The New York Slimes releases bombshell report clearing al-Qaeda in Benghazi (or maybe it’s from The Onion?)

The New York Times has decided to mirror prior reporting from the L.A. Times and the Washington Post from October of last year when they declared al-Qaeda clear of any involvement in the Benghazi, Libya attacks that claimed the lives of 4 Americans – http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/benghazi/?hp#/?chapt=0

Conclusion? Nothing new here. The Times is simply reinforcing efforts of our state-run media to advance the Obama Administration narrative that Dear Leader Obama decimated al-Qaeda by killing Osama bin-Laden. Benghazi is merely an inconvenient truth and they will keep pushing this narrative through the mid-terms. After the mid-terms we will see an even greater push to force this false narrative down our throats to protect Hillary in 2016.

Regardless, what’s important to remember here is the fact that these are nothing more than liberal newspapers arriving at a consensus set of talking points based upon their supposed “independent” investigations. Who disagrees? Certainly the right leaning news agencies. So do the Congressional oversight committees which are GOP led. You can discard those for the same reason you can’t give any credence to the lefty newspapers.

Who else disagrees that Obama can’t hide behind? How about his own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper – http://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/96-press-releases-2012/731-statement-by-the-odni-s-director-of-public-affairs-on-intelligence-related-to-the-terrorist-attack-on-the-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi.

As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to al-Qa’ida.

I would think “we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to al-Qa’ida” seems quite clear. Keep in mind that this statement was released just prior to the conclusions drawn by the L.A. Times and Washington Post and that it directly reversed the earlier claims of a video caused attack.

The DNI doesn’t issue official press releases just to make headlines, particularly in an on-going investigation. The intelligence had to be clear enough to feel the need to publicly claim that earlier assessments were erroneous.

Why did the N.Y. Times feel the need to regurgitate the talking points now? We can speculate a whole host of possibilities. It could be some unconventional logic. That being the idea that Obama would rather have the focus center on Benghazi in which the 4th branch will protect him at all costs rather than talk about Seal Team 6 and the 28 seals that were assassinated.

The Obama Administration can always default to simple incompetence and fire a few people to explain away Benghazi. However, mere incompetence won’t fly when it comes to rationalizing the deliberate deaths of 28 seals.

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The island of misfit politicians 2013 edition

It’s been over 3 years since we here at Spellchek first released the instant classic edition of misfit politicians. Due to popular demand, we are re-releasing it with a new addition for 2013!

In the Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Yukon Cornelius leads Rudolph and Hermey to the island of misfit toys. For those of you who are really dedicated, you can watch a video clip of it right here!

The cast of the island inhabitants included the island’s ruler, a winged lion named King Moonracer, Charlie-in-the-box, Spotted Elephant, A Dolly for Sue, Bird Fish, Misfit Cowboy, Trainer, a toy boat, a squirt gun, an airplane, a bear and a scooter for Jimmy. I thought it was time for a modern version based on the cast of characters we have in Washington.

Read more

Glass half-empty or half-full?

silhouette
Here is mystery person #1. They made this statement.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

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Here is mystery person #2. They made this statement.

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Those statements seem quite compatible with each other. Neither person will judge another. They leave it up to God.

Mystery person #1 was named “person of the year” by The Advocate, the oldest gay rights magazine in the U.S., as well as Time magazine bestowing the same honor.

Mystery person #2 was just fired for publicly proclaiming the same beliefs of mystery person #1.

Of course I’m speaking about Pope Francis, mystery person #1, and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame as mystery person #2. Both Christians who publicly proclaim their values and religious beliefs which just happen to be virtually identical. The difference being the hypocritical magazine selections. The views of Pope Francis don’t align with the LGBT community anymore than Phil Robertson’s, but the political capital value is considered worth the endorsement and exposure.

There are no surprises here, just the feigned outrage of the left when it’s politically expedient. However, at the end of the day, they’ll win out. Phil Robertson is done at A&E. The advertisers will see to that. He’ll be fine with his millions he has earned, but it just shows the extent to which our politically correct society has degraded.

Way to go Phil!

McCain joins with Boehner to place personal political ambitions above the country

Back in 2008, Sen. John McCain asked Americans to “fight with me” and that he would “fight for our children’s future”.

Fast forward to the present day and Sen. McCain has changed his tune. He has chosen to no longer “fight for our children’s future”.

By echoing the comments of Rep. John Boehner and calling out his fellow Republicans who will vote against the Ryan/Murray budget bill, he leaves no doubt as to where his priorities lie. Politics. Posturing for the mid-term elections. Joining with his democrat colleagues across the aisle to mortgage our children’s future. To steal from them before they are even born yet. You might call it the pot calling the kettle black.

“I have concerns about the budget deal, everybody I think does because of the nature the way business is done, but to somehow vote against it without an alternative to keep the government from shutting down, then I think lacks some intellectual integrity.”
Read more – http://washingtonexaminer.com/john-mccain-voting-against-budget-deal-lacks-some-intellectual-integrity/article/2540856

Intellectual integrity? Does it require integrity to saddle future generations with unsustainable debt? Or does it require a void of morals? It’s really quite simple. Continue voting for more deficits and more debt and you have no principles. Another government shutdown (incorrect terminology as the government never shut down previously) should be an absolute priority regardless of fallout for 2014. As McCain used to say, we need to “fight for what’s right for our country”, not what’s politically expedient.

GOP supporters don’t like that thinking. They believe we have to win elections to gain sufficient leverage to enact change. Sorry boys and girls, you’ve had myriad chances already when you had leverage to enact those mythical changes and failed. We really need an electorate with elephant memory so they would recall when they were stiffed previously on false promises of reform.

It pains me greatly to see a war hero who should be thanked endlessly for his sacrifices to America descend into a political ball of snot. His views and track record since in elected office offset his military credentials. He is harming America, and in particular, our future generations by not doing what is morally and ethically correct at the expense of his and his party’s political future. That’s integrity. Senator McCain, you don’t possess it. If you did, you would heed your own advice from 2008 and stand on principle no matter the cost to your personal political career.

The preeminent expert on dirt, Mike Rowe, takes on the dirtiest job of all – the system

Is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs considering taking on the dirtiest job he could ever imagine, American politics? Don’t know, but he should.

Mike has a great handle on some of the pressing problems in our society in which the NEA and our nations colleges walk step by step with the progressives to push their agenda at the expense of the hands-on trades that are hiring right now!

This is a very refreshing interview with Nick Gillespie of ReasonTV. Highly recommended. So much better than the usual drivel from our politicians dictating how we should think and act. Enjoy.

Would you give away your principles for the equivalent of a buck and a half a year?

Looks as if we’re going to have to eat some crow around here at Spellchek. We were flat out wrong. Being the Kool-Aid drinker that I am, I posted about the Paul Ryan budget that promised $23 billion in savings ($23 bucks in our household budget scenario) without considering all the facts.

From Breitbart we learn that the CBO score didn’t factor in the interest on the deficit spending.

When asked to respond to why Ryan did not seek a CBO score that included an estimate of the interest payments on the borrowed money, Ryan spokesman Will Allison told Breitbart News that the “CBO does not as a matter of course include debt service in its cost estimates of legislation.”

So the $23 billion number isn’t accurate. What should it be?

A Senate GOP aide with direct knowledge of these matters whom Breitbart News contacted estimated the interest payments over the course of the 10-year budget window on the $63 billion that will need to be borrowed to be approximately $8 billion. That means the plan increases spending by $71 billion and only includes $15 billion in deficit reduction in the out years of the budget window.

Converted into the household budget scenario we now see that our savings would be a whopping $15! That’s over a decade!! That’s $1.50 a year people!!! $15 billion is only $1.5 billion per year, or as a good friend of mine pointed out, nothing more than a rounding error!

Sorry Johnny,

conservatives have not “lost all credibility” – http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/dick-morris-john-boehner-gop-tea-party/2013/12/14/id/541864

Paul Ryan. John Boehner. The 62 GOP defectors who “embraced the suck” – RIP GOP. And to all those who still see the GOP as the best path for “true” conservatives to save this country –

Auto bailout/bankruptcy report card

Via Fox Business – http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/12/09/us-sells-final-gm-shares/

The Treasury Department on Monday announced that the government has sold its remaining shares of General Motors (GM) and that losses from the 2009 auto industry bailout total about $15 billion.

But it’s not just the taxpayers who lost billions of dollars in the rigged bankruptcies, autoworker retirees are getting in on the action – http://www.cnbc.com/id/101265411

A federal judge said General Motors is not required to pay $450 million to cover medical benefits for retirees, in a defeat for the United Auto Workers union.

Actually, the Treasury Dept. isn’t telling the whole story on the cost of the auto bailouts. You can reference the latest quarterly report from SIGTARP, which is the TARP auditor, to see the true cost of the auto bailouts was $24.3 billion as shown in Table 2.3.

http://www.sigtarp.gov/Quarterly%20Reports/October_29_2013_Report_to_Congress.pdf

As of September 30, 2013, General Motors Company (“GM”)
and Ally Financial Inc. (“Ally Financial”), formerly GMAC Inc., remain in TARP.
Taxpayers are still owed $32.5 billion. This includes about $15 billion for the TARP
investment in GM and $14.6 billion for the TARP investment in Ally Financial, for
which Treasury holds common stock in GM and common stock and mandatorily
convertible preferred shares (“MCP”) in Ally Financial. This amount also includes
a $2.9 billion loss taxpayers suffered on the principal TARP investment in Chrysler.
Chrysler Financial fully repaid its TARP investment.

The Treasury Secretary wasn’t entirely forthcoming when he made this statement.

“With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation’s history is now closed,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said during the conference call.

Not until Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, sells off its $14.6 billion dollar investment in stock will this chapter close – http://www.housingwire.com/articles/report-taxpayers-still-owed-146-billion-ally-financial.

Finally, let’s not forget how the rule of law was ignored in the section 363 bankruptcies. This quote is certainly very long but it thoroughly explains how existing bankruptcy law was skirted and investors got screwed in order to reward Obama’s cronies – http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-auto-bailout-and-the-rule-of-law.

THE BANKRUPTCY

After the bailouts came the arranged bankruptcies. At first, when the government announced that Chrysler and General Motors would be filing for Chapter 11, the news was received with relief by the market, the companies’ creditors, and everyone concerned for the rule of law. The mess created by the bailout could finally begin to move from the political arena to the legal arena, and so regain some semblance of legitimacy and order.

But it wasn’t long before these hopes were dashed by the government’s management of the process. Instead of a regular bankruptcy proceeding, the Obama administration, working with the automakers, patched together a process without precedent — a bankruptcy combined with a bailout, incorporating the worst elements of both.

Of the two proceedings, Chrysler’s was clearly the more egregious. In the years leading up to the economic crisis, Chrysler had been unable to acquire routine financing and so had been forced to turn to so-called secured debt in order to fund its operations. Secured debt takes first priority in payment; it is also typically preserved during bankruptcy under what is referred to as the “absolute priority” rule — since the lender of secured debt offers a loan to a troubled borrower only because he is guaranteed first repayment when the loan is up. In the Chrysler case, however, creditors who held the company’s secured bonds were steamrolled into accepting 29 cents on the dollar for their loans. Meanwhile, the underfunded pension plans of the United Auto Workers — unsecured creditors, but possessed of better political connections — received more than 40 cents on the dollar.

Moreover, in a typical bankruptcy case in which a secured creditor is not paid in full, he is entitled to a “deficiency claim” — the terms of which keep the bankrupt company liable for a portion of the unpaid debt. In both the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies, however, no deficiency claims were awarded to the wronged creditors. Were bankruptcy experts to comb through American history, they would be hard-pressed to identify any bankruptcy case with similar terms.

To make matters worse, both bankruptcies were orchestrated as so-called “section 363” sales. This meant that essentially all the assets of “old Chrysler” were sold to “new Chrysler” (and “old GM” to “new GM”), and were pushed through in a rush. These sales violated the longstanding bankruptcy principle that an asset sale should not be functionally equivalent to a plan of re-organization for an entire company — what bankruptcy lawyers call a “sub rosa plan.” The reason is that the re-organization process offers all creditors the right to vote on the proposed plan as well as a chance to offer competing re-organization plans, while an asset sale can be carried out without such a vote.

In the cases of GM and Chrysler, however, the government essentially pushed through a re-organization disguised as a sale, and so denied the creditors their rights. As the University of Pennsylvania’s David Skeel observed last year, “selling” an entire company of GM or Chrysler’s size and complexity in this manner was unprecedented. Even on a smaller scale, it would have been highly irregular: While rush bankruptcy sales of much smaller companies were once common, the bankruptcy laws were overhauled in 1978 precisely to eliminate this practice.

At first, the fact that the companies’ creditors (and especially Chrysler’s creditors, who were so badly mistreated) put up with such terms and waived their property rights seems astonishing. But it becomes less so — and sheds more light on how this entire process imperils the rule of law — when one considers the enormous leverage the federal government had over most of these creditors. Many of Chrysler’s secured-bond holders were large financial institutions — several of which had previously been saved from failure by TARP. Though there is no explicit evidence that support from TARP funds bought these bond holders’ acquiescence in the Chrysler case, their silence in the face of a massive financial haircut is otherwise very difficult to explain.

Indeed, those secured-bond holders who were not supported by TARP did not go nearly as quietly. A group of hedge funds that were among Chrysler’s creditors initially objected to the bailout plan that preferred the UAW at their expense. In a now-infamous speech in April 2009, President Obama publicly attacked these investors — who were merely standing up for their contract and property rights — as profiteers, criticizing them for their unwillingness to make the same sacrifices as other investors (but not, of course, UAW members, who received a windfall). In response to this public browbeating from the president of the United States, the hedge funds caved and agreed to the terms. In the end, only one group of Chrysler bond holders — the Indiana state teacher and police pension funds — continued to object. Indeed, they objected at every stage of the process, but the Supreme Court declined to hear their case.

General Motors, too, had issued secured debt during its years of financial turmoil, but these bonds made up a far smaller fraction of the company’s total outstanding debt. And in striking contrast with the Chrysler case, General Motors’s bankruptcy plan left the secured creditors intact, paying them the full value of their claims. From the perspective of bankruptcy law and contract rights, this development was encouraging: The Obama administration did not seek to plunder GM’s secured creditors as it had Chrysler’s. From the perspective of the rule of law, however, this differential treatment might have been even more troubling.

On the matter of secured-bond holders, the cases of GM and Chrysler were functionally indistinguishable — and yet GM’s secured creditors were treated far better than Chrysler’s. The administration offered no public justification for this differential treatment, and to an outside observer, there was only one key difference between the cases: The amount of GM’s secured debt was relatively small compared to Chrysler’s. The obvious conclusion, then, is that the difference in how the government treated the automakers’ creditors was purely a matter of expediency — hardly a justifiable rationale.

Another fallacy is that Ford didn’t partake in the bailouts. Their manufacturing arm didn’t, but their financing arm did – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/ford-was-bailed-out-by-the-fed-after-all/.

We also can’t leave out the fact that taxpayer bailed out Chrysler is now a majority foreign-owned entity – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/u-s-taxpayers-bailed-out-foreign-owned-fiatchrysler-now-investing-in-mexico-and-creating-jobs-for-mexicans/. Would that have sold if Obama had been up front about it?

The Heritage Foundation compiled this report that showed the auto bailouts/bankruptcies for what they really were – union payoffs.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/06/auto-bailout-or-uaw-bailout-taxpayer-losses-came-from-subsidizing-union-compensation.

No Mr. Lew, this chapter hasn’t closed yet and until we have a chance a decade or so down the road to review what the automakers have done with their get-out-of-jail-free card, we can’t issue any final grades on their report cards.

Ask yourself this simple question. Where are the returned TARP funds going? Are they being used to pay off the borrowed money used to fund TARP? Are they being returned to the taxpayer? No, they simply go back to the general fund to be made available for future waste, fraud and abuse.

Anyone making claims of bailout success has no leg to stand on because they’ll never account for the ultimate trail of the monies used for TARP from start to finish.

Hey Boehner/Ryan, proud of your big budget savings? What would it be in your household budget?

Just how miniscule are the proposed budget cuts from the Ryan/Murray plan (or “ridiculous” as Boehner calls the objections)? Once again, it’s time to revisit the simplification calculator as we did back in February when the sequester cuts were put in place – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/obama-claims-sequestration-cuts-severe-could-you-afford-109-bucks-a-year-out-of-your-budget-without-calamity/.

All you have to do is drop nine zeros from the budget numbers to equate them to a household budget.

Our approximately $3.5 trillion dollar annual federal budget equates to a $35,000 annual budget.

The numbers in question are the annual discretionary spending limits proposed to be $1.012 trillion in 2014. That’s $10,120 in our household budget.

In return for restoring $71 billion in discretionary spending, Ryan/Murray claim it will save $85 billion over 10 years. The projected overall savings are just $23 billion (that doesn’t factor in interest).

We’re talking about a whopping $23 bucks in savings here people!!! Would you be touting $23 in savings over a decade in your household budget? Factor in our deficit spending interest and your savings just evaporated.

With $17 trillion in debt and $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities (or $170,000/$1,000,000 in our household budget scenario), you can see why conservatives across the nation are laughing at this proposal as not even a remotely serious attempt at controlling spending.