Obama, the Conductor of Chaos

Barack Obama holds the baton to an anti-American orchestra of tuned, tested, rehearsed instruments. The production is mismanaged, sour to the ears and causes people to leave the arena when the verses are not American and in cadence with allies. The entire governmental score is tyrannical and abusive.

His performance however, is well driven by inside marxist, communists and socialist operators who themselves have tuned, tested and rehearsed instruments where it is in harmony with enemies of America. How about Hugo Chavez, Mohammed Morsi or the Taliban? Then there is Iran.

Three branches of government have been reduced to one, where Conductor Obama has ruled with a pen and a phone and otherwise political extortion. Up to the point where Senate majority leader, Harry Reid lost his leadership post, he functionally stopped and paralyzed the people’s work on Congress to protect Barack Obama.

All the while, Maestro Obama had his was working his intonations on the Supreme Court with his choice picks of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, swinging the black robe influence to a more left octave. The court is broken when one sees the real dissention between the justices when not on the bench.

Obama has led an opus where the very social and civil structure in America has been thrown into turmoil. Border Patrol has no clue how to enforce immigration laws, they abide to DHS memos written by Secretary Jeh Johnson. Historical flags and icons are to be removed and gender designated bathrooms are now without any designation.

The fundamental security of government personnel and documents of several agencies has been compromised by an epic cyber intrusion and that finale is from over as the damage will be ongoing for years.

The very personal concern of having access to healthcare has reached a crisis pitch such that insurance deductibles are financially bending and having a doctor’s appointment is a future dream. Nothing is more demonstrative of this condition than that of the Veteran’s Administration where there is a slow death waltz.

Barack Obama performed a medley of government fraud and extortion using the IRS, the EPA, the DoJ, ATF, Education, HUD and HHS to name a few.

Off our shores, conditions are much worse. Barack Obama has modulated a score of retreat while his measure of sympathy to Islam in pure nocturne. His administration led of early in 2009 with the Cairo speech where the ligature plays out today throughout the Muslim world. The retreat from Iraq and his shallow threat of a ‘red-line’ have prove deadly in the whole region, a modern day holocaust. And mostly sadly of all was allowing 4 Americans to perish in Libya with no hope of security, support or rescue.

The most grave of the Obama coda is the terror and dying of Christians.

The building crescendo of Obama will be the nuclear agreement with Iran where Israel, Saudi Arabia, Europe and America as the great Satan will be his encore.

The stretto of the Obama symphony is defined here in an excellent summary by Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard.

There are several months left for the conductor of chaos to work his baton and that tremolo is clearly upon us and the world.






Presidential Senator Candidates Take Big Lobby $$

Hillary was a Senator and just recently a lobby issue could be a problem given the Transpacific Partnership Pact that is so contentious in the country right now.

Per Lee Fang: While Hillary Clinton has demurred over her position on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, her campaign has partnered with a pro-TPP law and lobby firm to raise money.

At The Intercept, Lee Fang reports that Clinton’s campaign held a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday with the political action committee of a law firm called McGuireWoods. Lobby registration documents reveal that a subsidiary of the group lobbies on behalf of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest producer of pork, to pass both the TPP and “fast track”—a special presidential mandate that nearly eliminates Congress’ role in crafting trade legislation.

The fundraiser occurred as Congress rescheduled a vote on fast track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

Fang continues:

Despite mounting pressure to take a position, Clinton has only provided [noncommittal] answers regarding her stance on both TPP and TPA. On Sunday, at a rally in Iowa, Clinton said there should be better protections for American workers and called for the president to work with Democrats in Congress — hardly a clarifying statement. Earlier that day, her chief pollster dismissed a call from ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos to provide a clear stance on TPA, casting the issue as simply “Washington inside baseball.”

For the event in D.C., billed as a “Conversation with John Podesta, Campaign Chair,” the Clinton campaign website said that I could learn the exact location only after RSVPing through a donation. I gave one dollar to find out. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Instead of providing the address of the fundraiser as the campaign website had said it would, the campaign directed me to a site where I could volunteer.

Lobby money owns Washington DC, of this there is no dispute. The 10 largest lobby operations include the following industries:

The Technology lobby, the Mining lobby, the Defense lobby, the Agriculture lobby, Big Oil lobby, the Financial lobby, the Big Pharma lobby, the AARP lobby, the Pro-Israel lobby and the National Rifle Association lobby. The primer of these lobby groups is found here.

So what Senators that are running for president are on some lobby dollar hooks?

From Open Secrets:

Three of five senators running for WH have big backing from lobbyists

Three of the five U.S. senators running for president have made super-fans out of a few K Street lobbyists, an analysis of campaign finance data by OpenSecrets Blog shows.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from current or one-time federal lobbyists throughout their careers, the analysis shows. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has raised $82,050 from the same pool and Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ (D-Vt.) total fundraising haul from lobbyists stands at an even more paltry $50,075.

Neither Sanders nor Paul have hidden their disdain for lobbyists, so there’s some logic to their low fundraising totals from those in the profession. Both candidates, in their announcement speeches, railed against those who want to influence politics with money — Sanders referred to “billionaires…and their lobbyists,” Paul called them “special interests” — and struck similar tones.

“Both [Paul and Sanders] have publicly decried the influence of corporations in American public life,” Joshua Rosenstein, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and expert on lobbying, said. “If you are a corporation, is it possible that you view each of them as relative lost cause? Sure.”

For some candidates, it’s not bad politics to keep K Street at arm’s length. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama pledged not to accept donations from lobbyists and refunded money to those who did contribute. After taking office, he barred federally registered lobbyists from joining advisory boards in his administration, before partially rolling back that ban last year.

But no 2016 hopeful has followed that lead, as the Wall Street Journal reports. And setting Paul and Sanders aside, the other senators running for president have already wooed a handful of lobbyists with deep pockets and a willingness to give to anyone who might help their clients.

In all, Graham has taken in $753,841 during his congressional career from current or one-time federally registered lobbyists who contributed more than $200 to him. Rubio and Cruz have received $571,952 and $265,043 from the same group, respectively. Those sums include donations to the senators’ campaign committees and leadership PACs.

Rubio, Cruz and Graham each have at least one lobbyist donor who, along with their spouses in some cases, has given in excess of $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign and PAC. Rubio has Ignacio Sanchez, a presidential bundler for Mitt Romney in 2012 from the firm DLA Piper; he represents Al Jazeera Satellite Network and Diageo PLC. Cruz has lobbying revolver Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk and his wife, Debra.

Graham, a senator since 2003, has enjoyed financial support from current or former lobbyists longer than his GOP Senate colleagues running for president. William H. Skipper, Jr. of the American Business Development Group, Reed Scott of Chesapeake Enterprises and his wife, and presidential bundler Van D. Hipp of American Defense International and his wife, have each given Graham more than $20,000 over the years.

The most Paul has received from any one lobbyist barely tops $6,000; that came from Charles Grizzle of Grizzle Co., who currently represents several Kentucky-based clients like the University of Louisville and the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. Sanders topped out at $3,000 from Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and her husband.

The data analysis only covered sitting U.S. senators. Other presidential candidates or potential candidates who have served in federal office, like former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and one-time House member, now governor, John Kasich (R-Ohio), haven’t run a Senate or House campaign in some time. And for former governors like Rick Perry and Jeb Bush, state data on which of their donors were lobbyists isn’t available. Fundraising reports for candidates’ presidential campaigns won’t be available till mid-July, and the super PACs backing them don’t have to report until the end of that month.

Still, it’s clear that the non-Senate candidates also have their eyes on K Street money. Clinton has already reached out to prominent lobbyists on her side of the aisle, while Jeb Bush started seeking commitments from Washington allies even earlier this year. Lobbyists are reportedly starting to line up behind him.

Despite that fact that making contributions may be good for business, Rosenstein noted, many lobbyists also donate for ideological reasons.

“While they certainly have to be pragmatists about what they’re doing…and that certainly drives some of the giving,” he said, “there might very well be an equal or greater ideological segment of the lobbying community that aren’t driven by pragmatic reasons,” Rosenstein said.


America Recovery Reinvestment Act, NOT SO Much

When one visits the government website www.recovery.gov, these description reads that the board is a non-partisan, non-political agency and then in bold letter in a heading it also reads ‘The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board’.

Additionally the site mission statement reads: “To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user-friendly information.”

Sheesh note the one particular case below and then ask yourself if there is a violation.

From Watchdog.org:

Company that got millions from U.S. taxpayers now profits Chinese owners

The good news is electric car battery maker A123 Systems is finally on track to turn a profit.

The bad news is taxpayers don’t figure to see any of the $133 million the federal government spent and the estimated $141 million in tax credits and subsidies secured from Michigan to help the company take off in 2009, only to see A123 Systems crash, declare bankruptcy in 2012 and then get purchased by a privately held Chinese conglomerate.

“In the case of A123, they created some jobs and a year or two later those jobs were gone, so taxpayers weren’t getting that money back,” said Jarret Skorup, a policy analyst at Michigan’s Mackinac Center, a free-market think tank .

Earlier this month, CEO Jason Forcier announced that A123 Systems’ parent company, the China-based Wanxiang Group, will spend $200 million to double the capacity of three lithium-ion battery plants, including two in suburban Detroit.

Forcier told Crain’s Detroit Business that A123 Systems is expected to generate $300 million in revenue this year and plans to double that amount by 2018. The company, Forcier said, will turn a profit for the first time in its history in 2015.

“The strength of A123 has never been greater and we are honored to be expanding our existing customer relationships and establishing new ones at the same time,” Forcier said in a company news release.

It would mark a dramatic turnaround for the company that was on the verge of collapse when Wanxiang bought it a little more than two years ago at a stripped-down price of $256.6 million. 

But finding out if taxpayers will ever see any of their money back is another matter.

Watchdog.org sent an email and left two voicemail messages with A123 Systems, asking whether any refunds are coming or if — under the terms of the bankruptcy — Wanxiang is under no financial obligation to do so.

The one-sentence response from Paulette Spagnuolo, A123’s marketing and communications manager: “A123 continues to meet and exceed all of the terms of the state and federal grants including all job creation, repayment and investment requirements.”

Spagnuolo did not respond to inquiries asking her to elaborate.

Skorup says the money is gone for good.

“There are a lot of local and state rebates and they are largely upfront costs, so yes, taxpayers are sunk on those,” Skorup told Watchdog.org in a telephone interview. “They’re not going to be getting money back from them … Michigan doesn’t require (A123 Systems) to pay them back anyway.”

How much money?

On the federal level, A123 Systems was originally slated to receive $249 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to build production facilities in the towns of Romulus and Livonia, Michigan — just $7.6 million less than Wanxiang eventually bought the entire company for four years later.

But A123 Systems ran into trouble early on. After some of its batteries were involved in a recall for the company’s biggest customer, the electric car company Fisker Automotive, the company’s federal grant was cut off after A123 received $133 million. 

Figuring out how much Michigan passed out has been more difficult.

The Detroit Free Press and the Mackinac Center have been rebuffed in attempts to see how much of an investment the state made in A123 Systems because the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will not disclose specifics.

Skorup estimates Michigan approved A123 Systems for $100 million in a tax credit program and another $41 million in subsidies.

“How much they actually cashed in those we don’t know,” Skorup said. “We’ve tried to find out, but the state won’t give it to us … they say it’s a private contract.”

The federal money was part of the stimulus package and a green-tech initiative the Obama administration touted would spur economic success.

A123 Systems was one of a number of Michigan battery companies that received a surge of tax credits from the state in 2009, but the incentives did not spur the jobs and dollars that were promised.

Detroit Free Press estimated $861 million in Obama administration grants were awarded in the fledgling Michigan battery industry and another $543 million in state tax credits were awarded during the administration of then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat.

Most of the Michigan business tax credit program was eliminated by current Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican. However, companies that had already secured the tax incentives were allowed to keep them.

“The general lesson for policy makers is that they make very poor venture capitalists because they’re not spending their own money,” said Skorup. “They’re spending other people’s money and those politicians weren’t putting their own stock portfolios into A123 Systems. They were putting taxpayer money into them.

“And the lesson for taxpayers should be, when politicians are making these claims about job projections they should be extremely skeptical. In Michigan, almost none of those — we’ve done multiple studies, other news organizations have done multiple studies — reach the actual projections that they promise.”

“Just because the jobs haven’t happened ‘yet,’ it doesn’t mean that cracking the code to vehicle batteries was the wrong strategy,” Granholm told the Free Press in March 2014.

President Obama appeared by remote broadcast for the grand opening of the A123 Systems Livonia plant in the fall of 2010, an event hosted by Granholm.

“Thanks to the Recovery Act, you guys are the first American factory to start high-volume production of advanced vehicle batteries,” Obama said at the time.

Skorup told Watchdog.org  the video of the event was taken down by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, but the Mackinac Center, a sharp critic of the battery plan from the start, retained a copy of it:


The ‘Who’ Lobbying for the ObamaTrade Deal

Hillary cant play the middle on the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and deal, as John Podesta left the White House to work for Hillary’s campaign and yet he is a paid lobbyist for advancing the deal.

Bipartisan Agreement: Foreign Governments Pay Former Senate Leaders to Sell TPP

In a scene all too typical in present day Washington, the culmination of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, along with the push for passage of related legislation such as Trade Promotion Authority (or Fast Track) have set off a lobbying frenzy.

While liberal organizations and members of Congress deride the TPP as the biggest boondoggle since NAFTA and President Obama defends it as “the most progressive trade treaty ever,” the influence peddlers who populate K Street see opportunity.

Policy makers aren’t simply facing a lobbying barrage from the typical slate of domestic interest groups. Foreign governments are running sophisticated operations to influence Congress and gather intelligence in Washington as the negotiations proceed.

This is now “par for the course,” according to Lydia Dennett, an investigator at the Project on Government Oversight [POGO], a nonprofit watchdog. “If a certain country wants trade legislation that will be beneficial to them they can hire an American lobbyist to get them the access the need.”

Leading the way among TPP nations seeking to sway American policy makers is Japan, which signed up former Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s firm as well as well-connected public relations firm DCI.

We won’t know the full extent of Mr. Daschle or DCI’s work on behalf of Japan until their next series of Foreign Agent Registration Act [FARA] disclosure reports are filed with the Department of Justice in a few months.

One concern among good government advocates is that a lack of timely FARA reporting could obfuscate some of the lobbying going on at the behest of foreign clients. A 2014 report by POGO found that 46 percent of the reports were filed late. Enforcement is rare for these relatively minor infractions and the DOJ’s website states it “seeks to obtain voluntary compliance with the statute.” Ms. Dennett called on Congress to add civil penalties to the FARA Act that to encourage more aggressive enforcement of its statutes.

Common Cause, an open government advocacy organization, sounded similar alarms. “Our concern is in ensuring that the process is fully transparent and that the laws barring foreign nationals from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly, are fully observed,” said Dale Eisman, the organization’s communications director.

While we don’t yet know the extent of Mr. Daschle or DCI’s work, filings from other firms working on behalf of Japan, paint a picture of the country’s efforts.

For much of their direct lobbying Japan relies on Akin, Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld, whom they paid $388,000 during the most recent six-month reporting period. In that time the firm’s lobbyists contacted Congressional offices at least sixty times and engaged in at least eight exchanges with the United States Trade Representative’s office specifically focused on the TPP, TPA, and related issues. Seventeen of those contacts were with one particular staffer, Kaitlin Sighinolfi, a trade policy advisor for Republican Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany.

Mr. Boustany’s office did not respond to a request for comment on these contacts, but they are likely related to the desire of Louisiana farmers to lower tariff barriers, enabling them to export more of goods to Japan.

Japan’s team also includes Hogan Lovells, which was paid $216,895.29 during the last six-month reporting period. The firm’s FARA filing states that the law firm “advises and represents the foreign principal [Japan] on general diplomatic representation, laws, regulations, policies, proposed congressional measures, treaties and other international agreements, and actions by the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch, U.S. Government agencies and certain state and local governments.”

Prior to recruiting Mr. Daschle, the highest profile lobbyist on Japan’s team was Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. His firm, The Podesta Group, receives $15,000 per month to counsel Japan on U.S. policy.

Another TPP country, Vietnam, received more hands-on service from the Podesta Group—paying them $180,000 during the same six-month period. On Vietnam’s behalf, the firm made contact with government officials at least 90 times. They also engaged with media outlets ranging from The New York Times to the Food Network on behalf of Japan.

Working at the behest of foreign governments is a lucrative practice area for the Podesta Group which billed a total of $2,096,666.05 to more than nine overseas governments, including Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Korea, Somalia, and Hong Kong during the last six month of 2014.

Japan’s aggressive lobbying efforts in Washington are part of an overall increase in foreign nations seeking to purchase influence in Washington. According to Frank Samolis, co-chair of the international trade group at DC behemoth Squire Patton Boggs, there has been a measurable “uptick [in business under the Foreign Agent Registration Act] due to TPA and related bills in Congress.”

Mr. Samolis is a veteran of Capitol Hill trade fights. He previously worked on behalf of Korea, Columbia, and Peru during their trade negotiations with the United States. He now represents Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which paid his firm $132,055.72 during the last six-month filing period, as the country engaged in TPP talks.

SPB represents multiple foreign principals with an interest in the TPP including, China, which paid the firm $392,014.17 over the same period.

Mr. Samolis explained that when working on behalf of foreign powers, lobbyists “need to find a confluence with [United States government] interests wherever possible.”

“US policy makers understand that a client is foreign, so they are aware and need to be convinced how [the clients] interest comports with [United States government] objectives,” Samolis told me. “For that, we need to make a strong legal and policy case, backed up by the facts.”

Insiders like Mr. Samolis play another critical role. “At least half of my time is devoted to providing intel on US developments and likely future actions,” he stated.

This points to the reason Japan and other countries are eager to hire former senior members of Congress and well-connected insiders. The ability to glean information from former colleagues and contacts is just as important as their skill at influencing legislative and administrative outcomes. This expertise is particularly crucial during complex foreign negotiations requiring approval of a finicky and partisan Congress.

Mr. Samolis’ firm has a platoon of ex-lawmakers including former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican, along with former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a Democrat. Pocketing money from foreign governments seems to one of the few things both parties agree on.

With numerous trade treaties on the horizon, Mr. Samolis and his colleagues’ workload is only likely to increase because ultimately foreign governments spend significant amounts of money on lobbying and relate activists for the same reason that domestic corporations and other interest groups do. They know in Washington, DC influence can be bought.

*** The Unions are against the bill.

Union-backed Democrats launched a last-ditch effort Thursday to scuttle President Barack Obama’s trade agenda by sacrificing a favored program of their own that retrains workers displaced by international trade.

The retraining program is linked to the Democrats’ real target: legislation to help Obama advance multi-nation trade agreements. In hopes of bringing down the whole package, which they say imperils jobs at home, numerous House Democrats said they would vote Friday against the retraining measure.

There is bi-partisan legislators opposition on this authorization which is the first part of the vote. Read here to determine who stands where and why.




EPA to Destroy the Entire Transportation Industry

The White House climate change, greenhouse emissions and clean air act is about to be completely out of control. The question is where is the Congress and where are you? Remember Barack Obama said in his commencement speech that climate change was the top threat to national security.

Washington (CNN)The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it will propose a declaration that says carbon emissions from commercial planes contribute to climate change and hurt human health.

EPA also said it was working with the International Civil Aviation Organization, which includes 191 member states, to develop carbon dioxide standards for planes that would impact airlines in the U.S. and across the world.

“The EPA administrator is proposing to find that (greenhouse gas) emissions from certain classes of engines used primarily in commercial aircraft contribute to the air pollution that causes climate change and endangers public health and welfare,” the agency said in a statement, announcing an Aug. 11 hearing on the proposal and a 60-day window for the public to weigh in.

The move was the first step towards regulating air pollution from commercial airlines, but the ICAO standards aren’t expected to be adopted until early 2016. The earliest the EPA would be able to put out a notice of new standards would be in 2017, after President Barack Obama is out of office, and a final rule wouldn’t go into effect until at least 2018.

The future regulation would apply to commercial aircraft and business jets, but not military aircraft, which the EPA does not have jurisdiction over.

Wednesday’s announcement is the latest in a series of moves from the Obama administration geared at combating climate change, which Obama has characterized as an immediate national security threat.

*** WSJ: The Obama administration is planning a series of actions this summer to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions from wide swaths of the economy, including trucks, airplanes and power plants, kicking into high gear an ambitious climate agenda that the president sees as key to his legacy.

And in August, the agency will complete a suite of three regulations lowering carbon from the nation’s power plants—the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate-change agenda.

The proposals represent the biggest climate push by the administration since 2009, when the House passed a national cap-and-trade system proposed by the White House aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Anticipating the rules, some of which have been telegraphed in advance, opponents of Mr. Obama’s regulatory efforts are moving to block them. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), is urging governors across the country to defy the EPA by not submitting plans to comply with its rule cutting power-plant emissions.

Nearly all Republicans and some Democrats representing states dependent on fossil fuels say the Obama administration is going beyond the boundary of the law and usurping the role of Congress by imposing regulations that amount to a national energy tax driven by ideological considerations.

“The Administration seems determined to double down on the type of deeply regressive regulatory policy we’ve already seen it try to impose on lower-and-middle-class families in every state,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “These Obama administration regulations share several things in common with the upcoming directives: they seem motivated more by ideology than science, and they’re likely to negatively affect the economy and hurt both the cost and reliability of energy for hard-working American families and small-business owners.”

Two factors are driving the timing of the push this summer. The administration wants to complete it ahead of December’s United Nations summit on climate change, where world leaders will meet in Paris to decide whether to agree on a global accord to cut carbon emissions. The EPA’s regulatory agenda represents nearly everything Mr. Obama is set to offer world leaders on what the U.S. is doing to address climate change.

Secondly, once the EPA rules on emissions by power plants become final, states will have a year to submit plans while lawsuits challenging the rule are expected to be heard by the courts. The administration wants to make sure that its officials can oversee as much of these two developments as possible instead of relying on the next president, especially if it is one of the GOP White House candidates who have expressed opposition to the EPA’s climate agenda altogether.