I Agree With The President

No, really:

President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”

via Obama Says U.S. Long-Term Debt Load ‘Unsustainable’ (Update2) – Bloomberg.com.

He doesn’t seem to be acting as if he believes it, though.

Indefinite Detention in the USA — Not Guantanamo Bay

In late April, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced during a Senate briefing that there are between 50 and 100 detainees at Guantanamo Bay whom the government would not transfer to other countries or prosecute in civilian or military tribunals. Last week, major media outlets, confirming previous “chatter,” reported that the Obama administration would retool and revive the highly disparaged military courts.

And just when it seemed that all of these changes in anti-terrorism policy were too good to be true, today's Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration might indefinitely detain some Guantanamo Bay inmates in the United States following the closure of the facility. Presumably, the indefinitely detained individuals would include the 50-100 people Gates described in late April.

If Congress blocks the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, will Obama stop the process of closing the facility? Was this the plan all along? How does the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects in the United States, as opposed to Guantanamo Bay, represent an improvement over the Bush administration's policies?

via DISSENTING JUSTICE: Change Alert: Indefinite Detention in the USA — Not Guantanamo Bay.

Once again, hope and change!

Obama To Block Photos

The Washington Post leads with President Obama's decision to try to block the release of photographs showing the abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers. Last month, the administration said it wouldn't fight a court order to release 44 photos by May 28, but Obama changed his mind after he saw some of the photographs and heard from top Pentagon officials that releasing the images could endanger troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal leads its world-wide newsbox with word that the Obama administration is discussing ways to detain terror suspects. The administration is apparently considering a proposal to indefinitely hold some Guantanamo detainees inside the United Stats with the approval of a new national security court.

via Obama reverses on abuse photos; administration wants to regulate derivatives. – By Daniel Politi – Slate Magazine.

I don’t know if this is the right thing to do, but I wonder if the people who railed against Bush for wanting to keep photos like this secret, will rail also against Obama for the same thing.

Ruinous TARP

From PowerLine:

On April 21, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009–“SIGTARP”–submitted his quarterly report to Congress on his office’s activities in relation to the TARP program. The report is a disquieting document that should be read by every American–certainly be every taxpayer.

The Inspector General’s report documents the stunning and at least partly illegal expansion of TARP from the $700 billion originally allocated by Congress to what is now a $3 trillion complex of programs. This chart shows the various programs that are now included within SIGTARP’s oversight, and how they have expanded from the initial $700 billion. Note that some of the programs are still incipient; $3 trillion is by no means a final number.

What conclusions can we draw? 1) The government’s $3 trillion and counting TARP program represents the greatest opportunity for sharp operators to profit at taxpayer expense in history. 2) The Obama administration is either in favor of giving Wall Street sharks this opportunity or, at a minimum, doesn’t much mind doing so. (If this seems odd, remember where Obama got the biggest chunk of campaign contributions in 2008.) 3) It may be that the TARP complex of programs is the beginning of a national-socialist type takeover of the financial services industry by the federal government. Thus, 4) we can only hope that this turns out not to be the case, and TARP is only the biggest–and perhaps, by the end of the day, the crookedest–waste of taxpayer money in history. Finally, 5) so far the only person or organization who appears to be looking out for the taxpayers is the Special Inspector General. We will be reading his future reports with great interest.

Memphis Tea Party: Success!

I was part of the organizing committee for yesterday’s Tax Day Tea Party here in Memphis. That sounds kind of formal; it was just a bunch of folks who found each other on the internet and (with some amount of arguing, mostly from me 😉 got an event put together. Talk about an emergent phenomenon.

I can only call it a resounding success. We had at least 4000 (yes, four thousand or more) people in attendance, according to the professional sound crews in attendance and media folk who were on site. You’d be hard pressed to discover that from newspapers or television reporting today.

We’re not the only ones who had high attendance; see more here http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/76810/ and elsewhere.

My duties kept me from actually watching any of the speakers. I helped direct traffic for 3 hours to get people safely in and out, with three other guys handling the arrangement of parking everyone on the grass (the lot overflowed immediately). That 4000 number seems pretty likely to me, given the traffic.

If you are interested in the Memphis Tea Party, take a look at thememphisteaparty.com website, or our Facebook group page, or contact me directly if you like.

I expect at some point I will write more about this. There’s more to it than I’m hearing about on the news, for sure. One wonders how far it can go.

UPDATE: Oh, and the Facebook page for the Tax Day event itself is here.

UPDATE 2: Some of the Facebook albums: