Video – Tim Russert’s Last Interview on Fox – “Legend’s Last Interview”

VIDEOS: “A Legends Last Interview” –

http://www.foxnews.com/hannityandcolmes/index.html

Federal Reserve Announces $85B Loan to Bail Out AIG

FOX News

WASHINGTON  —  In a bid to save financial markets and economy from further turmoil, the U.S. government agreed Tuesday to provide an $85 billion emergency loan to rescue the huge insurer AIG.

The Federal Reserve said in a statement it determined that a disorderly failure of AIG could hurt the already delicate financial markets and the economy.

It also could “lead to substantially higher borrowing costs, reduced household wealth and materially weaker economic performance,” the Fed said.

“The President supports the agreement announced this evening by the Federal Reserve,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “These steps are taken in the interest of promoting stability in financial markets and limiting damage to the broader economy.”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the administration was working closely with the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government regulators to “enhance the stability and orderliness of our financial markets and minimize the disruption to our economy.”

“I support the steps taken by the Federal Reserve tonight to assist AIG in continuing to meet its obligations, mitigate broader disruptions and at the same time protect taxpayers,” Paulson said in a statement.

The Fed said in return for the loan, the government will receive a 79.9 percent equity stake in AIG.

Earlier, Fed chairman Bernanke and Paulson met with Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, to brief them on the government’s option.

“At the administration’s request, I met this evening with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. They expressed the administration’s views on the deepening economic turmoil and shared with us their latest proposals regarding AIG,” Reid told reporters. “The Treasury and the Fed have promised to provide more details in the near future, which I believe must address the broader, underlying structural issues in the financial markets.”

On Tuesday, shares of the insurance company swung violently as rumors of potential deals involving the government or private parties emerged and were dashed. By late Tuesday, its shares had closed down 20 percent — and another 45 percent after hours. Still, no deal emerged.

The problems at AIG stemmed from its insurance of mortgage-backed securities and other risky debt against default. If AIG couldn’t make good on its promise to pay back soured debt, investors feared the consequences would pose a greater threat to the U.S. financial system than this week’s collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers.***

The worries were triggered after Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor’s lowered AIG’s credit ratings, forcing AIG to seek more money for collateral against its insurance contracts. Without that money, AIG would have defaulted on its obligations and the buyers of its insurance — such as banks and other financial companies — would have found themselves without protection against losses on the debt they hold.

“It might not just bring down other financial institutions in the U.S. It could bring down overseas financial institutions,” said Timothy Canova, a professor of international economic law at Chapman University School of Law. “If Lehman Brother’s failure could help trigger AIG’s going down, who knows who AIG’s failure could trigger next.”

New York-based AIG operates an insurance and financial services businesses ranging from property, casualty, auto and life insurance to annuity and investment services. Those traditional insurance operations are considered healthy and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said “they are solvent and have the capability to pay claims.”

The Democrats must admit what the real problem is before it can be fixed – a “poor economy” did not cause this problem – reckless lending caused a “poor economy”

*** LIAR & NINJA LOANS

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,423785,00.html

The Economy & AIG (American International Group) – How Sour Mortgage Loans Hurt AIG

WASHINGTON  —  In a bid to save financial markets and economy from further turmoil, the U.S. government agreed Tuesday to provide an $85 billion emergency loan to rescue the huge insurer AIG.

Just how did AIG, the world’s largest insurance company, get into this position?

AIG, which is financially stable, is suffering from a “cash flow crisis”.

That cash flow crisis is related to AIG’s insurance of mortgage backed securities. AIG wrote insurance policies to cover a portion of the financial losses on thousands of “Liar” and ‘NINJA” Loans. 

To read more about these loans:

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/the-financial-services-housing-crisis-how-did-we-get-here/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/senator-cornyn-seeks-criminal-inquiry-of-fannie-freddie-executives/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/the-truth-about-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-900-billion-in-corrupt-lending-practices/

Politicians who claim that AIG’s difficulties are due to a “bad economy” are putting the “horse before the cart”. The reckless use of NINJA & Liar Loans have caused substantial damager to the economy. In short America is overleveraged – America has taken on more debt than it can afford – the security to support that debt (example: property values) was over evaluated.  

America must “tighten it’s buckle.”

The Government must reform oversight and eliminate ineffective bureaucracy, cut taxes and foster an environment of growth. Developing all available energy sources will not only reduce costs and spur economic growth, it will also strengthen American security by ending dependence on foreign energy sources.

VIDEO: MSNBC’s DECEITFUL EDITING; CARLY FIORINA COMMENTS CUT BY OBAMA STAFF FOR AD

FOX NEWS

Barack Obama’s campaign was “deceitful” when it clipped part of an interview in which Republican Victory 2008 Chairwoman Carly Fiorina said John McCain was not qualified to be the head of a corporation, Fiorina said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, appeared on MSNBC, where she said none of the candidates is qualified to run a major corporation, but that should not prevent them from running the country.

“I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don’t think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don’t think Joe Biden could run a major corporation. But on the other hand a major corporation is not the same as being the president or vice president of the United States,” Fiorina said.

“It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So of course to run a business you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that’s not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden or Barack Obama are doing,” she said.

But the Obama campaign, in an e-mail linking to a YouTube video of Fiorina’s statement that was clipped after the first sentence, berated McCain for not winning the trust of even his own supporters.

“When John McCain’s top economic adviser doesn’t think that he’s qualified to run a corporation — how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement accompanying the shortened clip.

“Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue that John McCain doesn’t understand as well as he should. Senator Obama has been ahead of the curve trying to prevent this crisis and he’s called for new rules of the road to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Fiorina lashed back at the suggestion she doesn’t trust McCain and said Obama is the least qualified of any of the candidates to run the country.

“I think this is a pattern of the Obama campaign. What they did was deceitful. They literally cut words off,” Fiorina told FOX News.

“Secondly, they are sort of flooding the zone with nonsense. Look, different experiences prepare you for different jobs. Sarah Palin and John McCain are uniquely experienced to be the president and vice president of the United States. Barack Obama is the least qualified candidate running today in terms of his executive experience, in terms of his time in public office. So I think the Obama campaign would do very well to stop hurling the experience argument, because their candidate for president has less than any one else for office right now on these two tickets,” she said.

Click here to see the entire clip of Carly Fiorina.

Click here to see the clip released by the Obama camp.

IS THIS THE CHANGE HE EXPECTS US TO BELIEVE IN?

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/16/fiorina-obama-camp-deceitful-in-clipping-my-quote/

VIDEO – John McCain “Tortured By His Captors” (A Parody of THE VIEW) The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

SEE THE VIDEO HERE

http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/video/clips/monologue-915/661221/

The Picken’s Commercial On Iran – The Real Reason Iran is switching to CNG Cars

The following article is not presented as an argument against alternative energy development – it is being included in this Web site as an alternative explanation for why Iran is switching to CNG powered autos. Mr Milloy’s comments inregard to the “hidden costs” of CNG conversion might interest some of this sites visitors. 

This writer perfers that we pursue all energy sources – Oil and Gas (Drill Baby Drill), Wind, Solar, Ethanol, Nuclear – If it is out there – lets go get it. The more sources we can target and develop the lower the price will be for any individual energy source. Development of American Energy sources is crucial to improving the American Economy and strengthing American Security.

There is no “one source” that America should target. I, for one, don’t want to see all of “our eggs in one basket”.         

Pickens’ Natural-Gas Nonsense

Friday, September 12, 2008

“Get this one,” says billionaire T. Boone Pickens in his latest TV ad, “Iran is changing its cars to natural gas and we’re not doing a thing here. They’re doing this to use less oil and sell it for $120 a barrel. We can switch our cars to natural gas and stop sending our dollars to foreign countries.”

Readers of this column know better than to take at face value the marketing of the so-called “Pickens Plan.”

So what’s the full story behind Iran’s move, and what would be the impact of switching our cars to natural gas?

Although Iran is a major oil and gas producer, it lacks oil-refining capacity and must import about 50 percent of its gasoline. To be less vulnerable to international pressure concerning its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to reduce Iran’s reliance on imported gasoline.

He started with rationing in May 2007. But that quickly led to violent social unrest.

Ahmadinejad then decided to convert Iran’s new car fleet to natural gas. So 60 percent of Iran’s car production this year — about 429,000 vehicles — will be dual-fuel-ready, capable of running on both gasoline and natural gas.

But contrary to Pickens assertion, Iran isn’t trying to use less oil:; It’s trying to use less imported gasoline — and only to thwart a possible international gasoline embargo.

Though hardly a role model for energy policy, should we nevertheless follow Iran’s lead with respect to natural-gas cars? Just what would that mean to you and to our economy?

While the natural gas sold for auto fuel is as much as 50 percent less expensive than gasoline — at least for now — the cover charge to get into a natural-gas vehicle can easily erase any savings.

A new natural-gas-powered car, such as the Honda Civic GX, for example, is almost 40 percent more expensive than a conventional Civic ($24,590 versus $17,700).

While tax credits can reduce the cost by thousands, somebody — either you and/or taxpayers — will be paying the difference.

If natural gas fuel saved you, say, $2 per gallon, then you’d have to drive 124,020 highway miles or 82,680 city miles to break even on fuel costs against the $6,890 purchase price premium.

You can convert an existing car from gasoline to natural gas, but the costs are daunting.

Converting a car to dual-use (as in Iran) costs between $6,000 to $10,000. Converting a car to run on natural gas only is about half as expensive.

Even so, the conversion has to be done correctly or, in the worst case, you risk leaks that could turn your car into an improvised explosive device. And if your car is altered without proof of EPA certification, you might not get any of the all-important conversion tax credits.

Then there’s the inconvenience. Though their fuel tanks are larger — which, incidentally, reduces trunk space — natural gas cars have less range.

While a new Honda Civic can go as far as 500 miles on a tank of gasoline, the GX’s range is less than half of that — and, currently, there are only about 1,600 natural-gas refueling stations across the country, compared with 200,000 gasoline stations.

If your home uses natural gas, you could buy a home filling station at a cost of about $2,000 plus installation. While home filling stations can further reduce fuel costs to substantially below $2 per gallon, the devices take about 4 hours to replenish the fuel consumed by only 50 miles of driving. So much for gas-and-go.

Moving past the personal expense and inconvenience, the broader implications of natural-gas cars are worrisome.

The U.S. currently uses about 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. Like all commodities, the price of natural gas is supply-and-demand dependent.

Switching just 10 percent of the U.S. car fleet to natural gas would dramatically increase our consumption of natural gas by about 8 percent (1.9 trillion cubic feet) — an amount that is slightly less than one-half of all current residential natural gas usage and one-quarter of all industrial usage.

The price ramifications of such a demand spike would likely be significant. The current cost advantage of natural gas over gasoline could easily be reversed. Our move toward energy independence could also be compromised.

Domestic production of natural gas has not kept pace with rapidly increasing demand. Consequently, about 15 percent of our natural gas must now be imported.

Without more domestic gas drilling, additional demand will need to be met with natural gas imported by pipeline and in liquefied form from the very same foreign sources that T. Boone Pickens rails about in the context of oil.

In its most recent annual outlook, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that the U.S. natural-gas market will become more integrated with natural-gas markets worldwide as the U.S. becomes more dependent on imported liquefied natural gas — causing greater uncertainty in future U.S. natural-gas prices.

The natural-gas supply problem will be additionally magnified if significant greenhouse-gas regulation is enacted.

Here’s how: Currently, when natural gas gets too expensive, electric utilities often substitute coal or cheaper fuels for power generation.

Under a greenhouse-gas regulation scheme, however, inexpensive coal might no longer be an alternative because of the significantly greater greenhouse-gas emissions involved with its combustion.

Utilities, and ultimately consumers, could easily find themselves at the mercy of natural-gas barons — like T. Boone Pickens himself, a large investor in natural gas.

Is that the real “Pickens Plan?”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,420941,00.html

WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR: Al Qaeda Unpopular and ‘Imploding’

WASHINGTON —  Top U.S. counterterrorism officials Monday said Al Qaeda is “imploding” and that its violent tactics have turned Muslims worldwide against the organization

“Absolutely it’s imploding. It’s imploding because it’s not a message that resonates with a lot of Muslims,” said Dell Dailey, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism.

Al Qaeda still remains the most dangerous threat to the United States. But of growing concern are organizations like Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas, which combine social services, local governance, national politics with extremist attacks, said Undersecretary of State James Glassman.

“These are models that have a lot more popular appeal than Al Qaeda, that has almost no popular appeal,” he said.

Vastly more Muslims than Westerners are killed by Al Qaeda car and suicide bombs, particularly in Iraq, where local tribes have largely turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq in the last two years.

Extremist violence claimed more than 9,500 civilian victims in Muslim countries in 2007.

U.S. intelligence agencies caution against predicting Al Qaeda’s demise too soon, noting its Pakistan safe harbor and the persistent efforts of its affiliates to conduct attacks in North Africa and elsewhere.

U.S. intelligence officials told The Associated Press in July that Al Qaeda leaders learned from Iraq to temper their local activities to ensure continued access and freedom of movement throughout the organization’s safe haven in Pakistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

Some hardline religious leaders who once wielded significant influence in Al Qaeda have begun to criticize its violence against civilians, said Ted Gistaro, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats, in an August speech. Gistaro said Al Qaeda senior leaders have devoted nearly half their airtime this year to defending the group’s legitimacy.

Despite these apparent fissures, Al Qaeda is the most potent threat to the United States, according to U.S. intelligence officials and reports. A national intelligence assessment released last year said Al Qaeda had regenerated its leadership and ability to conduct attacks in the ungoverned tribal region of western Pakistan.

Afghanistan has grown increasingly violent because of the close ties and collaboration between the Pakistan tribes, the Taliban and the terrorist organization. Al Qaeda continues to attract new fighters to fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and radical Internet sites that provide religious justification for attacks and violent anti-Western rhetoric are spreading.

Glassman said he is “skeptical” about claims that Al Qaeda is changing its ways, or is even capable of changing its ways.

“The death-cult mentality is part of Al Qaeda’s DNA. An Al Qaeda that could adapt would be a far more dangerous Al Qaeda,” he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,423082,00.html

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