More Ugly Obama/Clinton Crony Corruption


Hillary Clinton and billionaire Warren Buffett, who invested $30 billion in taxpayer-subsidized solar and wind energy –  photo by NPR

Robert Murray may be the most frustrated and abused CEO in the USA.

The owner of Murray Energy is the last man standing in the fight to save the coal industry from the Obama / Clinton “war on coal”, and his emotional appeals on the news networks reveal that he may be down for the count.

robert-murrayMurray grew up poor, picking up a shovel at age 16 to keep his family afloat after his father was paralysed in a mine accident.  He persevered through good times and bad to become one of the biggest players in the coal business, and now, at age 75, Murray sees all his hard work and investment going up in smoke, along with the livelihoods of his employees.

When President Obama declared in 2008 that he would destroy the coal industry, he wasn’t kidding. “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” he said.  “It’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Over 400 coal mines have shut down since then, putting 83,000 miners on the street.  As coal companies headed for the exits, Murray bought many of them, unable to accept that the nation would allow such a valuable and strategically critical industry to just die at the whim of an imperious and misguided president.

Eight years later, Obama’s pre-ordained successor, Hillary Clinton, has doubled down, promising to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Obama’s and Clinton’s pretense for eliminating the source of one-third of America’s electricity is their desire to save the planet and its inhabitants from “carbon pollution”.  But Murray isn’t buying it, as he told Fox Business:

“Windmills and solar panels generate 26 cent per kilowatt hour electricity – coal is only 4 cents a kilowatt hour.  The reason why she wants to see coal eliminated is because she’s getting millions of dollars of kickback to the Clinton Foundation and to her campaign from people who she says needs government help. You know who she’s talking about? She’s talking about Warren Buffett, the Pritzkers, Elon Musk, Tom Steyer—all billionaires that are making billions of dollars off of windmills and solar panels that are made in China.”

“She’s getting hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the largest banks in the country, from some of the largest electric utilities, and from these billionaires that I just mentioned.  They need the subsidies – wind and solar are not competitive with coal or other fossil fuels.  So they are making billions of dollars, these billionaires, and they are kicking back millions to the Clinton Foundation and to Hillary Clinton – it’s a story we have been hearing over and over.  The lowest 25 million families on the poverty scale in the country now spend 22 cents of every dollar they earn for energy.  We need to be worrying about the energy poverty in this country, not making more billionaires as Hillary Clinton attempts to eliminate the reliable low-cost electricity and substitute these ‘crony capitalists’.  It’s fraud – it’s absolute fraud!”

Today President Obama announced his “Clean Power Plan”, a new set of standards to limit “carbon pollution” from power plants.  The plan makes the outwardly pure-hearted promise to “decrease the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog and can lead to more asthma attacks in kids by more than 70 percent.”  We all love kids, and don’t want them breathing soot and smog, right?  But the plan’s main thrust is to control carbon dioxide emissions, which have absolutely nothing to do with “soot and smog”.  Carbon dioxide is clear and odorless, it is necessary for plant life, and it has no impact on global temperatures or pollution of any kind.

coal-fired-power-generation-plantDemocrats sob about “the children” and flaunt blown-up photos of old Chinese factories belching smoke, pretending they are modern American electrical power generation plants and hoping the low-information public will believe the carbon dioxide hoax pumped through their politically-motivated news media.  Meanwhile, they destroy our clean and efficient energy infrastructure for no purpose other than to generate profit for their crony friends and receive kickbacks in return.

I never dreamed my government could become so corrupt, or that so many of our citizens would be unwilling or unable to put up a fight.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Hanging on every word, believing the things I heard
Being a fool
You’ve taken my life, so take my soul
That’s what you said and I believed it all
Liar!  Liar!

Liar – Three Dog Night



The Monster That Will Not Die! Export/Import Bank

godzillaThe Monster That Will Not Die!  Created 80 years ago by the hand of a single misguided man, it grew – and grew – and grew.  And now it can’t be stopped!

No, it’s not Godzilla.  It’s just another federal government program – the Export/Import Bank.  FDR created the thing in 1934 by executive order to make loans to Russia and Cuba.   In its early years it benefited the country by making loans to foreign governments and companies so they could buy exported US goods.

But like almost all federal programs, even if it is obsolete, corrupt and hemorrhaging money,  it seems like it will never die.  It will grow its budget every year, employ an army of faceless bureaucrats, and grease its own skids.  You see, a government agency or program can only do one thing – spend the taxpayers’ money.  Somebody receives or uses that money, and would not enjoy seeing the spigot shut off.  So Congress is “encouraged” by these somebodies to keep re-authorizing the program.

The somebodies who benefit from the continued existence of the Export/Import Bank top the charts in corporate profits – Boeing, GE, Caterpillar, John Deere.  Do these mega-monster companies really need taxpayer-backed loans to their less-than-creditworthy foreign customers?

The Ex/Im marketing department says that the Bank helps US companies make sales to foreign entities who could not get financing in the private market.  (Hmm, I seem to remember something like that a few years ago, when the housing bubble burst, nearly destroying our economy.)  The Bank claims they do not compete with private banks, they merely make loans that the privates can’t or won’t.  (How convenient that the government can create money out of thin air to loan to foreigners and does not have to worry about interest costs or defaults.)

Supporters of the Ex/Im have claimed that it returns profits to the government every year.  But it turns out they have been cooking the books and are not playing by the same rules that private sector banks do.  The Export/Import Bank holds about $140 billion in taxpayer-backed liabilities and is losing money.  It is reportedly rife with corruption and ineptitude.

The Export/Import Bank no longer serves any public purpose.  If your congressman votes to re-authorize this Godzilla in September, you should look at his or her list of campaign contributors.  If Boeing, GE, Caterpillar, and John Deere appear on the list, maybe your congressman should not be re-authorized at election time either.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Oh no, they say he’s got to go
Go go Godzilla!
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla!
History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men

Go Go Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult


Cut the Corruption!

piggies cakeAmericans don’t like their elected federal officials very much.  A few months ago Congress’ approval rating hit a rock-bottom 9%.  While their rating has rebounded slightly, President Obama’s just hit an all-time low.  Granted, the approval ratings are a pretty dumb measurement:  I might dislike a given official because she is too liberal, while my neighbor might disapprove because she is not liberal enough.

Still, it’s fair to say we don’t think all is going swimmingly in Washington, DC.

I think a major contributor to our disrespect is the daily reporting of corruption in our nation’s capital.  It permeates the White House.  It fouls the air in the Senate chambers.  It slimes the floor of the House.  The Republicans smell.  The Democrats stink.  The reflecting pool on the National Mall has become a cesspool.

While government corruption is not a new phenomenon, it sure seems to be more widespread lately.  Our president shamelessly funnels wads of cash to campaign bundlers.  The administration’s leadership posts are filled with party hacks and cronies whose only qualification is the ability to extort money from corporations.   Most of our congressmen have “leadership PACs” which allow them to accumulate ridiculous sums with no strings attached to their spending on lavish lifestyles and backroom political deals.  Many, like Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Roy Blunt, have armies of relatives at the public trough through questionable employment, purchased political offices, or shady lobbying relationships.  Our DOJ and SEC choose (or are assigned) political targets and then find (or write) obscure regulations to either punish them or take their lunch money.  At the same time, proven billion-dollar thieves like Obama cash-bundler John Corzine slither past the enforcers scot-free.  The IRS blatantly targets conservative political opponents, an Obama campaign contributor is assigned to investigate, and then the head honcho pleads the fifth.

Corruption was once driven by outsiders seeking favors from vulnerable DC politicians.  Now the mojo is on the other side.  Peter Schweitzer points out in his blockbuster book, “Extortion”:

“In Washington today corruption is driven more by extortion than by bribery . . .  Our reform efforts have been almost exclusively devoted to restricting the activities of these special interests – in other words, ourselves – as opposed to the activities of the Permanent Political Class”.

Schweitzer suggests bans on contributions and solicitations involving lobbyists and government contractors, and contributions from anyone during congressional sessions.  He would restrict the selling of votes (which, believe it or not, is now perfectly legal), prohibit family members from employment and lobbying, and ban leadership PACs.

I would take it a step further.  We need to get our congressmen out of Washington, DC and back to their home districts to face their constituents the majority of the time.  In this era of instant electronic communication, elected officials no longer need to schmooze face-to-face with their counterparts and with the concentrated purchasing power of DC lobbyists.

The Corruption Cake, frosted with seemingly endless layers of DC money, must be replaced with something healthy.  Soon!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideCut the cake!
Don’t you know that I’m a greedy man

Cut the cake!
Don’t you know that I’ll do the best I can

Cut the Cake – by Average White Band

Funkiest . . . band . . . ever!  and man, have they aged well.  Enjoy this great video by the Average White Band from Scotland.


Crony Capitalism At Its Ugliest

Eric Clapton with Gibson Les Paul guitar

Is it any wonder American businesses are afraid to open their doors in the reign of King Obama?

Today Gibson Guitar’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz announced that the company has settled with the Dept. of Justice, who ruled last year that Gibson had violated the Lacey Act by importing unfinished rosewood for guitar fingerboards from India and Madagascar.

It was clearly another case of “picking winners and losers”, the Obama administration’s favorite political tool – used to bludgeon opponents and reward cronies and contributors.

You see, most guitar fretboards are made with imported rosewood.  Guitar manufacturers often buy fretboards which have been manufactured in India, and the Indian government is grateful for the business (memo to Obama – most nations appreciate the chance to employ their citizens).  In fact Martin Guitars imports the very same rosewood for its guitars, from the same suppliers that Gibson does.  If this is a crime (which it has not been proven to be), it certainly is a victimless one.

Gibson plants were raided by armed federal agents, who confiscated $1 million worth of rosewood inventory.  They were shut down for a time, and now the company has been extorted for a $300,000 fine and a $50,000 “contribution” to the US National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Martin’s use of the same rosewood has never been questioned.

Oh, did I mention that Gibson’s CEO Juszkiewicz is a Republican supporter, while Martin’s CEO, Chris Martin, is a long-time donor to the Democrat party?

We have always been taught that there was a presumption of innocence in this country, and an opportunity for defense and redress if we have been wrongfully charged.  Unfortunately in today’s world where government agencies and czars rule with impunity, that’s no longer the case.  A bureaucrat can be judge, jury and executioner.

“We’re in this really incredible situation. We have been implicated in wrongdoing and we haven’t been charged with anything,” Juszkiewicz said. “Our business has been injured to millions of dollars. And we don’t even have a court we can go to and say, ‘Look, here’s our position.”

Due process be damned, this is politics.

The “picking winners and losers” tactic has worked so well on the national level that our Montana Democrat administration has taken the page from the Obama playbook.  Stay tuned as that story develops.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – George Harrison
(guitar solo by Eric Clapton on a GIBSON LES PAUL )