December 19th, 2008

Israel

Hamas declares Israel truce over

Hamas had earlier said it would not be renewing the truce when it expired at 0400 GMT on Friday.

The Egyptian-brokered deal began on 19 June but has been tested regularly by Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli operations in Gaza.

Israel said it would like to renew the truce, but Hamas said Israel failed to ease its blockade of Gaza.

Israeli officials insist they never made a commitment to do so.

Both sides have accused the other or regularly infringing the truce.

"The ceasefire is over and there won't be a renewal because the Zionist enemy has not respected its conditions," Hamas said in a statement carried on its website.

As the expiry of the ceasefire neared, both sides said they would respond to any attack from the other party but would not take the offensive.

"We issue a warning to the Zionist enemy: all attacks against the Gaza Strip or any new crime will trigger a large-scale confrontation and we will retaliate very fiercely," said the Hamas statement.

Speaking to Israel's Haaretz newspaper before the ceasefire was declared over by Hamas, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the truce had been beneficial.

"Of course the tahadiyeh (calm) was not a mistake," he told Haaretz.

"If the quiet continues, there will be quiet. If the calm breaks, we will operate."

However, there have been regular outbreaks of violence in recent weeks with Palestinian factions firing rockets at Israel from Gaza and Israel responding with airstrikes.
     

Eagle

Mark Felt, Who Was ‘Deep Throat’ During Watergate, Dies at 95


Mark Felt, the man who helped bring down President Richard Nixon as the infamous “Deep Throat” for investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, died at his Santa Rosa home Thursday afternoon surrounded by family.

Felt was born in Twin Falls, Idaho on Aug. 17, 1913, the son of carpenter and building contractor Mark Earl Felt and his wife, the former Rose Dygert. He graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1931 and received his B.A. from the University of Idaho in 1935.

After graduation, Felt moved to Washington, D.C. and got his first taste of political life working in the office of Idaho Senator James P. Pope. In 1938, he married Audrey Robinson, a fellow Idahoan who also had moved to Washington, D.C. and whom he had known since they were both students at the University of Idaho.

In an early indication of both his ambition and propensity for hard work, Felt worked during the day and attended George Washington University Law School at night. He earned his law degree in 1940, and was admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia bar in 1941.

After graduation, Felt took a position at the Federal Trade Commission, but left after only a few months in search of a a more adventurous career.

In his memoir, “The FBI Pyramid” published in 1979, Felt said the FTC had asked him to investigate whether a toilet paper brand called “Red Cross” gave consumers the mistaken impression it was endorsed by the American Red Cross.

World War II was in full swing in January 1942 when Felt went to work for the FBI. He was immediately assigned to the Espionage Section, tracking down Nazi spies operating in the U.S. His investigations led to the arrest of two top-level spies and brought him to the attention of FBI top brass.

According to the Washington Post, it was during this period that Felt learned counter-intelligence tricks that became part of his relationship with the Post reporters: A flowerpot on Woodward’s balcony would indicate that the reporter required a meeting, while a clock face inked on the reporter’s daily New York Times would reveal the time Felt would be waiting in an underground parking garage.

                                      
  



winston wolf2

Another Day, Another BAILOUT

The White House has given Detroit an early Christmas present. Friday.  The Federal government will provide immediate financial assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, which warned that, without aid, they might go out of business by the end of the month.

Under the terms of the deal, the companies will receive $13.4 billion in emergency bridge loans. The money will be doled out from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program which the Treasury has at its disposal to alleviate the credit crunch. The companies will be eligible to receive an additional $4 billion in February. The bridge loans are expected to keep the companies afloat until at least March 31. If they have not been able to work out a viable plan for restructuring by that date, the administration will be able to recall the loans.

Without providing many specifics, Bush stressed that all parties involved--management, labor unions, creditors, bondholders, dealers and suppliers--will have to accept "meaningful concessions." Any money distributed from the TARP kitty includes restrictions on executive compensation and the ability for the government to take equity stakes in a company receiving assistance. Bush said bondholders will be forced to swap debt for equity and that workers will need to accept compensation "competitive" with foreign automakers operating in the United States.

In a statement, GM said the loans "will allow us to accelerate the completion of our aggressive restructuring plan for long-term, sustainable success." Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli said that his company will receive $4 billion in immediate assistance, which will allow the company to "move forward with the restructuring and streamlining of our organization that we began in 2007."

                                                             
 


Black Wolf

THERE ARE NO FREE LUNCHES

GM & Chrysler are receiving a $17.4 billion loan from the taxpayers.

GM, Chrysler, and Ford had  previously asked Congress to give them a bailout, a request that died in the Senate. The funds that the Treasury is using to bailout the automakers come from TARP, which was created to bail out the Banks.  The Federal government should not be bailing out corporations.  However, beyond whether the feds should bail out an industry is the question of the legality of the bailouts. Congress is authorized to allocate money for specific purposes and the Executive Branch spends the money as authorized by Congress. In bailing out GM & Chrysler,  it appears the President is allocating money in a way not authorized by Congress for a purpose that was rejected by Congress.

The United States is rapidly becoming a Banana Republic with a 0% prime rate and an acceleration of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Bank that will lead to high inflation in the future. Capitalism is shrinking while socialism is expanding. The Bankruptcy Act was passed by Congress to deal with the very situations that the automakers find themselves in due to their own mistakes and mismanagement.  Both management and unions agreed to operate in the manner that lead to this crisis. Is Uncle Sam going to bailout the Newspapers, Airlines, Restaurants and individual taxpayers who are find themselves in the same financial situation?  Where is the balance between short term stimulus and long term debt?  THERE IS NO MONEY IN THE TREASURY TO PAY FOR THESE BAILOUTS. Trillions of dollars worth of debt is being run up by the Federal government.  YOU, the individual tax payers will have to repay this debt in the future.  There is no free lunch. There are no free bailouts.  Somebody has to pay.  If you are one of almost half the wage earners who are not required to pay income taxes, you get a pass.  The rest of you need to be prepared  to send a check, send a BIG check , to the IRS in 2011 and for the rest of your life to pay our way out of the debt that the present administration and the Obamanation are producing.
Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party Warns Against Further Government Spending

America's largest third party is warning against the institution of new government programs in the wake of the current economic crisis. "Government programs tend to linger with disastrous economic consequences," says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis.

"Congress needs to exercise extreme caution when considering any new government programs that are intended to act as a remedy for economic decline," says Davis. "The New Deal taught us that government programs die hard, and we're still suffering from the leftovers of FDR's administration."

"Government got us here, and more government will not get us out," observes Davis.

The Libertarian Party blames the current economic crisis on government's intervention in the economy, and worries about the economic impact of exploding government expenditures.

"Out of every four dollars of economic activity, one of those is from federal government spending," Davis notes. "Not since World War II have we seen the federal share of the economy at this level. This will have severe economic consequences down the road if we don’t look for options to this economic crisis other than more government spending."

According to an article published on Dec. 10, 2008 in USA Today, the federal share of the economy was at its highest in 1943 and 1944, at 44 percent.

"Trying to solve this economic crisis by risking another one in the future is not sound, sensible, responsible policy," says Davis. "There are several other options for economic relief that don't involve increasing government, such as tax cuts, deregulation and an avoidance of anything resembling a bailout."

The Libertarian Party has recently focused on the spending plans of the incoming Obama administration, which includes plans for the largest public works project since the 1950s. The cost is projected to reach more than $500 billion dollars.

"It's understandable that in these hard economic times that people are looking for answers and solutions," Davis explains. "However, history has taught us that government solutions only worsen problems, and do nothing to expedite recovery. The federal government has already put taxpayers at an incredible risk for trillions of dollars with the last bailout. Any further action will just dig that hole even deeper."

"It's absolutely immoral to strap future generations of taxpayers with this level of debt," says Davis.

The platform of the Libertarian Party states "a free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner," adding that the only role of government in the economy is to "protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected."

For more information on this issue, or to arrange an interview with the Libertarian Party, please email Andrew Davis at andrew.davis@lp.org, or call (202) 731-0002.

The Libertarian Party is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

Government Programs Die Hard | Libertarian Party