Archive for 04/22/2010

(Zero Hedge)

What do you do when you are the prime minister of a bankrupt country and your only recourse is to get the Washington D.C.-based IMF to come in and tell you you have to cut wages by about 120% and fire 75% of the country (especially after the same Germans you recently demanded WWII reparations from, mysteriously have decided in the eleventh hour to have their last laugh at your expense). Why, you send in the national guard, armed with fake six-pack ridged bulletproof vests and gas masks, to repeat the miracle of Thermopylae against the marauding population which has suddenly realized that the past 10 years of chimeric happiness were a one-time miracle thanks to Mr Goldman and fat, and somewhat stupid, uncle Almunia. The next thing you do, once you realize you are about to have a [revolution|uprising|civil war] is to declare a moratorium on your €300 billion of debt, make your people happy and stick it precisely to the same bankers that you complain about every single day for “speculating” against you. Tomorrow Greece will face the trifecta of a much delayed hangover as 1) its bonds hit 9% as the hedge funds who have been buying up in expectations of a snapback capitulate, 2) EuroStat declares its deficit was officially 14%, and 3) a Greek civil servant strike in their fourth national walkout this year.

Bloomberg reports.

The strike will shutter hospital and schools and also affect ministries and government offices, according to an e- mailed statement from Athens-based ADEDY, the umbrella group for more than 500,000 state workers. It will hold a rally in central Athens at 11 a.m. local time.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is under fire from voters who say his austerity measures have gone too far and from investors who argue that further action is needed to cut the EU’s largest budget deficit. As Greece meets EU and International Monetary Fund officials to agree on the conditions tied to any loan, the extra yield investors demand to hold Greek debt over German bonds has surged to a record 522 basis points.

“Papandreou is caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief European Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “The market has zero confidence in what the Greeks are saying, and any further austerity measures pushed for by the IMF could be the ones that break the camel’s back if they are deemed unfair by the population. He doesn’t have any option though.

Today’s strike isn’t expected to affect public transport or air traffic, after air-traffic controllers postponed a planned walkout to clear a backlog of flights caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland across Europe.

PAME Hellas, a union affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, called its own labor action. Members of the group blockaded entry to the port of Piraeus yesterday, preventing ferries from sailing. Others picketed luxury hotels in the city center, including at least one where IMF negotiators are staying.

We must dare, otherwise we will be led like lambs to the slaughter,” said Aleka Papariga, head of the Communist Party of Greece, the third-largest parliamentary party. “The working people aren’t about to be used to allow passage of policies that will bring the worst barbarity we’ve seen in the past 35 years.”

That’s funny, cause America recently allowed passage of policies that would make Greek debt-to-GDP ratios seems like a midget in Liliput compared to the monster our own Treasury is about to spawn. Yet, as always, it isn’t until it is far too late to fix something proactively that the people of any country, be it Greece or the US, wake up from their deep slumber. Greece has now officially woken up (we will show you footage of tomorrow’s hopefully non-violent riots to confirm). We wonder how long before America does the same.

http://republicbroadcasting.org/?p=8161

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New Global ‘FAT’ Tax to Rein in Banks

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in un

(Guardian)

Gordon Brown claims credit for International Monetary Fund plan to impose tough levy on biggest banks’ profits and pay

Tough proposals to cut the world’s biggest banks down to size by taxing their profits and pay were outlined by the International Monetary Fund tonight in an attempt to spare taxpayers another massive public bailout of the financial sector.

In measures more stringent than Wall Street and the City had expected, the fund called for the introduction of a twin-track approach to the three-year banking crisis that would both force firms to pay for any future support packages and raise new taxes on their profits and remuneration.

The report, prepared by the Washington-based institution for the G20 group of developed and developing nations, was seized upon by Gordon Brown as evidence that his push for an international crackdown on the banking sector was gaining support.

Leaked in advance of the fund’s meeting this weekend, the blueprint emerged as the investment bank Goldman Sachs released better than expected first quarter revenues and admitted its bonus and pay pool had reached $5.5bn (£3.3bn) in the first three months of 2010.

The anticipated study called for a financial stability contribution (FSC), which should be paid by all financial institutions, not just banks, and used to bail out weak and failing firms. It would initially be paid at a flat rate but eventually be tailored to suit institutions’ size and riskiness.

While banks had been braced for the FSC plan, they were caught unawares by the proposal for a financial activities tax (FAT), which would be based on the profits and the pay structure of the firms.

Anti-poverty campaigners had been pinning their hopes on the IMF endorsing a so-called Robin Hood tax under which a small levy would be placed on all financial transactions. However, the fund said such an approach “does not appear to be well suited to the specific purposes” set out by the G20 in its mandate. The fund said the financial sector had become too big as a result of being taxed too lightly, and said this could be addressed by the FAT, which it compared to VAT.

Downing Street said the fund’s preference for a global deal rather than a go-it-alone approach by individual countries was a snub to George Osborne, who has insisted the Conservatives would impose a levy regardless of what other nations do. The IMF said: “International co-operation would be beneficial, particularly in the context of cross-border financial institutions. Countries’ experiences in the recent crisis differ widely and so do their priorities as they emerge from it. But none is immune from the risk of a future – and inevitably global – financial crisis. Unilateral actions by governments risk being undermined by tax and regulatory arbitrage.”

The fund added that co-operation required only broad agreement rather than complete uniformity and did not specify rates for the two new taxes. A Brown aide said the report “is radical and in line” with what they had argued for at the G20 in November – when Brown surprised his Treasury team by promoting the idea of international levies. “It is another big judgment call that Gordon Brown got right and David Cameron got wrong,” the aide said.

Alistair Darling, the chancellor welcomed the report. He said: “The recognition that banks should make a contribution to the society in which they operate is right.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable also welcomed the report. “If we are to create a stable banking system, we must ensure that taxpayers are not expected to underwrite the risks of reckless casino banking, and that pay and bonuses within banks do not reward irresponsible behaviour.”

A Conservative spokesman said: “We have led the way in proposing a levy on the banks so we welcome this IMF report. Sweden has already introduced a bank tax. Germany and the Unites States are in the process of introducing one – the UK should do the same.”

Max Lawson, policy adviser at Oxfam, said: “The IMF have given the green light to a tax on banks. To be worthy of Robin Hood it must raise hundreds of billions each year and be directly linked to fighting poverty at home and abroad, and tackling climate change.”

Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, said: “Clearly what this appears to say is very wide ranging and covers much more of the financial services sector than the industry expected. Taxation is not without consequences and additional taxation is not without additional consequences.”

http://republicbroadcasting.org/?p=8157

admiralty law, common law and the sovereign

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in 2011

There’s an article in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about the latest political activism by their city’s hockey team owner:

http://www.philly.com

Apr. 20, 2010

Snider funding conservative RightNetwork

By WILL BUNCH
Philadelphia Daily News

Flyers’ owner Ed Snider has just picked up another right-winger.
This one won’t help Philadelphia finally win another Stanley Cup, though.
The local sports mogul and longtime backer of conservative causes says he’s a major investor in a new cable TV network that may have an even more difficult task than bringing hockey’s crown back to Philly, and that is toppling the right-wing ratings champ, the Fox News Channel.

The Snider-funded RightNetwork – with a looser approach to conservative topics, including a comedy show and a jocular front man in sitcom star Kelsey Grammer – is hoping to come to your cable box as early as this summer.

Snider – whose investment in RightNetwork is personal and not linked to his role as chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which already owns the locally popular Comcast Sportsnet on cable as well as the Flyers, 76ers and the Wachovia Center – was not available for an interview. But he had earlier posted a statement about RightNetwork.

“We’re creating a welcome place for millions and millions of Americans who’ve been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point of view,” Snider said. “RightNetwork will be the perfect platform to entertain, inform and connect with the American majority about what’s right in the world.”

Snider, 77, a longtime backer of programs related to the iconic libertarian philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand, has been more public in his support of conservative causes in recent years.

He was a major donor to a now-defunct group called Freedom’s Watch that supported the anti-terrorism and Middle East policies of then-President George W. Bush, and his decision to invite then-GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to drop the puck at the Flyers’ 2008 home opener drew a mix of cheers and boos.
Now, in entering the crowded and competitive world of politics on cable TV, Snider and his partners in the RightNetwork may have taken on a tougher mission than getting the 76ers back to the playoffs.

Ed Arke, who chairs the communications department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., said it will be difficult to convince conservatives to change the channel away from Fox News and its star lineup of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

“Fox in particular, is a very personality-driven network,” Arke said. “They recruited star power when they initially went on the air and had the benefit of having a stable of recognizable talent as they were building audience – 24/7 cable news can’t survive on the promise something big is going to happen.”

Like any cable start-up, the prospect of success for a venture like RightNetwork depends to some extent on the quality of shows, but also its ability to get the nation’s cable and satellite providers to carry it in a good spot on the dial.

As for programming, the proposed lineup on RightNetwork – as posted for a preview on its Web site, rightnetwork.com – is slanted more toward what could be called “conservative entertainment” and away from the newsier approach of Fox.

There is, for example, a right-leaning comedy show, “Evan Sayet’s Right 2 Laugh,” with standup comics making jokes about [Alleged] President Obama’s teleprompter and buying an Obama coin “because any collector will tell you a coin is worth a lot more when there’s an obvious mistake on it.”

There’s also a reality show called “Running” about six novice conservative candidates, and “Politics and Poker” with bombastic new-media star Andrew Breitbart.

The previews are introduced by “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Grammer, one of Hollywood’s best-known conservatives, who hails the network as “all that’s right in the world.”

There was considerable discussion yesterday – fueled by some confusion in initial news reports – over whether Snider and the network would receive backing from another Philadelphia institution – Comcast Corp., which is currently seeking approval for its majority stake in NBC-Universal.

Comcast issued a statement late yesterday that it is not an investor in RightNetwork and that it is evaluating the content of the new channel for possible addition to its channel lineup, as it would with any other start-up cable network.

Posted 2010-04-20 8:17 AM (#36266) By: SteveSchulin

DC Knows that Obama is Ineligible for Office

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in CFP

By JB Williams  Tuesday, April 20, 2010

imageMembers from all three branches of the Federal government already know that Barack Hussein Obama is ineligible for the office of President. National leaders, to include members of the US Supreme Court, already know that Barack Hussein Obama is not a “natural born citizen” of the United States of America, and therefore, is ineligible for the office he currently holds. (See JB’s new article on The Bottom Line on Natural Born Citizen)

What they don’t know is how long it will take for most Americans to figure it out, or what to do about it.

The diversionary search for an authentic birth certificate is ongoing and Obama has now spent in excess of $2 million in legal fees to keep that search alive.

Eric Holder’s Department of Justice continues to deploy taxpayer funded attorneys around the country to file dismissals on behalf of Obama, denying all American citizens access to the courts as a peaceful remedy, which only fuels the fire of discontent and the questions about Obama persist.

Michelle Obama states that Kenya is Barack’s “home country.” She knows, after twenty years with Barack. The Ambassador or Kenya has confirmed the same His family friends all know it, and are in fact quite proud of the fact that Americans had no hesitation in electing a “black man from Kenya” as President of the United States.

The US Supreme Court knows what the constitutional condition of “natural born citizen” means. Even the most far left member of that court, Justice Ginsberg, is on record proclaiming that a “natural born citizen” is a birth child of TWO legal US citizens.

Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi knows that Barack Hussein Obama is not eligible for the office of president, which is why she refused to certify the following language when certifying Obama as the DNC candidate for president in 2008.

This is the normal language for certification of nomination for president and vice president, filed by the DNC only in the state of Hawaii…

image

This is the language filed by the DNC in the other 49 states, however…

image

Note that the language which certifies that Barack Hussein Obama meets all constitutional qualifications is missing in the DNC documents filed in 49 of the 50 states. The certification of constitutional qualification for the office of president was filed only in Hawaii. That text is missing in the DNC certification filings for all other states.

Whereas the RNC filed the exact same certification document, including the constitutional text for John McCain in all 50 states, Obama was technically certified in only one state, Hawaii. A mere inconvenient technicality, I’m sure…

The US Congress knows that Barack Hussein Obama is not constitutionally qualified for the office he holds. Although the congress passed a resolution proclaiming Senator John McCain a “natural born citizen” as the son of two US citizens, no such congressional resolution exists for Barack Hussein Obama.

The press knows that Obama is not a “natural born citizen,” having written on several occasions about the “Kenyan born” senator from Chicago. A number of citizens have already been arrested and jailed for asking these questions.

Over four-hundred law suits have been filed across the country asking the courts to force Obama to become the “transparent president” he promised to be, and all four-hundred are being dismissed before discovery, all on the basis that “no citizen has proper legal standing” to ask who and what their president really is…

Over a half-million citizens have now signed a petition demanding to see Obama’s birth records.

Numerous members of the US Military have refused deployment orders from Obama, on the basis that he refuses to evidence his constitutional qualifications to issue such orders. In most cases, the soldiers have simply been reassigned, so as to avoid any disciplinary action that could end in “defense discovery” which might finally force Obama to open up his files once and for all.

Now an eighteen year veteran flight surgeon and active Lt. Colonel faces court martial as he makes his demands for proof that Obama is constitutionally eligible to issue orders as Commander-in-Chief.

Obama’s entire domestic, foreign and national defense agenda has proven to be wholly anti-American

Obama’s entire domestic, foreign and national defense agenda has proven to be wholly anti-American on every possible level. Still, the answers concerning who and what Barack Hussein Obama Jr. really is remain elusive in the face of unprecedented efforts to ask the right questions.

No matter who asks, how they ask or where they ask, not one single individual in Washington DC or even state government seems willing to weigh in on the most important issue of our era. Who and what is the man sitting in the people’s White House?

How in the hell did we get an overtly anti-American resident of the people’s White House without so much as a simple birth certificate to prove who this person really is?

And why won’t a single elected representative of the people engage in the effort to force an answer to this question?

The answers to these and many more questions are likely very simple and equally chilling…

The Speaker of the House does not refuse to certify her candidate as “constitutionally qualified” in forty-nine of fifty states by accident

Nobody spends $2 million in legal fees to hide an authentic birth certificate. The Speaker of the House does not refuse to certify her candidate as “constitutionally qualified” in forty-nine of fifty states by accident. A press that knew he was the “first Kenyan born senator” didn’t forget that he was Kenyan born when he decided to run for president.

Most importantly, the people DO have a right (read – proper standing) to ask who and what their president really is, in any court, any time. And soldiers are court-martialed for refusing orders, unless those orders were issued by an illegitimate Commander-in-Chief.

DC knows what most Americans have yet to figure out…

Obama is NOT a natural born citizen no matter where he might have been born. Obama’s birth father was at no time an American citizen and on this basis alone, Obama cannot be a constitutionally qualified resident of the White House.

They know something else that the American people have yet to figure out…

The US Constitution no longer stands as the governing law of this land. Obama’s many unconstitutional policies, Czars, executive orders and statements provide the proof, and the fact that nobody in DC cares whether or not Obama is constitutionally qualified to be president of the United States should send a shiver down the spine of every red blooded American citizen, no matter their partisan agendas.

The people willing to ask the tough questions are deemed crackpots and conspiracy theorists, racists or bigots. But those tough questions should be obvious questions to all Americans and every president should have to answer those questions, no matter race, creed, color or party affiliation.

I fear that those questions will only be answered at the tip of pitch forks and torches one day. Sooner or later, the people will run out of patience with a system built to exclude them. When that day comes, I fear what methods will be employed and whether or not there will be a country left to save by then.

But sooner or later, one way or another, Obama will have to answer those questions. One day, the world will know who and what this man is and there will be a day of reckoning like no other in American history.

The longer it takes for that day to arrive, the more dangerous the situation will become. A man not even qualified to hold the office is using that office to destroy the greatest nation on earth. How much patience can the people be expected to display?

Obama is not eligible for the office he currently holds and everyone in a position to know – already know.

What they don’t know is how much longer they can keep it all a secret, or what will happen next.

Earth Day: An Assault on Man

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in AT

April 22, 2010

By Brian Sussman

In recent weeks while addressing Tea Party rallies here on the left coast, I ask the assembled patriots what appears to be an odd question: “Would all those from the former Soviet Union please raise your hands?”

A notable number of hands are always raised — the San Francisco Bay Area is home to a diverse population.
I then ask another curious question: “What does April 22 signify to you?”
Without exception, someone will shout with great displeasure, “Lenin’s birth date!”
The crowd clearly sees that I’m on to something. I next ask the former Soviets, “And as a young child in school, who were you told is your grandfather?”
At this point several painfully respond, “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin!”
“And in the United States, do you know what we celebrate on April 22?” I ask. “Earth Day. Grandfather Lenin has been conjoined with Mother Earth — and it’s no coincidence.”
In my new book Climategate (released today), I detail the doings of Earth Day’s devious founders. It seems that this crafty crew were cut from cloth that resembles Marx and Lenin, as opposed to Madison and Jefferson.
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WS) was Congress’s leading environmentalist activist. Nelson was the mastermind behind those ridiculous teach-ins, which were in vogue in the late sixties and early seventies. During the teach-ins, mutinous school instructors would scrap the day’s assigned curriculum, pressure their students to sit cross-legged on the floor, “rap” about how America is an imperialist nation, and discuss why communism really isn’t such a bad form of government — it just needs to be implemented properly.
Nelson’s teach-in efforts were aided by a young man named Denis Hayes. Hayes was student body president while an undergrad at Stanford, and well known for organizing anti-Vietnam war protests. Later, while pursuing a masters degree in public policy at Harvard, Hayes heard about Senator Nelson’s teach-in concept and eventually helped Nelson institute the practice nationwide. Denis Hayes would also conspire with the senator to found Earth Day.
Rounding out the troika was Professor Paul Ehrlich of Stanford. In 1968 Ehrlich authored the Malthusian missive, The Population Bomb, in which he infamously spouted wild allegations which included equating the earth’s supposed surplus of people with a cancer that needs to be eradicated: “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. … We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
In 1969, following a much-hyped oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast, an overblown patch of fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, and the pharmaceutically induced vibes cast across the nation via the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Senator Nelson met with Ehrlich and reportedly said, “My God — why not a national teach-in on the environment?” Hayes was brought in to play a pivotal role with organization and implementation. After careful consideration, a name and date for the event were chosen: The inaugural Earth Day would be celebrated April 22, 1970.
Skeptical historians immediately noted a bizarre coincidence.  The date coincided with the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Lenin. Earth Day organizers have since tried to brush aside the odd synchronization of dates with lame retorts like “Lenin wasn’t an environmentalist.” But he didn’t have to be. Lenin’s core political philosophy was linked at the hip with these newfangled eco-zealots, who maintained that America’s government must be altered, its economy planned and regulated, and its citizens better-controlled. The environment would be the perfect tool to force these changes, and the most efficient way to gain converts would be through the public school system — the earlier, the better.
Nelson and Ehrlich were already known as non-traditional crackpots, but young Hayes was that and more. In a New York Times article published the morning after the first Earth Day entitled “Angry Coordinator of Earth Day,” young Hayes bragged that five years earlier, he fled overseas because “I had to get away from America.” Hayes was so committed to his anti-capitalist cause that he made sure that his organization did not even produce Earth Day bumper stickers. “You want to know why?” He explained to the Times: “Because they go on automobiles.”
As I write in Climategate:
Earth Day has never been a celebration of God’s wonderful creation; instead it’s always been an assault on man.  “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources,” championed the New York Times in an April 23, 1970 editorial, “not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
During that first Earth Day man was proclaimed the polluter and would remain as such for subsequent observances that decade.  By the Eighties the event’s organizers cast man as the tree killer, and, with the Nineties, man evolved into the animal species annihilator.  The global warming scare never really became popular until the late Nineties, and when it did, it provided a hook that the compatriots at the Earth Day headquarters could hang their red berets on.  Known as anthropogenic global warming, it was a sexy sell: humans-particularly Americans-were now screwing up the entire planet’s weather. By 2000 Earth Day organizers took ownership of this new angle and would never let go.
Senator Nelson has since passed into the great beyond, Denis Hayes is a board member of the international Earth Day Network, and Paul Ehrlich continues to promote Malthus’ machinations at Stanford. In fact, Ehrlich’s close associate and co-author of many of his books, John Holdren, is now Barack Obama’s official science and technology advisor.
While today is the official Earth Day, the biggest gaggle of true believers will assemble on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. According to the Earth Day Network, the list of featured speakers confirms my premise that Earth Day is an assault on man. The mouthpieces include AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, the guy who is widely reported as having encouraged striking United Mine Worker to “kick the shit out of ” mine employees who were resisting union demands.
Another featured speaker will be Hollywood director James Cameron, who recently said that he wanted to take anthropogenic global warming deniers “into the street and shoot it out with those boneheads.” In the same interview, he also stated that global warning deniers “have their head so deeply up their ass I’m not sure if they could hear me.”
Also included to share his CO2 with the audience is activist Jesse Jackson. We haven’t heard as much from Jackson since he was forced to apologize after an open microphone caught him whispering, “See, Barack’s been talking down to black people … I want to cut his nuts off.”
These three speakers take “assault on man” to a whole new level.
Of course, Denis Hayes will be the keynote for this Sunday event. According to the Earth Day Network press release:
Denis Hayes, national coordinator for the first Earth Day in 1970 and international chair of Earth Day 2010, will speak about the urgency of addressing climate change and the need to set a framework for a green economy.
Carefully note the last words summarizing Hayes’ forthcoming speech: “… the need to set a framework for a green economy.” Hayes’ speech is perfectly planned to kick off debate on the Energy/Cap-and-Trade Bill in the Senate, which is scheduled to begin the very next day.
As I have noted previously here at American Thinker, the American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House proposes green economic schemes that should frighten us greatly.
For example, buried on pages 1014-1016 of the bill is the “Monthly Energy Refund.” According to this trick, for those with a gross income that “does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty line … a direct deposit” of an undisclosed amount of money will be sent “into the eligible household’s designated bank account[.]”
On pages 502-503 we find the “Low Income Community Energy Efficiency Program,” whereby grants will be issued “to increase the flow of capital and benefits to low income communities, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses and entrepreneurs[.]”
Further proving that this is actually a welfare scheme, on page 973 we discover that for workers who lose their manufacturing jobs because the caps on their companies are too repressive and their employer either has to shut down or move operations to the third world to avoid regulation, the “adversely affected worker” shall receive 70 percent of his prior weekly wage, “payable for a period not longer than 156 weeks.” In addition, on pages 986-987 we read that the unemployed worker can submit up to $1,500 in job search reimbursements and get another $1,500 to cover his moving expenses.
And then there are the new federally mandated building codes, which will supersede local rules and regulations. The new codes will be enforced by what I refer to in Climategate as a “green goon squad.” On pages 319-324 of the House bill we read that the Secretary of Energy “shall enhance compliance by conducting training and education of builders and other professionals in the jurisdiction concerning the national energy efficiency building code.”  These EPA badge-wearing G-Men will be funded through global warming revenues procured through the cap-and-trade scheme, as well as by $25 million designated annually from the Department of Energy “to provide necessary enforcement of a national energy efficiency building code[.]”
Earth Day is not a celebration of this glorious planet, but instead an assault on man — and the current energy bill is an assault on America. We must equip ourselves with a complete understanding of the facts so that we can prevent these elitist social engineers from passing this liberty-sapping piece of legislation.
For two decades, Brian Sussman served the San Francisco Bay Area with his award-winning television weathercasts. He now serves the same region as the morning talk show host on KSFO radio (560-AM).  His book, Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes The Global Warming Scam, is being released today.
By Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — While Goldman Sachs’ lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman’s chief executive visited the White House at least four times.

White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman’s political action committee, its employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers.

No evidence has surfaced to suggest that Blankfein or any other Goldman executive raised the SEC case with the president or his aides. SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said in a statement Wednesday that the SEC doesn’t coordinate enforcement actions with the White House or other political bodies.

Meanwhile, however, Goldman is retaining former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig as a member of its legal team. In addition, when he worked as an investment banker in Chicago a decade ago, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel advised one client who also retained Goldman as an adviser on the same $8.2 billion deal.

Goldman’s connections to the White House and the Obama administration are raising eyebrows at a time when Washington and Wall Street are dueling over how to overhaul regulation of the financial world.

Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist, said that “almost everything that the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and the money of Goldman . . . as well as the suspicion that the White House, particularly early on, was pulling its punches out of deference to Goldman and its war chest.

“There’s now kind of a magnifying glass on the administration for any sign of interference or conversations with the regulators and the judiciary,” Jacobs said.

The SEC investigation of Goldman’s dealings lasted 18 months and culminated with the SEC filing civil fraud charges against the investment bank last week.

According to White House visitor logs, Blankfein was among the business leaders who attended an Obama speech on Feb. 13, 2009, and he also joined more than a dozen bank CEOs in a meeting with Obama on March 27, 2009.

Blankfein also was supposed be among the CEOs who met with Obama in December, but he and two others phoned in from New York, blaming inclement weather.

He and his wife, Laura, were listed on the logs among 438 presidential guests at the Kennedy Center Honors the previous week.

The logs also indicate that Blankfein met twice in 2009, on Feb. 4 and Sept. 30, with Summers, who was undersecretary of the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration when it was headed by Robert Rubin, a former Goldman CEO.

Asked whether Goldman executives had talked to administration officials about the SEC inquiry, Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally said that the firm doesn’t discuss “what conversations we may or may not have had with government officials.”

Schapiro’s statement said that she’s “disappointed” by Republican rhetoric suggesting that the SEC case against Goldman might have been timed to boost legislative prospects for a financial regulation overhaul bill, which Obama plans to pitch in a speech in New York Thursday.

“We do not coordinate our enforcement actions with the White House, Congress or political committees,” Schapiro said. “We do not time our cases around political events or the legislative calendar . . . We will neither bring cases, nor refrain from bringing them, because of the political consequences.”

Obama dismissed any such suggestion as “completely false” Wednesday, saying in a CNBC television interview that the SEC “never discussed with us anything with respect to the charges that would be brought.”

While describing Craig, his former counsel, as “one of the top lawyers in the country,” Obama also said that he’d imposed “the toughest ethics rules that any president’s ever had.”

“One thing he (Craig) knows is that he cannot talk to the White House,” Obama said. “He cannot lobby the White House. He cannot in any way use his former position to have any influence on us.”

Goldman’s chief spokesman, Lucas van Praag, said the firm “wanted Craig . . . for his wisdom and insight.”

Craig, now an attorney with the Washington law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagre & Flom, said: “I am a lawyer, not a lobbyist. Goldman Sachs has hired me to provide legal advice and to assist in its legal representation.”

Goldman’s nearly $1 million in campaign contributions to Obama’s presidential campaign were the most from any single employer except the University of California. Still, they represented only a fraction of the more than $700 million that the campaign raised.

“The vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country,” Obama told CNBC. “Moreover, anybody who gave me money during the course of my campaign knew that I was on record in 2007 and 2008 pushing very strongly that we needed to reform how Wall Street did business.”

One White House insider who knows something about how Wall Street does business is chief of staff Emanuel, who earned millions of dollars in investment banking after he left the Clinton White House. His work for the Chicago-based financial services firm Wasserstein Perella & Co. intersected with Goldman in at least one deal.

In 1999, Emanuel was a key player representing Unicom Corp., the parent of Commonwealth Edison, in forging its merger with Peco Energy Co. to create utility giant Exelon Corp. Goldman was also advising Unicom.

The White House declined immediate comment on that connection.

Several former Goldman executives hold senior positions in the Obama administration, including Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Mark Patterson, a former Goldman lobbyist who is chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and Robert Hormats, the undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs.

Jacobs of the University of Minnesota said that the administration now risks “kind of a feeding frenzy.”

“The administration has to be very careful,” he said, “because . . . they’re seen as the ones who bailed out Wall Street. If there are indications that the administration was talking to regulators or to Justice Department people about when and how Goldman or other firms would be investigated, I think that’s going to create almost a mob scene.”

(Margaret Talev, Steven Thomma and Tish Wells contributed to this article.)