Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obama Caught Between Two Masters - Goldman Sachs & SEIU - Part 1. Goldman Sachs


President Obama has taken on one of the most difficult jobs possible, trying to please two master with very different agendas. On the one hand is Goldman Sachs, the undisputed king of Wall Street and his long time corporate sponsor. On the other the more traditional sponsor of liberal Democrats the SEIU labor union, the Service Employees International Union. Of course there is nothing normal about either of these two contenders and so far they are leaving all their competition in the dust when it comes to benefitting from the actions of the new president.

One is the epitome of corporate excess with over a billion dollars in bonuses paid even in the worst of times. Goldman not only is the only financial institution to actually improve their position during the world economic collapse but actually wiped out competition in the process while making money every time money flowed from the federal spigot during the bank bailout, the AIG bailout, the housing crisis and bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the economic stimulus and even the cap and trade bill making it's way through Congress.

Long before Obama became a household name, before he was even elected to a federal office, Goldman was shepherding his meteoric rise through the ranks of political wannabes. Of course it helped that Obama's closest advisor and mentor, Rahm Emanuel, was on Goldman's payroll before Obama ever thought about running for office. When he was raising money for the Clinton presidential run in 1992 he was also on the Goldman payroll and investigations were launched that stopped the illegal corporate subsidy.

After serving as a White House aide during Clinton's term, in 2000, just before leaving office, Clinton then appointed Rahm to the Board of Freddie Mac where the sub-prime mortgage plot was hatched that triggered the economic disaster years later. A major player in this market was Goldman Sachs who was to make billions of dollars before the sub-prime market dried up and the Obama Administration had to bailout the banks and mortgage companies.

Emanuel spent three years as an investment banker after his Clinton years making $16 million and then ran for Congress, with the generous help of Goldman and the Wall Street community. Making a name for himself as the most prolific Democratic fund raiser ever Emanuel rose to #4 in the party hierarchy before being tapped by Obama as his Chief of Staff.

While Emanuel was a Congressman from Illinois Obama was to get a tremendous shot in the arm in his presidential ambitions with the help of Goldman, starting from his first campaign for federal office, the US Senate, in 2004. In the Democratic primary Obama was a distant underdog to millionaire Blair Hull who was caught in a scandal and forced to resign from the race. Interestingly, Blair Hull's company was purchased by Goldman Sachs shortly afterward.

In the general election Obama was again a distant underdog to millionaire Republican Jack Ryan who was also forced to resign from the race because of a scandal. Ryan was a partner in Goldman Sachs. This cleared the way for Obama to be the new Senator from Illinois and launched his presidential bid. In 2006 Obama secretly met with Goldman Sachs executives in Chicago and soon after, thanks to the fund raising of Goldman, his presidential bid was launched.

In 2008 Goldman sponsored a secret meeting at the Metropolitan Museum where Obama was prepared for debating by none other than former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who would moderate the final presidential debate of the campaign. Of course this was not disclosed to the media or public either.

Goldman was the leading contributor to Obama while the sub-prime mortgage market collapsed, while the oil futures market prices skyrocketed for no good reason, and for the economic collapse of the USA when the multi-billion dollar bank bailout was enacted. The bailout legislation was prepared by Bush Treasury Secretary Paulsen, a former Goldman CEO, steered through the House by Rahm Emanuel, a former Goldman Executive, and even approved by Senator Obama.

Once elected Obama immediately appointed Emanuel Chief of Staff and the AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts, and Stimulus bill were approved with Goldman benefitting with billions of dollars in revenues. Far outperforming everyone in the financial sector in the first 6 months of the Obama rein, the Goldman dominance was so great that at one week in the spring Goldman's program trading on the New York exchange was greater than the combined total of the next 14 traders worldwide.

Goldman has the inside track for controlling the "cap and trade" energy market, the bizarre centerpiece of the Obama Green energy program that will create immense wealth for Goldman, Al Gore and whoever else they decide to include. Gore's partner in his financial schemes which have already made him $100 million as the Green King is also from Goldman. What real benefit to the environment from cap and trade remains to be seen.

Now Emanuel is heading the White House efforts to regulate Wall Street and the financial markets and draft the necessary rules and regulations to tighten controls. Perhaps that explains why no action has been taken in nine months. If Obama does not know what the legions of former Goldman executives are doing in his administration he is merely a puppet. If he does know then he has a lot of explaining to do to the American public. I'd say to the media and Congress as well but they have ignored the Goldman factor for years. Perhaps the millions in campaign contributions from Goldman and Wall Street have influenced this ignorance by Congress.

Although Obama and Treasury have sternly criticized Wall Street and the investment banks for the manipulation of the stock market, sub-prime mortgage market and oil futures market, Obama has been silent on Goldman and their role in these activities. He has also never answered questions as to the role Goldman played in his Senate campaigns, his presidential campaigns and the extent of his contacts and those of the many former Goldman executives on his staff with current Goldman executives.

Obama promised transparency and gave us a brick wall. He promised reform and gave us more of the same. He promised to penalize the violators and he gave them unlimited wealth. Now he is trying to complete his deal and deliver to them the cap and trade and even health reform legislation on top of the trillion plus already given through the bank, insurance, auto, and housing bailouts and the stimulus bill. Just today the White House announced that the financial reforms are being scaled back from expectations. Imagine that?

In the tale of the two Masters, the SEIU has no chance against Goldman Sachs when it comes to deciding which master will win out with the Obama administration. Goldman has billions to manipulate while SEIU must borrow money to play the money game. So far the return to Goldman has already been in the billions of dollars while the token victories given to SEIU have not even made a dent in paying their debts.

Nor can SEIU match the vast army of former Goldman executives strategically placed throughout the Obama administration and throughout the world of finance and politics. No one has ever questioned the loyalty of this massive force. Andy Stern may have attended the Wharton School of Finance but Goldman wrote the course and probably financed the school's endowment fund.


Obama Caught Between Two Masters - Goldman Sachs & SEIU - Part 2. SEIU


Radical even among unions, the Service Employees International Union has staked a name for itself building it's two million members not just by organizing the workplace but by stealing members from other long established unions.

The genius behind this radical labor movement is Andy Stern, yet another of the many Obama backers who were youthful members of the most radical organizations of the 1960's. Andy was in the socialist SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, before setting off on a life of organizing. To his credit, SDS was rather radical but never endorsed the use of terrorist bombings like other socialist groups.

Stern, perhaps the most loved and most hated member of the labor movement in modern America, began his career as a community organizer and never looked back. During his years as recruitment coordinator for the President of the AFL-CIO he consistently pushed for revitalization of the labor union movement and refocusing American unions to consolidate and gain bargaining power.

By 2005 he was head of the SEIU and was pushing his boss, John Sweeny, President of the AFL-CIO to make reforms or he would lead a walkout from the union federation. Sweeny balked and Stern made good on his threat. Within a year he formed the Change to Win (CTW) Labor Federation, getting the powerful Teamsters and five other unions to join forces with the SEIU. It was the first new labor federation in America in 50years.

Meanwhile he targeted other unions in a radical move to build his SEIU and his membership soared to 2 million this year, the largest labor union in America, with nearly 1 million health care workers. Parlaying the millions of dollars in membership dues and lack of unions in the health care industry Stern claims he spent $60.7 million to get Obama elected. It would be the largest union and special interest campaign financing ever given to a single candidate.

What was the price of the financing for Obama? Perhaps it is most obvious in the actions by the new president. Within ten days of becoming president, on January 30, 2009, Obama signed the first three Executive Orders wanted by the unions.

The first executive order requires employers with federal contracts above $100,000 in value to post a notice in the workplace informing their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including the right to join a union. This order also repeals Executive Order 13201, issued by President Bush in 2001, that required federal contractors and subcontractors to post so-called “Beck notices.” Such notices, named after the Supreme Court’s decision in Communication Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988) informed employees covered under the NLRA that they could not be required to join a union or maintain union membership in order to retain their jobs and that employees who are subject to a union security clause and choose not to be union members may object to the purposes for which mandatory union dues are used.

The second order applies to federal contractors who provide services to government buildings. While there are several exemptions, under this new executive order, when a federal agency changes contractors, the new contractor will be required to offer jobs to the non-supervisory employees of its predecessor. This order is designed to try to ensure that when a unionized contractor is replaced, its successor will be obliged under existing labor laws to bargain with the original contractor’s labor union.

Finally, the third order prevents federal contractors from being reimbursed in federal funds for money spent to oppose (or support) union organizing efforts among their employees. The First Amendment prevents government from interfering with an employer’s right to voice its opinion on the merits of unionization. Similar measures have been enacted in some states, with respect to their state contractors, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that California ’s law to this effect was invalid because it was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act. Although a federal executive order is different than state legislation, there may be legal challenges to this executive order’s constitutionality, including a possible violation of the First Amendment. Unless and until the order is successfully challenged, however, federal contractors who still wish to oppose union organizing campaigns will need to consider the effects of this order on their ability to continue doing so without jeopardizing their federal contracts.

In another boost to organized labor, just six days later President Barack Obama on February 6, 2009, signed a fourth Executive Order, effective immediately, authorizing executive agencies of the federal government to require every contractor or subcontractor on a large-scale construction project to negotiate or become a party to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with one or more labor organizations. This is the fourth pro-labor Executive Order signed by President Obama since January 30th.

A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement between contractors and one or more unions that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. The stated rationale for this Order is that a PLA can promote the “efficient and expeditious completion of Federal construction contracts” by ensuring a “steady supply of labor” and the avoidance of “labor disputes” which can delay the project.

This Executive Order, which specifically revokes contrary Executives Orders issued by former President George W. Bush in 2001 and reinstates a Clinton-administration rule, was immediately hailed by organized labor. "This is yet another reason for working families to be grateful that we have a champion in the White House," Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa stated. In the same vein, Mark H. Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), praising President Obama, stated: “The Bush anti-PLA executive order was exactly the type of special interest-driven politics and policy that American voters rejected overwhelmingly last November…. [Project Labor Agreements] provide maximum benefit to construction users; union and non-union workers; union and non-union contractors; lenders and insurance companies; and taxpayers.”

This was only the beginning.

Though stymied on the Employee Free Choice Act, (the Card Check Act), abolishment of the secret ballot in elections which would make it easier for workers to form unions, organized labor claimed a big consolation prize: the massive application of a law guaranteeing “prevailing wages” for hundreds of thousands of construction workers hired under President Obama’s economic stimulus program.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood implemented guidelines to expand the scope of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, according to a department spokesperson. LaHood’s action will put a floor under wages paid for the more than 578,000 construction jobs that the White House estimates will be created by the end of 2010. It also marks a sharp reversal of U.S. policy on public works projects under President Bush, who in September 2005 suspended Davis-Bacon in the Gulf States after Hurricane Katrina.

Such is the power of Stern that Obama once said he consulted with SEIU on every major decision he makes. Proof of the power is that the White House, when it became obvious that the Obama healthcare initiative was in danger of losing support and faced with a series of contentious town hall meeting in August, brought Stern and SEIU in to manage the campaign for approval.

Stern dispatched the SEIU mobile centers to coordinate town halls for nervous members of the House and Senate all over the nation. They were to control and counteract the opponents to the Obama healthcare proposals including filming events with their own video teams and feeding footage to the media to make the opponents look bad. Some say the tactics of the purple clad SEIU operatives was like thugs and one SEIU staffer was arrested for beating up an older man.

Even House Majority leader Steny Hoyer was fearful enough to hire SEIU to manage his town hall where they limited questions from the crowd to 20 total when over 1500 people were at the meeting and several hundred more were outside. Hoyer spent over one hour spouting the benefits of the Obama plan before people were allowed to take the mike and in spite of the SEIU efforts to control things the crowd began to boo his responses.

In September another victory for the unions when Obama imposed heavy import tax duties on imported Chinese tires at the request of labor unions, an action against that threatens to spark a trade war between the US and China. China has already threatened to add a tariff to imports of US poultry and vehicles. The action by Obama increased the 4% tariff on Chinese tires by 35%.

Now Congress is back and it is time to see if the big payoff is made to the SEIU, passage of health care reform that allows, even gives favorable treatment, to allow Stern to organize the health care industry in America. Over 17 million people work in health care and related social services in America. SEIU now represents about 1 million of these workers while the Communications Workers of America represents about 140,000 meaning the pool of non-unionized health care workers is huge.

SEIU expects to be the primary beneficiary of the health care reform using it to open doors to unionizing this massive prize. The union dues and lobbying wealth it would generate would dwarf current spending by the unions. A public option would make it even more desirable as public workers would be much easier to organize.

Unfortunately, the more SEIU has tried to function like a well oiled corporation the more difficulties it has encountered so it remains to be seen if Stern can wrap up the gigantic payback. If anyone can he can. However, his aggressive tactics have alienate many other unions and even some of the unions he has swallowed up are now protesting their treatment and threatening to withdraw from SEIU because of his heavy-handed tactics.

Corruption in SEIU is extensive, especially in California where battles between unions and between union leaders, most instigated by SEIU, threaten to tear apart the move to grow the unions. One union official in California calls Stern a "threat to the soul" of the union movement. Claims that members dues are being used to foster socialism and other causes not approved by members, even funding programs like the disgraced ACORN program, are a source of concern.

But the most serious threat to SEIU controlling the union movement in America may be the lavish spending to buy politicians, like the $60.7 million spent on Obama. Ironically, Obama and Congress may be the only thing standing between the union and bankruptcy. Stern led the condemnation of the greed and mismanagement on Wall Street. Now he stands to fall into the same trap as his Wall Street enemies.

According to the New York Daily News, in spite of the fact Stern undertook a bitter campaign against the Bank of America and even got the CEO thrown out last spring he was borrowing an astonishing $87.7 million from the bank at the same time. In another industry it would probably be called protection money. He borrowed another $15 million from the only union owned bank in America, the Amalgamated Bank. SEIU recently reported $33 million in assets and $102 million in liabilities.

The SEIU cannot afford delays in the payback by Congress and Obama, they need money and they need it fast. There are times the investor better have the money to invest before making the big jump. If SEIU spent $60.7 million on Obama and health care yet had to borrow $102 million to cover it the accounting does not seem to add up. It will be interesting to see if Obama, Pelosi and the Democrats can maintain the sense of urgency they need to approve the bill and help SEIU or if the public discovers the truth first.

In the tale of the two Masters, the SEIU has no chance against Goldman Sachs when it comes to deciding which master will win out with the Obama administration. Goldman has billions to manipulate while SEIU must borrow money to play the money game. So far the return to Goldman has already been in the billions of dollars while the token victories given to SEIU have not even made a dent in paying their debts.

Nor can SEIU match the vast army of former Goldman executives strategically placed throughout the Obama administration and throughout the world of finance and politics. No one has ever questioned the loyalty of this massive force. Andy Stern may have attended the Wharton School of Finance but Goldman wrote the course and probably financed the school's endowment fund.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poland - Armageddon of WW II


With the decision by President Obama to cancel the missile defense shield in Poland to protect the former Eastern European nations of the Soviet Union on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, it may be appropriate that we are reminded of the sacrifices paid by Poland in the past resisting the Nazi and Communist invasions. It was seventy years ago that Poland as a nation vanished from the face of Europe when in September 1939 two of the deadliest killing machines in world history, Hitler’s Nazis and Stalin’s Soviet Union both attacked Poland.

The following account comes from the book, Hitler & Stalin - The War of Extermination between the Nazis and Communists, a startling new history of the 20th century that reveals many long hidden secrets of the Bolshevik-Communist and Nazi rise to power., includes the following excerpt on the fate of Poland that September.

Poland, the Armageddon of World War II, the proverbial scene of the decisive battle between good and evil. In the history of civilization it is doubtful any country faced the dire conditions and the deadly consequences faced by Poland from 1939-1945.

Sandwiched between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, it was the only nation to be partitioned without a vote between the Nazi and Communist Empires as a result of the 1939 non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin. Poland was a geographic buffer between these two menacing monsters, a buffer that vanished off the face of the earth during the month of September 1939.

Both Hitler and Stalin had reasons to hate the Poles. Fact is both felt justified in ravaging the nation for their own purposes. After World War I Poland humiliated the Germans as a result of the severe conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. Over one and one half million Germans were forced to abandon their homes to Poles because of the treaty.

In 1939 Poland was the fastest growing industrial nation in Europe and was much needed to support the German war machine. Both Hitler and Himmler had rejected their Catholic upbringing and there were more Catholics in Poland than any other country, making it a convenient target for religious persecution.

It was also the gateway for the inevitable invasion of the Soviet Union and of vital strategic importance. More ominously, it was the home to nearly three million Jews before the war. Ever since Catherine II established the Pale for Jews they had moved into Poland and had recently represented nearly eight percent of the population, the most of any nation in Europe.

Earlier in the 20th century, before World War I, there were over thirty million Poles, but four million were killed in World War I, thirty-four times the American loss in the war. Almost all the fighting of that World War took place on Polish soil. Yet deaths were not the only suffering by the Poles. Devastation was astounding as over 1.7 million buildings were destroyed, 6,969 churches, and 40% of all railway bridges and stations during the First World War.

The Soviets also had reason to dislike Poland. When the Communists swept to power in Russia and successfully won the Russian Civil War, the Soviet leaders decided to continue rolling right over Europe with their revolution. The mighty Red Army attacked the Poles in August of 1920 driving to the very gates of Warsaw.

A miracle of sorts happened when the embattled Poles fought back valiantly August 15 in the Battle of Warsaw outmaneuvering the stunned and vastly superior Red Army and routing them on August 18, thus saving Europe from Soviet conquest. It was a setback that reverberated throughout the Kremlin and caused the Communists to slow down the worldwide revolution they advocated. In time it came to be known as the day of the Polish Miracle.

Yet there was more, for though the Soviets were a new nation dominated by Jewish-Bolshevik leaders and committed to stopping anti-Semitic actions, they were also committed to driving the opposition Jewish groups from influence, adversaries such as the Jewish Zionist and Bund nationalist parties.

Because of its proximity Poland had become a haven for Jewish outcasts from the Soviet Union after the revolution and civil war - those on the wrong side of Judaism who became enemies of the Bolshevik State. It also was a safe haven for all those fleeing Communist persecution throughout the Soviet Empire. To the Soviets, Poland was a nation harboring many dangerous fugitives and traitors.

Poland also was a hotbed of another faction of Jewish revolutionaries who were committed to the Communist Marxist revolution and the Soviet Bolshevik leadership. Thus some Polish Jews were enemies of the Soviets and many more were allies. Ironically Jewish participation in the Marxist revolution in Poland earlier caused the Poles and Ukrainians to distrust them as well. Active Jewish involvement in the revolutions that swept Europe after World War I would come back to haunt them.

Beyond the desire of the Soviets to save some Jews from Nazis and punish some for opposing the Bolsheviks, the Soviets were also in desperate need of access to the Baltic Sea north of Poland. A treaty with Hitler gave Stalin freedom to overrun the Baltic States and gain that ocean access.

By 1921 the Polish population dropped to twenty-seven million, then grew to thirty-two million by 1931, the last official census before World War II. It was a diverse population as Ukrainians and Belorussians were the majority, Poles made up one third of the population, and Jews were about eight percent.

Germany and the Soviets announced to a stunned world the signing of the non-aggression pact at the end of August 1939 and on September 1 the Nazi invasion of Poland from the west was launched. It was to be a coordinated attack with the Red Army attacking from the east.

Over 1,800,000 German soldiers poured across the border with 2,600 tanks and over 2,000 aircraft supporting the invasion. Typical of the new German strategy designed by Hitler personally, it was to be a rapid and deadly strike. The Poles, like the rest of the world, were caught unprepared and less than a third of the Polish military was able to mobilize against the Nazi invasion.

Stalin, to the chagrin of Hitler, did not attack immediately as promised but waited to see what kind of resistance the Germans would encounter. He was also wary of the reaction of England and America to the invasion, as he needed Churchill and Roosevelt to be allies if he were to have any hope of defeating Hitler and Germany.

By waiting until the Germans destroyed the Polish army, he could proclaim the Soviets were invading Poland to protect the Ukrainian and Belorussian populations living in Poland from the Nazis, a tactic that infuriated Hitler when he learned of it.

The Soviet war machine finally did roll across the eastern border of Poland September 17 as Hitler's forces had secured the German half of the country and were rapidly moving into the Soviet territory. For a time it appeared as if the former bitter enemies and now allies might start fighting each other as they laid claim to the Polish nation.

One of the most intriguing comments of the dilemma faced by the Poles came from their decorated General Wladyslaw Anders, Polish Commander, speaking to General George Patton later in the war. Anders said:

"With the Nazis, we lose our lives; with the Soviets, we lose our souls… If I found my army between the Nazis and the Soviets, I would attack in both directions."

By October 5 Poland could hold out no longer against the onslaught from the Nazis and Red Army, and finally surrendered. Poland ceased to exist. Still in just a few weeks of fighting the Poles inflicted heavy losses on the Germans, 50,000 men, 697 planes and 993 tanks and armored cars, while thousands of Polish soldiers and civilians were able to escape to France and Britain.

The defeat in battle was just the beginning of the Polish suffering. In the 20 years following World War I Poland had rebuilt her industry and railroads. She now had over 5,500 railroad locomotives, 11,350 passenger cars, and 164,000 freight cars. Over 1,250 miles of new railroad track had been laid and Polish highways had been expanded by over 30%.

All of these resources were needed by the Nazis in their ambitious plans to reunite the German Empire. A vast network of nearly 200 concentration camps were soon developed throughout Poland and the surrounding area first for the purpose of providing labor, and later as the sites of the Nazi death camps. The need for industrial output was the priority and over two million Poles were among five million prisoners sent into forced labor.

When the occupation was completed Germany controlled about 13 million Poles including 2.1 million Jews, and the Soviets controlled about 13 million Poles including about 1.2 million Jews. Over 600,000 people fled from the German to Soviet sector including over 350,000 Jews during the next year. Of the total population in Soviet occupied areas about one tenth were Jewish, one third were Poles, and the majority were Ukraine and Belorussian.

Germany immediately threw 1.2 million Poles from their ancestral homes for resettlement in ghettos to make room for Germans who lost their homes after World War I. The Soviets and Polish were bitter enemies and the Soviets captured 230,000 Polish soldiers including 25,000 Jewish soldiers. Millions of Poles died in the hands of the Germans and Soviets.

Before the Nazis were driven out of Poland nearly 2.5 million Poles were murdered in camps and another 500,000 were starved to death. Millions more died during forced labor, resettlement and deportation.

As for Poles living in the Soviet lands, 1.6 million Poles were deported to the gulags and prisons of Russia including over 130,000 Jews sent from the Soviet occupied area of Poland to Siberia as "enemies of the state." Ironically this deportation probably saved them from the Nazi holocaust. In addition to the Polish citizens imprisoned or forced into labor camps the Soviets murdered many thousands of Polish military.

Soviet treatment of the Poles changed only when Hitler violated the non-aggression treaty and attacked the Soviet Union using Poland as the launch point in June of 1941. This action caused some positive events to take place in the midst of the carnage.

On August 12, 1941, with the German army advancing on Moscow, the Supreme Soviet granted amnesty to all Polish citizens and released all Polish prisoners from gulags and prisons in order to help in the fight against Nazi Germany. The millions of Poles sent to Soviet prisons were now free, unlike the fate of most Russian citizens sent to the deadly Soviet gulag prison system.

A total of nearly six million Poles died (civilian and military) during the war, ranking Poland third behind the Soviet Union and Germany for the most deaths in the European sector of World War II. This represented nearly 22% of the entire Polish population before the war.

When the dust finally settled on the deadliest conflict in history over fifteen million people had died in Polish concentration camps. Most were Soviet and Communist prisoners captured when the Germans overran the Soviet occupied Poland, the Ukraine and western Soviet territory extending all the way to Moscow. Tens of millions of Soviet military and civilians, Communists and Communist sympathizers were exterminated along with several million Jews. Poland once again lay in ruins and it was to remain a Soviet state for the next half century.

As destiny would have it, Poland made history in quite another way. On the very same day as the Polish Miracle, May 18, 1920, when the Poles stopped the mighty Soviet Red Army and captured Kiev, in Poland a baby boy named Karol Jozef Wojtyla was born.

This young boy grew up and helped organize a secret theater group during the Nazi occupation. By 1944 he became a Catholic priest in a secret order in Poland. Soon the equally murderous Communists under Stalin drove out the murderous Nazi regime.

The priest became a Cardinal, and then the Cardinal became the first Polish Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II. In time he would use his influence as Pope to help the Solidarity movement in Poland oppose the Communist rule, and would help lead the Polish people out from under the shackles of Communism into a new life of freedom.

From Hitler & Stalin - The War of Extermination Between the Nazis and Communists by Jim Putnam.


Biden Tells Real Intent of Obama Health Care Reform


Vice President Biden is no stranger to sticking his foot in his mouth or telling too much when asked a question. Yeserday, he may have finally revealed the real intent of the Obama health care reform in a speech everyone thought would get no notice because of the United Nations meeting.

In a discussion of the health care reforms needed, and after mauling the insurance industry which is required of every card carrying liberal, he made the following comments.

"You can't rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. We've got to change ships here!"

Is that liberal code for throwing out the system 70% of the people want to keep and replacing it with the government run public option program sought by the far left and socialist crowd? The goal has always been to eliminate all competition and eliminate private sector involvement in health care so the new system can be controlled by the unions and liberals.

At least he said what he meant this time. There was no effort by the White House to clarify what Biden meant, even when Obama's press secretary was asked directly if Biden was speaking for the president.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Foreign Policy - the Afghanistan Review - Does it put troops at risk?


Yet another potential disaster for this, Obama's self-declared war against terrorism. Last March he announced the adoption of a radical new strategy in Afghanistan and ordered more troops sent to the war zone. Then he fired the General heading the campaign and sent in his own man to carry it out. Now his own man has made an assessment of the last six months and concluded that unless up to 48,000 more troops are sent there our mission will fail.

We have about 63,000 troops fighting already and so far a record number of American deaths is the only major result of the Obama strategy. Even the election we were supposed to protect is mired in corruption. Obama still is a long ways from disengaging in Iraq as he promised and with the looming threat of Israeli action against Iran we could find ourselves embroiled in three wars all of a sudden as a result of the wayward foreign policy of our new president.

Perhaps more ominous is his response to the urgent analysis and request from his commanders in the war zone. Obama said he now wants to take time to review the Afghanistan strategy which he just approved and implemented six months ago before deciding what to do next. The request for more troops came from the general he sent over to implement his new strategy.

If the general does not believe we have the troop strength to succeed in our current strategy, and Obama wants to take his time and think about it before deciding, does that mean the 63,000 US forces currently on the ground fighting and dying in Afghanistan are not being protected by their own commander-in-chief the president? If the strategy is failing at the current troop level and they are fighting to carry out the strategy it would seem we are putting our own men and women at risk of death while the White House thinks about what to do next.

If there is a delay in acting because of purely partisan political purposes, it would be an unforgivable tragedy. Such a travesty would not be new to this administration as they have proven with the political use of stimulation funds, union payoffs, SEIU deals, protection of Wall Street manipulations and who knows what else.

With Obama way down in the polls and two Obama supporters who are governors and running for re-election both close to losing in the Virginia and New Jersey races this year, a delay in the troop decision might help them get elected. Why not wait six weeks until after the elections rather than further infuriate voters with unpopular action in Afghanistan?


Obama's Sputtering Foreign Policy - Israel and Iran - Is Tactical Nuclear War Next?


With the spotlight finally off the perpetual health care debate and attention focused on the opening of the United Nations at last we can talk about some of our foreign activity. Then again, the way things are going perhaps Obama doesn't want to address foreign affairs.

So far after taking the world by storm in the election Obama has gotten pretty much nothing from our friends and enemies around the world as they are so deeply engrossed in their own problems they have neither the time nor the desire to be concerned with ours.

Don't forget, they still blame us and our capitalist greed for the world economic meltdown and it is most likely deserved. Still the world remains interlocked and what happens here does impact everyone around the world so what are the concerns?

Israel & Iran

Iran continues to stir the pot in the Middle East. With their flawed elections, persecution of Iranians, and nuclear threats it is as if they are baiting Israel to do something. They better watch out. Recent events could indicate the way is being cleared for Israel to attack Iran and there is a real chance it will happen before the end of the year if not sooner. First Obama asked Israel to stop building settlements and defiantly they kept on building. In fact there is nothing he asked them to do to help pave the way for peace talks that got done.

It is a strange sequence of events that has surrounded this peace effort as at first Obama was suspected of being much too supportive of the Muslim positions. Of course he did receive strong Jewish support in the election so his relationship to the Muslim world was a concern to the Jewish community. Until recently he seemed to be taking a much more neutral position on the Israeli - Palestinian issues.

However, one should never underestimate the impact or ability of his two closest and most influential advisors, Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff and David Axelrod, White House Senior Advisor as both are Jewish and have strongly supported Israel. In fact Emanuel even volunteered to fight for Israel during the first Desert Storm war.

As you may recall, in the campaign Obama promised to reach out to the Muslim world and all our enemies and nothing has come of it. His campaign promises to lead the way in building a better world have been locked in the vault of things I never should have said as reality sat in.

Russia and the Missile Defense Shield

One recent event seemed unrelated to the Israel - Iran issue but makes some sense in the larger picture. When Obama stunned the world last week and unilaterally cancelled the missile defense shield the US had promised Poland and Eastern Europe, it might well have been an action meant to appease the Russians. Now Russia was justifiably upset by the prospect of the shield, but to give away something like that without getting anything in return seems to be a strange way to conduct foreign policy.

It was almost as if Obama was saying Eastern Europe doesn't count. The fact he cancelled the agreement on the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union only added insult to injury. Before Stalin and Hitler were done with Poland nearly six million Poles died (civilian and military) during World War II, ranking Poland third behind the Soviet Union and Germany for the most deaths in the European sector of World War II. This represented nearly 22% of the entire Polish population before the war.

So what did the move by Obama mean? Well Russia was Iran's strongest ally. Would the action by Obama open the door to an attack by Israel on Iran nuclear facilities? Russian support for Iran was a factor in Israel not attacking. As for Israel, while never admitting they have a nuclear weapons capability intelligence estimates say the Israeli's have between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, at a minimum. They also have a multitude of ways to launch them including missiles and jets.

Then there is the oil situation. Russia is a growing economy and oil reserves make Russia #7 in the world in proven oil reserves. With oil prices being kept high by firms like Goldman Sachs, expanding the oil sales would go a long ways toward financing the Russian economic recovery. But five of the top six nations with oil reserves all are in the Middle East while the last is Venezuela in South America, whose government makes it an unreliable provider to the markets.

Iran happens to rank #2 in the world in oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia and just ahead of Iraq though in spite of American occupation Iraq still cannot get oil production to a decent level. Should Israel attack Iran and happen to disrupt the Iranian oil production in the course of destroying the Iran nuclear sites it would be a financial windfall for Russia and might keep them from retaliating for the attack on their ally.

Such an attack would be consistent with previous attacks by Israel to protect their homeland and would be consistent with the worldwide Zionist movement, of which Emanuel, according to his parents, is aligned. It would no doubt result in some kind of retaliation by other Muslim nations but the prospects of becoming a major war would seem unlikely. However, it would certainly strain USA military resources as we would be the only nation to come to Israel's defense.

One can only hope diplomatic efforts, unsuccessful in terms of Iran's nuclear capability and stymied in terms of the Israeli - Palestinian peace process could progress and eliminate the need for such an Israeli attack but time is rapidly running out.