Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fwd: How many people are so dumb thay cannot remember recent history?

Begin forwarded message:

From: Patrick Villella <pvillella_2000@yahoo.com>
Date: September 27, 2011 9:39:31 AM CDT
To: Jim Bennett <jmbfarms@aol.com>
Subject: How many people are so dumb thay cannot remember recent history?
Reply-To: Patrick Villella <pvillella_2000@yahoo.com>

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
--Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
--Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
-- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them."
-- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
Patrick Villella

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.  Milton Friedman

Fwd: These politicians lied and people died.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Patrick Villella <pvillella_2000@yahoo.com>
Date: September 27, 2011 9:43:17 AM CDT
To: Jim Bennett <jmbfarms@aol.com>
Subject: These politicians lied and people died.
Reply-To: Patrick Villella <pvillella_2000@yahoo.com>

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
-- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
-- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003
Patrick Villella

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.  Milton Friedman

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Article: Was George W. Bush a complete Idiot or What?

Roque on Gold’s Pullback

The Big Picture

John Roque observes:

"For every year from 2002 to 2010 gold has, at least, corrected to its 40-week moving average and been down,peak to trough on average 15.6% (see table)."

Gold bottomed in 2001, and John's table makes it clear that every year since "it has worked through consolidation phases."

So far, this looks like the recent sell off is just another such a consolidation phase.

As of Friday's close, Gold is down 12% from its early September highs, which was 3 standard deviations above its prior 200 day moving average.

John adds "So far gold is down 12% from its early September high (please recall that in late August we noted that gold was +3 standard deviations above its 40-week moving average, for all data back to 1987 and that a correction was likely).  Support @ 1600 looks ok to us."

I (BR) will add the following: When a trend channel has an parabolic breakout to the upside, the prudent thing to do is peel off 10 or 20%. This sort of vertical spike works itself off by falling back to at least the prior channel . . .


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Inflation and Debt > Publications > National Affairs


From the Trenches: A Personal Story of Obama Job-Killing Regulation

Big Government

I occasionally broker commercial loans between finance companies and small businesses.  It gives me a lot of pride when I bring together an American entrepreneur who is ready to risk all his assets on his own business, with a finance company that sees a way to help that businessman and make a profit himself.

For the past month, I've been working with a financier to bring funding to 30 entrepreneurs, eager and ready to start up their businesses.  Yesterday I had the most dis-spiriting conversation of my professional career with my financier, whom I'll call "Joe".

Joe has a credit line with a Gigantic American Bank.  The Federal Reserve has slapped the Bank, and all other banks big and small, with new regulations regarding how they loan their money, who they loan it to, and issued a mountain of compliance rules.  The Bank cannot rely on their internal compliance auditors any longer, either.  They must use independent auditors.

The Bank, in order to remain in compliance, must shove all these same regulations and compliance rules onto whomever they loan money to, including Joe, who also must engage an independent compliance auditor.  Joe must shove all these same regulations and compliance rules onto whomever he loans money to, including these entrepreneurs, who also must engage an independent compliance auditor.

The cost of all these regulations and compliance audits, at the entrepreneur level alone, is $30,000.   It costs a heck of a lot more as you move up the chain.

The entrepreneurs cannot afford this.

As a result, the entrepreneurs' dreams of starting their own businesses die on the vine.  They now must go back into the depressed job market to (not) find a job.

Sixty other jobs that would have been created by these entrepreneurs never get created.

The money these employees would have spent never enters the economy.

The commission I would've earned by brokering the deal is never earned, so that money never gets spent into the economy.

Joe never earns the interest he would have earned on the deal, so that money never gets spent into the economy, or invested in any other businesses.

The Bank never earns the interest it would've earned from the financier, so it has less money to grow, return to shareholders, or to hire other people to work at the Bank.

The independent auditors don't even get hired because no deal exists to audit.

Does anyone — anyone at all — see a winner in this scenario?

I do.  It's anyone who calls Barack Obama a "Socialist", a "Marxist", or "anti-Capitalist".

I have to be honest, until today, I never branded President Obama as any of these.  I merely regarded him as misguided, foolish, and just economically clueless.  But not anymore.   Here's why:

I asked Joe where this set of regulations come from, and why were they put into place. He replied:

"Barack Obama created these regulations by Presidential fiat. They are unrelated to any form of legislation.  They have nothing to do with bank solvency. They have everything to do with his anti-capitalist ideology.  This is the mindset of the current Administration: kill American business."

Now, consider that this is just one story of one bank, one broker, one financier, and one set of entrepreneurs.  Now extrapolate this to every American bank, broker, financier, and entrepreneur.

And is it any wonder — any wonder at all — why unemployment remains high?

Is it any wonder — any wonder at all — why Liberals complain about how workers are being trampled on, when it is their own policies that are trickling down to keep people on the unemployment lines?

I've been writing articles over at SeekingAlpha.com and InvestorPlace.com.  Lately I've been doing a series on the Dow Industrials, and discovered that every company I was writing about had billions of dollars of cash on their balance sheets.  In some cases, it was tens of billions.   Why, I wondered, isn't that money being spent?

My old high school math teacher taught me that if one uses reason, no question can go unanswered.

The answer is apparent.  American businesses have no idea what to expect from an anti-Capitalist President.  What regulations will he impose on businesses?  They have no idea what's coming down the pike.  Why spend billions on some new initiative, some new invention, some expansion, some hiring, when it all may yield nothing because some regulation kills it?  What costs will be imposed by Obamacare?  How much will it cost to pay for a new employee's health insurance?  Will the GOP take over Congress and the White House next year and repeal Obamacare?  They don't know.  So they don't hire.    Will the economy fall into a double-dip recession?  Well, with anecdotes like mine, it sure as heck seems like it will!  So why spend money to expand and hire?  So they don't.

I really, really want a Liberal reader to try and justify this course of action by the government.  And I want it to lack schadenfreude.  Because if it doesn't, all it does is confirm the stereotype of the anti-profit Liberal.

Then I want that same Liberal to justify voting for Obama again next year.

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Division of Labour: September 2011 Archives


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Monday, September 19, 2011

@Doc_0, 9/19/11 9:59 AM

John Hayward (@Doc_0)
9/19/11 9:59 AM
President shows up 25 minutes late to complain about Congress dragging its feet on a bill Democrat Senate won't consider for a month.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Behold, The Circle of Government Life

Investor's Business Daily -- "Ex-employees of the failed solar panel company Solyndra have applied for aid under the federal government's Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the Labor Department has confirmed. If approved, the employees of what was once touted as a leading exemplar of the White House's green jobs program will be eligible for more federal funds to enable them to be retrained for other jobs.

It would be an ironic coda to the saga of Solyndra, which manufactured solar panels and received $527 million in loan guarantees from the Energy Department and praise from President Obama during visits to the firm's California headquarters. Now those green workers will be seeking the government's help to find work again and not necessarily in the conservation jobs sector."

Scott Lincicome summarizes this "Circle of Government Life":

"So to recap: massive government subsidies created 1,100 "green jobs" that never would've existed but for those massive government subsidies.  And when those fake jobs disappeared because the subsidized employer company couldn't compete in the market, the workers blamed China (instead of what's easily one of the worst business plans ever drafted) in order to receive... wait for it... more government subsidies.

Behold, the Circle of Government Life."
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Solyndra Scandal Widening

The Corner on National Review Online

My column this weekend is about the Solyndra scandal, and why I think it should be investigated as a criminal fraud. That would include a significant securities fraud angle: President Obama's speech at Solyndra on May 26, 2010, was grossly misleading at a time when it was known that independent auditors had issued dire warnings about the failing solar-panel business's chances of survival and when Solyndra's Obama-connected backers were trying to sell the company's stock on market.

Now there's more: The Daily Caller reports that Solyndra actually sought a second federal loan in the astronomical sum of $469 million (which would have aggregated to well over $1 billion in taxpayer financing, for a company that was gushing red ink and was careening toward inevitable bankruptcy). The Daily Caller got the info from Solyndra's SEC filing — and the site reports that the filing does not make clear whether the company got the second loan … and that Solyndra did not return the Daily Caller's call to inquire.

Keep reading this post . . .

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

More on Solyndra – The next move

zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero
In any Chapter 11 filing the senior lenders have preference. This means that if there are any liquidation proceeds Senior Creditors get their money back first. It is important to note that those same senior lenders have significant influence regarding how the company's assets are disposed of.

In the case of Solyndra, the senior lender is also the largest equity owner, Argonaut Ventures, an investment vehicle controlled by George Kaiser. Argonaut got the preferential position when it agreed to make a $75mm term loan to Solyndra back in February of 2011.

Note: DOE representatives participated in the structuring of the Argonaut term loan. The DOE specifically granted the preferred position. Six months ago the good folks at the DOE had to have known that Solyndra was a sinking ship. If we later hear that either the DOE or the President were shocked and surprised that Solyndra went into the tank, then we know they are lying.

In the layer cake of creditors the highest tier is the DIP (Debtor in Possession). This loan is only granted after a chapter filing. It is approved by the court and as a result stands first in line. The DIP lender has significant sway in the timing and the manner of assets sales. Not surprisingly, the proposed provider of the DIP is Argonaut. (The deal calls for a 15% rate and an $80,000 front end fee. Not bad for a four-week loan)

This means that Argonaut is in control two ways, the senior loan and the DIP. They have both a belt and suspenders, they are wearing the pants in this deal and their pants are not going to fall down.

The Debtor has filed a plan with the court. The CFO, W.G. Stover Jr, has filed this petition. This document is the company's plan for what should happen next.

Note: Solyndra is being advised in these matters by the cream of the crop, Gibson Dunn and Crucher. GDC is a very high dollar firm. They typically represent private money interests. I would have expected GDC to represent Argonaut. The fact that they are representing Solyndra is another question mark in this questionable deal.

The plan put forward is a four-week sale of the company. The logic behind this very rapid schedule is that Solyndra is still burning cash at the rate of $1mm a week. How long will the $4mm DIP financing last? Four weeks. The terms of the DIP makes it a sure thing that Solyndra is going to be sold ASAP. That sounds good. But not for the DOE.

The one-month period is a very short time frame. The likely result will be that no serious alternative buyer will appear. Should that happen, the senior creditor will get all of the assets of the company at the end of 30 days. That would be Argonaut. It's possible that Argonaut will end up owning a company that lists $850mm in assets for less than $100mm.

A bankruptcy attorney who is knowledgeable about the Solyndra case has contacted me. I thought I'd share his thoughts with you. His words describe the situation much better than I:

Two things that jump out at me from the Affidavit - the Tranche A lenders (Argonaut) are offering to be the DIP lender. The terms contained in the DIP agreement usually are the vehicle by which assets are stolen via seemingly innocuous terms that when taken as a whole, serve to control the bk process.

The secured lender will seek to bid for the assets via a credit bid, where they don't have to put new money on the table - their existing secured loan becomes their bid.

The second item that pops out is the dual track marketing - where they will market Solyndra as a whole and as pieces. The affidavit talks about a 4 week marketing runway - that's crazy short even for a podunk company with 1/10th the size. No one can do Due Diligence in 4 weeks. It leaves the DIP lender in a great spot.

The company will claim they don't have the cash to survive a longer marketing runway, and then they will throw their hands up 4 weeks later and say that the horrible deal on the table is the best and only option (and usually for good measure they throw in that it will preserve jobs, they always throw that in) - and at that point the shitty contrived deal is the only option.

Judge bangs his gavel down and the deal is done, and all legit, sanctioned by the bk process itself - everyone was given an opportunity to object in court, provided you can afford 700 dollar an hour bk attys.

Okay, after all of that you have to conclude that Argonaut stinks in this. They are sitting in the catbird seat with the preferential position. They have the courts (and the lawyers) on their side. What possible option could the US Government have to stop this from happening? That's easy. All they have to do is accuse the existing management of fraud.

No BK judge would accept the petition of a former corporate officer regarding the disposition of company assets if that same officer was under the cloud of fraud charges. I think this must be the reason that both the company's headquarters and senior officers homes (including the CFO) have been raided by the FBI.

There is a clue in the affidavit submitted to the court:

"In Early August, Solyndra, certain holders of Tranche A Debt, and representatives of the DOE undertook negotiations regarding further restructuring that would allow Solyndra to attract necessary new investment. The negotiations over the terms of the further restructuring continued throughout August 2011."

It's simply not possible for the folks at DOE who were part of these meeting to not have realized that Solyndra was headed for the garbage can. They had to be lawyers. They are not stupid. There had to have been memos and phone calls back to the DOE and ultimately with the President during August on the failing status of the company. If during that month they had any suspicions of wrongdoing or fraud by the company's officers they would have alerted DOJ and the FBI raids would have happened before the company filed a bankruptcy petition. The business about raiding homes is just a smoke screen.

In the next week the Court will rule on the proposal for a four week sale and the $4mm Argonaut DIP. If that plan is approved, what is left of Solyndra will go to Argonaut and the US DOE will suffer a loss of 100% of its $528mm loan.

As part of this process DOE will file a brief. That brief has to be a smoking gun that forces the judge to deny the company's/Argonauts plan. That brief HAS to have some teeth in it. The only teeth that has merit is that the people who ran the company were crooks and lied to the DOE. The problem with that contention is that there is so much evidence to the contrary.

It should be interesting to see what the DOE has to say. It will be very interesting to see how the judge rules. I'll be watching/writing.



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GOP to Obama: Can We Have That in Writing? - National Review Online


It’s an Obama World: AFL-CIO Thug Threatens Reporters “Don’t F**k With Me Partner” Day After AFL-CIO President Sits With Mrs. Obama at Presidential Debate (Video) | The Gateway Pundit


Friday, September 9, 2011

VERONIQUE DE RUGY: OBAMA’S RECORD OF BROKEN JOBS PROMISES. Check out the thoroughly damning grap…



Check out the thoroughly damning graphic:

Conclusion: "As the prospect of yet another increase in stimulus spending for the sake of job creation looms, we need to be reminded that sustainable job creation comes from the private sector." We need a moratorium on new regulations and taxes, and actual rollbacks of job-killing policies like ObamaCare, if you want to see employment recover. The problem with that approach is that it offers insufficient opportunities for graft and cronyism. Thus, "stimulus" programs instead.

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Solyndra “Green Jobs” Disaster May Just Be The Tip Of The Iceberg For Stimulus Flops

Say Anything

Solyndra, one of the largest recipients of President Obama's stimulus dollars, has gone down in flames filing bankruptcy and, yesterday, being raided by the FBI.

And as ugly as that situation is, the Government Accountability Office is saying this may just be the tip of the iceberg:

Solyndra's closing has also raised concerns about the status of tens of billions of dollars the Obama administration has invested in other renewable-energy companies.

Frank Rusco, a Government Accountability Office director who helped lead a review of the Solyndra loan and the Energy Department's loan guarantee program, said the GAO remains "greatly concerned" by its 2010 finding that the agency agreed to back five companies with loans without properly assessing their risk of failure. The companies were not identified in the report, but the GAO has since acknowledged that Solyndra was one of them.

So how many other companies are out there poised for failure?

And keep in mind that Obama wants hundreds of billions of dollars more for these sort of stimulus projects, yet it may be that we're peppered with news of bankruptcies from the last recipients of stimulus dollars even as Congress debates this new stimulus.

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Snail Mail Spam Subsidies Stuttering Towards A Stop | Via Meadia

Snail Mail Spam Subsidies Stuttering Towards A Stop | Via Meadia

Thursday, September 8, 2011

@JimPethokoukis, 9/8/11 7:38 PM

James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis)
9/8/11 7:38 PM
As you think about the Obama plan, recall this infamous WH jobs chart http://t.co/yw9HMHF

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@StewSays, 9/8/11 10:47 AM

Stew (@StewSays)
9/8/11 10:47 AM
President Obama: "It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." (5/26/10)

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@BreakingNewz, 9/8/11 10:32 AM

Conservative News (@BreakingNewz)
9/8/11 10:32 AM
Big Government- The Thursday Cheat Sheet: The Obama Presidency by the numbers. (Hint: It ain't pretty.)

Here's ... http://t.co/bN9S4ju

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