Archive for December, 2008


Merry Christmas TBV Readers

December 25, 2008

From Ashok, Arif, Taylor and Dan, we all wish you a Merry Christmas. Best to you and your families.

Also, happy dies solis natali invicti – the sun will never be defeated


Transparency? … Depends on How You Define “Transparent,” of course.

December 22, 2008

(Via Hotair)

Barack Obama has promised a new era of transparency in his incoming administration, but don’t expect to see it in the transition.  According to Politico, the promised report on contacts between Team Obama and Rod Blagojevich in the pay-for-play scandal will not include e-mails and other records.  Transition teams do not have the same transparency requirements as White House administrations, and Obama won’t go beyond the requirements:

Barack Obama is promising that next week he’ll disclose contacts between his staff and disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office, but he’s stopped short of pledging to release e-mails or other records that could be key to understanding those contacts.

Whatever such records exist may never see the light of day, thanks to a gap in government records disclosure laws that allows presidential transition teams to keep their documents — even those prepared using taxpayer dollars — out of the public record. …

But for now, a spokeswoman for President-elect Barack Obama said the transition team was not covered by a public information law that Politico cited in requesting copies of Obama staffers’ emails and notes about Blagojevich’s efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated after winning the presidency.

Asked if the team would voluntarily release the records, the spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter, was non-committal. “Let’s wait and see what we put out after our internal review,” she told Politico. “I don’t even know if there’s any correspondence to be had, so one step at a time.”

Obama’s currently vacationing in Hawaii, and expect him to remain out of sight when the report gets released.  His aides have already started to lower expectations by telling reporters that Obama won’t make any public statements about the release of the internal report Obama himself promised.  After holding a series of press conferences to announce Cabinet appointments over the last two weeks, Obama has suddenly become as camera-shy as newly-minted wallflower Rahm Emanuel.

Nothing Inappropriate ... I mean, Look at Us Two?!! How Could We.

Nothing Inappropriate ... I mean, Look at Us Two?!! How Could We.


In the Tank

December 17, 2008

Via Hot Air:

WashingtonPost Media is at the epicenter of the inauguration, and the Classifieds team is giving readers the chance to send a personal message of congratulations to President-Elect Obama that can be read by millions. The announcements can be placed though the call center or online, with prices starting at $10 for the combo. TWP anticipates about 2,500 – 3,000 announcements will be posted, to appear in the January 20 inaugural issue and live online from today until President’s Day.”…

Here is the catch…

“All ads must be congratulatory in nature. The Washington Post reserves the right to reject any notice.”

It was not too long ago that a possible bailout of newspapers was in the future.  The WaPo had announced it was losing money hand over fist, yet it is unwilling to accept free easy money.  The Press was created to allow for diverging opinions in politics.  WaPo does not have to take the negative adds; it has that right.  That being said, why not allow your paper to be used for its initial purpose…AND make some money at the same time.  There must be a lot of rich Obama haters who would love to take let him know how they felt.  To tell you the truth, I would buy my first Washinton Post if it allowed shots at the new President.  Furthermore, it would be the first and last negative story regarding the One that would be printed on its pages. 



Obama is Now a Professor of Journalism

December 16, 2008

Today at a Presser, Obama was asked about Rahm’s alleged contact with Illinois’ alleged fraudulent Governor.  Obama’s reaction?  “Don’t waste your question.”  Transparency in Government at its best.  To be fair, the Federal Prosecutor had asked Obama to not release anything until further notice.  However, an answer to the question would have been nice. 



Bernanke and the Fed are a Bit Confused

December 16, 2008

Tell me if this seems a bit illogical to you

Via Michelle Malkin:

  • American’s borrowed more than they could afford
  • Consumers could not repay their loans
  • Banks lost money and had to write-off billions in losses
  • Debtor companies could not make their payments either, furthering the cycle of write-offs
  • Fed reduces Federal Funds Rates to 0% so banks can lend money to the broke.  This is after giving many of them part of the $700 billion TARP fund.

I am going to go with Stupid on this one.  Where is John Taylor when we need him?  Professor Taylor has it right, and the Government should be enticing  the majority to save their money, not spend it excessively. 



The Dobamino Effect

December 16, 2008

Obama supporters, friends, cabinet members, and nominees are beginning to fall all around him.  Bill Richardson is the latest to be implicated in a “pay-to-play” scandal.  That’s what Bill gets for shaving that kick ass beard. 


According to Michelle Malkin via WaPo:

The probe focuses on whether the governor’s office urged a state agency to hire CDR Financial Products. The probe is in a highly active stage at a time when President-elect  Barack Obama has chosen Richardson as his nominee for secretary of commerce, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.


The inquiry is part of a long-running nationwide investigation into “pay-to-play” practices in local government bond markets. In other cities, federal investigators are questioning whether financial firms have lavished politicians with money and gifts in exchange for fee-paying work advising municipal and local governments on investments. Authorities indicted the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., this month on charges of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans from a firm that led the city into toxic investments and massive bankruptcy.

The U.S. attorney’s office in New Mexico also declined to comment on the investigation, which began in the summer. Several Finance Authority board members have publicly confirmed being interviewed by the FBI. Paul Kennedy, an attorney for Richardson’s former chief of staff, David Harris, confirmed that his client had been interviewed by the FBI in the summer but declined to comment further.

Disclaimer: This post is not glee for the implication of Bill Richardson in a P2P backroom deal.



Governor Sanford’s Stance Aganist Nationalization

December 16, 2008

As chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, Mark Sanford (SC) wrote a letter to the white House with his concerns regarding the bailouts of the auto industry.  Among other concerns, Sanford relayed the following (Via Hot Air):

sanfordnga“I believe we are at a tipping point in moving from a market-based economy to a politically-based economy, wherein one’s success can be determined not by good decisions and good work, but by the size of one’s voice and connection to Washington,” Sanford wrote. “The real economic stimulus of this country lies in the daily work and effort of millions you have seen across this land.  These bailouts not only represent an enormous cost they are left to carry, but a shattering of the rights and responsibilities that have historically been linked to achieving the American Dream.”

“It would open the floodgates of federal monies for every distressed industry across this country–and there will be many in this economic slowdown.”

It makes me smile that there is someone in politics who gets it.  One who understands the fundamentals of what makes our country great.  FREE MARKETS.  Our country has always adapted to changes in econmic industries.  It wasn’t always pretty, but we managed to get through it.  The bailout of defunct companies is like Washington trying to hammer a sqaure peg into a round hole.  The auto industry needs to evolve with the changing conditions in our world economy.  It cannot continue to have to hold on to the past, but it does need to learn from it.  The industry needs a change from the top down; i.e. streamline executive positions, cut wasteful spending and renegotiate damaging labor contracts; for example GOLF COURSES?!? (via MM)  Many jobs will  be lost if the bailout is not offered.  However, with Chapter 11 Bankruptcy or tough love from Washington will solidify a foundation of long term growth and prosperity.  The auto industry will once again be in a better position to compete in the world market.

P.S.  This post could have been titled “Governor Sanford Announces his Candidacy for 2012”



Unanimous Vote For Impeachment

December 16, 2008

The Illinois House has voted 113-0 to begin Impeachment proceedings

Via Chicago Tribune:

The Illinois House launched its first-ever impeachment probe of a governor Monday, promising weeks of hearings detailing Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s alleged abuse of power, from enacting massive programs without legislative approval to seeking to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

But the House also held off on calls to strip the disgraced governor of his power to appoint Obama’s successor, angering Republicans who accused Democrats of a power play aimed at protecting their dominance of state politics.

House lawmakers voted 113-0 to authorize a committee to investigate a host of pay-to-play allegations leveled against the governor, just six days after he was arrested by federal agents at his North Side home. The vote marked the unique circumstance of Democratic lawmakers leading a bid to displace Illinois’ first Democratic governor in a quarter-century.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, though co-chairing Blagojevich’s 2006 re-election bid in a symbol of party unity, has been a top critic of the governor. Asked about the criminal complaint against the governor, Madigan said, “I’ve had an opportunity to know Mr. Blagojevich for over six years so I was not surprised.”

The Chistmas Holidays and the New Year Break will make it difficult to remove Blagojevich before January.  In other words, Blago still has the power and authority to fill the IL Senate seat.  Harry Reid’s promise to not allow the appointee a seat is the only thing stopping an allegedly moral corrupted official for selecting a senator to fill Obama’s spot.  I would hope the IL legislature would act quickly on this, at least to improve the national perception of that state., or before Blago has time to meet with his attorneys and straighten up his story.



Blago: “Everything Will Work Out Fine” (Not Stepping Down) … Hires R-Kelly’s Attorney

December 15, 2008

Remember this from a Chicago Tribune reporter a few months ago:

“Mayor Daley is the boss of the Chicago Machine, his spokesman was David Axelrod, their candidate was Barack Obama .. and who spoke for Barack Obama? … David Axelrod.  There is no such thing as coincidences.  There are no coincidences in Chicago Machine politics.” 



– Polymath 3

This is only the beginning.  Blago’s attorney knows that his client is looking at a stiff sentence … and he also knows that Blago is privy to information about all sorts of things ‘a la Chicago Machine.   It doesn’t look as though Blago will be resigning … so this means special election (to Harry Reid’s disappointment).

Bloomberg reports:

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich doesn’t plan to resign tomorrow, a spokesman said, contradicting speculation by the state’s attorney general that the governor might quit in response to federal corruption charges.

“Not true — the Gov has no plans of resigning tomorrow,” Lucio Guerrero, a spokesman for Democrat Blagojevich, said today in an e-mailed statement.


“Are you kidding me little buddy? … you do realize I am from Texas!

December 14, 2008