Stupidity and Shell Games

I have a couple things I want to write about tonight, so here they are.

Thought #1

Since when are partisan rants and name-calling a serious danger to democracy?

In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America’s democracy, and may incite “extreme elements” to violence.

Why didn’t then Senator Barack Obama say the same thing when Democrats were making partisan rants toward then President George W. Bush? Why didn’t he make this statement when people were calling President Bush names and comparing him to Hitler?

Since the days of the Vietnam War, the phrase “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” has been a clarion call for the liberal left, except when it applies to one of their own.

Legitimate discourse often includes partisan rants and name-calling. Read your history book (unless it’s already been re-written, then find an older copy and check that one).

This discourse does not pose any more danger to “America’s democracy” than burning an American flag or marching in a protest to support illegal immigration.

This discourse does not incite “extreme elements” to violence any more than those who burnt President Bush in effigy or those who march in support of gay rights.

The truth is, every issue has their “extreme elements” on both sides, and those elements could be incited to violence by any number of issues. To issue a blanket statement that all legitimate discourse may incite violence is stupid.

Speaking of stupid, America is not a democracy, it’s a republic.

Thought #2

Did you hear the news? GM repaid their loan in full!

Today, General Motors is announcing that it has made a payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada. We’re paying back—in full, with interest, years ahead of schedule—loans made to help fund the new GM

Not!

GM received $49.5 billion in TARP funds, so how is repaying $5.8 billion “paying the loan in full”?

The majority of the funds delivered to GM came in the form of a 60.8% equity stake in the company, the remainder was handed over in the form of a low interest (7%) loan. Together, the U.S. and Canadian governments own 72.5% of GM.

GM lost money again this quarter. They haven’t even broken even, so how did they repay that “loan” anyway?

This is where it gets good. $13.4 billion of the TARP funds were placed into a working capital escrow account. The company used money from that escrow account to repay the loan.

Yes people, GM used money from the TARP funds (which is our money) to repay the total amount they owed from the loan (also our money). They paid us back with our own money.

Are you wondering why they even bothered to pay us back with our own money?

It’s simple, really. They repaid the $5.8 billion (at 7%) so they could apply for and receive a load from the Department of Energy in the amount of $10 billion, at 5% interest.

The only question remaining, is which shell is our money hiding under now? Can you find it?

 
That’s right people, our money is still hiding under the same shell. They never moved it.

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