2003, so the chances of the US invading a third country are slim, but there are still concerns that the Iranians are expanding and fortifying facilities. Not cookie making facilities, no… facilities that may or may not be of use in developing nuclear weapons. Diplomacy (talking, not the cool board game) has been the preferred method of dealing with Iran up to this point, but there has been talk of using air strikes, covert operations and the cast of Jersey Shore to stymie Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

CNN has learned that the Pentagon is updating plans to strike these sites, should President Obama start remembering that he is the Commander-in-Chief and call for such an action. No word on whether such plans include picking up Israel’s dry cleaning, shining their shoes or watching their dog and being the “good guy friend” while they go out on steamy dates with Finland.

So, I’m not down with tea parties.

I’m sorry; I can’t put my arms around the concept. Tea (Taxed enough already), that certainly applies to me, and probably to most that attend the tea parties, but what does assembling like minded individuals in large groups accomplish? “Never under estimate the gathering of stupid people in large groups” – Dispair Inc.

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