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