Remember the Constitution?

November 9, 2008

Arm and Arm with China?

British prime minister Gordon Brown is calling for a globalization of fiscal and monetary policy.

China is on board!

Where do we sign up?

November 8, 2008

Auto Bailout?

Check out this Washington Post Story.

To briefly highlight its’ content…

The U.S. automakers are seeking to get their hands on some of the $700 billion bailout money that the legislative and executive branches of government shoved down our throats.

To quote the article, “In recent weeks, top auto industry executives have been making the rounds in Washington, trying to shake loose federal cash all over town. Both GM and Ford posted big losses yesterday as the car companies continued to pay out in salaries and other expenses more than they are taking in from sales.”

Growing up in a state dominated by the auto industry, this has been coming for the past 35 years.

Lets look at the average auto worker.

Wages: From U.A.W:  Average auto worker $28.71/hr ($60K/yr).   According to Workers Comp Insider, the typical auto worker gets five weeks vacation and 17 holidays a year…but no sick time…it has to be used as vacation time.

From Bloomberg ” Under a four-year accord reached Sept. 26 (2007), all new employees would start in so-called non-core jobs such as janitorial and maintenance work and make about $28 an hour in pay and benefits, compared with $51 for present employees, the people said. They asked not to be identified because contract details haven’t been released.

For you business savvy people, this is labor and labor burden (The costs, above and beyond gross compensation, that an employer incurs in order for an employee to perform the work he was hired to do).

This cost per vehicle for wages per vehicle according to the U.A.W. itself:  $2400

Health Care : $0 + co-pays. (USA Today) The cost of this benefit adds $1,100 to $1,500 to every vehicle made by U.S. Auto workers.  They pay nothing out of their paychecks for health care.

This whole industry has been failing for decades and they have failed to adequately modernize their plants, keep wages even close to controllable levels and keep with the the full efficiency needs of this nation.

Now they want money to bail them out of their trouble because the companies are failing to bring in more than they are spending.

I would love to know what they intend on doing with this money they want to get from the tax payers…and how are they planning to pay it back.

They aren’t really working from the best business model.   Sell sub-standard vehicles at over inflated prices while paying workers and executives outrageous salaries and benefit packages.

November 6, 2008

The Check is in the Mail?

Filed under: government,politics,united states — usaconstitution @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , ,

This is a story about campaign workers being promised pay for canvassing and being left out in the cold.

Indianapolis – Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.

“I want my money today! It’s my money. I want it right now!” yelled one former campaign worker.

A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.

The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.

“There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they’re trying to get it organized,” said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.

The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly.

“No arrests. Some of the people were upset at first because the line wasn’t moving as fast as they thought it should. But we really haven’t had any problems,” said Major Darryl Pierce, Metro Police.

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

“Still that’s not right. I’m disappointed. I’m glad for the president, but I’m disappointed in this system,” said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

“It should have been $480. It’s $230,” said Imani Sankofa.

“They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90,” said Charles Martin.

“I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned,” said Randall Waldon.

Some people weren’t satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

“They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens,” said Antron Grose.

“Talking about they’ll mail it to us. I ain’t worried about that, man. They’re not going to mail nothin’,” said Martin

November 5, 2008


Filed under: government,politics,united states — usaconstitution @ 10:24 pm
Tags: ,

I thought it wouldn’t be said until Day 2.   But President-Elect Obama didn’t wait an hour before this came out of his mouth…

“We may not get there (change) in one year or even one term.””

Already running for 2012.

November 2, 2008

Only in America…

Filed under: constitution,government,rights,unconstitutional — usaconstitution @ 6:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

OHHHH!!!!! If this isn’t a beauty of a quote.

If you would have told me that a presidential candidate actually pleaded for the need of a civilian national security force for the United States, I would not have believed you.

Well…now you are the one not believing me…

Here it is. Not just audio, but video too…

September 27, 2008

From Three Pages to 102 Pages

In the below story, reported by the AP, it shows the typical work our government is capable of producing.   There are now 102 reason why our government needs to sty out of this fiasco that they created.

This is just more of the same.  I can’t wait to hear about this on the Sunday morning talk shows.

By The Associated Press Fri Sep 26, 6:15 PM ET

A week ago, it totaled just three pages — the White House’s request for $700 billion to rescue tottering financial institutions by buying their devalued mortgage-related assets

By Monday, after an intense weekend of negotiations, the draft of the bailout legislation before Congress had swelled to 42 pages.

By Friday, after almost a week of marathon talks between Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and key lawmakers in both parties, the working version was up to 102 pages

It likely will grow even longer as negotiators continue to tweak the proposal this weekend, adding and subtracting key elements.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the House Financial Services Committee’s chairman, was optimistic Friday that a final agreement could be reached by Sunday.

September 23, 2008

Passing the Buck

Here is an excerpt from a CNN interview with Christopher Dodd, who when explaining the reason for the lack of a response by Congress, neglected to mention the favorable loan he had received from these “predatory lenders”.

I am sure it is just a coincidence…”Ignore the man behind the curtain!”

His response is essentially…”It isn’t my fault!  The Republicans did it!”

Chetry: You yourself said this is not a natural disaster, and a lot of people have been asking, “Why didn’t Congress see this coming?” In fact, this is a quote from Henry Paulson, the treasury secretary, back in July. This was during the time of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. People thought that was the beginning and the end of this.

He writes: “Remember our economy has got very strong long-term fundamentals, solid fundamentals. Your policymakers are here; regulators were being very vigilant.” How can the argument be made that they were vigilant when we see the bottom fall out of the market?

Dodd: Back in 2005, [then-Rep.] Mike Oxley, along with [Rep.] Barney Frank and [Sen.] Paul Sarbanes, tried to do just that. The administration opposed the bill, and it was defeated on a party-line vote here in the Senate.

I know the history very, very well. When you had cops on the beat not doing their job, basically an eight-year coffee break by and large. Where you had legislation on the books and legislation not being enforced. Where you had regulators sitting back as loans were being made with no documentation, luring people into subprime mortgages, predatory lenders taking advantage of the situation that’s how this all unfolded. It’s not a mystery.

Housing mess and Congress-2007

Filed under: Congress,government,housing,liberty,mortgage,spending,unconstitutional,united states — usaconstitution @ 12:58 pm

Wonder what our wonderful congress was doing in 2007 about this housing mess…talking. What did they actually do…NOTHING!

This is seeming to be a popular way for them to work…until their pants are on fire.  They cant go around casting stones about this one.

As 2007 came to a close, Congress had done a lot of talking about cracking down on unfair and deceptive mortgage lending practices, but didn’t deliver on any major legislation.

Although there’s some consensus that tighter regulations or new laws governing lenders are needed, some lawmakers have been reluctant to impose restrictions that might worsen the credit crunch and the housing downturn.

In the meantime, the Federal Reserve has proposed strengthening its implementation of the Truth in Lending Act, through new regulations that would require subprime lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay a loan after a payment reset; document income and assets; and establish escrow accounts for taxes and insurance for a minimum of one year.

The Fed, which has some authority to draft new regulations for mortgage lenders without congressional approval, also proposes that lenders be required to enter into written agreements before collecting yield spread premiums on any loans, and wants new regulations prohibiting the coercion of appraisers to inflate property valuations.

Although new restrictions on lenders might make it harder — or more expensive — for borrowers to obtain loans, some say Congress could also ease the credit crunch by giving the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more leeway to guarantee and purchase loans.

While there was widespread agreement among lawmakers and the Bush administration that it’s time to modernize FHA loan guarantee programs and overhaul oversight of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the devil was once again in the details.

The House and Senate both passed FHA modernization bills, but couldn’t agree on what the upper limit should be for FHA-backed loans in high-cost areas — or the minimum down payment. The House and Senate also took opposing stances on a plan to allow FHA to introduce risk-based pricing, charging higher premiums to borrowers who might not otherwise qualify. Those differences will have to be worked out in a House-Senate committee before a bill can be sent to President Bush to sign.

When it came to GSE reform — legislation that would create a new, independent regulator overseeing Fannie and Freddie — the House passed a bill in May, but the Senate didn’t follow suit. As was the case in 2006, there were disagreements over caps limiting growth in Fannie’s and Freddie’s loan portfolios. House lawmakers further complicated the issue by attempting to create a $500-million-a-year affordable-housing fund sponsored by Fannie and Freddie.

Congress did succeed in passing legislation that would provide tax breaks for some homeowners with private mortgage insurance, and exempt debt forgiven in a foreclosure, short sale or workout from being classified as taxable income.

Here’s a roundup of legislation debated by Congress in 2007, which could provide the framework for lawmakers in the New Year:

GSE reform

WHAT: HR 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007.

WHY: Federal regulators imposed caps on the loan portfolios of mortgage repurchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after accounting and management scandals forced both companies to restate several years of earnings. HR 1427 would strengthen oversight of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) by creating an independent agency with powers similar to those of a bank regulator. While some Democrats want to increase the $417,000 conforming loan limit — and raise the $1.5 trillion cap on Fannie’s and Freddie’s loan portfolios to allow them to buy up more loans — the Bush administration has said it wants to see a stronger regulator in place first.

STATUS: Approved by the House May 22 in a 313-104 vote. Referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

PROSPECTS: Iffy. The issue of the caps on Fannie’s and Freddie’s loan portfolios stalled Senate passage of a GSE reform bill in 2006. In 2007, compromise language worked out by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and the Treasury Department, would have given Fannie and Freddie’s new regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the ability to limit their loan portfolios — but only if they were determined to pose a systemic risk to banking and financial systems. The bill approved by the House backed away from the compromise by giving the FHFA less leeway to make such a determination — potentially allowing for more growth in Fannie’s and Freddie’s loan portfolios. The Bush administration is also opposed to a provision of the bill that would require Fannie and Freddie to contribute about $500 million a year to an affordable-housing fund.

FHA Modernization:

WHAT: HR 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007. SB 2338, FHA Modernization Act of 2007.

WHY: Congress and the Bush administration generally agree on the need to modify loan guarantee programs offered by the Federal Housing Administration, which lost market share to subprime lenders during the housing boom in part because of tight limits on the maximum dollar amounts of loans it could back. HR 1852 would increase the maximum amount for loans to be eligible for FHA backing in high-cost areas to up to 175 percent of the $417,000 conforming loan limit — $729,750 — or 125 percent of an area’s median home price, whichever is less. The House bill would also allow the expanded use of risk-based pricing to serve borrowers with lower credit scores, and do away with 3 percent minimum down-payment requirements.

A Senate version of the bill, SB 2338, would increase FHA loan limits in high-cost areas by a smaller amount — raising them from $362,000 to $417,000. The Senate bill would also maintain a 1.5 percent minimum down-payment requirement on FHA loans, and place a 12-month moratorium on the implementation of a pilot program to test risk-based pricing.

STATUS: The House approved its FHA modernization bill Sept. 18 in a 348-72 vote. A Senate version of the bill, SB 2338, was approved Dec. 14 in a 93-1 vote.

PROSPECTS: Good. The Bush administration has made FHA loan guarantees a centerpiece of its foreclosure prevention efforts, creating the new FHASecure program to help qualifying borrowers already in default refinance into more affordable loans. The administration supports the more modest increases in FHA loan limits set forth in the Senate version of the bill. While the House bill would allow risk-based pricing, the administration is opposed to limitations it would impose on premiums.

Tax issues

WHAT: HR 3648, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.

WHY: Under current law, the IRS considers many forms of forgiven debt to be taxable income. There’s general agreement that Uncle Sam shouldn’t penalize troubled homeowners who are able to convince their lenders to forgive part of their debt as part of a foreclosure, short sale or loan workout. As introduced, HR 3648 would have permanently changed the tax code to give homeowners a tax break if their lender forgives part of their debt. The bill would also extend the current deduction for private mortgage insurance to 2014, helping low- and moderate-income home buyers avoid costly — and hard-to-find — piggyback loans. A permanent tax break for borrowers on forgiven debt would have cost an estimated $1.38 billion over the next 10 years, and extending the deduction for private mortgage insurance would have eliminate about $570 million in tax revenue over the same period. The bill would have made up for the lost revenue by tightening the rules for claiming a deduction on the sale of a second home.

STATUS: HR 3648 was passed by the House Oct. 4 in a 386-27 vote. The bill was amended by the Senate, which limited both tax exemptions — for debt forgiveness and private mortgage insurance — to three years, leaving intact existing provisions for claiming a deduction on gains from the sale of a second home. The House agreed to the amendments in a Dec. 18 voice vote.

PROSPECTS: Excellent. The Bush administration objected to a permanent tax exemption for forgiven debt, and was opposed to tightening the rules that govern when a second home, vacation or rental property can be claimed as a primary residence for tax purposes. With the House’s acceptance of the Senate’s amendments on those issues, the president is expected to sign the bill into law.

Restrictions on lenders

WHAT: HR 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007. SB 2452, the Home Ownership Preservation and Protection Act of 2007.

WHY: Democrats have introduced these bills to combat predatory lending, and have attempted to craft them to address industry concerns that some provisions could worsen the credit crunch and reduce borrowers’ access to home loans. HR 3915 would create a national licensing system for loan originators and attempts to limit the payment of yield spread premiums or other incentives used to steer borrowers into higher cost loans. The bill would also require lenders to determine that borrowers have a reasonable ability to repay a loan, and create limited liability for companies that bundle mortgages for sale to Wall Street investors. SB 2452 would require loan servicers to attempt loss mitigation strategies before initiating foreclosure proceedings against borrowers, require lenders to follow existing federal guidelines for subprime and nontraditional mortgage loans, and lower the threshold for loans to fall under even stricter requirements for high-cost mortgages as defined by the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act, or HOEPA.

STATUS: HR 3915 approved Nov. 15 in a 291-127 vote. SB 2452 was introduced Dec. 12 and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

PROSPECTS: Iffy. Although HR 3915 enjoyed bipartisan support in the House, some of the bill’s provisions could face tougher sailing in the Senate. The Bush administration can use its veto power to force compromise on any provisions it objects to in either bill.

Borrower assistance

WHAT: HR 3609, the Emergency Home Ownership and Mortgage Equity Protection Act of 2007. SB 2136, Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2007.

WHY: Supporters of these bills want to give federal bankruptcy judges the power to modify the terms of subprime mortgage loans, saying courts could stem foreclosures. HR 3609 would give judges the ability to convert an adjustable-rate loan into a fixed-rate mortgage, and reduce the amount owed to reflect the actual value of the principle residence of a borrower filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Lending industry opponents say the bill would create incentives for borrowers not to repay their home loans and lead to more bankruptcy filings. Because the bill would undermine confidence in the ability of lenders to collect payments, interest rates on all mortgages might go up as much as 2 percent, critics including the Mortgage Bankers Association claim.

STATUS: HR 3609 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Dec. 12 in a 17-15 vote. SB 2136 was the subject of a Dec. 5 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which took no action on the bill.

PROSPECTS: Slim. Although the bill that emerged from the House Judiciary Committee included compromise language restricting its application to subprime loans originated after Jan. 1, 2000, and exempting loans originated after its enactment, Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot was the lone Republican supporting the bill.

WHAT: HR 4178, the Emergency Mortgage Loan Modification Act of 2007.

WHY: This bill, authored by Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., would protect loan servicers who engage in workouts with borrowers from lawsuits by investors in securities backed by the loans. The bill would provide a “safe harbor” allowing loan servicers to restructure subprime loans in default or where default is imminent.

STATUS: Introduced Nov. 14 and referred to House Committee on Financial Services.

PROSPECTS: Iffy. The bill was intended to encourage loan servicers — like those participating in the Bush administration’s HOPE NOW alliance — to engage in workouts without fear of lawsuits from investors. But Bush administration officials, including Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan and FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair — say the bill could undermine confidence in the secondary mortgage market and question whether it could withstand legal challenges.

Housing assistance

WHAT: HR 2895, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007.

WHY: Democrats including California Rep. Maxine Waters say the federal government has done little to build affordable housing in recent years. HR 2895 would siphon off $800 million to $1 billion annually from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to build, rehabilitate or preserve 1.5 million units of rental housing over the next decade.

STATUS: Approved by the House Oct. 10 in a 264-148 vote, referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

PROSPECTS: Iffy. The Bush administration objects to tapping Fannie and Freddie for an affordable-housing fund, and HUD Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery told members of the House Financial Services Committee this summer that diverting revenue from FHA programs would be like “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Democrats have included similar provisions in House versions of GSE reform and FHA modernization bills that may not be embraced by the Senate.

September 22, 2008

A Crook is a Crook!

These words come from a dear friend of mine.😉

This country is in the midst of a financial fiasco at this time and I have been doing a little digging.

The Government is currently scrambling to come up with solutions to this problem, but do not be naive enough to think that they haven’t had a hand in this process from the start. State and local governments are equally at fault.

In this area, the local governments were increasing property assessments (tied to property taxes) on the basis that these homes were selling at such high rates and big $$$. The lending institutions were issuing “interest only loans”, “paper free loans” and “sub-prime” loans” because “EVERYBODY DESERVES A HOUSE”…even if they couldn’t pay.

The State and local governments became “fat” because of the increased property tax revenue and the lending institutions were just passing this loans around as commodities like they weren’t real. Everyone was “fat and happy because they were just “kicking the can down the road”, but this money wasn’t real.

The Government LOVED the tax revenue, the banks loved the “assets” they could show on their books (and the bonuses that came along with them) and the people who could actually afford to own a home, now had a mortgage. Don’t be fooled…these programs aren’t just for the poor. Depending on the area, these loans could be purchased up to $417,000.

Most of this happened under the guise of these two quasi-government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were government sponsored enterprises, but publicly traded companies, and as of today the U.S Government is under control of a $6,000,000,000,000 piece (50%) of the U.S. Housing market. Fannie Mae was stated in the 1930’s under FDR “New Deal” that has handcuffed us with the antiquated Social Security System (which should be ready to fail soon) and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which helped WATCH this whole financial crisis happen.

On September 17, 2004, The government reports of gross accounting abuses in 2004 at Fannie Mae.

The referenced 121 page report outlined the culture of behavior that was an issue over four years ago at Fannie Mae.

  • Management’s desire to portray Fannie Mae as a consistent generator of stable and growing earnings;
  • A dysfunctional and ineffective process for developing accounting policies;
  • An operating environment that tolerated weak or non-existent controls;
  • Key person dependencies and poor segregation of duties;
  • Incomplete and ineffective reviews by the Office of Auditing;
  • An inordinate concentration of responsibility vested in the Chief Financial Officer; and

Read that last one again. The company lied about profits to increase the management bonuses in the government sponsored enterprise.

Fannie Mae is was the largest purchaser of Countrywide Financial Corporation loans.

Countrywide was by Bank of America almost two weeks ago.

Countrywide was one of the institutions that obtained these sub-prime loans. Since Countrywide didn’t want to have these bad sub-prime loans on their books, they passed them off to Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac.

Countrywide, according to the linked article, gave favorable loans to the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd and the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad among others.

In a “completely unrelated” turn of events. Senator Dodd was one of the sponsors for a $300 Billion measure that would enable these same loans initiated by Countywide (and other institutions) to be insured from loss and foreclosure. These two Senators are currently under ethics investigation (by other Senators who are a part of the same broken system.)

This June Wall Street Journal article outlines a couple of additional interested parties (James A. Johnson and Franklin Raines) who had received “favorable” loans from Country Wide. These people are current advisers on one of our Presidential candidate’s political staffs.

James A. Johnson was, from 1991 to 1996, the CEO of Fannie Mae after a five year stint at Lehmen Brothers (now bankrupt). He was the head of one candidates VP search committee and is currently a bundler of donations for the same candidate.

Franklin Raines held the same position with Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2004, before “accepting early retirement”. They have been under investigation since that time of overstating Fannie Mac’s earnings by thirty percent… or $3,000,000,000 ($3 billion) in 2004. He has since agreed to pay over $40 million in fines, penalties and stock options according to this April NY Times article. Raines worked for Fannie Mae previously and even served for one Presidential Administration as Director of the U.S Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is tasked with giving expert advice to senior White House officials on a range of topics relating to federal policy, management, legislative, regulatory, and budgetary issues.

Mr. Raines is also a financial adviser for the same Presidential candidate as Mr. Johnson.

I am not saying the other guy is as clean as a whistle and I have tried to keep partisanship out of this by mentioning political parties. But I know that this post, if you do some research, is going to be bashing one of them and ignoring the other.

The other party is just as guilty for doing nothing all of the years that this has been happening.

This is where our Government has put us. They knew this was coming and no one had the “balls” to say NO!

I encourage you to research this stuff yourself…it is all there. There was even a Senate Bill in 2005 that could have stopped this over three years ago…but it never made it out of committee.

To stop lending money they didn’t have to people who wouldn’t ever be able to pay it back.

They just kicked the can down the road.

Watch how much power and control you give the Government because it doesn’t know what to do with it. The premise that everyone “deserves” a house is much different that having the “opportunity” to earn one.

I want to know who is really going to change the style of business in Washington.

This is bigger than one President can handle. We have to look at our Congressmen and Senators (along with the President and the Cabinet) and get them out of there. Washington D.C. has turned into a place of lobbying and special interest groups when the writers of the Constitution envisioned a government “for the people and by the people.”

These people “representing” us are either a cause or a solution to the issues we have in front of us. Look at each one of them and ask yourself, “Cause…or Solution?”

No partisanship.

A crook is a crook.

Democrat or Republicans.

We are the people to institute change by holding public officials accountable.

July 17, 2008

The pot calling the Kettle black

Filed under: government,representative democracy,united states — usaconstitution @ 11:03 pm

House Speaker Pelosi calls Bush ‘a total failure’

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer 17 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – President Bush has been a “total failure” in everything from the economy to the war to energy policy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. In an interview on CNN, the California Democrat was asked to respond to video of the president criticizing the Democratic-led Congress for heading into the final 26 days of the legislative session without having passed a single government spending bill.

Pelosi shot back in unusually personal terms.

“You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject,” Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for “challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended Bush.

“What the president said is a fact — this is the longest a Congress has gone in 20 years without passing a single spending bill, so it’s clear that the speaker is feeling some frustration at their inability to do so.”

Pelosi’s outburst was a departure. Her usual practice in public has been to call Bush’s policies a failure — not his presidency or him, personally. Pelosi’s remarks are the latest evidence of the Democrats’ throw-caution-to-the-wind approach to Bush in the waning days of a presidency weighed down by an unpopular war and soaring gasoline prices.

Election Day, after all, is just over four months away; Bush’s successor takes his seat on Jan. 20.

Pelosi’s counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, long ago took off the rhetorical gloves. Last month, he ridiculed Republicans who sided with Bush on a Medicare bill.

“Who would be afraid of him?” Reid, D-Nev., said as many senators looked on. “He’s got a 29 percent approval rating.”

The public’s view of Congress is even worse. Its approval rating has hit a new low of just 18 percent, down from 23 percent last month, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll. Bush’s approval is at 28 percent, about even with the 29 percent rating last month.

Only 16 percent of those surveyed thought the country was moving in the right direction, a new low as well, although statistically the same as last month’s 17 percent.

Last week Reid and other Democrats dropped any pretense of trying to fight the president on battles they were likely to lose — even on the most important part of their jobs, which is passing spending bills that keep the government running.

Of the 12 annual appropriations bills, Congress is likely to pass one or two and send Bush a temporary spending fix for the rest. That would have to suffice until a new president takes office, Reid told reporters.

Privately, Democrats have said that either candidate for president — Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain — would be easier to make laws with than Bush. But Reid made clear which he’d prefer.

“I would hope that before we would leave here this year that we would do a continuing resolution that would get us (through) until after Senator Obama becomes president,” he said.

My words now…

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that our current Commander in Chief doesn’t have a part to blame regarding the current state of affairs, but the audacity of any member of Congress to try to skirt blame is ridiculous.

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