Friday, February 19, 2010

Global Warming Initiatives, 401(K) Confiscation, Bolshevik Plots, WTC Takedown, & Jobs Lost

From the Wall St. Journal comes the following news:  "Three big companies quit an influential lobbying group that had focused on shaping climate-change legislation, in the latest sign that support for an ambitious bill is melting away. 
Oil giants BP PLC and ConocoPhillips and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said Tuesday they won't renew their membership in the three-year-old U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a broad business-environmental coalition that had been instrumental in building support in Washington for capping emissions of greenhouse gases.
The move comes as debate over climate change intensifies and concerns mount about the cost of capping greenhouse-gas emissions."  For entire article, go to
Investors Business Daily reports on the possible government confiscation of your  401(k) and IRAs:  "You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington is developing plans for your retirement savings.
BusinessWeek reports that the Treasury and Labor departments are asking for public comment on "the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams."
In plain English, the idea is for the government to take your retirement savings in return for a promise to pay you some monthly benefit in your retirement years.
They will tell you that you are "investing" your money in U.S. Treasury bonds. But they will use your money immediately to pay for their unprecedented trillion-dollar budget deficits, leaving nothing to back up their political promises, just as they have raided the Social Security trust funds."  [What has been left out of this article is that these monies become the property of the US Government upon our deaths, and will not be inherited by our heirs.]
Robert Huff of American Thinker opines: "I have recently come to the conclusion that leftists reveal their innermost thoughts when attacking those with whom they disagree.  For example, in President Obama's recently televised meeting with Republicans, he chastised critics who believed his policies were part of some "Bolshevik plot."

My first thought was, "Huh?"  I frequently listen to and read conservative media, and I had never heard this analysis.  So, it seemed he was responding to an argument no one had made.  Why would he do this?  The answer may lie in my second thought, which was that Mr. Obama had just provided the most brilliant and succinct analysis I have heard for the motivation behind his administration's agenda.  Why all these czars?  Bolshevik plot.  Why take over General Motors?  Bolshevik plot.  Why attack the banks?  Bolshevik plot.  Why force nationalized health care down our throats?  Bolshevik plot.  Why attempt to turn the National Endowment for the Arts into a propaganda ministry?  Bolshevik plot.  And so on and so on.  Thank you, Mr. President.  The previously non-existent argument you responded to now exists, and it is a powerful one."
From Hunterdon County's weekly paper comes this item:  "Raritan Township resident Joseph Urcinas, a 2009 mechanical engineering graduate from Rowan University, is holding a press conference at the office of Rep. Leonard Lance on Friday at 2 p.m. to discuss a decision by more than 1,000 architects and engineers in dozens of countries to call for a new independent, investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
It’s their belief that that all three skyscrapers were destroyed by explosive-controlled demolition, not by jet plane impacts and fires.
They say this includes the free-fall collapse of the 47-story WTC building 7 into its own footprint and the discovery of advanced explosive nano-thermitic material found in the WTC dust samples. The implications of these findings have the potential of profound impact on the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial, the group says."
[We certainly do need to know what really happened.  I wonder if they recognize that Muslim terrorists might have been the ones who, if evidence is found, planted the explosives in the building priors to the plane crashes.]
While listening to Obama tout his jobs saved or created, we need to revisit the following, written byHoover Institution's Mr. Zywicki, a professor of law at George Mason University and the author of a book on consumer bankruptcy and consumer lending, forthcoming from Yale University Press.
Concerning the Obama administration's handling of the Chrysler bankruptcy he wrote:  "It is a profound challenge to the rule of law. Secured creditors -- entitled to first priority payment under the "absolute priority rule" -- have been browbeaten by an American president into accepting only 30 cents on the dollar of their claims. Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers union, holding junior creditor claims, will get about 50 cents on the dollar.
The absolute priority rule is a linchpin of bankruptcy law.
Violating absolute priority undermines this commitment by introducing questions of redistribution into the process. It enables the rights of senior creditors to be plundered in order to benefit the rights of junior creditors.
In a Chapter 11 reorganization, creditors have the right to vote to approve or reject the plan. The Obama administration's asset-sale plan implements a de facto reorganization but denies to creditors the opportunity to vote on it.
By stepping over the bright line between the rule of law and the arbitrary behavior of men, President Obama may have created a thousand new failing businesses. That is, businesses that might have received financing before but that now will not, since lenders face the potential of future government confiscation. In other words, Mr. Obama may have helped save the jobs of thousands of union workers whose dues, in part, engineered his election. But what about the untold number of job losses in the future caused by trampling the sanctity of contracts today?
The value of the rule of law is not merely a matter of economic efficiency. It also provides a bulwark against arbitrary governmental action taken at the behest of politically influential interests at the expense of the politically unpopular. The government's threats and bare-knuckle tactics set an ominous precedent for the treatment of those considered insufficiently responsive to its desires. Certainly, holdout Chrysler creditors report that they felt little confidence that the White House would stop at informal strong-arming.
Chrysler -- or more accurately, its unionized workers -- may be helped in the short run. But we need to ask how eager lenders will be to offer new credit to General Motors knowing that the value of their investment could be diminished or destroyed by government to enrich a politically favored union. We also need to ask how eager hedge funds will be to participate in the government's Public-Private Investment Program to purchase banks' troubled assets.
And what if the next time it is a politically unpopular business -- such as a pharmaceutical company -- that's on the brink? Might the government force it to surrender a patent to get the White House's agreement to get financing for the bankruptcy plan?
For full article see:

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