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Seizing Power

Barack the Caudillo. The inferior sport of Soccer. Aging radicals and more!

6.18.10

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THE DOWN PAYMENT
Re: Ben Stein's Our Caudillo President:

Ben Stein continues to represent the large number of supposedly intelligent people who refuse to acknowledge factual evidence before exposing the uneducated masses to their decidedly irresponsible innocuous thought processes. In his article, he wonders aloud how the President has any authority to ask BP to set aside any money for this clean up/damage effort. I guess he's never heard of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, created during the Bush 41 Administration, which among other things, sets out that, "...Any party violating this law (i.e. an oil spill) is liable for removal costs and damages." Of course, Obama could have used the courts to compel BP to set aside this money immediately. However, the courts might have taken months and possibly years in appeals and court dates, time which the Red State residents of LA and AL and MS don't have despite their typical banter against "government handouts." They're screaming for any handouts they can get at this point just to keep the lights on at home. So, rather than go through the plurality of court dates and attorneys, etc, the President simply asked, not forced, BP to do the right thing and BP agreed, of course in their own best interests, it was the best idea. How this is troublesome, I'm not sure, but maybe in the mind of a rich Republican like Stein, who likely owns BP stock and won't get his next dividend payment on time there is cause for concern.

As for GM, when you own in excess of 60 percent of a company, like the government does, you get to make some decisions about who runs that company. Now whether or not we should own 60 percent of GM is a different conversation altogether. But I would think that if Mr. Stein were a major shareholder in a company, he would expect to have some say about who's running the company in which he invests....particularly when that person has practically run the company into the ground for lack of foresight and management acumen.
-- Cleave Frink
Florida

Yeah, right, Ben, big power grab by the president. Where were you during the last administration?
-- Michael
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I work in the insurance industry and when an actor is clearly liable and has liability exposure and the damages are continuing and not clearly ascertainable at the moment, then in that event it is not uncommon for the liable party to make an advance payment, subject to a credit against any judgment or settlement.

While I am not a fan of this president and do not know if the proposed 30 billion dollar escrow proposal is excessive and unreasonable, the request for an advance payment is not unreasonable. Especially in light of the fact that BP is self-insured for this disaster and there is credible rumors it may file for bankruptcy.
-- Steven Stern

The Obama Crime Syndicate strikes again. And the taxpayers will pay and pay and pay with no benefit whatsoever. The Marxist Mafia will perpetrate fraud after fraud on behalf of their union partners. These guys make the Italian Mafia look like pikers.
-- Joyce Romano
Disgusted American

Spot on as always! I am trembling at what will be next from Barakeshevik and his czars.
-- Deborah

Enough of the knocking atheists. I've been one for 64 of my 79 years and am farther right and more conservative than most who have posted here. We are like everyone else, faith or no faith. Many Christian politicians are bubbling assholes, but that has nothing to do with their faith. They're just idiots. Christians are in every political division we have, as are atheists. We aren't a cabal, just individuals with varied political beliefs.
-- Ray

What can we do?? Just sit around waiting for some idiot in Congress to act? Or do we just sit back and watch this man take over our country and our lives!
-- Geri

Barack Obama is ruining our country and everyone simply appears to be watching and doing nothing. I do believe God is angry with us. Drugs are rampant; there seems to be no order; our Constitution is being ignored; abortion is a common, everyday occurrence; our lawmakers are trying to take prayer away from the military and others; our president is playing golf while America literally falls apart. Heaven help America if things don't change in November. I sincerely hope we find some honest men and women to be our leaders.
-- Harriet Giles
Huntsville, Alabama

I agree with you whole heartedly. More press should publish comments as you did.
-- Len Staib

OBAMA'S EXTORTIONISTS
Re: Russ Ferguson's Obama's Plenipotentiary:

Since the federal government can now extort money from a private company (BP) to supposedly offset the losses that will be absorbed by privately owned businesses in the Gulf Oil crisis; can I now ask the same administration to extract money from Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, etc. to pay business losses for legitimate claims from privately owned businesses due to the ongoing banking crisis?

I have been a consultant to business owners and the commercial banking industry for 18 years. I represent hundreds of businesses that have either lost a large percentage of their revenue due to the banking/housing crisis, or had their borrowing capabilities reduced, or have been dropped completely by their respective banks.

My company has lost half of its average yearly revenue due to the banking crisis, yet I have not been provided any reimbursement assistance by the federal government; nor have I sought payments from those culpable for our losses, including the federal government, its regulators and the financial institutions themselves.

The banking crisis is not confined to the Gulf region and has affected a greater number of businesses across the country. So when the administration decided it was proper to use federal power to extort funds for businesses hurt by the oil spill on the Gulf Coast, why did it not do the same for all the businesses hurt nationally by the banking crisis; especially when the financial institutions collectively have deeper pockets than one oil company, namely BP?

The public needs to understand that the two "crisis" are similar in many ways. To list a few, both oil and banking industries are heavily regulated and subject to ongoing federal oversight, both industries have been demonized by the administration and the press for historic abuses and greed, both industries have been poorly served by federal regulators who have failed to do their jobs properly (which may have averted each crisis), both will be subject to bigger government reaction and newer, stronger regulations from Congress responding to the administration's need "to do something."

But as much as these "crisis" are similar, these industries have been handled very differently by the administration.

The banking industry was offered TARP as a lifesaving measure because it was too big to fail. The administration pushed Congress to pursue bigger government answers to confront a nationwide problem it helped create. And the administration has done nothing for the businesses (the actual job creators) that have been crushed by the aforementioned banks' unwillingness to extend credit to most businesses. The administration did not offer any support for the legitimate business losses for those directly affected by the banking crisis. Yet the financial institutions that caused the crisis continue to reap large profits without any relief to the businesses that continue to be affected.

The oil industry continues to be a target of the administration whose agenda includes the eradication of fossil fuels in pursuit of green technologies. The administration's focus is on pushing all blame for the current Gulf crisis on the industry (and BP specifically), accepting none of its own mismanagement and regulatory failures, and pursuing every dollar possible to "politically" reimburse Gulf Coast businesses for their losses. 

I am trying to understand why the administration chose to pursue the reimbursement of legitimate claims for Gulf Coast businesses while not even considering the losses incurred by business affected by the banking crisis.

There is an inherit risk in business ownership that should be taken into consideration when setting this dangerous precedence of government-enforced reimbursement for Gulf Coast business losses from the private sector. But I believe there is even more danger in the federal government being selective in providing said enforcement.

I am sorry for the losses that will be absorbed by Gulf Coast businesses and hope that each business owner can survive; but I am not sure that an oil rig accident (it has not been proven to be a criminal act) or even a hurricane in the Gulf Coast for that matter should cause the federal government to extort money from the private sector to compensate individual business losses under a free-market system.

Does anyone else understand the ramifications of the administration's actions? I cannot believe I am the only one.
--
Joseph P. Amato

A MINDLESS SPORT
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Soccer to Me:

Baseball is a nuanced sport where the head is used to out-think your opponent. Soccer is so hopelessly lacking in nuance that the head's primary purpose is to be bashed by a projectile which was launched from another man's foot.

Soccer as culturally significant? It evolved with pre-historic man -- prior to the advent of opposable thumbs. In the days before evolution mindlessly discarded the significant biological advantage of prehensile feet, soccer may have made sense.

Now, soccer is a waste of real estate. Soccer pitches in the Third World should be turned over to cultivation. Then, perhaps, the Third World could send us some well-nourished youth to play the sport of baseball.

There is only one sport more boring than soccer. Women's soccer! Even when they rip their shirts off, there is little to be excited about.

And what is a vuvuzela? It sounds like something a witch doctor from  deepest, darkest Africa snips from an 11 year old girl. Another practice, even grosser than soccer, that the Third World expects us to tolerate. To  which I say, "NEVER!"
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh

ARMCHAIR RADICALS
Re: James Bowman's Rebels Without a Clue:

James Bowman makes one error in his otherwise superb analysis of the institutionalized culture of rebellion when he states that "there is nothing to rebel against." He rightly points out that the current culture of rebellion isn't about rebellion, so much as middle-aged (and older) armchair radicals nostalgically reliving their college days. As the 60s counterculture has become the establishment, the current counterculture has become what they rebelled against. That counterculture is conservative.

Those college students who publish conservative magazines on campus (only to see them destroyed by reactionaries of the left), join campus conservative organizations (and have to fight for funding) and otherwise stand opposed to the lockstep conformity imposed by the left (and who are forced for the right to think for themselves at every turn) are the true rebels today. And unlike the reviewers at the Times and the arts establishment that they seek to perpetuate, those rebels have a clue.
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, US Army

GET THE WORD OUT
Re: Russ Ferguson's Talk is Cheap:

When is this president going to start listening to the people and how he is affecting us?

This is all about him.... not what he can do for the people, not only on the coast, but in America totally.
The people of other countries are no longer respecting us as a nation to lead any place. I love my country, I am a WWII veteran, serving 37 months in South Pacific, and I wish somebody would put fire under this president and get him to DO SOMETHING.

We do not want to lose our nation to the Muslims, nor to any liberals or socialists! How do we get word to this man?
-- Lester

STEREOTYPING
Re: David Gutmann's Against Gay Marriage:

The only objection I have to this article is its heavy reliance on Darwinism (Social Darwinism in my opinion) to describe male/female differences. Males are characterized as rapists and killers similar to what radical feminists would say about them. Sorry I don't want to talk about sports either which to me is just soap opera for men. Thanks for sharing your view, but in the future keep your stereotypes to yourself.
-- David

ACADEMIC ELITISM
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Original Mr. Anti-Establishment: Ronald Reagan:

For "establishment," I've tended to look at where somebody went to school. If someone studied at, say, an Ivy League school, I'd say they were the establishment. "Attended an Ivy League college" is right up there for me with finding out that somebody is the "child of" somebody well-known. To a layman like me it all smacks of elitism.

There's a refreshing absence of these kinds of schools from the Wikipedia entries of some of the ones named here. There are even some dropouts from education. But there are schools like Dartmouth and Yale and Cornell among them, too.

I worry about this when it starts to look like the government -- whatever party happens to be in at the time -- is run by a bunch of people who "all went to the same schools." Maybe they all had good education experiences -- but how varied are their experiences if they were all taught by the same people? And have they had much experience with so-called "real life" -- and can they have concerns in common with those who have?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

A VACUUM IN THE PRESIDENCY
Re: Ross Kaminsky's A Leak in the Presidency:

A leak presumes something of substance existed inside a vessel or conduit, whatever its dimensions, that, when the vessel's wall ruptured or was punctured, pushed outward into the world.

With Obama, I'd say what we have is not a leak. Rather, the vessel's wall ruptured or was punctured by outside forces -- and, then, the reality of the world rushed in to fill the vast vacuum that exists.

Given the volume of Obama's inner intellectual and moral void space, its filling will continue for a long time.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.

ALICE IN OBAMALAND
Re: Peter Ferrara's The Coming Resignation of Barack Obama:

God, we can only hope but it probably won't happen. Obama will most likely be our President for 6 1/2 more years. The GOP public relations are horrible. The Tea Party and GOP will dilute the conservatives. Bush made some awful mistakes while president with his spending, politically correct choices, and never grooming an electable successor.

Obama is an utter Disaster and is ruining our country. It will take decades to undo the damage. I hope the American people who were duped by this "Hope and Change" incompetent, arrogant imposter in the White House come to their senses. Al Franken a United States Senator, Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, Pelosi, Speaker of the House.

I feel like we are in Alice in Wonderland!

God help our country!
-- Dr. Michael Schultz
Palos Verdes, California

FACT CHECK
Re: Philip Klein's Obama's Rationing Man:

Do your editors ever fact check what Klein is writing? He provides a link to a Telegraph article as a reference to certain statements he makes about deaths resulting from poor care.

His exact quote is: "In March 2009, a report found that up to 1,200 died as a result of 'appalling standards of care' at just one hospital in Britain's NHS."

However, when you check the article he is using as a reference, you find that he is misquoting the article.

The article states: "It is not clear how many patients died as a direct result of the failures, but the commission found that mortality rates in emergency care were between 27 per cent and 45 per cent higher than would be expected, equating to between 400 and 1,200 'excess' deaths."

I have not decided where I stand on using the British health care model. However, taking such liberal license when restating what's stated in your source article does not help much with credibility for the rest of the opinion article.

I really hope you fact check a bit more next time.
-- Mike Blundell

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