May 2010

Bailout: Putting Taxpayers On The Hook For Big Labor’s ULLICO Malfeasance

As Fox News reported, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is pushing a bailout for Big Labor to the tune of $168 billion dollars. Casey’s bill would bailout Big Labor’s pension funds by putting the “Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers.” The problem, as Erik Berte notes, the liability and exposure to taxpayers could far exceed the $168 billion because taxpayers’ “liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.”

Why is Senator Casey pushing a bailout? The “pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.”

Oh The Irony! AFSCME Hits Lincoln As Insider, To Prop-Up Other Insiders

In a Southern drawl a woman tells Arkansans that Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) went native in Washington, D.C., and is now an insider looking out for the interests of lobbyists, insurance and oil companies, rather than the interests of folks back home.

The ad is funded and sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and is a down payment on the $1.4 million the labor union promised to spend in the runoff between Lincoln and Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter.

Bush 7, Obama 1

According to the Drudge Report

“During first 36 days of Katrina, Bush made 7 visits to Gulf Coast...”

“So far on Day 36 of BP oil leak, Obama has made 1 visit to disaster area...”

Wow.

Is This Odd? EPA Administrator Critical Of Oil Spill Efforts To Spend Time Raising Money For DEMs

So, for an Administration on top of the oil catastrophe in the Gulf from day one, officials from the President on down seem to find plenty of time for other things like raising money for Democrats in the mid-term elections.

We already pointed out, as have others, that President Barack Obama has been doing some partying, raising some money and enjoying some great dinners while focusing on the oil leak in the Gulf.

Now comes word, via Maggie Haberman over at Politico, that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson “will be the featured attraction at a fundraiser for Senate Democrats next week in Manhattan.”

Fundraisers, Parties, Vacations: Obama On Top Of Oil Catastrophe Since Day 1?

Has President Barack Obama really been working to stem the still-unfolding oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico as he contends? Recent activities suggest he may be a bit more preoccupied with fundraiser, parties and vacations. Consider:

On April 19, 2010, the day before BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama was in Los Angeles gearing up for the mid-term elections by attending a joint-fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and the Democrat National Committee (DNC).

On April 20th, BP’s oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a catastrophic explosion. Obama returned to the White House.

Three days later, (Friday, April 23rd) the Obama’s left Washington, D.C., for a weekend getaway in Asheville, NC, where the family stayed at the Grove Park Inn & Spa.

On Sunday, April 25th, Obama returned to the White House.

Shot-Chaser: To Disperse Or Not To Disperse Oil In The Gulf

Shot:

Today, In Comments On Plans To Combat The Oil Leak Crisis In The Gulf, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Said Dispersing The Oil Is One Of The Goals.  (Janet Napolitano, Press Conference, 5/24/10)

Chaser:

“EPA Limits Use Of Firm’s Oil Dispersant.”  (“EPA Limits Use Of Firm’s Oil Dispersant,” The Boston Globe, 5/21/10)

Chaser II:

Environmental Protection Agency Administration Administrator Lisa Jackson Ordered BP To “Scale Back The Use Of Dispersants.” (Elisabeth Rosenthal, “BP Kept Using Toxic Chemical In Gulf After E.P.A. Deadline,” The New York Times, 5/24/10)

Sen. Casey Proposes Big Labor Bailout As Big Labor Prepares Bailout For DEMs

As Fox News is reporting, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is pushing a bailout for Big Labor to the tune of $168 billion dollars. Casey’s bill would bailout Big Labor’s pension funds by putting the “Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers.” The problem, as Erik Berte notes, the liability and exposure to tax payers could far exceed the $168 billion because taxpayers “liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.”

News of Casey’s bill comes shortly after The Hill reported Big Labor is poised to spend in excess of $100 million to bailout endangered incumbent Democrats in the mid-term elections.

On Deepwater Horizon Spill, Does Obama Admin Know What It’s Talking About?

More than a month ago, on April 20, 2010, BP’s offshore oil drilling platform - Deepwater Horizon - suffered a catastrophic explosion that caused oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil has been leaking unabated since, with only minor progress made to slow the volume of oil.

Nine days after the explosion, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama had directed government officials to make sure “the entire government is doing everything possible to respond to this incident.”

Gibbs: “In addition, the President has directed responding agencies to devote every resource to not only respond to this incident but to determine its cause.” (Robert Gibbs Press Briefing, “Press Briefing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast,” The White House, 4/29/10)

A Debate Worth Having: The Direction Of The Country The Past Few Years

The President plans to campaign against former President George W. Bush again in the November mid-term elections, so says Carol Lee of Politico.

“The White House’s Mid-Term Election Strategy Is Becoming Clear – Pit The Democrats Of 2010 Against The Republicans Circa 2006, 2008 And 2009, Including Bush.”  (Carol E. Lee, “Obama Campaigning Against Bush--Again,” Politico, 5/22/10)

With all due respect Mr. President, 2010 is not 2008, and if you want to talk about the past few years, I think that is a conversation Republicans would be all-too-happy to have with you. Let’s get right to the point: Democrats, not Republicans, have controlled Congress since January 2007. Democrats, not Republicans, have controlled the whole of government since January 2009.

CONTROL:

An "Age Of Austerity" In Europe, But Not In The U.S.

Governments in Europe, from Greece to Spain to Portugal, are finding out the hard way what it means to spend public money frivolously. Public finances in the Euro Monetary Union are so precarious that its sustainability and future is in doubt. To shore up the problem, or attempt to, Eurozone governments are embarking on no-frills, cost-cutting initiatives to slash deficit spending and get a handle on spiraling debt.

Though the United Kingdom is not a member of the Euro (the UK kept its Sterling Pound as its official currency), the island country is getting in on the act, too.

“Britain Faces An ‘Age Of Austerity’ As The New Coalition Government Readies Aggressive Cuts In Public Spending To Slash The Deficit, Treasury Minister David Laws Told The Financial Times On Saturday.”  (“Britain Faces Aggressive Cuts In ‘Age of Austerity,’” AFP, 5/22/10)

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