Archive for the ‘LP(dot)org’ Category

Digging Really Deep Holes-via DownsizeDC.org-June 13, 2009

June 13, 2009

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h


Quote of the Day: “One time in the House of Representatives told me a story about a proposition that a teacher put to a boy. He said, ‘Johnny, a cat fell in a well 100 feet deep. Suppose that cat climbed up 1 foot and then fell back 2 feet. How long would it take the cat to get out of the well?’ Johnny worked assiduously with his slate and slate pencil for quite a while, and then when the teacher came down and said, ‘How are you getting along?’ Johnny said, ‘Teacher, if you give me another slate and a couple of slate pencils, I am pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes I can land that cat in hell.’ if some people get any cheer out of a $328 billion debt ceiling, I do not find much to cheer about concerning it.” — Senator Everett Dirksen, Congressional Record, June 16, 1965

Subject: How deep is the hole the politicians are digging for us?

The financial newsletter The Privateer reports…

“Warnings have been issued from the Treasury that the Congressionally mandated debt ceiling of $12.1 TRILLION will most likely be breached in the second half of this year.”

This pit of borrowing doesn’t even account for the deepening currency well we reported in last Friday’s Dispatch.

The politicians are borrowing and the FED is printing at staggering rates. As their shovels continue to ominously clang and clash, the news gets worse. Again, from The Privateer…

“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) list of troubled American banks has risen in the past three months from 1,568 banks with about $2.3 TRILLION in assets to US 1,816 banks with some $4.4 TRILLION in assets. Just who guarantees the FDIC? The US Treasury of course.”

To be more specific, you the taxpayer will dig out all of those banks.

And if past history is a guide, that FDIC list is conservative to a fault. The real number of “troubled” banks is almost certainly higher. It seems the FDIC, like most government regulatory agencies, is usually the last to know there’s a problem.

That’s not all. Relying on data from the US Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office (CBO), The Privateer reports…

There’s a hodge-podge of guarantees totaling $12.9 TRILLION, with…

* $8.2 TRILLION from the Fed
* $2.7 TRILLION from the US Treasury
* $2.0 TRILLION from the FDIC

On top of that, the US government has…

* Made asset purchases of $2.3 TRILLION
* Guaranteed $7.3 TRILLION worth of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae debts
* Made other guarantees of $6.6 TRILLION to the US banking system.

“The sum total of all this ‘Stimulus’ is $29.1 TRILLION!” concludes The Privateer.

It would be fair to point out that not all that money has actually been spent yet. Things would have to go wrong in order to trigger those guarantees.

So we must turn to history to see if we’re doomed to the ditch. Were the bailouts an effective strategy or a sink-hole?

Consider the example of Citibank. When former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson first extended support to Citi, his team believed it was strong. Paulson believed the funds would be focused at stabilization of the markets and the economy. Yet TheStreet.com was already giving them a C-. Once again, government was the last to know, because Citibank almost went out of business and required a second bailout just weeks later.

That track record is no cause for hope about these guarantees.

And another crater might await the banks. Weiss Research reports that U.S. banks have a total of $200.4 TRILLION in derivatives, and that those derivatives may well do more severe damage to bank balance sheets.

“According to the OCC’s Q4 2008 report, America’s top five commercial banks control 96 percent of the industry’s total derivatives, while the top 25 control 99.78 percent. In other words, for every $100 dollar of derivatives, the big banks have $99.78 … while the rest of the nation’s 7,000-plus banking institutions control a meager 22 cents! This is a massively dangerous concentration of risk.”

Derivatives caused record losses for banks in the fourth quarter of 2008. Are there more serious losses to come?

And we’re left to wonder, should that time come, where will the government get the money to cover these “too big to fail losses?”

Yet, those aren’t the only pitfalls. The projected budget deficit this year is $1.8 trillion. Just a year ago, many of us were screaming about a projected $490 billion deficit. Oh, for the good ole days!

But that projected deficit will certainly deepen, even though the White House budget allegedly reduces the deficit over the next few years. Why?

Unemployment! The Libertarian Party reported this week that a Jan. 10 White House report selling the stimulus package promised unemployment under be kept under eight percent. Instead, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it grew to 9.4 percent, placing unemployment at a 26-year-high, with 14.5 million workers now jobless.

Uncle Sam is “bursting at the seams,” but he’s probably going on a diet. Higher unemployment means lower than expected tax revenues. That means the deficit will be more cavernous than projected — maybe in excess of $2 TRILLION.

In review, numbers to be concerned about are,

* $12 TRILLION, the National Debt number that’s rapidly approaching
* $29.1 TRILLION in bailout/stimulus guarantees
* 1,816 “troubled” banks with about $4.4 TRILLION in assets
* $200.4 TRILLION in U.S. bank-held derivatives that can create tens of billions of dollars of losses, and perhaps bank failures
* $2 TRILLION, the likely federal budget deficit

Indeed, the hole the politicians are digging is unfathomable. But that’s not all the numbers we have to WORRY about.

According to the Social Security Administration, the federal government’s unfunded liabilities equals $101 TRILLION — that’s a liability of $834,000 for every full-time working American. These long-term debts are primarily due to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Even here, the news threatens to get considerably worse…

* Social Security, a Ponzi scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look like a piker, has, until now, taken in more money than it puts out. It was projected that starting in 2017, it would run a deficit. But due to high unemployment rates, it will likely turn its first loss in 2010.

* As we’ve reported in these Dispatches, the President seems determined to bring health care under total government control, including dramatically expanding Medicare.

What does all this mean to you?

Sooner or later, the politicians will either…

a) Default on commitments, perhaps with a variety of tinkering reforms like rationing, means-testing, tax increases, etc. or,
b) Inflate the currency so much that you’ll see massive price increases for virtually everything. Imagine, for example, $8 per gallon gas.

Let’s put a stop to this digging. Instead, we can do four very important things…

1) TAKE ACTION. We’ve updated our Unfunded Liabilities campaign to reflect the Social Security number. Send a message objecting to the very deep hole the politicians are digging. Demand that they “Downsize DC!”

2) Forward this message to others and ask them to join you in sending a message to Congress.

3) The politicians may be digging us a deep hole, but you can “Digg” this Dispatch if you’re registered with Digg.com, so that more people see it, and join the Downsize DC Army. Just go to the blog version of this Dispatch and click on the Digg icon to get started.

4) The down economy has affected DownsizeDC.org as well. Pledge attrition levels have been unusually high. To continue growing, your DownsizeDC.org needs new pledgers. Would you consider joining as a monthly pledger, or perhaps increasing your existing pledge? As regular readers know, we acknowlege pledgers by name here on the Downsizer-Dispatch regularly.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army,

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h
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Say No To Real I.D.-DownsizeDC.org-May 29, 2009

May 29, 2009

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h


MEDIA NOTICE: Today (Friday), Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on “Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes,” starting at 3:05 PM Eastern. Listening details can be found on the DownsizeDC.org blog.

Quote of the Day: “I won’t call it Real ID, I’ll call it enhanced or higher security drivers license.” — Robert V. LaPenta, President and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to be a primary beneficiary of any government scheme for a national ID card

Subject: Tricking Americans Into Real ID

Jim Harper, at the Cato Institute, alerts us to new dangers on the national ID front.

The so-called Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and certain politicians, are trying multiple ways to impose a national ID card on us, even though the American people have made it very clear we don’t want it.

One under-handed scheme started with the passage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires law abiding U.S. citizens to have either a passport or an enhanced drivers license to cross the Mexican or Canadian borders. An “enhanced drivers license”…

* Is an initiative of the DHS that has NO Congressional mandate
* Will require you to undergo a security interview, pay a fee, and get a new federal ID number (in addition to your Social Security number)
* Has an RFID chip that can be read at a distance, up to 30 feet away, even while it’s in your wallet!

Now things are being rigged to move citizens in the direction of the enhanced drivers license.

The problem starts with the fact that passports are too expensive. The high price gives people an incentive to pay for the enhanced drivers license, which is about half the cost. The Government Accounting Office had already issued a report saying that the $100 price for a passport didn’t need to be that high, but…

Now they’ve raised the price even higher. Representative Paul Opsommer of Michigan suspects the purpose of this is to drive even more people to get the cheaper (but more dangerous) enhanced drivers license.

Please notice that all of this is being driven NOT by Congress, but by un-elected bureaucrats in the DHS and the State Department. But that doesn’t mean Congress is blameless. Congress is doing nothing to reign in the bureaucrats, plus, some are even working to make things worse. For instance…

Something called the PASS Act is being crafted to revive the Real ID concept, under a new name, and companies like L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to benefit, are almost certainly lobbying hard to make it happen. We must lobby just as intensely in the other direction.

Please send your Congressional employees a message asking them once again to repeal the REAL ID Act.

Use your personal comments to ALSO ask them to…

* Stop the DHS from promoting enhanced drivers licenses
* Make the State Department lower the cost of passports
* Reject all the new forms of REAL ID, such as the PASS Act

We achieved our goal of sending more messages in May then we sent in April, but this issue still needs your attention. We hope you’ll use DownsizeDC.org’s proprietary Educate the Powerful System to send a message to repeal the Real ID Act.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how much we’re growing please check out the Keeping Score report below my signature.

Jim Babka, President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Keeping Score

We grew by 23 net new members yesterday, which brings us to 1,063 net new members for the year. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 25,412 — 41% of the way to 26,000!

YOU can make the army grow even faster by following our quick and easy instructions for personalized recruiting.

We can also grow faster by doing more outreach to potential DC Downsizers. If you can start a monthly credit card pledge to expand our outreach please tell us on the secure contribution form if its okay to publish your name here . . .

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN MAY: Don Matesz, Silvy Berman, David Jones, Barbara Baxter, Nancy Kovar, Ryan Ackroyd, WM Michael O’Brien, John C Houghton, James Alan Speedie, THREE unlisted

Or, if you’d prefer to make a one-time donation, please let us know if its okay to publish your name here . . .

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN MAY: Arlene Lindstrand, Dee Clary, Joan Garro, Jennifer Tarling, Richard Linchitz, Steven Palmer, Bruce N. Liddel, Ernest P. Eusea, Chris Reulman, David Anthony, Christopher T Wagner, Thomas Sartwelle, Jr, EIGHT unlisted

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h
is the official email list of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. & Downsize DC Foundation
Normally published 3 – 6 times per week.

CONTRIBUTE in support of the “Educate the Powerful System”

http://www.DownsizeDC.org is sponsored by DownsizeDC.org, Inc. — a non-profit educational organization promoting the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets, and small government.  Operations office: 1931 15th St. Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223, 202.521.1200

IF you have difficulties or inquiries, simply hit reply to this message. We’re eager to help, including with requests to unsubscribe.

The Downsize DC Team would like to thank you for subscribing to the Downsizer-Dispatch, which you did by going to http://www.downsizedc.org/page/newsletter or by using our Educate the Powerful System to send a message. Your subscription comes to this email address: moliberty@comcast.net

You are encouraged to forward this message to friends and business associates, and permission is hereby granted to reproduce any items herein as long as attribution is provided for articles and the subscription instructions above are included.

Fingerprints For Traffic Infractions??? Tennesseans-A Useful Letter Is Below-Don’t Let It Go To Waste!-May 24, 2009

May 24, 2009

To: “sen joe haynes” <sen.joe.haynes@capitol.tn.gov>
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 2:47:39 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: SB2153

Senator Joe Haynes,
My name is ______________. I am a United States citizen and a resident of Tennessee. It has been brought to my attention you are proposing a bill titled SB2153. This bill is coming up for vote on May 28th, 2009. SB2153, if it were to become a law, would allow police officers to take the fingerprints of motorists who have been pulled over for a traffic infraction. This is a very clear violation of Americans’ civil liberties and must not pass into law. SB2153 is unconstitutional and should not even be considered.  My civil liberties are not up for a vote, Senator. You cannot remove the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens to apprehend those who are not.
Letters and blogs on bill SB2153 are circulating the internet. American citizens finally have a way to be informed on what you political people are doing. We have left you law-makers unsupervised for far too long. Americans are tired of having their civil liberties taken away all in the name of “protection”.  I have my own protection handed down to me by our forefathers and fought for by our military, service men and women. My protection is called the United States Constitution.
The Constitution is what you have been elected to protect and uphold, Senator. You were not elected to change the Constitution, decreasing power belonging to the citizens and increasing powers for the government. I’m a proud citizen of the United States of America and I, nor my countrymen, will watch you politicians put a wedge between us and our Constitution. We will no longer sit quietly while we are stripped of our rights, our freedoms, and our ability to control the government that grows so ever close to completely dominating every aspect of our daily lives. Enough is enough.
Now, with all due respect, Senator Joe Haynes, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you to extirpate bill SB2153.  We do not want bill SB2153 in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Your cooperation in this matter is expected.
Sincerely,
_____________
_________________, Tennessee

The Kyoto Dis-Accord-May 23, 2009

May 24, 2009

Some food for thought to environmentalist-alarmists. If you sincerely wish to aid in the reduction of “Carbon Footprints”, the most expedient way to accomplish this would be to refrain from using services or purchasing products made by the “Mega-Carbon-Footprint-Providers”. The top ten carbon provider-cities are located in China and India.

The United States doesn’t have any cities included the top fifty (50) Carbon-Footprint-Providers .

www.americanthinker.com/200/05/the_geography_of_carbon_emissi.html

“Sustainable Development”=Global Government-May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009

As I mentioned in a post within the last two days… Cap & Trade is an end-run around our Constitution to force the U.S. into compliance with the Kyoto Accord, implemented back in 1992. It’s a global agenda to implement a global energy tax by up to 500%, thus, a global government will be necessary to control its efforts.

The presentation provided via the following link, describes in detail, the intent of Agenda 21, Sustainable Development and what we “can and will” do to stifle the efforts of this global government agenda.

www.augustreview.com/news_commentary/general/the_wrenching_transformation_of_america_20090422117/

Campaign for Liberty’s response to Lindsey Graham’s arrogant proclamation-May 21, 2009

May 22, 2009

May 21, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Across our nation, Campaign for Liberty’s 150,000+ members are taking action, educating their fellow countrymen, and making a considerable impact on the political landscape. Together, we unapologetically champion the principles that made our nation great: sound money, a constitutionally limited government and foreign policy, and respect for individual liberties.

These ideas transcend traditional boundaries and draw Americans (and like-minded people across the globe) from all backgrounds to the liberty message.

Many Republican leaders, however, continue to believe that principle must be sacrificed on the altar of attaining political power, despite the devastating defeats a “win-at-all-costs” philosophy brought their Party last November.  And, as you will see below, it is the liberty message that has all the momentum.

This past weekend at a South Carolina Republican convention, Senator Lindsey Graham adamantly defended supporting those who choose political expediency over substance. “We’re not going to build [the Republican Party] around libertarian ideas,” he told his audience. “[Ron Paul] is not the leader of this Party,” he emphasized.

Click on the image below to see these widely-circulated remarks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy48BKd-1TI

Senator Graham claimed his view as being that of a Ronald Reagan Republican, but Reagan’s own words in a 1975 Reason interview remove any endorsement of the Senator’s statement.

“If you analyze it,” said Reagan, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

What about principle vs. politics? (Emphasis in the following mine)

Reagan said: “I have been doing my best to try to revitalize the Republican Party groups that I’ve spoken to, on the basis that the time has come to repudiate those in our midst who would blur the Republican image by saying we should be all things to all people in order to triumph… I’ve been urging Republicans to raise a banner and put the things we stand for on that banner and don’t compromise, but don’t try to enlarge the party by being all things to everyone when you can’t keep all the promises. Put up a banner and then count on the fact that if you’ve got the proper things on that banner the people will rally round.”

South Carolina’s junior Senator, Jim DeMint, spoke after Graham and echoed Reagan, commenting about the Senate that he, “[w]ould rather have 30 Republicans who believe in the principles of limited government and free markets and free people than 60 Republicans who have no beliefs at all.”

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford also defended the freedom movement, remarking, “Liberty is the hallmark of the American experiment. That is the distinguishing characteristic of our Republic, and frankly what’s made it great… I’ve been accused of being a libertarian, and I would say I wear it as a badge of honor because I do love, believe in, and want to support liberty.”

Click on the image below to watch Governor Sanford’s remarks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikqJ_KB66WQ

In his speech, Senator Graham noted that those who don’t think winning matters should head for the Party’s exits.

Of course winning is important. But when that becomes your ultimate focus at the expense of everything else, you throw away the integrity our Founders believed crucial in order to be involved in government.

The time has come to make it clear that we will no longer tolerate the rampant trashing of our Constitution by our representatives or their constant shifting on the issues. No matter what political party you belong to, you should have the courage to stand firm on your beliefs.

As our efforts with HR 1207 are demonstrating, you don’t have to cast aside principle to achieve success. A clear, consistent stand on a philosophy of freedom will find supporters, and from there real, lasting change can be effected.

To those in all political parties who wish to maximize freedom and prosperity, we invite you to join us in our efforts. To all those who would sell out our Constitution and their beliefs in pursuit of power, we turn Senator Graham’s words back on him and you by saying, “There’s the exit sign.”

In Liberty,

John Tate

President

P.S. Campaign for Liberty’s progress in less than a year after its founding has been incredible, but our fight is only beginning. If you are a dues-paying member, take the next step to reclaim your local area for freedom and become a local coordinator today. And if you are able, please consider making a contribution to C4L to help us hold our elected officials accountable.

Hamilton County Libertarian Party (TN)-May 23, 2009 Venue Correction

May 20, 2009

Hamilton County Libertarian Party (TN)

May 20, 2009

Hi folks,

I apologize … I’ve not been in touch much in the last two weeks due to being sick, and then working 100+ hours over the last 9 days on a project with a very, very tight deadline. I just noticed that the location of this month’s HCLP meeting was not correct … we are actually meeting at the Ryan’s on Lee Highway this month.

We will be discussing harnessing the energy from the Tea Parties.

Best,
Jeremy

I’ve updated this Meetup. For more details, see the full listing:
http://www.meetup.com/hamiltoncountylp/calendar/10110509/

When: May 23, 2009 7:00 PM

Where: Ryan’s Restaurant
6734 Lee Hwy.
Chattanooga, TN 37421

If the changes affect your plans to attend, please take a moment to update your RSVP. (You can RSVP “No” or “Maybe” as well as “Yes”.)

———————————————

YouTube – For Liberty Trailer – Let It Not Be Said We Did Nothing

May 17, 2009

Let It Not Be Said We Did Nothing

www.youtube.com/watch?v=emaeln–tzo

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan – May 12, 2009

May 15, 2009

PRLog (Press Release)May 12, 2009 – As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.

“The occupation of Afghanistan became a failure the instant the goal changed from liquidating al Qaeda to pursuing meddlesome ‘nation-building’ objectives,” says retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a Pentagon analyst during the early days of the occupation and holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University. “In its eighth year, the US occupation has not only failed to create a stable, democratic Afghanistan, it threatens to deliver nuclear Pakistan into the arms of the very enemy we went there to destroy.”

On Monday, Obama removed General David McKiernan as commander of US troops in Afghanistan. Obama also rejected the demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an end to US airstrikes, which have led to hundreds of recent civilian casualties. Current plans call for an increase in the US troop presence from about 45,000 to 68,000 by the end of 2009.

The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for the US to “abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances.” Libertarians, it says, “would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

“The Afghanistan occupation costs the American taxpayer $2 billion a month,” says R. Lee Wrights of North Carolina, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. “That cost is rising, and the price in American and Afghan lives is unbearable. I abhor the idea of forcing my countrymen to pay in money and blood for a war which makes America less safe and the world less stable. It’s long past time to bring the troops home.”

# # #

The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities.

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan

May 15, 2009

Libertarians: US out of Afghanistan

As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)May 12, 2009 – As President Barack Obama struggles to come up with a new strategy for the undeclared war in Afghanistan, Libertarians urge the White House to adopt the only plan that will actually work: Get out.

“The occupation of Afghanistan became a failure the instant the goal changed from liquidating al Qaeda to pursuing meddlesome ‘nation-building’ objectives,” says retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served as a Pentagon analyst during the early days of the occupation and holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University. “In its eighth year, the US occupation has not only failed to create a stable, democratic Afghanistan, it threatens to deliver nuclear Pakistan into the arms of the very enemy we went there to destroy.”

On Monday, Obama removed General David McKiernan as commander of US troops in Afghanistan. Obama also rejected the demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for an end to US airstrikes, which have led to hundreds of recent civilian casualties. Current plans call for an increase in the US troop presence from about 45,000 to 68,000 by the end of 2009.

The Libertarian Party’s platform calls for the US to “abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances.” Libertarians, it says, “would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

“The Afghanistan occupation costs the American taxpayer $2 billion a month,” says R. Lee Wrights of North Carolina, a member of the Libertarian National Committee. “That cost is rising, and the price in American and Afghan lives is unbearable. I abhor the idea of forcing my countrymen to pay in money and blood for a war which makes America less safe and the world less stable. It’s long past time to bring the troops home.”

# # #

The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities.