What Day Is This?

Holy mackerel I have a lot going on this week.

With that said, I am taking a day to get some things done.

 

We all have responsibilities, but some of us choose not to ignore ours.

The Only Change Is Failure

If President Obama isn’t going to step up and accept his responsibilities as President, maybe it’s time he resigned. I’m serious. The environmental and economic impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is going to devastate the SouthEast United States for years, if not decades. More than fifty days have passed and nothing has been done to slow, let alone stop, the leak.

In yesterday’s post I wrote about Section 311 of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and President Obama’s responsibility to gain control of the situation. He hasn’t, but not only is he shrugging his responsibility, I am beginning to think he is singlehandedly making the situation even worse than it was going to be.

There are a couple reasons why I feel this way…

Reason #1

Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as the Jones Act, requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S. flagged ships. Those ships must be constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and operated by U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Because of the Jones Act, ships from many different countries are unavailable to help with clean up and recovery efforts in the Gulf Of Mexico. Mexico, Canada, Norway, Belgium, and The Netherlands have all offered help. All of their offers have been refused because of the Jones Act.

British Petroleum (BP) estimates that cleanup will take nine months without foreign assistance. With help from experts worldwide it could be done in three.

In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waived the Jones Act for 18 days to get the gas and oil supply line moving again.

Why hasn’t the Obama Administration waived the Jones Act? What is the motive for allowing the oil to spread across the Gulf Of Mexico unchecked?

Reason #2

Governor Jindal of Louisiana has requested supplies to protect the beaches in his state. More than fifty days later he’s still listening to crickets.

Why hasn’t the Obama Administration allowed states to protect their wetlands and shorelines? What is the motive for allowing the oil to contaminate fragile wildlife refuges and fishing grounds that are vital to the area economy?

Reason #3

After the Exxon Valdez ran aground at Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1989, natural oil eating bacteria was used to clean up the ocean and shores. More than fifty days after the Deep Horizon explosion, the company which produces up to 200,000 gallons a day of the bacteria has not been contacted by the Obama Administration.

Why hasn’t the Obama Administration returned their calls? What is the motive for ignoring such a successful clean up solution?

Reason #4

There are several other possible solutions which could aid in the capping of the well (remember Red Adair’s team which capped 628 wells in 9 months over in Kuwait) and the removal of oil from the water in the Gulf Of Mexico (lookup Kevin Costner’s oil cleaning centrifuges), but the Obama Administration has done nothing.

Keep in mind, President Obama still hasn’t declared the area a disaster area. Why not? What is the motive for ignoring every possible solution and every single offer of assistance?

So, those are my four reasons, in addition to ignoring his legal responsibilities as outlined in the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution, why President Obama should resign as President of the United States.

As of this post, more than 38 million gallons of oil are floating in the waters off our Southern shore. Hesitation by the Obama Administration is killing marine life, endangering wildlife, destroying fragile wetlands, and devastating the economy of millions of people along the Gulf coast.

There is no hope. There is no change. There is only failure. President Obama’s failure. If he isn’t going to perform his duties as President he should resign. Immediately.

A Fiscally Responsible Response

This is going to be an interesting election cycle, that’s for sure. Sitting Democrats are dropping out of their re-election campaigns every day, and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more activity as we get farther into the cycle.

One thing that annoys me, more than candidates who share e-mail addresses without my knowledge, are political mailers that masquerade as surveys or “taxpayer ballots” and turn out to be nothing more than a beg for dollars.

Before I begin, let me state that I am a huge fan of The Heritage Foundation. I receive alerts from them all the time and I visit their site a few times each week. I think they do a lot of good in their effort to inform the American public about what’s really going on in Washington, but with that said, I have to add that I am quite disappointed this evening.

I received an envelope in the mail today that said it was a ‘2010 Taxpayer Ballot on Fiscal Responsibility’. The letter that accompanied the ‘ballot’ explained the results of the nationwide ballot would be used as a wake up call for political leaders. They appealed to me, as a concerned American, to represent my state and help the Heritage Foundation bring responsibility and accountability to our government.

The letter revealed startling facts, some of which involved waste I was shocked to read about. $200,000 for a tattoo removal program, a $2.1 million grape genetics study, and $4.5 million for wood utilization research were just the tips of the blob of pork floating out of Washington on the Potomac.

I was anxious to help and began opening the ballot before I even finished reading the letter. The letter which concluded by telling me that The Heritage Foundation does all of their work thanks to voluntary gifts of individuals just like me. Whoa.

I might sound like a tight-wad but I don’t donate to any political organization. None. Nil. It’s just a personal policy of mine. If part of your appeal to help “change Washington” include an appeal for money then I’m probably the last person you should contact because I believe the reason Washington has gotten so bad is because people keep throwing money around frivolously in the name of politics.

I’m not saying The Heritage Foundation, or what they do, is frivolous, but concluding the “2010 Taxpayer Ballot on Fiscal Responsibility” with a direct plea to return my ballot along with my “most generous tax-deductible contribution” is just a little bit insulting.

Does my opinion count less if I am not generous with my donation? Would my opinions matter more if I dontated a large amount of money? Why didn’t the ballot have an option to check ‘No, I don’t wish to make a contribution at this time, but keep up the good work’? Is my ballot still counted if I left that last part blank? I understand the need for fundraising, but was it really fiscally responsible to ask for money in a survey slamming politicians for spending so much of our money already?

It may be a bit naive to think this way, but I do think if you’re looking for honest results in a survey of the American public, you shouldn’t be asking them for money as a direct part of that survey.

Hundreds of Hands, Billions Of Dollars

Two months ago, the United States Congress passed, and the President signed, the “Great Bailout of 2008”. The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was created to provide up to $700 billion of taxpayer money for use by the Treasury Secretary.

Administration of the TARP includes the purchase of mortgage backed securities as well as a program to purchase whole loan packages from regional banks to free up credit on the regional level. According to the Treasury Secretary, these programs will ensure homeownership preservation as well as increase the availability of credit to small businesses and individuals. The TARP also includes an equity purchase program and a program to establish insurance for troubled assets.

While lawmakers in Washington and members of the mainstream media want you to focus on the AIG bailout, the rescue of Bear Stearns, the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the latest bailout of Citigroup, I think you should take a look at the list of banks that have received funds or are in the process of doing so.

I find it quite ironic that some banks, which purchased other banks recently, are now on the list for a government handout. Would they have needed the handout if they hadn’t spent all their money purchasing banks that needed to fold in the first place?

The list below, which I found at the CNNMoney website, includes a list of the companies that plan to take part in the government’s TARP program. It’s a massive list of approximately 130 banks, and you’ll be shocked by some of the names on the list.

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Save The Economy, Save The World

Last week, while the federal government continued tossing life jackets to other members of the financial community, Citigroup hit an iceberg. Everyone heard the unique crunching sound that is made when a ship smashes into ice. Then again, maybe it wasn’t ice crunching as much as the cash in our wallets shrinking in value as the feds printed more money to handle the ongoing crisis.

On Tuesday afternoon shares of Citigroup closed at $8.36 on the New York Stock Exchange. By Friday afternoon those same shares were worth just $3.77. Shareholders lost more than 55% in 72 hours. Like investors at other banks and investment firms before them, the investors at Citigroup were shocked to learn that Citigroup had also sunk a lot of money into very risky investments.

Citigroup is in trouble, big trouble. As Congress debated the Great Bailout of 2008, many pundits were asking, “How big must a company be to be ‘too big to fail'”? Apparently, we know the answer to that question. ‘Too big to fail’ is now defined as bigger than Citigroup. We’re just not sure how much bigger.

As late as Sunday afternoon, the White House said they were unaware of any rescue talks, but hours later we learned a deal had been in the works for days. It appears the feds will be investing quite a bit of pocket change in Citigroup to go along with all of the other investments they have made over the course of the past few weeks. But just wait until you hear what the feds have planned to help keep Citigroup from sinking.

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A Safe Haven For Irresponsibility

Back in August I wrote about the state of Nebraska’s new “safe haven” law that made it legal for parents to abandon their unwanted children at hospitals with no questions asked. I also pointed out that the Nebraska law made it legal to abandon any child under the age of 19.

I was quite sarcastic in that post, pointing out a possible scenario for abandoning a child:

So the next time you come home to find that your 15 year old ate all of the Hostess Twinkies, don’t smack him upside his head, just haul his ass up to your closest hospital and be done with the little bastard. It’s all about you man. Those are your Twinkies!

It turns out, I wasn’t too far from the truth. Quite a few parents who seem to be having trouble “controlling” their children are turning them over to the state and not all of them are from Nebraska.

On October 7th a 14-year-old girl from Council Bluffs, Iowa was driven across the bridge and abandoned. Then today, a woman from Michigan drove 12 hours just to abandon her 13-year-old son too.

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