This headline says it all -- "Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged" As many bloggers including myself warned, we essentially gave Henry Paulson $700 billion with no real system for accountability:
In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury's massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country's largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses, from insurers to consumer lenders.
Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.
Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed.
Michelle Malkin notes:
For what it's worth, Senators Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and David Vitter (all Republicans) have sent a letter to the Treasury Department highlighting Paulson's naked bait and switch:
... Although the legislation was passed on October 3, the program was never implemented and now has been officially abandoned in favor of alternative plans after little more than a month. Such a rapid reversal raises questions about the TARP’s original design as well as the propriety of future plans.
Congress never intended for the TARP to be a blank check that could be spent with unlimited discretion. To ensure proper boundaries are in place to protect the taxpayer, we hope and expect that congressional approval will be sought by the administration before further changes are made.
Apparently the Democrats have been too busy preparing for their Presidential coronation and subsequent power grabs to notice.
The Federal Reserve is also refusing to disclose the recipients of nearly $2 trillion in emergency loans, or to disclose the specific assets that they are accepting as collateral. Lovely.
Interesting -- "Not So Green - Voters Nix Most Environmental State Ballot Measures" -- but maybe ordinary folks understand the high cost of "alternative energy" a bit more than we realize.
Well, knock me over with a feather -- "Teens who watch Sex In The City more likely to get pregnant"
Knock me over with a feather pt. 2 -- "Obama likely to escape campaign audit" It seems that the potenially massive donation fraud enabled by the Obama campaign will not be investigated by the FEC, simply because Obama took no public campaign funds. On the other hand, John McCain will be forced to spend upwards on $10 million on manditory FEC audits because he accepted public campaign funds. If you recall, Obama originally pledged to accept public money, but then reneged on his pledge. One has to wonder if this is because he knew he could then accept unlimited donations without fear of an audit. And of course our feckless, in-the-tank news media could care less.
If you love numbers -- "The List: Which presidential polls were most accurate?" Rasmussen and The Pew research center topped the list.
Maybe Sally Kern was on to something -- "Palm Springs Rally Turns Violent" The post-Proposition 8 unhinged gay meltdown continues in California. Witness angry gays attack a pro-Prop8 protester, wrestle her cross away, and stomp on it. Then imagine the maniacal screaming fit national gay activists would have if a Christian protester ever ripped down a rainbow flag and stomped it into the ground:
Interestingly, Proposition 8 (which defined marriage specifically between a man and a woman) passed by a 52% - 48% margin, similar to the national Presidential election spread. If liberals are willing to proclaim 52% as "America united" and a "mandate" for their party, what does that say about Proposition 8's 52% majority?
GayPatriot asks, "Where are the grownups?"
Actually I prefer "Car Commisar" -- "What To Look for In A Federal 'Car Czar'":
If the proposed auto industry rescue is going to happen, and that should become clear next week as industry executives and union leaders testify before Congress, it makes sense for the government to name a "car czar" to watch over the Detroit Three as they spend $25 billion in taxpayer money.
Inescapable fact - the United Auto Workers is one of the nation's most powerful unions. Big Labor spent in excess of $300 million during the 2008 election cycle, 90% of which went to Democrats. It seems highly improbable to me that any Democrat-led "reform" of the auto industry will be able to address one of the biggest financial sinkholes plaguing the Big 3: the shocking compensation demands of UAW contracts.
A different world ... but then again, not so much -- "'Child-Witches' of Nigeria Seek Refuge"
Mary was found by a British charity worker and today lives at a refuge in Akwa Ibom province with 150 other children who have been branded witches, blamed for all their family's woes, and abandoned. Before being pushed out of their homes many were beaten or slashed with knives, thrown onto fires, or had acid poured over them as a punishment or in an attempt to make them "confess" to being possessed. In one horrific case, a young girl called Uma had a three-inch nail driven into her skull.
Yet Mary and the others at the shelter are the lucky ones for they, at least, are alive. Many of those branded "child-witches" are murdered - hacked to death with machetes, poisoned, drowned, or buried alive in an attempt to drive Satan out of their soul.
The devil's children are "identified" by powerful religious leaders at extremist churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted belief in, and fear of, witchcraft. The priests spread the message that child-witches bring destruction, disease and death to their families. And they say that, once possessed, children can cast spells and contaminate others.
The religious leaders offer help to the families whose children are named as witches, but at a price. The churches run exorcism, or "deliverance", evenings where the pastors attempt to drive out the evil spirits. Only they have the power to cleanse the child of evil spirits, they say. The exorcism costs the families up to a year's income.(emphasis added)
Well, that explains it, doesn't it? There is, I believe, a special place in Hell for those who would deceive the innocent and prey on their fears, using distorted religion and doing it all for money. Then of course they can claim that God has "blessed them" for their good works. Bastards.