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  • Cause

  • Mission

  • What people should we focus on getting to the PUMA cause? Why, people who supported Hillary in the primaries of course, specifically those people who have now either switched to Obama or are still sitting on the fence. If they need reasons why they should not waste their vote on Obama, a simple visit to this site shall provide them with plenty of those.

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    PUMA Power

    Think of it this way, if you personally get 3 people infused with PUMA power, and they get 3 people each, that’s 9 new PUMAs, if those 9 get 3, that’s 27 new PUMAs, if those 27 get 3, that’s 81 PUMAs, 81 PUMAs getting 3 each, that’s 243 new PUMAs, when those 243 get 3 that’s 729 PUMAs, and when those 729 get 3 PUMAs, you would have brought in 2,187 PUMAs to the cause simply because you showed your PUMA pride and had 3 people join the cause!

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SMOKING BASIC ACCESSORIES: WHICH ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES?

Smoking can be an art and a technique and, therefore, requires certain elements that make the practice possible. In principle, according to the type of substance, the requirements will vary, for example, to smoke a cigar you do not need much more than the piece and a lighter, but to smoke some concentrate some type of rig of greater complexity is necessary.

Each method depends on the peculiar tastes of the user. Many people are satisfied with the basic elements, while others enjoy having a few pieces that make their experience much more enjoyable. Everything, absolutely everything is a matter that transcends according to individual needs and tastes.

Just visit https://www.hemper.co/collections/rolling-trays to verify the wide range of possible options only referred to Rolling trays. This could be considered as a basic piece and of elementary use for any smoker. It is extremely versatile and multifunctional because, through a rather simple structure, it allows to transport, organize and maintain in its place all the basic elements for smoking.

Basic elements and parts

As a smoker, you must know how broad your requirements and needs are. Rolling trays work well for everyone, but a dab rig will only be useful for those people who want to smoke concentrated substances. Investing money in accessories is not a matter of making unnecessary expenses with money that you could take advantage of by purchasing fewer pieces but of better quality. It is about having the truly necessary to have a very pleasant experience every time you decide to smoke.

A lighter is another basic piece, and this is really essential. You must go to the side of the rollsor cigarettes at all times, to avoid the uncomfortable moment that is generated when you want to smoke and you do not find what you need. The most advisable thing is to store it inside the Rolling trays next to them.

Another of the basic elements of which you will make use is the roll paper. Regardless of your preferences, these should go inside your Rolling trays to keep rolls well-formed. Try to choose pieces of good quality, which really provide adequate coverage to the substance so that it remains protected inside.

The bongs or rigs are other basic elements widely used these days. Their forms and mechanisms are much stranded, since each of them is designed for a different substance. Some are ideal for highly concentrated substances whose presentation is quite dry, while others are ideal for those who choose pasty substances, such as oils. According to these characteristics, your choice will vary. The best way to choose the most appropriate is by doing a previous investigation.

All these elements and many others are elementary these days. These pieces can be conjugated in different packs or even in unique pieces that have different electronic mechanisms. No matter what the case, all of them should be part of your list of belongings. Be very careful when choosing them, as each of them has multiple options available among which you can make the most pertinent choice.

Advantages of having enough accessories

  • There is nothing better than having everything in one place, or at your fingertips. It will undoubtedly make your experience much more satisfying.
  • Less time. If you use a Rolling tray, for example, you will notice that the whole process will be much faster. It can be very exasperating that you do not get something as elementary as a lighter when you set out to smoke.
  • Without a doubt, the most important advantage. Smoking is every day an activity with more options. The industry wants to adapt to the needs and tastes that the population presents, that every day are more varied. Over time the drawbacks related to the technique have been eliminated thanks to the presence of this type of accessories that today can be found even electronically. Having these elements has a clear intention, and that is to make your experience a much more pleasant and innovative.

The most trending today

Visiting https://www.hemper.co/collections/rolling-trays you will notice that there are certain elements and certain tendencies within this world. Some materials are being superimposed or continue to stand out more than the rest, for example, in the case of the Rolling trays, it is still the metal with attractive designs at the top.

The most notorious changes that designers have incorporated in this sense is the use of more complete compartments in the interior. For its part, the bongs and rigs every day have better materials, thicker and stronger glass, much more complex nails and much more durable materials as well as a number of shapes and designs that can completely change the smoking experience.

Smoking does not have to be monotonous or limited to the substance chosen. Of course, all the above elements are designed solely in terms of the substance, which in the end, is within them, the most important of all and with what the user must be identified in the beginning.

The preferences in this particular aspect are those that in the end will define many other decisions regarding the materials and elements chosen. In this world it is essential to research and know the different options and trends if you want to make quality purchases and without running any risk of spending money on something unnecessary or that does not meet your needs.

The uses of hard riddles

For so many years, riddles have been existing in our societies. Hard riddles are used in so many ways in society. According to statistics, riddles have been a source of fun for so many years in the community, in schools and in families as well. Riddles have been used by teachers as a form of teaching, they have been used by parents as a source of fun, used by peers to bond and so many other uses. Riddles work in so many miraculous ways to human health. The first thing that hard riddles bring in peoples and children’s lives is laughter. Whenever there is laughter, children will be stress-free and shade off any boredom. Below are some of the important uses of riddles.

  1. Riddles are used in education/teaching

So many teachers have used riddles in the classroom to teach so many lessons. Hard riddles have been used by teachers to get different ideas from children. As much as the riddles are meant to bring humor to people and children, they can also be a good way to learn. They motivate the student as well as encourage them. Through the riddles, the children will be able to learn different lessons, different vocabulary and think intelligently. Learning new things is very important to each and every student. Through riddles, the students will be able to remember lessons learned each and every time. Apart from learning, hard riddles also are a source of fun to students.

Apart from teaching children, riddles are also very important to the elderly and the grown-up people. Riddles are used in communities, families too. As the saying goes “learning is a continuous process” therefore, all people can learn from riddles. Riddles told in the society or communities help with creative thinking. This makes people think intelligently to come up with a riddle solution. If they do not get the solution, the price will be given then the answer will follow. This makes all session fun and people will have learned a new thing.

  1. Riddles are used as a way to pass the time

There are so many ways of passing time and riddling is one of the ways through which one can pass time in a healthy way. There are so many communities, friends and families who prefer coming together to solve a riddle as a form of having fun and passing time. Instead of getting bored or doing things that are not constructive, riddling with friends and families is what you can do. This way, you will get to have plenty of fun, you will learn new things, and you will bond well with each other as well as sharpen your intelligence. Also, riddle telling can be a good way to make the brain stay alert. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to pass time.

  1. Riddles are the best stress relievers

For those who have ever been to riddle telling sessions, they will know how riddle sessions can be fun. You will get to think and try to answer the riddle or get people to answer your riddle. During the process, people will laugh at how the answer was simple but they failed to figure out. How the riddle sound can also arouse the laughter. We all know how laughter can be therapeutic to so many people. When you laugh with friends and family or community plus your fellow students, you tend to forget all negativity. That way, you will have managed to relieve any stress within you. The only thing will be good moments and happy memories. Therefore, riddles are used to relieve stress for so many people.

  1. To sharpen the brain and increase peoples intelligence

When a riddle has been thrown to the audience to be solved by them, each and every receiver will try to think critically in order to get the answer. Therefore, the riddles have the ability to equip the audience or the receiver with critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems. These are the skills that are very important in the community or society. Through riddles, one is able to acquire these skills. Through new riddles, a person is able to learn new things all the time. Due to that, the intelligence of that particular person will grow.

  1. Riddles are used as a way of bonding

Riddles can be used as a way of bonding, especially for children and parents. Through riddle sessions, families are able to forget everything and concentrate at the riddling moment. Through that, they are able to create beautiful memories and erase the bad ones. It is through the riddling sessions that the parents are able to learn and understand their children better. Also, through the riddling sessions, parents are able to learn as well as teach their children new things. This is very important for the growth of a child and making sure that they grow up intelligently.

Conclusion

There are so many reasons that the riddles are used in society. Riddles are very important and they have been existing for centuries back. Riddles can be used to relieve stress, they can be used to teach, to keep the brain at work, to sharpen a person’s intelligence, to bond and to learn new vocabularies. That said, riddles can be used in so many helpful ways to perform different useful functions.

Things To Consider Before Watching Online Movies

At the moment, there is a craze about watching movies online. More people now prefer to watch Putlockers online movies as opposed to going to theatres. Although the filming time is not defined when it started, it is a well-known fact that the first studio or theatre was built way back in 1897. Combination of popularity and technology, the technology of watching movies has become available in several media including online.

There are a variety of websites where you can be able to watch your favorite movies and TV shows as long as you have an internet connection and a device where you can watch it including, iPad, iPhone, tablet, laptop,and desktop computer.

Things to consider as you watch a movie

Putlockers believe that watching a movie is more than just having bath bomb baths and ice cream. You can watch movies just as a form of obtaining pure happiness. If you are majoring in filming at school, then watching movies could be the best pass time for you.

Here are some rules which you could adhere to when watching a movie as some of the audience at Putlockers puts it:

  1. Don’t eat noisy food

When it is time to sit down and watch a movie, it is possible that you will surround yourself with a bunch of snacks but the most annoying, especially if you are enjoying a movie with someone else, is causing a distraction with your snack. It is annoying to the other person when you pull that crunchy snack bag when there is just a twist in the plot.

There is also that sound which is unsettling, caused by someone seated next to you through lip-smacking as they suck salt from their fingers. The bad guy then turns out not to be the one on the screen, but the one seated next to you. Sour patch for kids and popcorns could be the best food to have around while watching a movie.

  1. Your phone needs to be down

It is understandable that you might be yearning to receive a text from your loved one. But now that you are watching a movie you have been eager to for several months, why not put off the phone first while watching so that you are not distracted. This will ensure that you keep up with what is going on in the plot instead of missing out on some parts due to concentration on messages coming through your phone.

  1. Visit the washroom before you settle down to watch your movie

This is important, especially if you are going to enjoy the movie with your friend. It will be so annoying for your friend to keep on posing the movie so that you can visit your washroom. Avoid taking too many drinks before the movie time so that, you don’t disturb.

  1. Avoid asking dumb questions

When watching an online movie with others, it is important to avoid asking questions about the characters or what is said about them while the movie is going on. It is good to wait until the movie is done because, along the way, your question might be answered or, at least at the end, you will discuss it with friends without having to disturb in between.

  1. Don’t talk while watching the movies

It is important that you observe silence while watching movies to avoid annoying others who might be concentrating on watching the movie. Learn to seal your lips while the movie is ongoing as that is a good practice that anyone can observe.

What is in movies for you?

If you are someone who likes indoor entertainment, online movies might be the best way to go during your free time. There are several leisure activities you can engage in. But if you are someone who doesn’t love outdoor or events that are adrenaline charged, there is a possibility of entertaining yourself indoors.

When you watch movies, it is possible to relax your mind and body. You will be able to encounter high levels of concentration which is a much-needed thing for your brain. When you sit on that couch to watch a movie for several hours, it is also an excellent way to ensure that your body is healed of the day-long tiredness.

There is a lot of information contained in some movies which might also allow you to learn something as you watch the movie. There are several types of movies which you can readily get online like action, horror, adventure, comedy among others; the choice is all yours.

In most households, there are various platforms where movies are watched; TV and DVD players are the most common platforms. These same platforms are used to play discs which contain music, movies, or any other content that is visual. Other people decide to go to theatres where they enjoy watching movies at the cinemas as compared to doing the same online at home.

As a movie lover, you can go ahead and download your favorite movies or stream them live online without the need to download which saves on time and storage space. Get on the various sites where you can get free online movies or subscribe to those which require a monthly or yearly payment so that you enjoy your movies whenever or wherever you find yourself free. Unlike watching on other media, watching online could be the best option.

Difference between Democrat and Republican

Democratic

Difference between Democrat and Republican

Did you know that the US had 55 million registered Independents in 2014? It also had 55 million people registered as Republicans while 77 million individuals had registered themselves as Democrats. Why do these distinct political units exist? Well, they exist because there are fundamental differences between these units. They include differences in the role of government, citizens’ rights, and moral virtues. Other differences revolve around their approaches to relations with other nations and immigration.

Differences on the Role of Government

Republicans are staunch believers in limiting the power of the government to influence the life and activities of an individual. For example, they favor a system where the government reduces taxes as much as possible. They also prefer a system where states formulate laws on moral-based issues. In contrast, Democrats prefer a government that involves itself in the daily life of its citizenry. For example, it wants to see the government taking an active role in facilitating environmental control over industrial activities.

Independent

Differences in Individual Rights & Responsibilities

Republicans believe that individual rights define America. In other words, they believe that individual rights trump collective responsibilities towards each other. They even support the Second Amendment as a means of ensuring that the government does not infringe upon these rights. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that collective responsibilities towards each other trump individual rights. Therefore, providing welfare to homeless people is more of a priority to them than reducing taxes on Americans and businesses in America.

Statue of liberty

Differences in Approaches to Foreign Policy

Republicans believe in putting the interests of America at the heart of every foreign policy. That includes punishing countries that trade unfairly with the US. It also means pulling out of war zones or starting wars if it is in the interest of America to do so. Democrats believe that the US should restrain itself militarily. In other words, it should avoid an arms race with other countries. They also believe that the US should topple dictators even if it is not in the interest of America to do so.

General aggriment

Differences on Issues to Do With Morality

Republicans believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman. In other words, they do not believe in same-sex marriages. They also believe that abortion is murder because life starts at conception. Most Republicans support the death penalty as well. Democrats believe that the basis of marriage should be love. Therefore, a marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to them. They also fight for abortion aggressively especially their unwavering support for Planned Parenthood. Most of them detest the death penalty.

London bridge

Differences on Issues to Do With Immigration

Republicans have voiced their support for tough laws against illegal immigration into the United States. Most of them support the building of a wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico. They oppose continued immigration from certain countries as well. In contrast, Democrats have criticized the idea of building a wall along the southern border with Mexico. Ironically, some of them supported this idea in the past. They also propose a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million and more undocumented immigrants that are in the country.

PUMAs don’t forget to say you are voting for Barack Obama if polled…

PUMAs,

If and when you get polled, remember to let the pollster know that not only do you intend to vote, but that you are strongly committed to voting for:
Barack Obama

It is extremely important we keep on doing this. Let Obama and his surrogates keep on being lulled into a false sense of security at having a lead in the national polls.

So far this strategy seems to be working, polls show Obama to be up…

Of course on election day, as PUMAs we all know that no way, no how, we shall not vote for Obama. We might write in Hillary’s name, we might vote for John McCain, heck we might even write in our own names, but to give our vote on Barack Obama is simply not something we shall do.

 

Letter to the Republican Party from a concerned PUMA

Dear Members of the Republican Party,

Like millions of other PUMAs, the only thing I’ve decided about this election is that under no circumstances would I be voting for Barack Obama. However, like millions of other PUMAs I have also realized that the only way to ensure that Barack Obama is not elected President is if John McCain wins on November 4th.

In the last few months, I have watched with amazement as you have worked hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the Presidential election. In your public and private utterances you have been pessimistic, downcast, fatalistic and have shown signs of being mentally out of the game.

How easily you forget that compared to Barack Obama, in John McCain you not only have a candidate who was legitimately elected by your party, but you have a better candidate, a better message, and a better connection to Main Street, USA. Despite all this you carry on like the election is over and Barack Obama has already won.

It is sad that compared to the rank and file of the GOP, PUMAs are more steadfast in their belief that an Obama presidency is not inevitable. All over the MSM, in the blogosphere and in conversations with people everywhere, members of the GOP who should still be fighting the good fight are talking like a party that has already lost. Why should this be so?

As PUMAs, during the primaries we took the Obama machine on and won, we kept our faith and acted from the realization that no matter what our contributions were, doing something was infinitely better than doing nothing. Either way we knew that sink or swim, till it was over, it iwas not over. The GOP needs to come to this same realization in regards to this election immediately.

The reason Hillary prevailed till she chose to give it all up for the sake of party unity (my a..) is because those of us in her corner supported her candidacy against all odds. Despite all of Hillary’s flaws, and believe you me, there are many, when it came to supporting her candidacy we never showed hurt, never showed fear, never backed down, and never gave up. You can do the same.

As PUMAs we worked our butt off to ensure Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party’s Primary, against all odds, including being outspent 4 : 1, the MSM being in Obama’s corner, charges of racism and blatant displays of sexism by Obama and his surrogates, and last but not least, electoral fraud perpetuated by ACORN. Folks, indeed the more things change the more they stay the same, nothing has changed, except John McCain has taken the place of Hillary Clinton.

How dare you back down, how dare you give up on John McCain and Sarah Palin? Right now they are the only two people in the world standing between the America we love and cherish and a society remade in the image of Barack Obama. Obama is a man whose political ideology is more in line with that of Daniel Arap Moi, a founding father of Kenya who thrived on the cult of personality, than it is in line with that of our founding father, George Washington, a man who put it all on the line so that our country would truly be greater than any one man.

Is it going to be hard to do this, but you must fight. You must stop griping, complaining and talking about how the deck is stacked against your candidate and your party, yes, life isn’t fair, but it has never been. Instead get in the trenches to fight for McCain/Palin. There must be no retreat, there must be no surrender, till it is midnight in Hawaii and the election is over in all parts of the United States, the election is not over.

Go out and talk to people, educate people on McCain and Palin’s strengths, also educate people on Obama and Biden’s extremely obvious character deficiencies. Nobody who truly loves America and the American way of life can compare the candidates and give any sort of edge to Obama/Biden.

Not everybody is going to listen to you, but who cares? If people don’t want to listen to you, go talk to someone else, if they don’t want to listen to you, go talk to yet another person, eventually, you’ll find someone who has been waiting just to hear your message, and that person will at the minimum NOT vote for Obama, even if s/he does not vote for McCain/Palin. Every single not cast for Obama is a vote that keeps Obama out of the White House, it is that simple.

None of this is going to be easy, pleasant or maybe even enjoyable, because hard work is required, but guess what? The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

Lastly, Republicans, you can count on PUMAs to work till the bell is rung to prevent Obama from being elected, you must do the same!

Awesome! Rahm Emanuel Got Paid $320,000 For Helping Freddie Mac Scam The US Treasury

Freddie Mac had Rahm Emanuel as a board member during the period when it willfuly decided to scam the US treasury with false numbers in order to maximize executive compensation, and when it used company resources to further the political careers of friendly politicians, including Rahm Emanuel.

Today, Rahm Emanuel is the White House Chief of Staff. Hope and Change you can truly believe in if you are the sort of person who think a fox can truly guard the hen house.

Then again, maybe these guys need someone with Rahm Emanuel’s focus to help them get their act together…

The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board’s working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.

On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.

The accounting scandal wasn’t the only one that brewed during Emanuel’s tenure.

During his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.

For your reading pleasure here’s the ChicagoTribune

Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.

One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.

As gatekeeper to Obama, Emanuel now plays a critical role in addressing the nation’s mortgage woes and fulfilling the administration’s pledge to impose responsibility on the financial world.

Emanuel’s Freddie Mac involvement has been a prominent point on his political résumé, and his healthy payday from the firm has been no secret either. What is less known, however, is how little he apparently did for his money and how he benefited from the kind of cozy ties between Washington and Wall Street that have fueled the nation’s current economic mess.

Though just 49, Emanuel is a veteran Democratic strategist and fundraiser who served three terms in the U.S. House after helping elect Mayor Richard Daley and former President Bill Clinton. The Freddie Mac money was a small piece of the $16 million he made in a three-year interlude as an investment banker a decade ago.

In business as in politics, Emanuel has cultivated an aggressive, take-charge reputation that made him rich and propelled his rise to the front of the national stage. But buried deep in corporate and government documents on the Freddie Mac scandal is a little-known and very different story involving Emanuel.

He was named to the Freddie Mac board in February 2000 by Clinton, whom Emanuel had served as White House political director and vocal defender during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals.

The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board’s working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.

On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.

The accounting scandal wasn’t the only one that brewed during Emanuel’s tenure.

During his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.

The board was throttled for its acquiescence to the accounting manipulation in a 2003 report by Armando Falcon Jr., head of a federal oversight agency for Freddie Mac. The scandal forced Freddie Mac to restate $5 billion in earnings and pay $585 million in fines and legal settlements. It also foreshadowed even harder times at the firm.

Many of those same risky investment practices tied to the accounting scandal eventually brought the firm to the brink of insolvency and led to its seizure last year by the Bush administration, which pledged to inject up to $100 billion in new capital to keep the firm afloat. The Obama administration has doubled that commitment.

Freddie Mac reported recently that it lost $50 billion in 2008. It so far has tapped $14 billion of the government’s guarantee and said it soon will need an additional $30 billion to keep operating.

Like its larger government-chartered cousin Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac was created by Congress to promote home ownership, though both are private corporations with shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The two firms hold stakes in half the nation’s residential mortgages.

Because of Freddie Mac’s federal charter, the board in Emanuel’s day was a hybrid of directors elected by shareholders and those appointed by the president.

In his final year in office, Clinton tapped three close pals: Emanuel, Washington lobbyist and golfing partner James Free, and Harold Ickes, a former White House aide instrumental in securing the election of Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Senate. Free’s appointment was good for four months, and Ickes’ only three months.

Falcon, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, found that presidential appointees played no “meaningful role” in overseeing the company and recommended that their positions be eliminated.

John Coffee, a law professor and expert on corporate governance at Columbia University, said the financial crisis at Freddie Mac was years in the making and fueled by chronically weak oversight by the firm’s directors. The presence of presidential appointees on the board didn’t help, he added.

“You know there was a patronage system and these people were only going to serve a short time,” Coffee said. “That’s why [they] get the stock upfront.”

Financial disclosure statements that are required of U.S. House members show Emanuel made at least $320,000 from his time at Freddie Mac. Two years after leaving the firm, Emanuel reported an additional sale of Freddie Mac stock worth between $100,001 and $250,000. The document did not detail whether he profited from the sale.

Sarah Feinberg, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, said there was no conflict between his stint at Freddie Mac and Obama’s vow to restore confidence in financial institutions and the executives who run them. At the same time, Feinberg said Emanuel now agrees that presidential appointees to the Freddie Mac board “are unnecessary and don’t have long enough terms to make a difference.”

Former President George W. Bush voluntarily stopped making such appointments following Falcon’s assessment of their uselessness.

In an interview, Falcon said the Freddie Mac board did most of its work in committees. Yet proxy statements that detailed committee assignments showed none for Emanuel, Free or Ickes during the time they served in 2000 or 2001. Most other directors carried two committee assignments each.

Contrary to the proxy statements, Feinberg said she believed that Emanuel served on board committees that oversaw Freddie Mac’s investment strategies and mortgage purchase activities. But Feinberg acknowledged she had no official documents to back up that assertion.

The Obama administration rejected a Tribune request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel’s time as a director. The documents, obtained by Falcon for his investigation, were “commercial information” exempt from disclosure, according to a lawyer for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Emanuel’s board term expired in May 2001, and soon after he launched his Democratic congressional bid.

One of Emanuel’s fellow directors at Freddie Mac was Neil Hartigan, the former Illinois attorney general. Hartigan said Emanuel’s primary contribution was explaining to others on the board how to play the levers of power.

He was respected on the board for his understanding of “the dynamics of the legislative process and the executive branch at senior levels,” Hartigan recalled. “I wouldn’t say he was outspoken. What he was, was solid.”

By the time Emanuel joined Freddie Mac, the company had begun to loosen lending standards and buy riskier sub-prime loans. It was a practice that later blew up and contributed to the current foreclosure crisis.

In his investigation, Falcon concluded that the board of directors on which Emanuel sat was so pliant that Freddie Mac’s managers easily were able to massage company ledgers. They manipulated bookkeeping to smooth out volatility, perpetuating Freddie Mac’s industry reputation as “Steady Freddie,” a reliable producer of earnings growth. Wall Street liked what it saw, Freddie Mac’s stock value soared and top executives collected their bonuses.

Another focus of Freddie during Emanuel’s day—and one that played to his skill set—was a stepped-up effort to combat congressional demands for more regulation.

During a September 2000 board meeting—midway through Emanuel’s 14-month term—Freddie Mac lobbyist R. Mitchell Delk laid out a strategy titled “Political Risk Management” aimed at influencing lawmakers and blunting pressure in Congress for more regulation. Through Delk’s initiative, Freddie Mac sponsored more than 80 fundraisers that raised at least $1.7 million for congressional candidates despite a federal law that bans corporations from direct political activity.

Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said Emanuel “can’t remember the meeting or topic” but might have been in attendance when Delk outlined his plans. Feinberg downplayed the significance of the fundraiser thrown for Emanuel, which brought in $7,000, stressing that it was but one of many hosted by Delk. The event stood out in at least one respect, however.

The Freddie Mac-linked events were mostly for Republicans, and only a handful benefited Democrats like Emanuel. “Rahm was a good friend of mine. He was on Freddie Mac’s board. He was very much supportive of housing,” said Delk, who resigned under pressure in 2004.

Then-Freddie Mac CEO Leland Brendsel also hosted a fundraising lunch for Emanuel’s 2002 campaign that netted $9,500 from top company executives. Brendsel was later ousted in the accounting scandal.

Federal campaign records show that Emanuel received $25,000 from donors with ties to Freddie Mac in the 2002 campaign cycle, more than twice the amount collected that election by any other candidate for the U.S. House or Senate.

Emanuel joined the House in January 2003 and was named to the Financial Services Committee, where he also sat on the subcommittee that directly oversaw Freddie Mac. A few months later, Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Leland Brendsel was forced out, and the committee and subcommittee launched hearings to sort out the mess, spanning more than a year. Emanuel skipped every hearing, congressional records indicate.

Feinberg said Emanuel recused himself “from deliberations related to Freddie Mac to avoid even the appearance of favoritism, impropriety or a conflict of interest.”

Obama to Directly Engage The Burmese Military Dictatorship

Amazing, now we’re going to directly engage the military dictatorship in Burma. A regime that has kept the country’s duly elected Prime Minister, Aung San Suu Kyi imprisoned since 1990, suppressed democracy, and is before the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity.

But I guess all that does not matter to Barack Obama.

Oh, incidentally, Burma‘s foreign minister visited the White House earlier this week, although it was claimed he did not meet anyone from the Obama administration, well, that claim has been rubbished, isn’t it…

I shudder to think what would have happened had Obama been President when South Africa was still governed via the apartheid system…

Bloomberg

The U.S. will engage directly with the military leaders in Myanmar as sanctions alone haven’t been effective, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

The U.S. will be “moving in a direction of both engagement and continued sanctions,” Clinton told reporters at the United Nations in New York. “We believe that sanctions remain an important part of our policy.”

By themselves, sanctions “have not produced the results” the U.S. wanted, she said.

The U.S. is leading international calls for the military, which has ruled the country formerly known as Burma since 1962, to make progress toward democracy and has dismissed the junta’s plans to hold elections next year under a new constitution as an attempt to retain power.

Clinton’s announcement is in keeping with decisions made by President Barack Obama to engage diplomatically with U.S. foes including Iran and North Korea.

The U.S. will provide more specifics on the engagement shortly, Clinton said, adding that “engagement versus sanctions” is a “false choice.” The U.S. has imposed trade and financial sanctions on the junta.

Myanmar is facing a critical year in 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement after a meeting in New York of the Friends of Myanmar group that involved 11 foreign ministers, including Clinton.

“The first planned election in 20 years must be held in an inclusive and credible manner in order to advance the prospects for stability,” Ban said.

Prisoner Amnesty

Myanmar last week declared an amnesty for about 7,000 prisoners, a move Ban said fell “short of expectations.”

The military holds more than 2,000 political prisoners, including Buddhist monks, journalists and artists and has doubled the number of such detainees in the past two years, Human Rights Watch said in a report last week.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, remains under house arrest. She has spent 13 in detention since the NLD won elections in 1990, a result the military rejected.

Myanmar’s junta triggered international condemnation last month when it extended her custody order for 18 months after convicting the opposition leader of violating the terms of her detention. Suu Kyi, 64, is appealing against her conviction.

Senator’s Visit

Senator Jim Webb became the first senior U.S. official to meet with junta leader Senior General Than Shwe when the Virginia Democrat visited Myanmar last month and secured the release of John Yettaw.

Yettaw was imprisoned for swimming to Suu Kyi’s lakeside home in the former capital, Yangon, a visit that prompted charges to be brought against the opposition leader.

The UN has called on the junta to open “genuine” talks with Suu Kyi and begin national reconciliation.

Ban and Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo, who also attended the meeting of the Friends of Myanmar, called for Suu Kyi’s release.

“Our engagement with Myanmar must take a longer term view beyond 2010,” Yeo said. “Singapore sees the army as being part of the problem, but also as a necessary part of the solution and in the end what’s required is a process of national reconciliation. It will take time.”

Singapore is part of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian nations, which includes Myanmar.

Was Obama Ignorant About Bill Ayers? Of Course Not…

For a man who is hell bent on showing his superior judgment to lead, it is very interesting how all of a sudden he claims (albeit through his surrogates) that he is a man who is unaware that his associates are domestic terrorists.
Yesterday, his mouthpiece, David Axelrod went on air to spew the following nonsense:

JIM ACOSTA: Now a college professor in Chicago, Ayers and Obama served together several years on a nonprofit board. And in 1995 Ayers hosted a coffee for Obama when the young community organizer was making his first run for the State Senate. At this point looking back, should he not have done that?

DAVID AXELROD: Well I mean, when he went, he certainly — he didn’t know the history.

ACOSTA: The Democratic nominee’s chief strategist David Axelrod maintains Obama at that time had no idea about Ayers’ violent past.

Wait, did he just say Obama did NOT know the History of Ayers?

If we are to believe Obama hack, Robert Gibbs, then we can assume Obama truly didn’t. Furthermore, we can also assume it is a “distraction”

ROBERTS: I just want to try to get to the heart of it so that people at home can understand. Our Jim Acosta talked with your senior strategist David Axelrod about this. In 1995 William Ayers held kind of a get to know you event at his place where he was introducing Barack Obama to the political culture there in Chicago when he was running for the state senate for the first time. David Axelrod said that at that meeting Senator Obama was not aware of Ayers’ radical background. Is that true?

GIBBS: Look, if that’s what David said, that is true. look, again, this is a relationship, excuse me, that Barack Obama has condemned the actions of Bill Ayers. This is somebody that “”The New York Times”” said Barack Obama’s not close to, and, again, John, this is a way of distracting the American people from what’s important. just in this more than’s paper John McCain’s campaign said if we talk about the economy, we lose. That’s why we’re seeing the type of dishonorable, dishonest, despicable smear campaign that you see right now with only four weeks to go in this election.

Well, it seems Obama would have had to be as clueless as a rock not to have known. Erick Erikson provides the following analysis:

At the height of this exposure, major media outlets were quoting Bill Ayers and pointing out his radical past.

What else happened in 1996 when the media was reminiscing about the Democratic Convention of 1968, and interviewing key players like Bill Ayers?

Bill Ayers held a fundraiser for Barack Obama.

And we’re really supposed to believe Obama did not know, by 1996, given all the major media coverage of the 1996 Democratic Convention going back to Chicago despite the 1968 riots — including local and national media interviews with Bill Ayers on the subject — that Obama did not know?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Hotair has the coup de gras on this issue:

Ayers was hardly quiet about his life and his aspirations. He wrote a book about it in 2001. Chicago Magazine did a lengthy profile of him at the time, complete with pictures of Ayers standing on an American flag thrown on the ground in an alley. Nevertheless, Obama continued to work with Ayers at the Woods Fund and work together on public events. Either Obama liked what Ayers did, or he’s the most clueless politician to have ever reached the US Senate, and neither commends itself as a recommendation for a presidential candidate.