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20 July 2012

Comments

Russ Steele

In 2011 CalPERS decided on a new investment strategy called environmental, social and governance (ESG). As we know how well those investments have worked out, with hundreds of green companies going bankrupt. I wonder if this could be one of the reasons for the poor performance in 2011? 2012 ESG Report is HERE.

In 2011, the CalPERS Board approved the adoption of a Total Fund process for integrating ESG issues as a strategic priority in the Investment Office.

We adopted three core themes for integrating CalPERS
ESG work. These are:

• Alignment of interest through corporate
governance: including issues such as shareowner
rights, executive compensation, fund manager
terms and conditions and investor protection.

• Climate change: including issues related to resource
scarcity, water stress, carbon emissions, energy
efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy.

• Human capital: including issues of exploitative
labor practices, health and safety, responsible
contracting and diversity.


ooo

Climate change is a major strategic issue. CalPERS
must consider the long-term horizon, as well as
meeting today’s liabilities, and climate change is
expected to have a significant economic impact
over this time period. U.K. economist Lord Stern
predicted that if no action is taken, climate change
could reduce global GDP by as much as 20 percent
by 2050. As a large investor with assets across
the global economy, this poses a large to medium
long-term risk to our portfolio.

The global and long-term nature of climate change
issues means that without new policy mechanisms
in place, the effects of our actions in terms of
environmental impact will remain limited.
Across the total fund, we approach climate change
using a mix of targeted investments (in both public
and private equity), enlightened procurement and
through voting and engagement with companies
that we believe need more robust environmental
strategies and regulation.

Climate change is a natural process and trying the save the planet from CO2 emissions is a loosing proposition, including as an investment strategy.

Michael Anderson

CALPers is hosed, certainly. But fifteen years is a long ways away. Maybe all those beneficiaries will just pass away spontaneously. Let's not panic just yet.

billy T

Calpers could ask all employees and members to kick down and pay a lot more into the fund. Not talking about a measly 4-6% more. Of course, they won't do that. Even pension funds nowadays are more political entities rather than financial institutions. They will be asking the taxpayers to bail them out...er...the taxpayers that actually pay taxes. Lesson learned: if anyone comes up to you and says they will guarantee a 7.75-8% average return through good times and bad over the next 30 years, ask to see their ID and hope their last name is not Madoff. In related news (kinda), folks down in Alta Sierra might be interested to know that a Canadian pension fund is buying the cable company SuddenLink. Darn those evil private equity companies.

Account Deleted

Well, they could earn a lot more on their investments if the fed would allow the interest rates to float to a true free market level. My wife and I would also earn more on our investments. But we know that won't happen anytime soon. As the golden goose (the free market capitalist system) is starved of food, far less eggs are laid to be 'redistributed' and we all find the rot at the bottom of the barrel. Not that the conservatives haven't warned of all the rot that was there all along. It's just that as the eggs are depleted, we now see more clearly what was being covered up. I see that the SacBee has just discovered that the state law makers keep their 'help' in good financial form, no matter what circumstances the rest of the state govt is in. And what do you know, but they've been robbing out of the restricted funds such as the OHV fund to tuck away in a 'secret' stash while claiming dire poverty. This has been going on for years, folks. Only now as the bottom of the barrel is in sight, the fighting and finger pointing escalates. As the funds go dry, and the honey tub is emptied, all hell is about to break loose. So far, the clever Johnnies at the top in govt have been able to borrow and print their way to safety and say soothing things to the populace about how it will all be fine. We're in recovery I'm told, but the problem existed even before the crash at the end of the Bush admin. The problem started the day we felt too restricted by the Constitution and needed a 'new narrative' as the left says. The left still clings to the notion that the problem is we the people just don't pay enough to the god of govt. If we would only offer more sacrifices, the god will smile on us and again bring forth manna from heaven. The issue at hand is the retirement system and at the end of it, all of the contracts and promises won't be worth a tinker's oath to the folks at the short end of the straw. What now? What plans, if any, are being made?

George Rebane

ScottO 913am - I like your metaphor of the "god of govt", and the requirement, as exhorted by the priestly progressive caste, that we "offer more sacrifices" in order to make the countenance of govt to shine again on us all.

For the retirement system, "What plans, if any, are being made?' Absolutely none other than the leadership elite offering up new prayers to the interest rate gods that will bestow us with the levels needed for salvation.

Account Deleted

My question about contingency plans for empty pension pots was somewhat rhetorical and yet also personal as I get an electronic transfer of digits into my checking account from CalPers around the first of every month. And next year, SS will start doing the same. I suppose they can order someone to push a button and transfer whole numbers of various amounts indefinitely into everyones' accounts for quite a while. How much or many real goods those numbers will allow me to obtain into the future remains to be seen. I guess that the real question is: Those good folk in the upper management of CalPers and other pension funds know darn well the stuff spewed from the cow's back end will soon be propelled by an electrically powered rotating device and all of their politically mandated happy-talk is not going to work when that day comes. They know better than that of which they publicly speak. I wonder - I do truly wonder what they talk about when the mics are turned off and the lesser hires are dismissed. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at CalPers.

TomKenworth

In terms of predicting what will pay for what, whatever happened to those who claimed that Iraqi oil would be paying for the war, and when that failed, what did what to the national debt, that Obama inherited?

George Rebane

TomKenworth 1205pm - Had we drained the Iraqi oil revenues, I believe that you and yours around the world would have howled bloody murder about immoral American imperialism.

And on the other end we have more fossil fuels than we can use up in a century, the savings from which would have more than paid for the war, and reduced deficits to boot. But no ...

It's hard to for two widely disparate ideologies pursuing widely separated objectives to govern a country.

Gregory

I believe Keachie is misremembering history. Iraqi oil was never going to pay for the war, it was to pay for Iraqi reconstruction. It's their oil and has remained so.

We never stole Iraqi oil, nor was there a plan to steal Iraqi oil. The "No Blood for Oil" cry had no basis in truth, but it sure resonated among the more left among us.

THEMIKEYMCD

I look for CalPERS to increase exposure to 'alternative investments' that have 'estimated market values' (through doctored appraisals) instead of more transparent investments (i.e. stocks); easier to hit projections that way :).

The 7.75% discount rate is net of fees (1%) charged by CalPERS which means they actually need 8.75%.

George Rebane

Gregory 145pm - Agreed on your history lesson; the "no blood for oil" was a touchstone of the Left's opposition. And it's easy enough to verify from the record. Although IMHO a country spilling the blood of its young for a critically needed natural resource has always been and continues to be a good geo-strategic bet when the alternatives are considered.

MickeyMcD 209pm - thanks for reminding us on the 'net of fees'. I had forgotten that and should have included that in my commentary. I'm red-faced.

TomKenworth

L.W. and George have no recollection of the concept? Then I guess it is brand new with this Republican Congressperson? http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/06/15/us-congressman-asks-iraqis-to-pay-for-iraq-war/

If they are going to pay for it, how will they get the money, other than by selling oil?

George Rebane

TomKenworth 512pm - It seems to me you've lost the thread of the conversation here, and the points made in Greg's 145pm. Citing an individual members of Congress in contrast to stated national policy doesn't get us too far.

Paul Emery

Gee guys you seem to have forgotten about this in 2003. A trillion US dollars later what happened?

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=28388

"The bulk of the funds for Iraq's reconstruction will come from Iraqis," explained Rumsfeld, who was accompanied at the briefing by Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Iraqis will pay for the rebuilding of their country, the defense secretary noted, through oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investments and contributions from the international community.

Ben Emery

Hmmm, Do you think the low performing investments has anything to do with the reckless behavior of Wall St?

Greg,
Your version of history is quite astonishing. Paul touched on it with the guarantee Iraqi oil will pay for the illegal invasion/ occupation. How about the Cheney secret energy meeting about dividing up the oil fields? The Bush administration tried to hide the information but it was obtained by a foia lawsuit by Judicial Watch and Sierra Club?

"Documents turned over in the summer of 2003 by the Commerce Department as a result of the Sierra Club’s and Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, dated March 2001, also feature maps of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the project’s costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date."
http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/8-secrets-of-cheneys-energy-task-force-come-to-light/

TomKenworth

Thank-you Paul and Ben.

Account Deleted

Low performing investments reflect a crummy economy, artificially low interest rates and a private sector being buried under a burgeoning fed govt. If the left doesn't like reckless behavior, I would suggest they stop encouraging and rewarding it.

Russ Steele

As I noted above, CalPERS has decided climate change is a major strategic investment issue.

CalPERS must consider the long-term horizon, as well asmeeting today’s liabilities, and climate change is expected to have a significant economic impact over this time period.

While CalPERS is becoming more interest in global warming and climate change the general pubic is loosing interest. There are some interesting charts showing that declining interest HERE, a reblog from Anthony Watts blog Watts Up With That

Combine this trend with these recent findings on how Gen-x is viewing global warming and one has to wonder if the folks at CalPERS know what they are doing? More details HERE.

Ben Emery

Scott,
Other than the left part I totally agree. Remember it was the Bush administration and republican controlled senate that passed the bail outs. It was Greenspan idea to not regulate derivatives. It was the republican party and President Clinton that signed the deregulation's into law after a decade long $10 billion dollar lobbying effort to get the financial reform put in place. It took less than a decade after the reform to crash the world economy.

George Rebane

Re PaulE 931pm & BenE 1031 - Is everyone sure that those Emery boys are not related?

PaulE seems to confuse the cost of hostilities with that of post-war reconstruction. In 2003 it was loudly announced and broadly agreed that after hostilities ceased, Iraq's oil would be used for reconstruction and updating the country's infra-structure that Sadam had neglected for decades while spending on palaces and military.

Then BenE ups the ante and puts words in PaulE's mouth by claiming his cited costs and source of funds for the "illegal invasion/occupation" was also Iraq's oil revenues. That really confuses the issue.

The re the secret meetings. Recall that Iraq didn't have the technology to capitalize on its oil and the alternative was to bring in western oil companies. The debate then focused on US oil companies having some primacy because it was the US that bore the cost of liberating Iraq. Formulating and adopting some form of that policy needed to be discussed behind closed doors. (Only the otherwise secretive Left doesn't understand that when it suits them.)

Bottom line - there was nothing in the cost history of the war itself that would have caused a financial cataclysm for the US. Granted, the occupation costs went up after we unthinkingly applied the anti-Nazi policies of 1945 to the anti-Baathist policies in post-invasion Iraq and also dismantled their army. To borrow a phrase, the Iraqi military action was in reality a 'guns and butter' war for the US economy.

billy T

Lol. From Calpers present and future woes to reliving the Iraq War. Will wonders never cease. Yep, Al Gore was on the board of Occidental Petroleum. What does that have to do with the price of tea in California?

Ben Emery

Billy T,
I just followed the thread but will love for someone to expand on the connection between Calper's investments and the crashing of the economy by Wall St greed and the housing bubble promoted by banks for short term gains and hiding the bad loans in a derivative market ($500 trillion) that had no regulations in place. When connecting home loans/commercial banks (FDIC insured) with investment bank gambling we created a $500 trillion liability to the US tax payer.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203735304577167273567069942.html

George Rebane

billyT 926am - thanks for pulling us back on track.

BenE 956am - now there is another possible patch of common ground. I too am not in favor of uniting the investment and thrift functions in a single bank. Betting on something beyond community loans that can be vetted by the local bankers is an invitation to make bets with depositors' monies. And the invitation becomes irresistible when the government goads you into doing it, and then guarantees your bad decisions (which include coming up with bundled products that no one can price).

Ben Emery

George,
We have agreement, again. Government shouldn't be there to backstop private industry (promote and backstop are very different) but when government is owned by private industry through political funding government takes on a very distorted role. I think slowly we are getting through the weeds where we agree on much more than we are taught to believe.

George Rebane

BenE 1124am - "... when government is owned by private industry through political funding ..."

To the extent that such ownership exists, it is solicited only because government has undertaken and funded functions (through taxing) that certain corporations want bent to their benefit. The conservetarian solution is to remove such excess functions from government, and not remove freedoms from private enterprise.

Ben Emery

George,
Generally conservatarians are more inline with the US Constitution, the ability to tax is explicitly in the US Constitution.

George Rebane

BenE 1152am - you are confusing "the ability to tax" with the beneficial level of taxation, which is the point of my comment and the subject of my 23jul12 post in which this comment thread really belongs.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2012/07/tax-rates-fair-enough-already.html

Nevertheless, a short perusal of these pages reveals that half the time we spend debating such fabricated straw men ('constitutional ability to tax'), or attempting to correct the liberal latitudes in which such off-topic diversions dwell.

Ben Emery

George,
I assure you I am not trying to switch the topic but rather am pointing out the obvious. In your wisdom what taxes should there be and how should they be implemented?

Ben Emery

Sorry I didn't finish the comment.

The founders of the country by setting up a democratic republic tried to give the power to the people through elections to determine the beneficial level of taxation. A government by the consent of the governed not the divine right of a king or of an aristocracy. Power to the average citizen, what a progressive idea. Unfortunately we have a federal branch of government, the Supreme Court, that have taken the power to create law from the bench thus circumventing both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government. By taking this power they have become the most powerful branch of the federal government (not accountable to the people) and have made our democratic republic up for sale to the highest bidder.

George Rebane

BenE 137pm - According to my lights (to keep the conversation going) the federal take should be no more than 20% of GDP, preferably in the form of a flat tax on total income from all sources. This limit would not apply during times of national extremis that is determined by super majorities of both houses of Congress. Concomitant revision of tax codes should eliminate almost all forms of government 'nudges' to do this instead of that. We can refine the fine points if it ever comes to that.

Account Deleted

re Ben's post at 7:04 - I stand by my statement. You just posted that the govt shouldn't backstop private industry. And that's the problem. I don't care what the name of the politician is, if the fed govt tries to mess with the private sector, beyond upholding basic contract law, it always ends up causing a mess. Repealing Glass-Steagall was fine, but they should have told the banks that if they started to get involved with mixing depositors' money with unsecured financial ventures then they were not covered by FDIC. Come to that, they should have just gotten rid of the FDIC at that point, anyway. Repealing G-S was only one little step in the coming financial disaster. And the fed govt was involved every inch of the way. Bush signed the TARP program - and that never happened. Bush loaned GM some cash that was to be repaid and Obummer stepped in and bailed out the unions as payback for their votes at our expense. The left has encouraged and rewarded risky and even criminal and stupid behavior by the financial firms, the local govts and the citizens. The honest folks that stayed within our means and saved our money now are being punished. The economy will never recover with the left running the govt.

George Rebane

ScottO 445pm - Good points. Obama's summary violation of contract obligations when he screwed the secured GM bond holders and bought more votes from the unions has done irreparable damage to the economy. That idiot either does not understand how debt markets work, or he's trying forcefully to undermine the US economy. Who in hell would loan at any favorable rates to union shop corporations when a socialist govt can step in at any time and give you a haircut? Obama has no idea what he has done to the cost of running a union shop business.

Ben Emery

Scott,
Actually FDIC and Glass Steagall were put in place to insure/ secure the peoples money and prevent runs on the bank. It is what suspended banking crisis/ panics for 50 years. If we didn't bank by fractional reserve runs on the bank wouldn't be so dangerous but this is a much bigger subject.

My opinion on GM bailouts, were the shareholders and administrators should have lost their shirts. The workers on the other hand did nothing wrong. GM front office and higher ups refused for decades to adapt to the market only thinking about quarterly gains instead longevity of the company. We are talking about over 200,000 jobs. How many US jobs I don't know but it should more than whatever it is.

Account Deleted

People that deposit money in banks should pay attention to what the banks do with their money. The FDIC was put in place for the sake of the incompetent banks that couldn't ever again get any depositors. Well run banks can get people to invest. And so the people stopped paying attention and shoved their money in any old bank. If banks want to invest in unsecured investments, they should be able to. And if they fail, they fail. Why should the fed govt back up banks that made stupid and greedy investments? That's why I bank at a credit union and have for decades. Banks are, for the most part, badly run and spend a lot of money on ads and ornate buildings.
The unions brought Obama votes and he took public money and paid them back. The bond holders were due (after the tax payers) first crack at what was left of GM. That was the law and that was why GM was able to have investors loan them money at low rates. Because the bonds were secured by the assets of GM. Obama 'saved' a crappy car company by cheating ordinary Americans out of what they were due so a bunch of overpaid union hacks that chose to work at a crappy car company could continue working there instead of the many other car companies that build and assemble cars in the US. Ford, Mazda, Honda, MBZ, Toyota and BMW to name a few. Chevy, Buick and Cattletrap all would have continued but the union hacks would have had to start working at lower wages. He didn't 'save' the jobs, he just saved the union contracts. The unions gave up almost nothing and ended up with bonuses and pay raises. We will never again see all of the money that he gave GM as well as all of the money he ladles out to green companies run by his well connected buddies that kick down money come election time. He is using tax payer money that is laundered through failed companies to enrich his campaign coffers. He is a crooked Chicago pol. Same as Daley and Blogo. I think he does know what he's done. Can't get private money to finance your company? Oh, toooo bad - might have to go to Bank of Obama and get a loan from him. It's from his 'private stash'! Super-low interest rates, too. He's already taken over 90% of home loans and the entire student loan program. And we just wonder why the country can't get going again.

Paul Emery

George


"Although IMHO a country spilling the blood of its young for a critically needed natural resource has always been and continues to be a good geo-strategic bet when the alternatives are considered."

So George, was blood for oil indeed the reason for our invasion of Iraq or are you speaking hypothetically to apply to a different situation. If the was was not fought for strategic resources then what was it fought for? Also, in your opinion has Iraq paid for their reconstruction as Rumsfeld promised? Over 4000 American lives and trillions of dollars have been spent on this effort for what purpose?

"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The nine-year-old Iraq war came to an official end on Thursday, but paying for it will continue for decades until U.S. taxpayers have shelled out an estimated $4 trillion."

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2011-12-15/general/30778140_1_iraq-war-iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans-budgetary-assessments

Account Deleted

Oh Gee - whadaya know?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/24/solyndra-figures-attend-swank-obama-fundraiser/
Your money, you stupid, brain dead lefties. Into the rich pigs pockets and a cut for the head pig.
Taken from you by force by the govt and handed to the wealthy well-connected pigs and the left wing, socialist president gets his little pittance that he grovels for as the good little boy that does what the masters pay him to do.
You wanted Democracy - this is what it looks like. We had a Republic, but we couldn't keep it after all.

George Rebane

PaulE 547pm - How'd we wind up talking about the cost of mid-east wars under a post about Calpers?

Yes, I believe blood for world wide access of oil at reasonable prices was one motivation for the invasion. But a more longer term geo-strategic reason was the growing regional hegemon Iran. George Friedman of Stratfor provides one of the excellent discussions of America's interest in such wars that have been conducted since WW2.

I don't accept the cost numbers you cite, nor the assertion that America will pay for Iraq's 'reconstruction' (we didn't destroy that much) while it uses its oil revenues for something else - NFW!

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, the Iraq war has brought the left what it wanted and golly, George Bush supplied it. The Arab Spring is his baby. He brought Iraq to democracy and the other countries want some too. So there you are PaulE, Bush did it, you support the Arab Spring, everybody wins. What cost democracy? The left has always said it was priceless!

Paul Emery


George, those numbers were from you own guys. (see quote) So are you on the record as a supporter of the Iraq war and the costs of blood and treasure to fight it? Bush himself denied that the war was for oil. Did he lie to the American people? Of course Iraq is much closer to Iran than they ever were under Hussein which means that excuse was also a failure. What happened to Rumsfeld's idea that Iraq would pay for reconstruction from oil sales? Do you have any numbers on that?

"“The direct costs for the war were about $800 billion, but the indirect costs, the costs you can’t easily see, that payoff will outlast you and me,” said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at American Progress, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and a former assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan.

Those costs include interest payments on the billions borrowed to fund the war; the cost of maintaining military bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to defend Iraq or reoccupy the country if the Baghdad government unravels; and the expense of using private security contractors to protect U.S. property in the country and to train Iraqi forces."

Michael Anderson

Good stuff, Paul Emery. I want my money back, I was against the Iraq War beginning in 2002 and the fact that criminals in Washington D.C. are still making me pay for it makes my blood boil. The illegitimacy continues to fester; one man/one vote, no taxation w/o equal representation. The center cannot hold.

Michael Anderson

THE SECOND COMING -- Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

George Rebane

C'mon Paul and Michael - My record on the Iraq war is memorialiized on these pages. The US had to fight Iraq for the sake of its global hegemony, protect western oil interests in the gulf (deniers of that, including Bush2, lied), and pay its periodic pound of flesh to Israel. Was fought well? Yes. Was the 'peace' managed well? No.

But please don't add up all the costs of our military presence in the mid-east to the Iraq war. We would have had to establish and maintain that presence in any case, and perhaps even more strongly with Sadam still there - recall he tried to take the Saudi oil fields one already. I'm afraid the world the Left wants for the US is not possible one in which the US survives.

Are we being the best hegemon we can be to keep the world on an even keel as China grows and Russia settles into a new role, as Turkey flexes newfound muscles, as Arabs try 'spring', as funamentalist Islam tries to destabilize everything for the coming caliphate, as ...?
NO.

But here is an area that both Left and Right should attempt to work out together, as long as they both want the US to survive as a sovereign nation-state.

Michael Anderson

"But here is an area that both Left and Right should attempt to work out together, as long as they both want the US to survive as a sovereign nation-state."

Agreed. I will be working not on the cost-plus side but on the best-bang-for-the-buck side. No more Maginot Lines.

Ben Emery

George,
Just a question.

Why do you feel the US is justified for meddling in the affairs/ resources of sovereign nations? As a person who promotes free markets your comfort in US interference and dominance around the globe seems contradictory.

I believe in the honey and vinegar theory over the carrot and deadly force stick theory

Todd Juvinall

BenE do you support the Agenda21 Treaty signed by George H.W. Bush? Do you support the Treaty of the Seas being debated in the US Senate? Do you support NATO?

TomKenworth

Todd seems to be in deep do-do, as always. Still doesn't post his income in dollars and cents. Please do.

Michael Anderson

Todd, I think most of us are fine with NATO and the Treaty of the Seas. But Agenda 21 is a strategically flawed diversion for you guys. Even the Heritage Foundation thinks so!

"If they focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that date to the early 1970s and undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests."
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12/focus-on-agenda-21-should-not-divert-attention-from-homegrown-anti-growth-policies

TomKenworth

In the haste to claim nobody ever said Iraqi oil will pay for the invasion costs, it seems that it was tacitly accepted as truth, the second half of:

"In terms of predicting what will pay for what, whatever happened to those who claimed that Iraqi oil would be paying for the war, and when that failed, what did what to the national debt, that Obama inherited?"

Ben Emery

Todd,
I do not know anything about Agenda 21 other than people I usually differ from in opinion seem to think it is the end of the world. NATO original mission was legit but it has since become a tool to justify military interventions by those nations that have the most pull. The same goes for the UN. The military industrial complex, international business, and international banking system have convoluted and intertwined the issues so much nobody understands what is going on behind the scenes.

Ben Emery

I want to say Paul Bremer (ViceRoy of Iraq) also made statements on Iraq paying for the invasion/ occupation. Remember we were told $2 billion in cost as well.

March 27, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told the House Appropriations Committee that Iraqi oil would pay for the costs of the war: “We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

Oct. 2, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted: "the $20 billion the president requested is not intended to cover all of Iraq's needs. The bulk of the funds for Iraq's reconstruction will come from Iraqis -- from oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investment, as well as some contributions we've already received and hope to receive from the international community."

Paul Emery

Of course Ben , it is general knowledge that the Bush Admin pulled one over our eyes on this and that we'll be paying the tab for years to come. It's part of the reason Bush is exiled from the Republican Party and the officio's run for cover whenever he leaves his ranch.

On a bigger picture though George, I want to ask your opinion since you agree that Bush lied to the American public and Congress about the reason for war with Iraq doesn't that certify that the war was unconstitutional because the only flimsy justification for calling it an act of war was justification under the War Powers Act and the reason presented by Bush was WMD's, later found to be unfounded and which we agree was not the real reason for the war.

Is intentionally lying to congress to get us into a war an impeachable action? I would think so.

Todd Juvinall

I see MichaelA answered the question I asked of BenE and I am so happy he did. MA says his ilk likes NATO and The Treaty of the Seas then BenE says he personally doesn't like NATO now (too warmongery). Gosh, I think the left should not answer for others anymore (I detect disunity) . Then we get a screed by MA warning people they will be viewed as nutty if they opposes or even discuss Agenda21. That shows me he knows zip about it and is simply bloviating hot air.

I recall being all by myself in my opposition (locally) to the Global Warming crap in 1997. I was called at home after I wrote an OP-D and I was called a nut for my POV. I said it was a money raising, government centric, non-proft cash cow, simply political and was bogus. Look at the results today. The world has woken up and most everyone except the true believers of AGW agree with me. So, MA just wait and watch. Your property rights are in the cross-hairs by the Agenda21 folks and you have your blinders on and ears shut.

Poor PaulE can't move on with his life and will probably be spitting on Bush/Cheney's graves if he outlives them. Perhaps PaulE should write a letter to Hillary Clinton. She along with all the rest of the Congress (except Babara Lee, resident commie from Berkley) voted to go to war with Iraq. Maybe a letter to her and Obama asking them to send a bill to Iraq for war support would be in order. PaulE can send the letter and CC this blog with a scanned copy.

Paul Emery

Todd

You apparently have no respect for he Constitution which requires an Act of War be declared by Congress before we invade a foreign country. This becomes relevant when the President Obama is referred to as the "liar in chief" and you ignore the actions of your guy, the exiled Bush Jr whose lies were responsible for the death of over 4000 US soldiers, untold numbers if Iraqi's and trillions of dollars in debt for future generations.

AS I see it the framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People by giving them the sole responsibility to declare war.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war.

Michael Anderson

* Todd, I am not a "ilk." Please make a note of it, thanks.
* I guess unlike the folks you hang out w/ Todd, a little disunity is no big thing to guys like Ben and I.
* I doubt Paul spends much time worrying about Bush II and history, that will take care of itself...but an impeachable offense is an impeachable offense, and Paul's correct assessment is duly noted.
* The Heritage Foundation is trying to help you Todd! Perhaps you should listen. I don't care really what you do, but I do know that all this talk about Agenda 21 weakens your position.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, yeah that vote to use force by your party democrats gets no play from you. Why is that? Regarding the Constitution, I think you need to re-read the document since you pick and choose what you think it says.

MichaelA, your ilk is an accurate description. You make light of something that is already in place in over 100 jurisdictions in California and is being fought in most of them by people who see its threat. But, since you seem to be a "loyalist" it may be too late for you to come to the light.

Your dismissive of my point that PaulE should move along was so funny. Almost all of his posts are about the Bush years and the wars. Either you are dense or blind to not admit that fact.

The Heritage Foundation must be important to you. I never read it, don't belong to it and don't quote it. It is simply another group of folks with a POV. For a liberal to use it is the height of dis-ingenuousness.

TomKenworth

Todd, what you forgot that Crabb deleted was our conversation at Chase Bank. You wrote it like the day before? Sharp as a 16 penny nail, square in cross section, found with metal detector.

Paul Emery

Acually Todd the House Dems voted against the resolutions 82-126. The Repubs were 215-6. The Senate Dems supported it 29-21, the Repubs were 48-1. Obama was not yet in the Senate but was not a supporter of the war. That was a major campaign issue in the Dem primary against Hillary.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, thanks for showing the Resolution to use force, was a bi-partisan vote.

Michael Anderson

I was against the war in Afghanistan after 9-11 (certainly the manner in which it was fought), as well as the illegal 2003 war in Iraq. Both were tar babies designed by the enemy to remove our blood and treasure, which is exactly what they did.

Did you notice I wrote "the enemy" above? Yeah, that's because I believe wholeheartedly that the United States of America has many enemies. We just differ in how to deal with the problem.

I don't really care who in Congress voted for those wars. Todd is correct in stating that this massively idiotic way of starting out the 21st century was a bipartisan fu(kup.

So here I sit very happily in Nevada City, waiting and wondering if the bipartisan insanity coming out of Washington D.C. will end the federal gov't and send the USA down the path of USSR. It might, but it also might not. In the meantime, I have a Plan B, a Plan C, and a Plan 7.

Stay tuned!

Todd Juvinall

Vote Romney.

Paul Emery

Michael

I think you misunderstood Todd. He was a solid supporter of both wars and thinks they were constitutional and justified.

Ben Emery

Paul,
Todd thinks invading sovereign nations is constitutional when republicans do it. I on the other hand spoke/ speak out against the Obama/ Bush/ Clinton/ Bush/ Reagan administrations for entering into military conflict and bombing campaigns because they don't follow the constitution and have the debate on the floor allowing their constituents to hear the reasons why we should or should not go to war. Both party's now make their case through marketing on political talk shows and phony claims of imminent threats.

Michael Anderson

Todd, I would very much like to discuss with you my Plan 7. Can we have a lunch? Please get back to me, thanks...M.

Todd Juvinall

You libs can rest easy. I am a war-mongering SOB and if that allows you lefties to feel better, have at it. LOL!

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