Monday, January 30, 2012

NY State Assembly Speaker: Higher Minimum Wage Not A Job-Killer:

NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: Higher Minimum Wage Not A Job-Killer:

CongressWoman Jane Harman Outraged After Learning She was Being Wiretapped

Her support for the Patriot Act comes back to bite her:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Transcript: 'FOXNews Sunday' 1-29-12

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

WALLACE: Mr. Speaker, you came out of South Carolina with a big head of steam, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls. Earlier this week, you were leading Romney by seven points. But now, he's leading you by eight points. Question: what's happened?

GINGRICH: Look, Governor Romney has the ability to raise an amazing amount of money out of Wall Street, from Goldman Sachs, to all the major banks.

And he has a basic policy of carpet-bombing his opponent. He doesn't try to build up Mitt Romney. He just tries to tear down whoever he's running against, and it has an effect. And we are in a very tough campaign down here. Ironically, if you look at the three national polls this week, every place elsewhere that he can't carpet bomb, the ideas I'm representing, the scale of change I represent, the conservative movement I represent, we actually have been pulling away from him in national polls. Down here, one of our challenges, two major conservative candidates, between us, clearly beat Romney who is splitting the conservative vote. And I think that's a challenge.

I have been honored to have Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, to drop out and endorse me. Last night, I was delighted to have Herman Cain endorsed me and Sarah Palin has said very positive things. Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani compared me favorably to Reagan and compared Romney unfavorably. So, we're seeing the conservative movement start to come together.

But I give Governor Romney's campaign respect for the sheer volume of negativity that they use and the sheer amount of money they raise on Wall Street.

WALLACE: Six days before the South Carolina primary, you predicted correctly and I think you can sense the momentum there that you were going to win that race and, in fact, you won by 12 points. All right. It's two days before the Florida primary, what's going to happen in Florida?

GINGRICH: I think it is going to be very close. We had a poll a day before yesterday that we were tied. Santorum and I collectively are bigger than Romney, but Romney beats me as long as we split the conservative vote. And we have a tremendous effort underway to reach out to conservatives to get them to see that the only effective to stop a Massachusetts liberal from becoming our nominee is to vote for Newt Gingrich.

I think it's going to be very, very close. We have a good turn out mechanism here. We're very fortunate to have Jose Mallea who ran Marco Rubio's campaign. He's running our campaign. He knows the state really well.

We're going to have Michael Reagan here on Monday, along with Herman Cain. Fred Thompson has been here helping.


GINGRICH: Todd Palin has endorsed me.

Transcript: 'Meet The Press' 1-29-12

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

Senator McCain, you know, it was Florida in 2008 where you effectively shut the door and got the nomination. What does Florida mean now?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): I think it means perhaps even more than it did in 2008 because you've got split between New Hampshire and South Carolina, as you know. So it's a, it's, it's a vital race here and I'm glad to see that Mitt's doing so well.

MR. GREGORY: For your candidate, Newt Gingrich, he's got to be looking at these Florida numbers after a win in South Carolina saying this could put a lot of pressure on him and make

Romney the front-runner again should he win.

FMR. SEN. THOMPSON: Yeah. Well, first of all, I know we both want to express our, our

concern as far as Rick is concerned, his family. Rick's been a valiant warrior and that family's to be greatly commended for the way they've handled the illness of their small child. And we, we hope for the best.

Yeah. Thanks for starting this show off with those poll numbers. Really, really, really perked my day up. But no, it, it looks like--the other thing, if these poll numbers play out, of course, Romney's going to have a victory in Florida and that'll mean what, 10 percent of the delegates will have been, will have been counted. I think it's, I think you're going to look at a longer race. I think, you know, we'll, we'll see the, the, the two wins and the comparisons and the majority. You know, in South Carolina, Newt won practically every, every group there except those with higher incomes and those with advanced degrees and we'll, we'll, we'll see. If it's a victory for Mitt, we'll, we'll break it down and see what it means. But it's, it's probably about 10 percent of the delegates, I would think, only.

MR. GREGORY: Let's talk about some of the dynamics here. You have the establishment of the Republican Party saying Newt Gingrich cannot be the nominee. We were talking before we came on about Bob Dole, former Senator Bob Dole, and he issued a pretty tough statement this week.

We'll put a portion of it on the screen. He said this, "I haven't been critical of Gingrich, but now it's time to take a stand before it's too late. If Gingrich is the nominee, it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway." Senator Thompson, you know Gingrich well, served with him.


MR. GREGORY: This is the view, that if he is the nominee, it helps President Obama.

FMR. SEN. THOMPSON: Well, of course I served with him, so I'm one of those people that have endorsed him and there's several others who have served with him, too. But, you know, there's some old score settling going on. Newt, Newt had some run-ins with some, with some people of his own party. But, you know, a lot of them, I'm not talking about Bob Dole who I love, but, but, but a lot of them were holding Newt's coat back when he conceived of a way for the Republicans to take over and have a first Republican House Speaker in 50 years. When they balanced the budget, when he held Bill Clinton's feet to the fire, and finally got welfare reform passed and we were winning elections. And his personality and his leadership skills and all that didn't seem to be a big problem back then, but when those poll numbers dropped off and we started losing some elections we should've won and so forth, everything changed. And now, you know, Mitt's been a frontrunner for a long time and people are piling on the bandwagon and so we...

MR. GREGORY: But is this just score settling, Senator McCain? Or is this a real fear as Governor

Christie said on this program last week, that he's an embarrassment to the Republican Party?

SEN. McCAIN: Well, I, I would not say that, but I would say that we've had some rather unpleasant experiences with Newt Gingrich. And one of them was the government shutdown in 1995. And Bob Dole is the one that finally called a halt to it because it was killing it. I mean, it just--the American people rejected the idea of us shutting down the government.

My problems with Newt have been over earmark spending, billions and billions and billions. They--when Newt Gingrich became speaker, they turned earmarks into an art form and it--as Tom Coburn says, it is the gateway to corruption. And we had members, former members of Congress in jail. Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Abramoff, all of this is because of the corruption that is bred by this outrageous, obscene corruption--earmark process. They went in his first year from $7.8 billion in earmarks to two later to $14.5 billion in earmarks. I read up on the floor of the Senate, 52 pages of earmarks. And so that kind of thing, they had this K Street project where there was this incestuous relationship to the lobbyists on K Street. It was not the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

And finally, he criticized, on March 21st, 1986, on the floor of the Senate, he said that Ronald Reagan was a failure in the war--in the struggle against the Soviet Union. And so--but--and I want to emphasize, the reason why Mitt's got the electability is because of his experiences as governor, as a businessperson, saved the Olympics in Salt Lake City, and I think people are looking at that as a reason for his electability. 

Video: 'Meet the Press' 1-29-12

- Transcript

Video: 'Face the Nation' 1-29-12

U.S. Defense Department can't account for billions for Iraq, audit finds

Not only was the Iraq War started under false pretenses, 10s of billions of U.S. tax dollars were wasted/stolen:

The U.S. Defense Department cannot account for about $2 billion it was given to cover Iraq-related expenses and is not providing Iraq with a complete list of U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, according to two new government audits.

The reports come from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

The Iraqi government in 2004 gave the Department of Defense access to about $3 billion to pay bills for certain contracts, and the department can only show what happened to about a third of that, the inspector general says in an audit published Friday.

Although the Department of Defense (DoD) had "internal processes and controls" to track payments, the "bulk of the records are missing," the report says, adding that the department is searching for them.

Other documents are missing as well, including monthly reports documenting expenses, the audit says.
Full article

Video of Occupy Oakland Being Attacked by Police

Romney will Beat Gingrich Easily in the Florida Primary

All the polls show Romney surging prior to the Florida primary on Tuesday. RealClearPolitics average of polls currently shows the former Governor ahead by 11 points. The chart shows Romney advantage growing daily.

Gingrich's momentum came to an end with his beating by Romney during the last debate on Thursday. Debating skill was the former Speakers main strength (and he was constantly bragging about it). Additionally, the money advantage and establishment support for Romney has given him the large lead.

The victory in Florida will end any pretense that Gingrich could challenge Romney for the nomination. This race is over come Tuesday. Romney will be the nominee.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gingrich: Adelson Supports me Because of Israel

Another reason not support Gingrich. He would the crisis in the Middle East even worse:

Newt Gingrich just got asked at an Orange County Liberty Counsel Forum in Winter Park, Florida, about the money that he's been given by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and whether he can offer reassurances about where he stands on casino gambling - which is an important issue in the state, despite barely being mentioned in the campaign (for obvious reasons).

"Well, let me say up front, at the risk of offending some of my friends who've been very helpful," Gingrich began, "...I worry about the degree to which the poor are the most likely to spend a large percentage of their income gambling."

He added, sounding very much like Mitt Romney as he went to great lengths to create distance between himself and his super PAC, that he hasn't coordinated on money and all he knows of Adelson's support is what he reads in the news.

"Sheldon Adelson has clearly, according to the articles, has been very generous," he said. "Sheldon Adelson's passion in life is (the security of) Israel."
Full article

Exclusive: Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Source: Think Progress:

Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

The Ponzi Scheme

In 2009, prosecutors announced charges against the Stanford Financial Group, which managed a portfolio of $8.5 billion, for running a “massive, ongoing fraud” against its investors. The Ponzi scheme bust was one of the largest in recent history, second only to Bernie Madoff, who perpetrated a fraud estimated to be around $17 billion. The Stanford Ponzi scheme wiped out the savings of thousands, including many American retirees across the country. In Texas, 1290 people lost their retirement savings because of the Stanford Ponzi scheme; in Louisiana, several hundred reportedly suffered the same fate.
Full article

Oakland Police Flash Grenades Against 2,000 Occupy Protesters

It seems the Oakland police have not learned their lesson. They can't seem to realize there is no intimidating of the Occupy movement:

Police used tear gas and "flash" grenades to break up hundreds of Occupy protesters in Oakland, Calif., after officers say some demonstrators threw rocks and flares at them, tore down fences and ignored orders to leave.

Police say three officers were injured and 19 people were arrested.

Oakland police said in a release that the crowd started assembling downtown Saturday morning and then marched through the streets, disrupting traffic.

The crowd walked to the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center, where protesters started tearing down perimeter fencing. Police say they ordered the crowd to disperse at about 3 p.m. and used tear gas after some protesters pelted them with bottles, rocks, burning flares and other objects.

Occupy protesters said earlier this week that they planned to move into a vacant building and turn it into a social center and political hub.
Full article

North Korea Reportedly Outlaws Cell Phones

The rulers in the North Korea know very well that the greatest threat to their regime is a smart phone. But is it possible to ban something so commonplace in the world? The people there might need to revert to other tools for gaining freedom. They have to resist the regime in ways that will be extremely difficult to stamp out. One way would be gain access to Western culture by way of China or Japan. Even wearing Western style clothing. This means that somehow these items have to be smuggled into the country. Another way is larger numbers of visit from free countries. The people of the North have to be exposed to the World somehow. They must be shown the contrast between their plight and that of the rest of the West. If this can be done then the people of North Korea will begin to demand that their horrendous existence change:

For everyone who protests the new internet restrictions that could have come with SOPA and might still come with ACTA, this one comes from the perspective department: North Korea has threatened to punish anyone using a cell phone as a war criminal.

Reports from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea indicate that the threat of famine is forcing more and more people to flee the country into South Korea, where an estimated 23,000 defectors have already located.

North Korea has long relied on a total restriction of information to maintain control over its isolated citizenry, and in this crucial time of transition between Kim Jong Il and his successor, Kim Jong Un, it appears that the state is clamping down even tighter than usual for fear that information about uprisings like the Arab Spring could trigger unrest, or that outside communication could assist anybody attempting to flee the country.

The North recently accepted private food aid from the South Korean "Korea Peace Foundation" even as they maintain military exercises and standing threats against their neighbor. South Korea has made it clear that they won't provide substantial, government-led food aid until the North makes steps to stop their nuclear program.
Full article

Time Magazine: Why Is No One Talking About the Poor?

For the same reason the word "poverty" never comes out of the mouth of Barack Obama:

I first learned about the World Economic Forum at Davos as a greenhorn in college. At the time, I was knee-deep in coursework on economic development, a field that extols the social and economic virtues of tending to the world’s poor. I was somewhere between Amartya’s Sen‘s 1999 Nobel Prize-winning book Development as Freedom, a cult sensation among wonky Ivy Leaguers and 20-something granolas bound for the Peace Corps, and Joseph Stiglitz‘s 2002 bestseller Globalization and Its Discontents, when I first dreamed of going to Davos to take part in the lofty mission of “solving the world’s problems.”

Those were the years when globalization really earned its bad rap. And as a result, a counter movement, rooted in aspirations of global equity and social good, began to take hold. Anti-globalization protests so disrupted the WEF in 2001 that its organizers had to relocate the event to New York the following year. The anti-globalization movement even erected its own conference, the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to serve as a populist counterweight to the elite Davos powwow. By 2002, Porto Alegre had drawn in 50,000 people, triple the number from the previous year. Even the Economist conceded that, in light of popular backlash, the march toward globalization could yet be reversed:
The economic history of the twentieth century is full of reminders that the move towards globalisation is not inevitable. War in 1914 brought an end to a period of economic openness and integration unparalleled even today. The 1930s were more painful than necessary precisely because of beggar-thy-neighbour policies adopted in the wake of the Depression. It is not impossible that governments today will turn their backs on open trade and capital flows. Many of those in Porto Alegre would welcome such a policy reversal.
In WEF-like circles, the biggest critics of globalization then were the defenders of the world’s poor, who cited a growing gap between the fortunes of Western economies and those of the developing world. As the Economist noted:
[Anti-globalizationists] point to the 2 billion or so people who live in countries where poverty has increased, where economic growth is stagnant, and where trade has shrunk as a proportion of GDP. A large chunk of the world, home to a third of its people and including much of Africa and the Muslim world, has been marginalized. Such deterioration in the living standards of so many, argue globalization’s critics, is evidence of the selective benefits it brings: the rich minority thrive at the expense of a much larger group of desperately poor people. It is this message [the World Social Forum] will seek to develop and strengthen.
As I scurried from panel to panel at Davos this year, I realized just how dramatically the perspectives on globalization has changed since those years. No doubt, the topic of globalization is as hot as ever at the WEF. But on the question of what to do about it, on how to make it inclusive and fair, the answers have changed.
Full article

FOXNews Transcript: Newt Gingrich: Old Guard Out to Get Me

Gingrich rationalizes his beating during the last Florida debate, Thursday:

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, last night, I should tell you that we all thought you were going to come out swinging, and you seemed a little more sober to -- your responses to some of the things that Governor Romney said about your record.

GINGRICH: Well, actually, Mitt was so systematically dishonest...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that lying?

GINGRICH: Well, I'll let you decide. But he -- the easiest example is he said that he only voted for Tsongas in the Democratic primary because there was no Republican primary. And during the debate, Larry Sabato tweeted that that was baloney, that, in fact, George H. W. Bush and Pat Buchanan were on the very same day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Could he have just a faulty memory?

GINGRICH: Well, he's said enough different things that it strikes me as implausible. I think -- I think that the governor says what he needs to say to get through this minute without remembering that there's a tomorrow.
 Which is it? The media is for you or against you:
VAN SUSTEREN: But is it enough for to you say in a debate -- and I know that have you some ads, as well -- is the media with you, do you think, or against you on this?

GINGRICH: I think on this one, oddly enough, the media's with me. And the reason is I think the media is kind of amazed at the level of dishonesty. I mean, I've done three or four interviews today where people have gone, How could he think he can get away with this? I mean, it'll be interesting to watch them when they go talk to Romney because some of these are so factually clearly false that it's very hard for him to claim anything except he just wasn't telling the truth.
Now he knows what it's like being a lawyer:
VAN SUSTEREN: What's he like to you before the debate, during breaks, and after the debate?

GINGRICH: We're collegial. I mean, it's -- you've been a lawyer. It's a little bit like lawyers in the middle of a trial.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, no, I never -- I mean, if I was mad at somebody, I was not collegial.


VAN SUSTEREN: I was not collegial! Believe me, if I thought someone was doing me wrong, I was not collegial. I would be in that person's face.

GINGRICH: No, I think -- I think you -- and this is part of why I debate the way I do. I think you have to, as a potential president, maintain a standard of dignity, or people think you're not capable of being president.

People want a sense of stability because the level of power we give presidents is so great that you want a sense of, This is a person -- it's a little bit like hiring a school bus driver. You don't want to hire a person who might take the bus off a cliff. You want to hire a person who's going to be safe with your children. Well, the president, in that sense, has 305 million people to be safe with.
 Read the full transcript

The Republican Establishment is Closing in on Newt Gingrich

He's still getting it from all corners:

Declaring NASA would have a moon base by the end of his second term, ormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich last week made space exploration part of his campaign.

But not everyone is impressed with Gingrich’s bold plans for the year 2020. On this weekend’s broadcast of “Inside Washington,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said the moon base idea could be the beginning of the end for the Gingrich campaign.

“I think the moon base was Newt jumping the shark, or to use another analogy, it could have been his Dukakis in the tank moment, because it was a caricature of him,” Krauthammer said. “And Romney used it cleverly to say that Newt was going out around every state promising x, y, and z. And of course, on the space coast in Florida, he would appeal to them.”

Krauthammer went on to say that the must win debate for Gingrich in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday, critical for his momentum going into the Florida primary next Tuesday, was instead a victory for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The establishment might not like Romney but they hate Gingrich. Even McCain, who doesn't really like Romney, is going after Newt:
Sen. John McCain on Friday used a pointed quip to mock Newt Gingrich's plan to construct a permanent American base on the moon. "I think we ought to send Newt Gingrich to the moon and Mitt Romney to the White House," he said.

Speaking to about 75 people at a Romney office here, the Arizona Republican also said the GOP presidential debates have "deteriorated into mud-wrestling" and said they should come to an end.

Thursday night's CNN debate was the 19th debate of the primary season and the last until Feb. 22. McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, called Romney's performance Thursday "a home run" and predicted it would give Romney the momentum to carry Florida on Tuesday and win the nomination.

McCain had earlier sought to downplay debate performance in favor of record, citing Gingrich's earmarks and pork-barrel spending during his time as House speaker. Asked by National Journal/CBS News on Friday whether his focus on Gingrich means he's a threat to Romney, McCain said it's more to do with a lack of threat elsewhere.
Gingrich is left with his daughter running his campaign:
Kathy G. Lubbers says it hasn’t been difficult finding her place in the world — a world in which everyone points her out as the daughter of Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker now fighting it out for the Republican presidential nomination.

“It hasn’t been so difficult as some might think,” Lubbers, 48, says. “It would have been much more difficult if I was a son. … I don’t have to walk in his footsteps like, maybe, a son might think he would need to. I don’t have to compete with my father. I don’t have to live up to what he’s done.”

She has come to be an indispensable piece in her father’s political and promotional machinery. Gingrich’s elder daughter, Lubbers is also the senior adviser of her father’s presidential campaign.

Friday, January 27, 2012

As Real Wages Fall In Fourth Quarter, Americans Save Less

What these fools in corporate America don't understand is that a poorly paid workforce cannot buy the products that make profits possible. That is why the minimum wage should be increased. Additionally, most high paying manufacturing jobs have been outsourced. You didn't hear these ideas during the State of the Union:

Over the last three months of last year, income growth stagnated and people across the country dug deeper into their savings than they have in years, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's despite a pickup in the overall growth of the economy.

[...]On the whole, wages for workers aren't keeping up with the inflation rate, causing them to fork out more just to afford the basics. Median weekly wages rose just 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter over that quarter in 2010. In contrast, prices rose 3.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, consumers dipped more into their savings: The annual personal saving rate plunged 29 percent in the fourth quarter (compared with that stretch of 2010), to 3.7 percent. This is the lowest saving rate since 2007's fourth quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Spending failed to keep up with the production of goods at the end of 2011 because most newly created jobs paid close to the minimum wage, Vitner said. Seventy-seven percent of the jobs created since the end of the recession are in the low-paying sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality, home health care and temporary staffing, according to Vitner. With credit still tight and wages falling (once adjusted for inflation), Americans aren't boosting their spending, he said.

The millions of unemployed job seekers have put further downward pressure on low-paying wages.
Full article

Paul Denies Report that he Approved Racist Newsletters

Only a supporter would believe that he didn't know what was in racist newsletters put out under Ron Paul's name:

"It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product," Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul's company, told the Post. "He would proof it."

Paul told CNN on Friday: "She's made that story up. ... It's completely false."

The Post reported that Eric Dondero Rittberg, a former longtime Paul aide, said he witnessed Paul proofing, editing and signing off on his newsletters in the mid-1990s.

Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, told the Post that he and Paul discussed direct-mail solicitations at the time and that they agreed that "people who have extreme views" are more likely than others to respond.
Full article

U.S. knew about Argentina Junta's Abduction of Children

A former U.S. diplomat testified Thursday that American officials knew Argentina's military regime was taking babies from dead or jailed dissidents during its "dirty war" against leftists in the 1970s, and it appeared to be a systematic effort at the time.

Elliot Abrams testified by videoconference from Washington in the trial of former dictators Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone and other military and police figures accused of organizing the theft of babies from women who were detained and then executed in the 1976-1983 junta's torture centers.

Golden Parachutes: 21 CEOs Landed $100M Plus

Rewarded for ruining the economy. The criminal enterprise system (not free enterprise system) is nothing but a looting of the American economy. Record profits are not going towards creating jobs or giving workers a decent wage but rewarding greed and incompetence:

According to the study, 21 CEOs received more than $100 million each in “‘walk away” packages. In all, companies like GE, Exxon Mobil Corp., AT&T and Home Depot Inc., have collectively provided nearly $4 billion in golden parachutes. But according to Hodgeson, those figures could be on the low-side.

‘These numbers don’t include the perks – the use of the corporate jet, the corner offices – a lot of the compensation that doesn’t get listed on the public files.’

But despite the staggering amounts, golden parachutes serve a purpose when it comes to wooing a potential CEO to take the helm.
Full article

GDP Rose 2.8 Percent in Fourth Quarter

That number is a sign of a weak economy that will not create enough employment to get us out of the quagmire we are currently in:

The Commerce Department reported gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 2.8 percent pace in the last three months of 2011, slightly less than expected but an increase over the prior quarter.

Economists expected a growth rate of about 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter, in part because of strong holiday shopping and car sales.

Real GDP, the output of goods and services produced in the U.S., increased at a revised annual rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter. The Commerce Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the disappointing figure ahead of the holiday shopping season on Dec. 22. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in the US, currently about $14 trillion a year in economic activity.
Full article

Video: Jon Stewart Mocks Gingrich's Moon Base Idea

Taxpayers Still Owed $133 Billion from TARP Bailout

That's money that could have been used to bailout the American people:

U.S. taxpayers are still owed nearly $133 billion that companies haven’t repaid from the financial bailout, according to a quarterly Special Inspector General Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) report. The report also states that as of December 31, 2011, the Treasury has “written off $4.2 billion and realized losses of $7.8 billion that the taxpayer will never get back,“ and that it ”predicts losses on other TARP investments.”

But perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, some programs were designed as a “Government subsidy with no return to taxpayers,” according to the report.

Of the $700 billion Congress authorized for the bailout of financial companies and automakers, also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), approximately $413 billion has been lent. Of the $413 billion, the government has allegedly recovered about $318 billion, or about 77 percent of it, according to the Associated Press.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Transcript: CNN Florida GOP Presidential Debate (1-26-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich, you had an ad, but you pulled it this week, in which you described Governor Romney as the most anti- immigrant candidate. Why did you do that?

GINGRICH: Why did we describe him that way?

Because, in the original conversations about deportation, the position I took, which he attacked pretty ferociously, was that grandmothers and grandfathers aren't going to be successfully deported. We're not -- we as a nation are not going to walk into some family -- and by the way, they're going to end up in a church, which will declare them a sanctuary. We're not going to walk in there and grab a grandmother out and then kick them out.

We're not going -- and I think you have to be realistic in your indignation. I want to control the border. I want English to be the official language of government. I want us to have a lot of changes.


I am prepared to be very tough and very bold, but I'm also prepared to be realistic, because I've actually had to pass legislation in Washington and I don't believe an unrealistic promise is going to get through, but I do believe, if there's some level of humanity for people who have been here a long time, we can pass legislation that will decisively reduce illegality, decisively control the border and will once again mean the people who are in America are here legally.

BLITZER: I just want to make sure I understand. Is he still the most anti-immigrant candidate?

GINGRICH: I think, of the four of us, yes.

BLITZER: Go ahead, Governor.

ROMNEY: That's simply unexcusable. That's inexcusable. And, actually, Senator Marco Rubio came to my defense and said that ad was inexcusable and inflammatory and inappropriate.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not anti-immigrant. My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales. They came to this country. The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive.

Don't use a term like that. You can say we disagree on certain policies, but to say that enforcing the U.S. law to protect our borders, to welcome people here legally, to expand legal immigration, as I have proved, that that's somehow anti anti-immigrant is simply the kind of over-the-top rhetoric that has characterized American politics too long.

And I'm glad that Marco Rubio called you out on it. I'm glad you withdrew it. I think you should apologize for it, and I think you should recognize that having differences of opinions on issues does not justify labeling people with highly charged epithets.

GINGRICH: I'll tell you what...


I'll give you an opportunity to self-describe. You tell me what language you would use to describe somebody who thinks that deporting a grandmother or a grandfather from their family -- just tell me the language. I'm perfectly happy for you to explain what language you'd use.

ROMNEY: Mr. Speaker, I think I described following the law as it exists in this country, which is to say, I'm not going around and rounding people up and deporting them.

What I said was, people who come here legally get a work permit. People who do not come here legally do not get a work permit. Those who don't get work will tend, over time, to self-deport.

I'm not going to go find grandmothers and take them out of their homes and deport them. Those are your words, not my words. And to use that rhetoric suggests to people that somehow, if you're not willing to keep people here who violated the law, that you're anti- immigrant. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am pro-immigrant. I want people to come to America with skill and vitality and vibrance. I want them to come legally. There are grandmothers that live on the other side of the border that are waiting to come here legally. I want them to come here, too, not just those that are already here.


GINGRICH: Well, so we have gone -- we've gone from your Washington attack when I first proposed this and you said it was outrageous; it would be a magnet to you're accepting the fact that, you know, a family is going to take care of their grandmother or their grandfather.

The idea that you are going to push them out in some form by simply saying they can't go get a job -- I think the grandmother is still going to be here. All I want to do is to allow the grandmother to be here legally with some rights to have residency but not citizenship, so that he or she can finish their life with dignity within the law.


ROMNEY: You know, our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. Our problem is -- all right.

Muslim groups: 'Third Jihad' should cost NYC commissioner his job

Law enforcement agencies are good at fighting crime but don't do a good job at fighting terrorism. The anti-Muslim attitude by the NYPD here shows ignorance. This is why we need a new federal agency that would focus on fighting terrorism (domestic and international). Such an organization would know better than to make sweeping generalizations about a whole group of people:

Two prominent Muslim civil liberties groups called for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to resign on Thursday because of his participation in a film that they say paints all Muslims as terrorists.

"Involvement with 'Third Jihad' sends a clear message that the NYPD's dealings with New York's diverse Muslim communities are based on bigotry and blanket suspicion," the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) stated in a press release.

Muslim activists say "The Third Jihad," a documentary about radical Islam, vilifies the American Muslim community and teaches police officers to suspect Muslims as terrorists.

Muslim activists are also calling for Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Brown to resign, saying that he first denied and only later admitted that Kelly was interviewed for the film.

"They were not telling the truth about their involvement in the propaganda film against Muslims," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), adding that New York "deserves people they trust who do not discriminate against people."
Full Article

China's Economy may Surpass US Before 2020

This is a betrayal of America by the two-party system. Shameful. You don't hear the politicians talking about this massive failure very often:

According to preliminary estimates, China's GDP in 2011 was 47.156 trillion yuan, which at the current exchange rate of 6.3138 translates into roughly $7.47 trillion.

By comparison, tomorrow's GDP report for the United States will likely show that 2011 GDP was roughly, or slightly over $15 trillion. That means that China's economy is now nearly half as big as the U.S. economy.

This in turn means that China's economy could become bigger even sooner than previously thought. If the economic growth gap is 6% per year(lower than the average rate the last decade) and real appreciation is 2.5% per year (again, a lot lower than the average rate the last decade) than that would be sufficient for China's economy to become bigger by 2020. If the growth gap and/or real appreciation is closer to the average rate for the last decade, it could happen even sooner.
Full article

Tahrir Protesters to sit-in Until Army Steps Down

The people united will never be defeated:

Egyptian youths camped out on Thursday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and vowed to stay put until the army hands power to civilians, a day after a mass demonstration marked a year since an uprising which brought down Hosni Mubarak.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians poured into the square and onto streets of other cities for the January 25 anniversary of the day the revolt began. Also Thursday, military authorities told several American pro-democracy activists – including the son of a member of US President Barack Obama’s cabinet – they cannot leave the country. One of those affected described the move as a “de facto detention.”
Full article

President Obama: I Want Second Term 'Badly'

It's all about him:

President Barack Obama today signaled an aggressive tact for his early re-election campaign, critiquing his Republican opponents by name and insisting he's ready to "fight with every fiber of my being" for a second term.

"How much do you want it?" ABC News' Diane Sawyer asked Obama during an exclusive interview in Las Vegas.

"Badly," the president said, "because I think the country needs it."

"Whoever wins the Republican primary is going to be a standard bearer for a vision of the country that I don't think reflects who we are," Obama said.
Full article

Capping Worst Year On Record, Sales Of New Homes Drop In December

I'm not sure I heard any solutions from President during the State of the Union:

The AP reports:
"The Commerce Department said Thursday new-home sales fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy.

    "About 302,000 homes were sold last year. That's less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making 2011 the worst year on records dating back to 1963.

    "The median sales prices for new homes dropped in December, as builders continued to slash prices. It fell 2.5 percent to $210,300."
Full article

George Soros: We Could be Headed for a Second Depression

I'm afraid he is right. The financial system is so out of control that only bad can come from it. The near collapse in 2007 was only a temporary reprieve. The political system is so corrupt and inept that it has no answer for what plagues the World. Here in the United States cooperation between Congress and the White House is non-existent. The politicians are too busy taking orders from the banksters that are undermining the financial system. No one is charge. No democracy. No leadership. No solutions:

Sitting in his 33rd-floor corner office high above Seventh Avenue in New York, preparing for his trip to Davos, he is more concerned with surviving than staying rich. “At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” he says, peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead. He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.

“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros tells Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”
Full article

Bill Would Ban Aborted Fetuses in Food

Bill Would Ban Aborted Fetuses in Food - ABC News

“There is a potential that there are companies that are using aborted human babies in their research and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial flavors,” he told KRMG Radio. “I don’t know if it is happening in Oklahoma, it may be, it may not be. What I am saying is that if it does happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here."

Federal regulators have failed to act on toxic chemical, report says

Federal regulators have failed to act on toxic chemical, report says - The Huffington Post

Despite growing fears over the health effects of a chemical found in many baby bottles and a host of other products, federal regulators have done little to protect the public, according to a new report from a nonprofit research group.

Rubio: Gingrich 'Inaccurate, Inflammatory' Immigration ad attacking Romney 'Doesn't Belong in this Campaign'

Rubio is considered a possible VP pick for the Republican nominee. His words carry weight:

Sen. Marco Rubio scolded Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign over a Spanish-language radio ad that accuses rival Mitt Romney of being “anti-immigrant”

 “This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. It’s inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t belong in this campaign,” Rubio told The Miami Herald when asked about the ad.

[...]So when Gingrich’s radio spot described Romney as “the most anti-immigrant candidate,” Rubio and others felt he not only crossed the line – he was adopting liberal criticisms.
That's why the ad was pulled:
The Newt Gingrich campaign has taken off the air a Spanish-language radio spot not long after an influential Florida senator lambasted the presidential candidate for releasing an "inaccurate" and "inflammatory" ad about Mitt Romney's immigration record.

The Occupy Movement: A Religious Read

This article was written by rabbi Daniel Zemel:

In some ways, at the heart of the Occupy movement is the perceived and real breakdown of what we might call our national civic covenant — a nice biblical term. The terms, meaning and aspirations of this covenant can be found in such foundational texts as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Gettysburg Address.

[...]The very notion of a national civic covenant can be traced to a biblical teaching that subtly informs so much of what is at the heart contemporary democracy.  Deuteronomy, after all, teaches that everyone was gathered to be a partner in the covenant of Sinai — men and women, young and old.  Everyone from “wood chopper to water drawer to the stranger in your gates,” was a covenanted partner in the Sinaitic dream of a new vision for what it means to be a human being:  Each one of us carries a reflection of God’s holiness; each one of us is made in God’s image.

Today, too many in America see too vast a gap between the elites and the people.  This doesn’t challenge the notion that there will always be a 1 percent: It is the steepness of the angle between the 1 percent and the rest that is being questioned.  Does the national civic covenant still hold when so little is shared between those at the top and those at the bottom?  What sort of covenant is it when it allows us to have so little in common?

Newt Gingrich Attacked Reagan and called him a "Failing" President

Do the people of Florida know who they are about to vote for? Gingrich is a total fraud. And even worse he is dangerous. He is capable of anything. Romney is correctly ridiculed for his flip-flopping. Newt Gingrich is worse. He's schizophrenic:

Newt Gingrich's fond recollections of working under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s have been rubbished by a White House colleague who claims he was often extremely critical of the former president.

In several of his campaign speeches, Gingrich has alluded to his work with the 40th U.S. President, claiming 'we helped defeat the Soviet empire' and 'I helped Reagan create millions of jobs' among other achievements.

But Elliott Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state, said that rather than working side by side with Reagan, Gingrich was scathing about his plans to defeat Communism and often refused to support his decisions.

Mr Abrams said that when Gingrich was first elected to Congress in 1978, the freshman members chose to attack Reagan as often as he voted for him.

Writing in the National Review, he describes a statement made by Gingrich on March 21, 1986, at the height of the Nicaraguan contras funding debate.

He quotes Gingrich: 'Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire's challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail... President Reagan is clearly failing.

'The burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on Ronald Reagan.'

In another bitter attack, he compared Reagan's meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as 'the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich'.
Full article

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We should do the same with the President:

Duncan Hunter (source:
Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. On February 3rd, members of the liberal Ramona Forum will join forces with conservative members of the TEA party to demand the resignation of Congressman Duncan Hunter. The protest will be held at Rep. Hunter’s office, 1870 Cordell Street in El Cajon, from 1 to 4 p.m.

“I am going and I know some Tea Party organizers who are going,” said Terri Linnell, Tea Party member who is running against Hunter in the Republican primary. The local protest is part of a a national movement to protest the National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2012. Civil libertarians have objected to the bill on grounds that it could allow the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.

[...]“That’s against the Constitution,” says Linnell, who said objections to the measure are also being voiced by conservative Oath Keeper members as well as Tea Party members. Some Liberal Democrats and Libertarians share the same concern. “By voting for it they broke their oath uphold the Constitution,” Linnell observed. “They voted to allow this.”
Full article

Occupy Wall Street Monitored By U.S. Conference Of Mayors, Emails Show

The two-party dictatorship obviously feels threatened by Occupy Wall Street. It also shows--once again--that there is no difference between the 2 parties:

After denying that they are coordinating responses to Occupy Wall Street, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently surveyed city administrations across the country about the movement.

In late November, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the District of Columbia mayor's office received a request to update its answers to the survey. The questions to city officials appeared to elicit profiles of Occupy activists and answers that could help show the activists as a drain on resources.

The mayor's conference asked via the emailed survey: What are the estimated Occupy-related costs? What are the major issues relating to Occupy events? Has the Occupy membership changed and if so "describe those involved in the movement how they've changed in terms of who they are and what their intentions for the demonstrations are."

In the survey, the organization also called on city administrations to share tactics. "Please describe any strategies or tactics your city is employing in responding to Occupy-related events, including an assessment of their effectiveness if possible."
Full article

Oakland Police Could Face Federal Takeover

It should have happened before this thug police force attacked peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters several months ago:

Mayor Jean Quan vowed Wednesday to quickly reform the scandal-plagued Oakland Police Department after a frustrated judge threatened a federal takeover if it fails to quickly make good on changes agreed to nine years ago.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson said he "remains in disbelief" that the department has failed to adopt the reforms.

Henderson's frustration with the pace of improvements was evident throughout a scathing five-page ruling issued Tuesday.

"This department finds itself woefully behind its peers around the state and nation," he wrote.
Full article

Arizona governor, Obama in 'tense' exchange over book

Barack Obama is a very arrogant individual who does not know his role as President. He thinks and treats Congress and Governors as subordinates. This is the main reason he is not respected by his adversaries. He feels everyone should believe like he does that he is hot stuff. He is no leader. And like his recent predecessors, he's an egomaniac. That's the system we have. We elect people with plenty of ego and little ability to solve problems:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and President Barack Obama engaged in an apparently tense exchange on an airport tarmac shortly after Air Force One touched down outside Phoenix on Wednesday.

The two leaders could be seen talking intently at the base of Air Force One's steps. Both could be seen smiling, but speaking at the same time.

Obama appeared to walk away from the Republican governor while they were still talking, according to a White House pool reporter. Brewer confirmed that by saying she didn't finish her sentence.

Asked moments later what the conversation was about, Brewer said: "He was a little disturbed about my book."

On a Phoenix radio talk show after their meeting, Brewer said Obama was "tense."
Full article

Howard Fineman: Newt Gingrich Never uses Title "President Obama"

This is in keeping with the Obama hating practice. Gingrich wants to appeal to all the racists that refuse to acknowledge Barack Obama as President of the United States. And then again, Newt is a bigot:

During a SOTU preview segment on Tuesday evening’s Hardball, MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman made an observation about a rankling trend among certain opponents of President Obama, the tendency not to address him by his hard-won title. Framing it in the context of those who question the President’s legitimacy, Fineman noted “I have never heard Newt Gingrich call President Obama ‘President Obama.’”
Full article

'Mormonism is a cult,' says the Pentecostal preacher who introduced Newt Gingrich

A bigot tends to surround himself with bigots:

Offering up a prayer before the arrival of Newt Gingrich, Dr Howard Rodney-Browne declared: 'We stand for America. We draw a line in the sand. The devil will not have America! Absolutely not!'

Gingrich's event was held in the grounds of The River at Tampa Bay church, where Rodney-Browne, a South African-born U.S. citizen who first came to the United States as a missionary in 1987, is pastor.

Rodney-Browne called for 'a rising of every believer in this land that will not sit idly by and allow the killing of unborn babies and allow Islam to take over this country and allow the rights and freedom of a Christian nation where the word of God is proclaimed and preached to be taken away.'

[...]He expressed grave reservations, however, about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.

'Mormonism is a cult and that's the problem,' he said.
Full article

Over Half Of Retail Workers Earn Less Than $10 An Hour

Of course last night the President made no mention of the minimum wage and barely mentioned health care. Therefore, those who work in retail have no hope of seeing their financial situation improve in a second Obama administration:

More than half of the retail workers surveyed in a study last fall earn less than $10 an hour. The Retail Action Project and Stephanie Luce of the City University of New York conducted the study of 436 retail workers in New York, a location chosen because it is the retail capital of the U.S. Most surveyed worked in stores with a national presence, which means that the study reflects conditions and practices experienced by retail workers across the U.S.

About one-third of the workers surveyed support a family member on their wages, but the median wage for the surveyed workers is only $9.50 an hour. The majority of workers (59 percent) are female. Almost one in five earns less than $8 an hour, and almost 12 percent earn minimum wage. About 34 percent rely on public assistance.

Other findings from the study include:
  •     Lack of health insurance and paid sick days from retail jobs. Over 70 percent don’t receive health insurance from their job. About 25 percent live without health insurance, and 34 percent rely on government programs. Less than half received paid time off or paid sick days. Only 25 percent have ever used a paid sick day
Full article

Video: Tahrir Square Marks Egyptian Revolution Anniversary

Editorial: State of the Union Ideas Useful but not Enough

USA Today Editorial:

Those are worthy targets of opportunity, but the president gave shorter shrift to another obstacle to reviving the American dream, the nation's growing debt. The cost of servicing that debt alone is now $4,200 per household this year. Most of this borrowing is not being undertaken to defeat tyranny, build massive infrastructure programs or improve education. Rather, it is funding a yawning gap between historically low tax receipts and unaffordable spending on health care and retirement benefits. Taxing millionaires won't close the gap, and suggesting that it would is deceptive.

Problems of such scale will not be solved until the nation can overcome its inability to adapt its education system, politics and culture to a world rapidly being remade.

Obama spoke eloquently on these topics, particularly the desire to produce better skilled workers and generate more investment in American manufacturing. Yet his proposals were mostly small bore and have little chance of being enacted in an election year. That might be all that's possible in these contentious times.

Dealing with the big challenges would require both parties to stop fighting long enough to provide each other cover as they make difficult decisions to cut popular spending programs, overhaul the tax code and channel more of the money that the government does spend into long-term investments, as opposed to living subsidies. That's a sure path to improving the state of the union, but not one the nation's political culture is yet willing to accept.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video: Nancy Pelosi: Newt Gingrich Will Never be President

Transcript: Obama State of the Union Speech (1-24-12)

Full prepared Text. Excerpt Below:

In 2008, the house of cards collapsed.  We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn’t afford or understand them.  Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money.  Regulators had looked the other way, or didn’t have the authority to stop the bad behavior.

It was wrong.  It was irresponsible.  And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hard-working Americans holding the bag.  In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly four million jobs.  And we lost another four million before our policies were in full effect.

Those are the facts.  But so are these.  In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs.  Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005.  American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.  Together, we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion.  And we’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.

The state of our Union is getting stronger.  And we’ve come too far to turn back now.  As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum.  But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits.  Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

[...]Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.  From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.  And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here. 

Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut.  If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here.  And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.

My message is simple.  It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.  Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away.  

[...]Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China.  There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders.  And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia.  Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.

Report: White House Pressured Scientists to Underestimate BP Spill Size

Report: White House Pressured Scientists to Underestimate BP Spill Size | Mother Jones

For the first few weeks after the spill began in April 2010, BP misled the public about how big it was, and the government repeated BP's estimate without question. And when the government released its own estimate in late May of up to 25,000 barrels per day, that too was controversial—and proved to be far lower than the actual size,which was more like 53,000 barrels of oil per day.

Now, an email released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) traces efforts to downplay the spill size in the initial weeks back to the White House. The group released a May 29, 2010 email from Dr. Marcia McNutt, the director of the US Geologic Survey and head of the government's Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG), that was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Newt Gingrich Video: I supported Rockefeller over Goldwater

Nelson Rockefeller was not a Conservative. In fact, he was a liberal New York Republican Governor:
Last night Gingrich tried to give the impression that he was a Goldwater supporter. This typical Gingrich double-speak:

"I went to a Goldwater organizing session in 1964. I met with Ronald Reagan for the first time in 1974. I worked with Jack Kemp, and Art Laffer and others to develop supply side economics in the late '70s. I helped Governor Reagan become President Reagan. I helped pass the Reagan economic program and worked with the National Security Council on issues including the collapse of the Soviet Empire," Newt Gingrich said at tonight's debate.

Freddie Mac Contract: What is Newt Gingrich Hiding?

Sounds like he has something to hide:

Newt Gingrich’s consulting firm yesterday released a copy of its 2006 contract with Freddie Mac (FMCC), which covers just one year of his multiple years of service and documents only $300,000 of the $1.6 million he received from the mortgage company.

The Republican hopeful’s first contract -- spanning 1999 to 2002 and worth between $1 million and $1.2 million, according to two people familiar with the agreement -- wasn’t released because officials at the Center for Health Transformation can’t find it, said Susan Meyers, a center spokeswoman who works for the Gingrich campaign. The 2006 contract also applied to 2007, she said, meaning the total value of that contract was $600,000.

“We’re not even sure we signed anything for 2007,” said Meyers.

[...]“Why isn’t Speaker Gingrich disclosing the full extent of his relationship with Freddie Mac?” said Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Romney campaign. “Ultimately this disclosure raises more questions than it actually does answer.”

[...]Surrogates for both candidates traded jabs over Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac yesterday.

Former Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Florida House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford said in a Romney-arranged conference call with reporters that Gingrich needed to provide “transparency” about his work for Freddie Mac.

“We don’t have insight or transparency into what he actually did,” Pawlenty said. He called Gingrich’s claims that lawyers are holding up the release of the contracts “B.S.” and “just nonsense.”

Commentary: The Truly Dismal State of the Union

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times:

There is one person — one American among the 300 million of us — who is not to blame for the state of the union. Everyone else, each of you, in some small or large way, bears some share of the blame, but not this guy. Not one little bit.

[...]This guy is Barack Obama. He is not the least bit to blame for the dismal state of the U.S. economy. George W. Bush is, for sure, and that evil Dick Cheney, oh, no doubt. House Speaker John A. Boehner — evil, too — is, of course, to blame. But guess what? So is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and every Democrat in the House and Senate.

Now, President Truman made it very clear: The buck stops with him. No passing the buck for that guy. But Mr. Obama blames everyone but himself. Mr. Bush, he says, left the nation in a ditch, a deep ditch, and he’s been digging out since he took office. And Congress? Those guys are just plain awful, he says. So mean. Wah, they won’t do anything I want done! Mr. Obama feels so sure about it that he’s basing his re-election campaign on bashing Capitol Hill.

[...]Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as “low-income” or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.

Since December 2008, a month before Mr. Obama took office, food-stamp use has increased 46 percent. Total spending has more than doubled in just four years to a record high of $75 billion. In 2011, more than 46 million people — about one in seven Americans — got food stamps. That’s 14 million more than when Mr. Obama took office.

Median household income has dropped nearly 7 percent in the last six years, taking inflation into account. What’s more, nearly 20 percent of males age 25 to 34 now live with their parents.

Low- and middle-income Americans 65 and older now hold more than $10,000 in credit card debt, up 26 percent since 2005. The average age of the American car is 10 years; in 1990, it was 6.5 years old (by the way, in 1985, Americans bought 11 million cars; in 2009, less than half that, 5.4 million).
Full article

Huge Solar Storm to Shower Earth with Radioactive Particles


The largest solar storm for seven years is expected to send a shower of radioactive solar particles racing towards Earth at almost 1,400 miles a second this week, according to NASA.

The flare, caused by a huge eruption on the sun's surface on Sunday, is expected to affect GPS systems and other communications when it reaches the Earth's magnetic field on Tuesday..

Solar flares are our solar system's largest explosive events and can last from minutes to hours, according to NASA, releasing up to a billion tons of matter in the process.

NASA says the flare may also spark an unusually large display of auroras, which may be visible at lower latitudes than normal.

Chinese Forces Break up Tibetan Protest with Tear Gas

The world has forgotten Tibet, again:

Chinese security forces fired tear gas to break up a protest by Tibetans in the southwest province of Sichuan, an advocacy group said, the latest sign of volatile ethnic unrest in the region.

Reports from advocacy groups earlier said that in a separate clash, coinciding with this week's Chinese New Year celebrations, troops fired on thousands of Tibetans protesting in the same province, killing at least one and wounding more.

Free Tibet, a London-based organization that campaigns for Tibetan self-determination, said in an email that on Monday troops fired tear gas at Tibetan protesters in Meruma township, Aba County, called Ngaba County by Tibetans.

"Tibetans had gathered to protest Chinese oppression on the occasion of Chinese New Year, having decided that they would not celebrate the lunar New Year because of the current repression in Tibet," Free Tibet said.
Full article

Video: NBC Florida GOP Presidential Debate (1-23-12)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, January 23, 2012

NYC Police Throw Navy SEAL Into Psych Ward for Claiming…He’s a SEAL

I'm against the lax and chaotic gun laws in America. But this case is a travesty:

A Virginia man claimed to be a Navy SEAL to talk his way out of a gun possession arrest on Thursday, and the New York Police Department committed him  to a psych ward thinking his claims of elite military status were the rantings of a lunatic.NYC Police Throw Navy SEAL Into Psych Ward For Claiming... Hes a SEAL

Turns out the guy was in fact an elite Navy SEAL.

But as the New York Post put it, telling the NYPD “I’m in an elite military unit, you can’t arrest me,” doesn‘t help much when the city’s draconian gun laws are at issue.

Twenty-nine-year-old Shaun Day was on a leave from his duty as a Navy SEAL duty when cops nailed him for running a red light in Manhattan, New York on Thursday.

NYPD officers searched Day’s pickup truck and found a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and three magazines full of ammo.

During the arrest, police claim Day was babbling incoherently and repeatedly claimed that he was an elite Navy SEAL with “top- secret clearance,” but was unable to provide any documentation for police.
Full article

Man Jailed Over Occupy Jacket at Supreme Court

Full Video Link with more info

John Kiriakou, ex-CIA officer, Charged for Media Leaks

This man is a hero. He exposed the illegal practice of waterboarding condoned by our government. The real criminals are the Bush and Obama administrations that defend attacks on our Constitution:

A former CIA officer was charged Monday with disclosing the identity of a covert CIA officer and with telling journalists the name a CIA officer involved with the interrogation of alleged Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

The Justice Department charged that John Kiriakou, 47, who worked as a CIA officer from 1990 to 2004, revealed the information to journalists and that one reporter passed some of the secrets onto attorneys representing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Kiriakou’s case is the sixth leak-related criminal prosecution brought since President Barack Obama took office, a figure that exceeds the number of such cases in all previous administrations combined.
Full article

$25B nationwide mortgage deal goes to states

Bills would let NJ avoid US ban on Sports Betting

The politicians have an insatiable appetite for money revenue. And they don't care where they get it. Gambling is an evil and the industry leads to all kinds of social ills. It is no coincidence that Nevada has the highest crime rate  of any State in the country. You better believe that the gambling industry is lobbying heavily the pimp politicians in New Jersey:

With talk of New York Giants (who play in New Jersey) and the odds of them winning the Super Bowl in two weeks dominating the airwaves Monday, two New Jersey congressmen introduced separate bills that would let their state offer legal sports betting.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Cape May County Republican, introduced a bill Monday giving all states until 2016 to legalize sports betting. New Jersey and 45 other states missed a 1992 deadline to approve sports betting, which is now illegal everywhere but Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., a Long Branch Democrat, introduced a separate bill Monday to exempt New Jersey from the existing federal ban.

New Jersey has passed and enacted a law legalizing sports betting, but the federal ban still must be overcome before Atlantic City casinos and the state's four horse tracks can start taking bets on professional and college sporting events.
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Supreme Court rules warrant needed for GPS tracking

Supreme Court rules warrant needed for GPS tracking –

In its first ever review of GPS tracking, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police need a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a person's car.

The opinion was unanimous, although the justices split in their views of how the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to such high-tech tracking.

Sen. Paul Stopped By TSA At Airport, Law Enforcement Denies It Was A Detention

Sen. Paul Stopped By TSA At Airport, Law Enforcement Denies It Was A Detention | Fox News

Sen. Rand Paul's office says he was held by the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, although TSA officials deny he was "detained" at Nashville Airport after an incident at the security gate.

Paul's father, presidential candidate Ron Paul, tweeted early Monday, "My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming."

Newt Gingrich's big, slobbering mutual love affair with the elite media

Why GOP Leaders don't Trust Gingrich

David Frum, a CNN contributor, was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002. He is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again."

But here's a problem with Gingrich-style politics. It does not long survive the encounter with real-world voter concerns.

The pollsters who generate those 70% numbers are creating a statistical artifact, not a workable political majority. In his pursuit of a governing majority, Gingrich has chased phantoms: In that 1983 speech about liberals and space, for example, Gingrich actually cited the popularity of the "Star Wars" movies as evidence that space exploration could be a winning issue for Republicans. The person most deluded by Gingrich's politics of cultural division has always been Gingrich himself.

Gingrich may raise more money after his South Carolina win. But prediction: Romney will raise even more, among the great national network of Republicans who recognize that to nominate Gingrich is to commit party suicide.
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Russian Liberal says Kremlin Bars him from Vote

Russia has descended into a quasi-dictatorship. And we in the United States need to be worried about the future of that country:

Election officials have refused so far to allow the leader of Russia's leading liberal party to compete in March's presidential election, a move the politician said reflects the government's fear of genuine competition.

Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader of Yabloko party, said authorities want to prevent him from challenging Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid to extend his 12-year rule by reclaiming the presidency. He said other contenders are only nominal rivals who are following the Kremlin's guidance.
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Europe Debt Crisis Still Likely to End Badly

And if Europe goes down it will take us with them:

There are two main schools of thought on what may happen next with Europe’s debt crisis. Some well-informed people strongly believe that everything will work out just fine, and without much of an economic slowdown. Other, equally well-informed people believe just as strongly that the euro area will break apart in a traumatic manner. When it comes to predicting Europe’s future, not many people occupy the middle ground.

[...]But Europe’s problem isn’t just that some countries have the wrong exchange rate, and no way to adjust it within the existing system. The main issue is that governments borrowed heavily during the good times, which are most definitely at an end.
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Newt Gingrich: The Master of Disguise

Gingrich is about himself. What makes him dangerous is that he would blow America if it furthered his ambitions. His ambition knows no limit. Remind you of anyone? His election as President, which is highly unlikely, would mean an end to America as we know it:

The disguise part is clear, too. Gingrich has used his debate skills — and his instinct to hit the raw nerves of conservatives — to camouflage considerable weaknesses as a candidate. The three wives, and cheating on and leaving the first two while they were ill; inconsistency on the most consequential conservative causes of the past decade; episodic bouts of self-importance severe even by politicians’ standards; and countless tales of erratic leadership in crisis.
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Halliburton Profit Rises 50%

Dick Cheney's old company is now thriving under President Obama:

The second-largest oilfield service company after Schlumberger Ltd. SLB +0.53% Halliburton is the top seller of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, services in North America. That service is essential in cracking open deeply buried oil-and-gas-bearing rocks, including shale, an area where energy companies have been making big bets for future growth.

[...]In the latest quarter, Halliburton’s North American revenue was up 56% and profit rose 77%. The company said Monday it expects strength in the segment to persist into 2012, with continued improvements in drilling and completion efficiency, as well as higher demand for services. In its international business, revenue rose 17%, while profit was up 9.5%, aided by growth in Latin America.
And, of course, they are up to no good:

Safety First, Fracking Second, The Editors, Scientific American: A decade ago layers of shale lying deep underground supplied only 1 percent of America’s natural gas. Today they provide 30 percent. Drillers are rushing to hydraulically fracture, or “frack,” shales in a growing list of U.S. states. ... The benefits come with risks, however, that state and federal governments have yet to grapple with.

    Public fears are growing about contamination of drinking-water supplies from the chemicals used in fracking and from the methane gas itself. Field tests show that those worries are not unfounded. ... Yet states have let companies proceed without adequate regulations. They must begin to provide more effective oversight, and the federal government should step in, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bill Maher: Tea Party supports Newt Gingrich because he's racist like them

Bill Maher: Tea Party supports Newt Gingrich because he's racist like them -

"Face the Nation" transcript: January 22, 2012

"Face the Nation" transcript: January 22, 2012 - CBS News

'60 Minutes Overtime' (01-22-12)

In the midst of war, a group of Marines and our own Lara Logan go to extraordinary lengths to save a puppy named Bill; Also, Lara Logan shows us her favorite moments in the forest with icon Jane Goodall and a crew of rowdy young chimpanzees; And, It's not the dolphins that make this 1973 Morley Safer story so fun to watch -- it's the humans!

The FBI Spied on Me and Then Lied About It

The FBI is supposed to be defending us but instead are participating in a witch hunt. Remind you of the Hoover days?

Five years ago, I joined a group of leaders of the Southern California Muslim community in an attempt to find out whether the government was conducting illegal surveillance at our mosques, our homes, our jobs, in public places and elsewhere. To do so, we filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the FBI, seeking any records relating to us and containing information about "monitoring, surveillance, observation, questioning, interrogation and/or infiltration."

The FBI produced less than 100 pages in response. Unsatisfied, we filed a lawsuit and forced them to dig deeper into their databases. This time, the FBI produced over 800 pages, but, for the most part, they were redacted because - supposedly - the information they contained was "outside the scope" of our request.

When we challenged the FBI, the court ordered an in camera review (for the eyes of the court only) to find out what the documents really contained. The court concluded that the FBI's claim that very little of the information they had was responsive to our request was blatantly false.

In a sealed order, the judge strongly criticized the government for having affirmatively misled the court. The government filed an emergency appeal, but the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling and stressed that the government cannot, under any circumstance, withhold responsive information from the court because doing so would seriously compromise the court's function in overseeing FOIA actions.
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Video: Newt Gingrich on 'Face The Nation' (1-22-12)