Tag Archives: Timothy Geithner

Obama declares war on the Church. Church fights back with historic lawsuit

Two weeks ago, an earthshaking event took place but you didn’t hear about it on network TV or read about it in the soon-to-go-extinct newspapers.

Two weeks ago, something happened that has never happened in U.S. history. 43 branches of the Catholic Church sued the federal government in Superior Court for violating the Constitution’s First Amendment on Church-State relations, specifically Obama’s HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for contraception services that violate the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Named as defendants are Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and their respective departments.

Obama’s federal mandate requires religious organizations — including Catholic schools, universities, and hospitals — to provide in their insurance plans abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which are contrary to Catholic teaching. It also authorizes the government to determine which organizations are sufficiently “religious” to warrant an exemption from the requirement. As such, the mandate violates the religious liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws.

In an email on May 22, 2012, President of Media Research Center Brent Bozell writes:

“43 Catholic dioceses and organizations are suing the Obama administration in federal court over the attempt to force religious institutions to provide contraceptive and abortifacients with all of their health insurance.

ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News completely failed to report this historic event! CBS Evening News only dedicated a brief 19 seconds to the story and framed it as a birth control debate. By contrast, ABC led their evening broadcast with the sentencing of the Rutgers student who spied on his gay roommate with a web camera. That story received three minutes and 30 seconds of coverage at the top of the newscast.

This is not a mistake or an editorial oversight by the broadcast networks. This is a deliberate and insidious withholding of national news to protect the ‘Chosen One’ who ABC, CBS and NBC have worked so hard to elect and are now abusing their journalistic influence to reelect. Even when a network like CBS mentions the suit ever-so-briefly, they botch the issue by framing it as a contraception lawsuit instead of what they know it to be: a religious freedom issue. It’s bogus, dishonest ‒ a flat out lie.

The fact is that the Catholic Church has unleashed legal Armageddon on the administration, promising ‘we will not comply’ with a health law that strips Catholics of their religious liberty. If this isn’t ‘news’ then there’s no such thing as news. This should be leading newscasts and the subject of special, in-depth reports. Instead, these networks are sending a clear message to all Americans that the networks will go to any lengths ‒ even censoring from the public an event of this historic magnitude ‒ to prevent the release of any information that will hurt Obama’s chances of re-election.”

This is not about the Catholic Church. This is not about Catholics. This is about the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom.

Today, tens of thousands of pro-life Americans in 160 cities across the United States will rally against the Obama Administration’s abortifacient birth control mandate. (Read more about this here.)

To show your support for the lawsuit, go here to sign a petition.

H/t FOTM’s beloved Joan, Miranda and Grouchy Fogie.

~Eowyn

Only in Amerika

1) Only in Amerika could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $40,000 a plate campaign fund raising event.

2) Only in Amerika could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce who are black (although 12% of the U.S. population is black).

3) Only in Amerika could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code — head of the Treasury Department Timothy Geithner and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Charles Rangel — BOTH turn out to be tax dodgers who are in favor of higher taxes.

4) Only in Amerika could we have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media be more concerned that Muslims might receive discrimination in the backlash.

5) Only in Amerika would we make people who want to legally become U.S. citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while millions of illegal migrants pour across our southern border, and if you object to the latter you’re called “racist”. To top it off, the federal government then sues the state of Arizona for trying to enforce the federal government’s own rules on illegal immigration!

6) Only in Amerika could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as hateful “extremists.”

7) Only in Amerika could you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote — and if you disagree with the latter, you’re called “racist”.

8) Only in Amerika could citizens be required to present their birth certificate to apply for a passport, but not Barack Hussein Obama Jr. to certify his eligibility for the presidency of the United States — and if you inquire about that oddity, you’re called “racist” and other names (“birthers”), mocked at, and dismissed.

9) Only in Amerika could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more than it has per year for total spending of $7 million PER
MINUTE, and complain that it doesn’t have enough money.

10) Only in Amerika could the rich people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all, some of whom even get money “back”.

H/t our beloved Grouchy Fogie.

~Eowyn

First politician goes on trial for 2008 financial crisis

No, it’s not him. But we can hope.

The global financial-economic crisis that began in 2008 hit Iceland especially hard.

In 2007, Iceland had the 7th highest average per capita income in the world ($54,858). The next year, everything fell apart. Iceland’s banking system crashed. The combined debt of the country’s three largest banks (Glitnir, Landsbanki and Kaupthing) exceeded Iceland’s GDP by SIX times!

In October 2008, the Icelandic parliament passed emergency legislation to take over, i.e., nationalize, the domestic operations of the three banks, but not their foreign debts or assets. On 26 January 2009, the coalition government collapsed due to the public dissent over the handling of the financial crisis. A new left-wing government was formed a week later and immediately set about removing Central Bank governor Davíð Oddsson and his aides from the bank through changes in law. In April 2010, the Icelandic Parliament‘s Special Investigation Commission published the findings of its investigation,revealing the extent of control fraud in the crisis.

Now, Iceland is putting the man who was prime minister when the economy crashed, on trial.

Geir Haarde and his wife arrive at the courthouse (5 March 2012)Former Prime Minister Geir Haarde (r)

BBC News reports March 5, 2012, that the trial of former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde, on charges of negligence over the 2008 financial crisis, has begun in Reykjavik. Haarde is the first world leader to face criminal charges over the crisis.

The proceedings are being held at the Landsdomur court in the first case for the Reykjavik-based tribunal.

The country’s three main banks collapsed in autumn 2008, plunging Iceland into a deep recession. Haarde, 60, led the Independence Party government at the time. He is accused of being negligent because he had not ensured financial safeguards were in place.

Haarde had sought to have all charges dismissed, calling the trial “preposterous” and saying that his conscience was clear. He has pleaded not guilty and rejects the charges as “political persecution,” insisting he will be vindicated during the trial. As he took the stand, he said  he was only doing what he thought was best for the country at the time: “I reject all accusations, and believe there is no basis for the trial. [But the trial will be] the first time I get a chance to answer questions regarding this case.”

Some Icelanders see the trial of Mr Haarde as scapegoating, while others argue that public accountability is essential following the country’s financial collapse.

+++

Good for Iceland!

Now why can’t we do that in the United States? — beginning with Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner!

~Eowyn

Obama’s Treasury Secretary Geithner could face criminal charges

H/t beloved Tina

~Eowyn

American Democracy Endangered by a Government-Financial Complex

On January 17, 1961, in his farewell speech as president, Dwight D. Eisenhower sounded a warning about a “military-industrial complex” in America. He urged Americans that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex…. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist … Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Today, not only is there a military-industrial complex, there is another even more clear and present danger — the government-financial complex.

Obama-Corzine: The face of the Govt-Financial Complex

Documents released through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request reveal that the 2008 TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) — better known as the “too big to fail” Wall Street bailout — was actually 10 times the amount we were told, totalling $7.7 trillion.

Below are excerpts of Les Leopold’s article for AlterNet, “Bloomberg Unearths Wall Street’s Secret Government,” republished on MINA, Dec. 2, 2011:

We now have concrete evidence that Wall Street and Washington are running a secret government far removed from the democratic process. Through a freedom of information request by Bloomberg News, the public now has access to over 29,000 pages of Fed documents and 21,000 additional Fed transactions that were deliberately hidden, and for good reason. (See here and here .)

These documents show how top government officials willfully concealed from Congress and the public the true extent of the 2008-’09 bailouts that enriched the few and enhanced the interests of giant Wall Streets firms. Here’s what we now know:

  • The secret Wall Street bailouts totaled $7.77 trillion, 10 times more than the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) passed by Congress in 2008.
  • Knowledge of the secret bailout funds was not shared with Congress even while it was drafting and debating legislation to break up the big banks.
  • The secret funding, provided at below-market rates, gave Wall Street banks an additional $13 billion in profits. (That’s enough money to hire more than 325,000 entry level teachers.)
  • The secret loans financed bank mergers so that the largest banks could grow even larger. The money also allowed banks to step up their lobbying efforts.
  • While Henry Paulson (Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury) was informing Congress and the public that only minor reforms were needed to protect Fannie and Freddie from collapse, he met secretly with leading Wall Street hedge fund managers — among them his former colleagues at Goldman Sachs — to alert them that he was about to nationalize the giant mortgage companies – a move that would eradicate nearly all the stock value of the companies. This information was enormously valuable because it allowed these hedge funds to short Fannie and Freddie and thereby make a fortune.
  • While Timothy Geithner [Obama's Secretary of the Treasury] was head of the NY Federal Reserve, he argued against legislative efforts by Senator Ted Kaufman, D-Delaware, to limit the size of banks because the issue was “too complex for Congress and that people who know the markets should handle these decisions,” Kaufman recalls. Meanwhile, Geithner was fully aware of the enormous secret loans while Senator Kaufman was kept in the dark. Barney Frank, who was authoring key bank reform legislation was also not informed of the secret loans. No one in Congress was told.

All of which led Leopold to conclude:

“Usually, I am not an alarmist. In fact, I often argue against facile conspiracy theories. I want to believe that our democracy still has promise. But, the Wall Street-induced crash and the government’s response to it has me very worried. The Bloomberg News revelations suggest that Wall Street’s secret government has enormous disdain for what remains of our democracy. The financial elites obviously believe that Congress cannot be trusted to do the right thing even when it is bought and paid for by the very banks it supposedly regulates. As for the rest of us? We’re just a financially illiterate mass to be manipulated through the mass media. Our minds too can be bought and sold through careful marketing.

This financial arrogance and corruption is enormously corrosive to our democratic values. Already, many Americans, and for good reason, no longer trust their government. Already, many Americans, and for good reason, no longer vote. Already, many Americans, and for good reason, believe that democracy as we know it is a sham. Wall Street couldn’t have written a better script to maintain its domination.”

This Government-Financial Complex continues to this day, as seen in the conflicts-of-interest corrupt relations of the federal oversight agency and the now-bankrupt MF Global.

Lastly, I have a message to the Occupy Wall Street movement:

This Government-Financial Complex is not capitalism because government is interfering with and warping the free market. This collusion between the government and big business is classic Fascism — the corporatist state. Your protests are misplaced. You should be protesting before the White House.

~Eowyn

Obama White House in Chaos, Says New Book

A new book hit the market last Tuesday, Sept. 20, which exposes the chaos, incompetence and hypocrisy of Skippy’s White House staff.

The book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Ron Suskind, who was granted remarkable access to the West Wing, including a sit-down interview with Skippy himself.

Zeke Miller of Business Insider reports, Sept 20, 2011, that the book reveals a disorganized — and at times insubordinate — staff working under Obama, and an inexperienced president struggling to control them.

One of the more shocking revelations that leaked last week is that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is said to have disobeyed an order from Obama to plan to dissolve Citigroup in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Geithner denied the allegations Monday.

Another embarrassment comes from former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who told Suskind, that “if it weren’t for the president, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace. Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.”

Hmm…. What happened to liberals’ professed feminism? Just lip service? (Pun intended. Think “Monica Lewinsky”) LOL

This is what happens when voters send a man with zero, nada, zilch executive experience to the White House.

~Eowyn

Agenda 21 and Obama’s Rural Council EO

Full Text of EO 13575

Obama Administration Taps Into Federal Retirement Funds

Obama is playing a game of chicken with Congressional Republicans over the debt ceiling.

Last Monday, the U.S. government lost its ability to borrow more money because we maxed our debt limit. The Obama administration and the Dems want to raise that limit. House Republicans say “no way” — cut spending and reduce our $14+ trillion national debt first!

So tax cheat Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is dipping into federal retirement funds to keep funding government operations.

While this dipping is a temporary measure and, presumably, the borrowed money will be returned to the retirement programs, this may also be the Obama administration’s first move toward its plan to convert our 401(k)s and IRAs into annuities. That plan was floated as a trial balloon in January 2010. See my post “Obama, Hands Off My Retirement $.”

That is not far-fetched. Like hungry lions prowling for prey, the governments of five European countries — Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Ireland and France – have taken over their citizens’ private pension money to make up deficits and budget shortfalls. See my post on this here.

Most recently on May 10, 2011, the Irish government announced its plan for a 0.6% tax on private pensions to drive jobs growth. (H/t beloved fellow Joseph)

~Eowyn

Zachary A. Goldfarb reports for the Washington Post, May 16, 2011:

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned for months that the government would soon hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — a legal limit on how much it can borrow. With that limit reached Monday, Geithner is undertaking special measures in an effort to postpone the day when he will no longer have enough funds to pay all of the government’s bills.

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers. The measure won’t have an impact on retirees because the Treasury is legally required to reimburse the program.

The maneuver buys Geithner only a few months of time. If Congress does not vote by Aug. 2 to raise the debt limit, Geithner says the government is likely to default on some of its obligations, which he says would cause enormous economic harm and the suspension of government services, including the disbursal of Social Security funds.

Many congressional Republicans, however, have been skeptical that breaching the Aug. 2 deadline would be as catastrophic as Geithner suggests. What’s more, Republican leaders are insisting that Congress cut spending by as much as the Obama administration wants to raise the debt limit, without any new taxes. Obama is proposing spending cuts and tax increases to rein in the debt.

“Everything should be on the table, except raising taxes,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Because raising taxes will hurt our economy and hurt our ability to create jobs in our country.”

The Obama administration has warned that it is dangerous to make a vote on raising the debt limit contingent on other proposals. But Boehner is demanding that Congress use the debt vote as a way to bring down government spending.

“I’m ready to cut the deal today,” Boehner said. “We don’t have to wait until the 11th hour. But I am not going to walk away from this moment. We have a moment, a window of opportunity to act, because if we don’t act, the markets are going to act for us.”

Geithner’s plan to tap federal retiree programs as a temporary means to avoid a government default comes as the Obama administration has shown growing interest in altering those programs to curb the debt in the long run.

Administration officials have expressed interest in raising the amount that federal employees contribute to their pensions, sources told The Washington Post.

The Republicans have suggested that the civilian workforce contribute more to its retirement in the future, effectively trimming 5 percent from salaries. The administration has not been willing to go that far in talks being led by Vice President Biden.

Treasury secretaries have tapped special programs to avoid default six times since 1985. The most protracted delay in raising the debt limit came in 1995 after congressional Republicans swept to power during the Clinton administration.

But today, the government needs far more money to cover its obligations than in the past, making the special measures less effective than they used to be. The government needs about $125 billion more a month than it takes in each month.

Read the rest of the WaPo article here.

“Work for Your Country”

Would you take advice from this man?

Treasury’s Geithner to Grads: Work for the Government

Via CNS News

Sure, why wouldn’t you want to work for the government? According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal workers in 2009 made an average of $123,049 in salary and benefits, which is more than twice the average of $61,051 that workers made in the private sector.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that his advice to young professionals would be that they take time away from their careers to work for the federal government. Speaking to a gathering of mutual fund advisors in Washington, D.C., on  Wednesday, Geithner was asked what his advice would be to young professionals entering the work force.

He said, “I guess what I’d say is learn about the world; make sure you try to understand the basics of economics and finance because it’s critical to everything; and at some point come try to work for your country for some time.”

“[T]he economic challenges we face as a country depend a lot on getting a better understanding of economics and finance so you can get better policy outcomes from your government,” he said.

“And that depends on getting politicians willing to make tougher choices but also people in these jobs who are talented and willing to come and give part of their life – you don’t need to spend your entire life doing it – but it’s good for the country to try and attract people to do this and I hope you do that,” said Geithner.

Great advice coming from a man who failed to pay more than $34,000 in federal taxes over several years. And a man who, under his leadership at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, presided over a systemic effort in the fall of 2008 to suppress public disclosure of ailing insurer AIG’s backdoor bailout payments to banks. Yes, a man with no integrity giving us advice on how to “get better policy outcomes from your government”. Wonder if he’ll be teaching a class on corruption next?

DCG

Request to Flush More Moolah

Freddie Mac posts $1.7B loss for Q4
Feb 24 07:05 PM US/Eastern
By MARCY GORDON
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – Government-controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac managed a narrower loss of $1.7 billion for the October-December quarter of last year. But it has asked for an additional $500 million in federal aid—up from the $100 million it sought in the previous quarter.Freddie Mac also posted a $19.8 billion loss for all of 2010.

The government rescued Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae in September 2008 to cover their losses on soured mortgage loans. It estimates the bailouts will cost taxpayers as much as $259 billion.

Freddie Mac’s October-December loss attributable to common stockholders works out to 53 cents a share. It takes into account $1.6 billion in dividend payments to the government. It compares with a loss of $7.8 billion, or $2.39 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The company said the recovery of the housing market is still fragile.

“As we begin 2011, the housing recovering remains vulnerable to high levels of unemployment, delinquencies and foreclosures,” Chief Executive Charles Haldeman said in a statement. “We expect national home prices to decline this year as housing will continue to take some time to recover.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or guarantee about half of all mortgages in the U.S., or nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion. Along with other federal agencies, they played some part in almost 90 percent of new mortgages over the past year.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors around the world.

The government’s estimated cost of bailing out the mortgage giants far exceeds the $132.3 billion they have received from taxpayers so far. That would make theirs the costliest bailout of the financial crisis.

The two have been hit by massive losses on risky mortgages purchased from 2005 through 2008. The companies have tightened their lending standards after those loans started to go bad. Default rates on new loans are far lower.

The Obama administration unveiled a plan earlier this month to slowly dissolve the two mortgage giants. The aim is to shrink the government’s role in the mortgage system. The proposal would remake decades of federal policy aimed at getting Americans to buy homes and probably would make home loans more expensive.

Exactly how far the government’s role in mortgages would be reduced was left to Congress to decide. But all three options the administration presented would create a housing finance system that relies far more on private money.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will face questions from lawmakers next week at a congressional hearing on the proposal.

Sure, why not flush some more taxpayer money. At this point our economy is in the crapper anyway.

Tom in NC