On Wednesday, October 1, Democrat Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada publicly said the following:
“We don’t have a lot of leeway on time. One of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company. A major insurance company — one with a name that everyone knows that’s on the verge of going bankrupt. That’s what this is all about,” Reid said prior to the Senate’s approval of the $700 billion bailout bill.
This statement caused a panic on Wall Street with some big insurance companies seeing their stock price dive. Insurance companies already were under stress from bad loans that they had purchased in securities packages, as well as from their investments in troubled firms like Lehman Brothers, Wachovia and Washington Mutual.
After Reid’s comments, MetLife fell 16% after a 14% drop the day before, leading MetLife to issue a rebuttal statement specifically citing Reid’s comments. Other major insurers fell anywhere from 6% to 15% in share value.
A Reid spokesman responded that “Senator Reid is not personally aware of any particular company being on the verge of bankruptcy. He has no special knowledge about (a bankruptcy) nor has he talked to any insurance company officials” and that Reid “regrets any confusion his comments may have caused.”
Confusion? No special knowledge?
The question is: Is Reid fit to be a United States senator or is he too reckless? What are his real motives? What can the Senate do about people like Reid who cannot control themselves at a time of crisis in the financial industry?
This case is a reminder of the incident involving US senator Charles Schumer, another Democrat, this time from New York State, who publicly released a letter questioning the solvency of California’s IndyMac Bank, writing that Office of Thrift Supervision regulators were “asleep at the switch” over IndyMac’s “reckless” behavior.
Eleven days after the release of the letter, and after a run on its deposits sparked by the letter, IndyMac was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Schumer, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, was singled out in an OTS letter for sparking the run and killing off IndyMac. “In the following 11 days (after the release of the Schumer letter), depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion from their accounts,” said an OTS statement.
The statement included a quote from OTS director John Reich: “Although this institution (IndyMac) was already in distress, I am troubled by any interference in the regulatory process,” a reference to Schumer’s actions.
Schumer tried to blame the whole thing on the Bush administration, as Democrats always do. But in fact Schumer and Reid well know that words and letters from people at the highest levels of the federal government will reverberate around the financial markets in a time of tension. So we must start to look at their motives.
Are Schumer and Reid trying to destabilize the markets to insure that Obama wins in November?
It certainly looks that way. But this is not the first time that Democrats have sought to undermine American progress. They do it all the time, in every arena.
In April 2007, the same Harry Reid said about Iraq: “I believe that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.”
Yet now, in October 2008, we are seeing clear victory in the Iraq war just as we will see a victory over this financial crisis as long as Americans do not succumb to fear and to the tactics of people like Reid and Schumer who are talking down our economy and the Iraq war for political gain.
In the latest Iraq victory the US military reported killing Mahir Ahmad Mahmud Judu’ al-Zubaydi, a senior Al Qadea leader on October 3, 2008. Al-Zubaydi is suspected of masterminding many of the deadly bombings that were rocking Baghdad at the time that Senator Reid was ready to wave the white flag.
So we must consider whether Democrats are willing to think about the long term on the economy or the war, or if they simply wish to exploit every opportunity for political advancement. After all, the war in Iraq, which has been very hard on the military and on the nation, finally has turned the corner. And it accidentally turned into a very fortuitous thing for America – a ‘shooting gallery’ for US forces, drawing top terrorists from around the globe to one place where many have been slaughtered.
If the US military suffered big losses of its top leaders as we have inflicted on al Qaeda, the Democrats would have been ten times as eager to throw in the towel. Yet when Al Qaeda loses hundreds or even thousands of front-line fighters and commanders, Democrats barely seem to notice. This is part of their strategy to seize defeat from the jaws of victory.
In another case, on May 17, 2006, another Democrat, US congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania declared on national television that eight of our US Marines were “cold blooded killers”.
Murtha was commenting on an incident in Haditha, Iraq in which those Marines, following official rules of engagement, counter-attacked against an insurgent ambush on November 19, 2005, killing 24 Iraqis, including some civilians. Murtha was suggesting that the Marines were engaged in some kind of revenge killing of civilians.
In other words, Murtha was playing judge, jury and executioner before any Marines were even tried, denying our service men the same basic constitutional rights that Democrats like Murtha wish to grant to terrorist detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
If Bush had declared a single one of those terrorists guilty before trial as Murtha has done with our Marines, people like Murtha would have sought to impeach him.
After an investigation of the Haditha incident, six Marines were exonerated of any wrongdoing, one Marine officer had charges dropped, and Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt of Pennsylvania was exonerated on 3 counts of unpremeditated murder.
Murtha has shown no remorse for his outrageous statement, however, and the family of Sharratt is asking Congress to investigate Murtha, who has served 26 years in the House of Representatives.
Sharratt also is filing a lawsuit in federal court in Pittsburgh, claiming that Murtha’s statements were false and reckless and were repeated throughout the US media and the world media to the detriment of Sharratt and his fellow Marines. Ironically, Murtha was once a Marine.
Sharratt, who happens to live in Murtha’s congressional district, also is suing Murtha for slander. Another Marine, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, also is suing Murtha,
So from Reid to Schumer, and from Murtha to John Kerry’s unfounded accusations against our troops in Vietnam in 1971 testimony before the US Senate, we have many blatant examples of Democrats shooting from the hip, defaming conservatives, undermining our military and sending Wall Street into a panic and banks into insolvency. Yet they are never penalized, just as Ted Kennedy has never been penalized in any way for drowning Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick.
Why have not Reid, Schumer and Murtha at least been been reprimanded? After all, these are the same people who make laws for the rest of us such that anyone who makes any vaguely suspicious statement about liberal special-interest groups like blacks, gays or women are singled out for political persecution.
In his 1971 testimony, Kerry accused our soldiers in Vietnam of atrocities. But Kerry had no personal knowledge of those atrocities; he simply was repeating what he had heard. Meanwhile Murtha got his information from a false report in Time magazine while Reid had only heard about a major insurance company going broke, but did not have personal knowledge.
How can we trust these people when they play so fast and loose with the truth?
The Democrat party has a way with words and they use words to target their political opposition because liberals are people of words and finger-pointing and accusation.
Here’s another example. When the insurance giant AIG failed recently, no media mention was made as to why: Because the left-wing attorney general of New York State, Democrat Eliot Spitzer – who ultimately became governor and then resigned in a scandal – went on a witch hunt against capitalist Wall Street figures like AIG founder Maurice Greenberg.
Greenberg was forced out of his company in 2005 and AIG subsequently was mismanaged and failed. Charges against Greenberg ultimately were dropped. Yet there has been no apology from or prosecution of Spitzer, just as there have been no apologies, nor any accounting for the reckless behavior of Democrat figures like Schumer, Reid, Kerry and Murtha who have acted against the interests of the American economy and military in the interest only of their own political fortunes.
In April 2005, as Republicans were seeking to institute stronger oversight for Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise, Schumer said, “Things are good in the housing market. Why should we entertain radical change?”
In other words, the military and private-sector capitalist firms are incessantly targeted by Democrats at the same time that government firms are free to do what they wish and are protected by the same Democrats. And when they collapse, we all pay the bill and Democrats get off scot free. This must end.
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