Archive for February, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI–Videos

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Education, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Raves, Religion, Wisdom | Tags: , |

Pope-Benedict-XVI

Pope Benedict XVI LAST SPEECH Castel Gandolfo Last Public Apperance “I Am No Longer Pope” 2-28-2013

Pope Benedict XVI Helicopter LANDS AT CASTEL GANDOLFO 2 28 2013

 Pope Benedict XVI’s Helicopter Ride to Castel Gandolfo

Pope Benedict XVI Leaves Vatican For Last Time [28.02.2013]

Pope Benedict XVI Departs From the Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI Says Goodbye to Cardinals Amid Resignation- ABC News

Benedict XVI’s title will be ‘Pope Emeritus’ and he will continue to wear white

Pope Benedict XVI Last Final public audience from his residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy 2/28/2013

Long applause for Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI holds his final general audience

Pope gives final goodbye speech in English

Benedict XVI thanks everyone during his last Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica

Pope celebrates last public Mass as pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI Last Public Mass 13th February 2013

How the pope got things ready before his resignation

Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus address (English translation) – Feb. 17, 2013

Vatican Connections: Papal Resignation

A look back at Pope Benedict XVI’s career

Announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation

Benedict XVI: The search for meaning leads to hope

Benedict XVI: From faith a positive model for Fatherhood

Benedict XVI to young people: Follow Christ!

Benedict XVI creates 22 new cardinals

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The Growth Gap Widens As U.S. Heads Into Another Recession: Real Gross Domestic Product Down From 3.1% in Third Quarter to .1% in Fourth Quarter 2012! — Videos

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, history, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

us-economy-2012

GDP-10-recoveries-10-2012

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US-GDP-dec232010013013gdp-600x445

gdp-components-since-2007 (1)

debt-and-gdp-main6

US_jobs_January_2013_Jan312013

gdpoilprice

Gerald Celente Predicts Economic Recession

Gerald Celente – Yahoo!’s The Daily Ticker – February 20, 2013

Gerald Celente: World Bank, Banksters, Coming Collapse.

Peter Schiff – Economic Collapse 2013

Peter Schiff: It’s Going To Hit The Fan During Obama’s Second Term – Fox Business

Peter Schiff: Wall Street’s rising back thanks to the taxpayers

Jim Rogers Asks Whether Obama Is ‘Delusional’ Or ‘Lying’

Chairman Kevin Brady presents his Opening Statement During JEC Hearing

Congressman Paulsen questions witnesses during Hearing on State of US Economy

Rep, Campbell during Joint Economic Committee Hearing on State of US Economy

Bill Gross Warns of Fed Easing ‘Irrational Exuberance Has Unduly Escalated Asset V

Harvey Golub on Fed Monetary Policy: We’re Creating a Series of Bubbles

Marc Faber Odds of World Heading Into Global Recession By 2013 Is 100% Certainty

JIM ROGERS – ‘If You Are Not Worried About 2013, Please – Get Worried’

Jim Rogers author of “Street Smarts” sits down w Glenn Beck on The Blaze TV re.

US to go into recession: Danielle Park

fiscal policy & automatic stabilizers

Austrian Economics versus Mainstream Economics | Mark Thornton

Econ Crisis 2 – Recessions

Old School Macro

Fiscal Policy

Deficits & The Debt

How Do Banks Work?

Central Bank & Monetary Policy

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
BEA 13-06

* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

Lisa S. Mataloni: (202) 606-5304 (GDP) gdpniwd@bea.gov
Recorded message: (202) 606-5306
Ralph Stewart: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
Jeannine Aversa: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2012 (second estimate)
      Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012
(that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

      The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month.  In the advance estimate, real GDP declined 0.1 percent.  The
upward revision to the percent change in real GDP is smaller than the average revision from the advance
to second estimate of 0.5 percentage point.  While today’s release has revised the direction of change in
real GDP, the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains largely the same as what
was presented last month (for more information, see "Revisions" on page 3).

      The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed
investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal
government spending, exports, and state and local government spending.  Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

	The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in private
inventory investment, in federal government spending, in exports, and in state and local government
spending that were partly offset by an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in
imports, and an acceleration in PCE.

_______

FOOTNOTE.  Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates.  Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  "Real" estimates are in chained (2005)
dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

      This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with the Technical Note and Highlights
 related to this release.  For information on revisions, see "Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major
 Components".
_______

      Final sales of computers added 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP
after adding 0.11 percentage point to the third-quarter change.  Motor vehicle output added 0.19
percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.25 percentage point from
the third-quarter change.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, 0.2 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter.  Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent in the third.

      Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.6 percent in the third.  Durable goods increased 13.8 percent, compared with an
increase of 8.9 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent.  Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

      Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 1.8 percent in the third.  Nonresidential structures increased 5.8 percent; it was unchanged in
the third quarter.  Equipment and software increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 2.6 percent in the third.  Real residential fixed investment increased 17.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 13.5 percent.

      Real exports of goods and services decreased 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 1.9 percent in the third.  Real imports of goods and services decreased 4.5 percent, compared
with a decrease of 0.6 percent.

      Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 14.8 percent
in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the third.  National defense decreased
22.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 12.9 percent.  Nondefense increased 1.8 percent, compared
with an increase of 3.0 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 1.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.3 percent.

      The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.55 percentage points from the fourth-quarter
change in real GDP, after adding 0.73 percentage point to the third-quarter change.  Private businesses
increased inventories $12.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $60.3 billion in the third
and $41.4 billion in the second.

      Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.7
percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the third.

Gross domestic purchases

      Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6 percent in the
third.
Current-dollar GDP

      Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
1.0 percent, or $40.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $15,851.2 billion.  In the third quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 5.9 percent, or $225.4 billion.

Revisions

      The "second" estimate of the fourth-quarter percent change in GDP is 0.2 percentage point, or
$9.2 billion, more than the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting an upward revision
to exports, a downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment
that were partly offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.

                                                                     Advance Estimate             Second Estimate
                                                                       (Percent change from preceding quarter)

Real GDP.......................................                            -0.1                         0.1
Current-dollar GDP.............................                             0.5                         1.0
Gross domestic purchases price index...........                             1.3                         1.5

2012 GDP

      Real GDP increased 2.2 percent in 2012 (that is, from the 2011 annual level to the 2012 annual
level), compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in 2011.

      The increase in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected positive contributions from personal
consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment,
and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal
government spending and from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in
the calculation of GDP, increased.

      The acceleration in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected a deceleration in imports, upturns in
residential fixed investment and in private inventory investment and smaller decreases in state and local
government spending and in federal government spending that were partly offset by decelerations in
PCE, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in 2012, compared with an
increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.

      Current-dollar GDP increased 4.0 percent, or $605.8 billion, in 2012 to a level of $15,681.5
billion, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent, or $576.8 billion, in 2011.

	During 2012 (that is, measured from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012),
real GDP increased 1.6 percent.  Real GDP increased 2.0 percent during 2011.  The price index for gross
domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent during 2012, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during
2011.

                                            *          *          *

      BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.

                                           *          *          *

                             Next release -- March 28, 2013 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
                Gross Domestic Product:  Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012 (Third Estimate)
                              Corporate Profits:  Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012

gdp_large

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Jim Rogers On Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke–Videos

Posted on February 27, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, government spending, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Politics, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

jim-rogers

Jim Rogers On Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Jim Rogers On What The US Economy Will Look Like In 5 Years

Jim Rogers Recommends Giving Up Wall Street For Agriculture Careers

Jim Rogers Discusses Incorrect Wall Street Stories And Predictions

Jim Rogers On Why The Shift Has Not Moved Away From Wall Street Sooner

Jim Rogers Discusses The Growth Rate, 4,200 Percent Of The Quantum Fund

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Too Big To Fail–Financiang The Federal Government–Videos

Posted on February 27, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , |

Too-Big-Pig-to-Fail-Morin-Miami-Herald

Elizabeth Warren Grills Ben Bernanke on ‘Too Big to Fail’

Judge Napolitano Praises Elizabeth Warren for Taking on Ben Bernanke Over ‘Too big To Fail”

Bachmann Questions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

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Representative Keith Ellison Makes A Total Angry Ass of Himself On Hannity Show–Obama’s Big Lie and Massive Deficits–Videos

Posted on February 27, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

hannity_ellison

Sean Hannity Battles Disrespectful Keith Ellison in epic heated interview – Can’t Miss!!

65 Outrageous Lies by President Obama

Obama will cut deficit in half FEB 2009 YouTube

Obama Makes Excuses For Failed Promise To Cut Deficit In Half

Live Obama speech on debt 23th february 2009

Mr. President: When you make a promise, you’re expected to keep your promise

President Obama pledges to cut deficit in half

Summary of Spending Outlays, Tax Receipts, Deficits (-) or Surpluses, 2005-2013

(in millions of dollars)

Fiscal Year

Spending Outlays

Tax Receipts

-Deficit / Surplus

President (Party)

House Control

Senate Control

2005

2,471,957

2,153,611

-318,346

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2006

2,655,050

2,406,859

-248,181

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2007

2,728,686

2,567,985

-150,701

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2008

2,982,544

2,523,991

-458,553

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2009

3,517,677

2,104,989

-1,412,588

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2010

3,456,213

2,162,724

-1,293,489

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2011

3,603,061

2,303,466

-1,299,595

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2012 est.

3,795,547

2,468,599

-1,326,948

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2013 est.

3,803,364

2,901,956

-901,408

Obama (D) Republicans

Democrats

Source: The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, Historical Tables, Table 1.1http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist.pdf
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Glenn Beck Out-of-The Closet Tea Party Libertarian–When Will Glenn Tell Us He Has Joined Dallas Chapter of The John Birch Society? — Videos

Posted on February 24, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Cult, Culture, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Raves, Religion, Tax Policy, Video, War, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

glenn-beck-2

Glenn Beck Apologizes to Libertarians, Begs them to Welcome New People into

robert_welch

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy

What Is the John Birch Society? 

History Lesson: Eisenhower Agriculture Sect. Sounds the Alarm Over Take Over of America 1 of 2

History Lesson: Eisenhower Agriculture Sect. Sounds the Alarm Over Take Over of America 2 of 2

Karl Rove vs. The Tea Party: Conservative Civil War

The John Birch Society

John Birch Society documentary from the 1960’s

life_words_robert_welch

G.Edward_Griffin

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

G. Edward Griffin The Dangerous Servant A Discourse on Government

G. Edward Griffin in Toronto (November 16th 2012)

creature_jekyll_island

The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)

G. Edward Griffin on Glenn Beck

“The Federal Reserve Is a Cartel” – G. Edward Griffin

Betrayal of the Constitution  An Exposé of the Neoconservative Agenda.flv 

john_mcmannus

JBS (John Birch Society) Overview of America Part 1 (HQ)

Alex Jones welcomes John Birch Society President John McManus 1/5

Alex Jones welcomes John Birch Society President John McManus 2/5 

Alex Jones welcomes John Birch Society President John McManus 3/5

Alex Jones welcomes John Birch Society President John McManus 4/5

Alex Jones welcomes John Birch Society President John McManus 5/5

Alex-Jones

Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined Full (Order it at Infowars.com)

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Everybody Hurts–Videos

Posted on February 24, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, government, government spending, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, media, Music, People, Philosophy, Psychology, Raves, Religion, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

everybody-hurts-640

R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts (Video)

REM – Everybody hurts (with lyrics)

“everybody hurts”-house video

The Corrs – Everybody Hurts (Unplugged)

Joe Cocker Everybody hurts

joe-cocker

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All Governments Lie–The Coming Collapse of United States Economy — Videos

Posted on February 23, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Crime, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Farming, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Raves, Resources, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

not-a-recession-yet

Jim Rogers Fed’s Money Printing – Coming Economic Collapse

 

Food Crisis – The Total Collapse Of The U.S. Economy Is 100%

Financial Collapse this Spring – Survive the Food Crisis

Prepare Yourself – America Will Collapse

Countdown to Economic Collapse (2-18-2013)

After America Collapses, What Comes Next?

Economic Collapse Is Imminent

The Economic Collapse and The End Of Our Liberty [HQ movie]

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President Obama and Jack Lew Are Lying About Whose Idea The Sequester Was–So Says Washington Post’s Bob Woodward–The Sequester is Stupid–Stupid Is As Stupid Does–Obamaquester — Videos

Posted on February 23, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

bob_woodward

the-price-of-politics

sequestration

stupid

obama_debt

fiscal_year_2013_budget

2013%20sequester%20impact

budget-control-act-680

verochart

how_congress_spends_your_money

Total Federal Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the gross US federal government debt is expected to be 17.548 trillion dollars. Of this gross amount, debt “Held by the Public” amounts to 10.560 trillion dollars and debt “Held by Federal Government Accounts” amounts to 4.911 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

Projected and Recent US Federal Debt Numbers

Fiscal Year Gross Federal Debt Debt Held by Public Debt Held by Federal Reserve
FY 2013* $17.5 trillion $10.6 trillion $2.1 trillion
FY 2012* $16.4 trillion $9.7 trillion $1.9 trillion
FY 2011 $14.8 trillion $8.5 trillion $1.7 trillion
FY 2010 $13.5 trillion $8.2 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2009 $11.9 trillion $6.8 trillion $0.8 trillion
FY 2008 $10.0 trillion $5.3 trillion $0.5 trillion

“Gross Federal Debt” is the total debt owed by the United States federal government.\

It comprises “Debt Held by Public”, including foreign governments, debt held by federal government accounts such as IOUs owed to the Social Security trust fund, and “Debt held by Federal Reserve,” debt bought by the Federal Reserve System as part of the monetary base.

Total Government Debt since 1900

At the beginning of the 20th century total government debt was equally divided between federal and state and local debt, totaling less than 20 percent of GDP.  After World War I, the federal debt surged to 35% of GDP.  But by the mid 1920s federal debt had declined to below 20 percent of GDP with state and local debt rising to 16 percent of GDP.

Then came the Great Depression, and President Roosevelt decided to spend his way out of trouble, boosting federal debt to 40 percent of GDP.  So did the local governments, with state debt peaking at over 5 percent of GDP in 1933 and local debt peaking at over 28 percent in 1933. Government debt, including federal and state and local debt rose to 70 percent of GDP.

But it was in World War II that the US really entered new debt territory.  Starting at 45 percent of GDP in 1941 federal debt zoomed, reaching almost 122 percent of GDP in 1946 after the end of the war, with state and local debt adding another 7 percent.  For the next 35 years successive governments brought down the debt, but then came President Reagan.  He increased the federal debt up over 50 percent of GDP to win the Cold War.  President Bush increased the debt to fight a war on terror and bail out the banks. President Obama is increasing the debt to fund a plan to revive the economy in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008.

Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

usgs_chart4p03

 Gross Public Debt-State, Gross Public Debt-Local, Gross Public Debt-Federal

Total US Government Debt in 2013

At the end of FY 2013 the total government debt in the United States, including federal, state, and local, is expected to be 20.541 trillion dollars.

total_debt_total_debt

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/

Bob Woodward Tears Into Obama: ‘Madness That I Haven’t Seen In A Long Time’

Bernanke Warns Sequester Could Slow Economic Recovery

Dr. Coburn on Fox News Sunday Regarding Sequestration

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

Our Lying President – Debate lie on sequestration

Nightline from ABC News:        Obama Revealed: Bob Woodward’s Explosive New Book

Bob Woodward’s ‘The Price of Politics’ Goes Inside the Debt Crisis

The Obama Sequester: He Was For It, Before He Was Against It

Bob Woodward on Fox News Sunday: Sequestration was Obama’s idea

Fox News Sunday Panel Plus – Sequestration » 02-17-13

POTUS’ Sequester Should Be Replaced w/Cuts & Reforms Leading to a Balanced

Boehner to Obama: You Built the Sequester – WSJ Opinion

Hilarious! Hannity Mocks Obama’s Melodramatic ‘Mayan Sequester Apocalypse’

Rand Paul: Many Ways To Handle Sequester Without Losing Jobs – On The Record w

Replacing President Obama’s “Sequester”

Limbaugh on “Sequester Crisis”: “For the First Time in My Life I Am Ashamed of My County

CBO Director Lays Out Dangers Of Obama’s Debt-GDP Ratio

CBO Director On Obama’s $7 Trillion Budget Deficit Over The Next Decade

Will Taxing the Rich Fix the Deficit?

What If the National Debt Were Your Debt?

Funding Government by the Minute

What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt?

Don’t let him lie to you: sequester was Obama’s idea – Woodward says so 

Bob Woodward on ‘The Price of Politics,’ Fiscal Fight 

Obama’s sequester deal-changer

By Bob Woodward, Published: February 22

Bob Woodward (woodwardb@washpost.com) is an associate editor of The Post. His latest book is “The Price of Politics.” Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this column.

Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?

The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later.

There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

A majority of Republicans did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer, which included the sequester. Key Republican staffers said they didn’t even initially know what a sequester was — because the concept stemmed from the budget wars of the 1980s, when they were not in government.

At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew’s nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Lew about the account in my book: “Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Lew responded, “and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States.”

“Did you make the suggestion?” Burr asked.

“Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator [Phil] Gramm and Senator [Warren] Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action.”

In other words, yes.

But then Burr asked about the president’s statement during the presidential debate, that the Republicans originated it.

Lew, being a good lawyer and a loyal presidential adviser, then shifted to denial mode: “Senator, the demand for an enforcement mechanism was not something that the administration was pushing at that moment.”

That statement was not accurate.

On Tuesday, Obama appeared at the White House with a group of police officers and firefighters to denounce the sequester as a “meat-cleaver approach” that would jeopardize military readiness and investments in education, energy and readiness. He also said it would cost jobs. But, the president said, the substitute would have to include new revenue through tax reform.

At noon that same day, White House press secretary Jay Carney shifted position and accepted sequester paternity.

“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney said. Walking back the earlier statements, he added carefully, “and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”

This was an acknowledgment that the president and Lew had been wrong.

Why does this matter?

First, months of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)

Second, Lew testified during his confirmation hearing that the Republicans would not go along with new revenue in the portion of the deficit-reduction plan that became the sequester. Reinforcing Lew’s point, a senior White House official said Friday, “The sequester was an option we were forced to take because the Republicans would not do tax increases.”

In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.

So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.

Read more from PostOpinions: Bob Woodward: Time for our leaders to delegate on the budget Robert J. Samuelson: The lowdown on Lew Jennifer Rubin: Jack Lew’s truth problem Eugene Robinson: The sequester madness

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bob-woodward-obamas-sequester-deal-changer/2013/02/22/c0b65b5e-7ce1-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_print.html

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Playing The Sequester Blame Game: Drama Obama Not Problem Solver But Blame Shifter–Republicans Are Not Problem Solvers But Blame Shifters–Shut Off The Blame Shifters–Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way–Balance The Budget In Four Years By Real Cuts of $250 Billion Each Year To Budget Baseline for Four Years For Total of $1,000 Billion or You Are Out–Tea Party Patriots Proclamation–Videos

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Obama PROMISES To Cut Deficit In Half By 2012

Live Obama speech on debt 23th february 2009

Amazing – Obama Caught in Bald-Faced Lie on White House Sequester

Sequester- President Obama says $85B in spending cuts WILL kick in Friday

Judge Napolitano: Facts About Sequester Caught Up To Obama “His Scare Tactics Are Reprehensible”

Obama’s big lie and massive deficits: spending addiction disorder (SAD)

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Crisis and fear mongering as well as blame shifting are again running rampant among the ruling political elites in Washington over out-of-control government spending and what to do about it.

President Barack Obama and progressive Congressional Democrats want to increase federal government spending by increasing taxes through closing so-called “tax loopholes” or more precisely eliminating existing tax deductions and credits in the Internal Revenue code.

House Speaker John Boehner and conservative Congressional Republicans want to decrease government spending and decrease tax rates by also eliminating “tax loopholes.” There is no middle ground to negotiate given the diametrically opposed positions of the political parties. This was not always the case.

Early in his first term Obama delivered a speech in the White House titled “A New Era of Responsibility,” captured on the YouTube video titled “Obama will cut deficit in half FEB 2009.”  He said, “We cannot, and will not, sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation.

“We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone, we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt — one in every 10 taxpayer dollars. That is more than three times what we spent on education that year; more than seven times what we spent on VA health care.

“So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road as our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes, and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they’re saddled with our debts.

“And that’s why today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

The last George W. Bush deficit for fiscal year 2008 was nearly $459 billion. If Obama was serious about meeting his pledge of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term, the deficit should have been less than $230 billion for fiscal year 2012. Obama did the exact opposite of what he promised the American people he would do in February 2009. Instead of cutting the deficit in half, he doubled the deficit to more than a trillion dollars for each fiscal year he has been in office as the table below clearly shows:

Summary of Spending Outlays, Tax Receipts, Deficits (-) or Surpluses, 2005-2013 

      (in millions of dollars)

Fiscal Year

Spending Outlays

Tax Receipts

-Deficit +Surplus

President (Party) House Control Senate Control
2005

2,471,957

2,153,611

-318,346

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2006

2,655,050

2,406,859

-248,181

Bush (R) Republicans Democrats
2007

2,728,686

2,567,985

-150,701

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2008

2,982,544

2,523,991

-458,553

Bush (R) Democrats Democrats
2009

3,517,677

2,104,989

-1,412,588

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2010

3,456,213

2,162,724

-1,293,489

Obama (D) Democrats Democrats
2011

3,603,061

2,303,466

-1,299,595

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2012

3,538,286

2,449,093

-1,089,193

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
2013 est.

3,803,364

2,901,956

-901,408

Obama (D) Republicans Democrats
Source: The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, Historical Tables, Table 1.1http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist.pdf

These massive and unprecedented deficits required that the national debt be increased to pay for the government’s out-of-control spending and for Congress to increase the debt ceiling to $16.4 trillion. On Aug. 2, 2011 President Obama signed into law The Budget Control Act of 2011. This ended the so-called debt ceiling crisis by increasing the debt-level immediately by $400 billion and allowing Obama to ask for another increase of the ceiling by $500 billion with Congressional approval in the future. The law established the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction, better known as the “super committee,” with the task of reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion by Dec. 23, 2011. The super committee failed to accomplish its assigned task.

This triggered the sequestration provisions in the law requiring across-the-board cuts in government spending of $1.2 trillion over 10 years with a corresponding increase in the debt-level by $1.2 trillion. Both Democrats and Republicans voted for the sequestration when they passed the law. However, the original idea for sequestration came from White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors and Jack Lew, who was then budget director, whom with Obama’s approval presented the idea to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to Bob Woodward as documented in his book “The Price of Politics.“

On Jan. 31, Congress suspended the borrowing limit or debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion for three months until May 19.

By March 1 Congress needed to cut $1.2 trillion from the growth in the Congressional Budget Office baseline for fiscal years 2013 through 2021 or the sequestration would be triggered. These automatic spending cuts had to come from both discretionary and mandatory spending.

Under the sequestration order for fiscal year 2013, signed by Obama on Mar. 1, there needs to be a $85.3 billion cut in growth in federal government budget authority of which $42.7 billion is defense, $28.7 billion non-defense discretionary, $9.9 billion Medicare and $4 billion other mandatory.

For fiscal year 2013 the total federal government spending outlays are estimated to be about $3.8 trillion with estimated total tax revenues of about $2.9 trillion resulting in a deficit of about $901 billion. The sequestration impact for fiscal year 2013 is an estimated $44 billion cut in spending outlays or about 1.4% of total federal government spending.

The crisis and fear mongering and blame shifting is never-ending as Congress must now agree to a fiscal year 2013 continuing resolution by March 31. Meanwhile the U.S. economy is on the verge of another recession with higher unemployment rates and many more millions of unemployed Americans.

The absence of leadership in Washington to budget to estimated tax receipts and by so doing live within the means of the American people is the core problem. The solution would require the repeal of Congress’s baseline budgeting process whereby current spending levels are used to determine future funding requirements by adding increased funding for population growth, inflation and other factors to the current level of spending. The congressional budget baseline process totally ignores estimated tax receipts or revenues as a budgetary constraint. The result is massive unsustainable deficits.

Obama’s new era of responsibility was pure propaganda prevarication. Obama’s age of fiscal insanity and spending addiction disorder continues to destroy jobs, wreck the economy and kill the American dream. Neither progressive Democrats nor Republicans have the will, courage, integrity, wisdom and vision to balance the federal budget. Truly unbelievable.

how_congress_spends_your_money

http://federalbudget.com/

usgs_chart4p04

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history

Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 2000 – 2012

Includes legal tender notes, gold and silver certificates, etc.

The first fiscal year for the U.S. Government started Jan. 1, 1789.  Congress changed the beginning of the fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Jul. 1 in 1842, and finally from Jul. 1 to Oct. 1 in 1977 where it remains today.

To find more historical information, visit The Public Debt Historical Information  archives.

Date Dollar Amount
09/30/2012 16,066,241,407,385.89
09/30/2011 14,790,340,328,557.15
09/30/2010 13,561,623,030,891.79
09/30/2009 11,909,829,003,511.75
09/30/2008 10,024,724,896,912.49
09/30/2007 9,007,653,372,262.48
09/30/2006 8,506,973,899,215.23
09/30/2005 7,932,709,661,723.50
09/30/2004 7,379,052,696,330.32
09/30/2003 6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002 6,228,235,965,597.16
09/30/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
09/30/2000 5,674,178,209,886.86

 http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Budget Control Act Sequestration Would Hit Defense Hardest

budget-control-act-680

2013%20sequester%20impact

verochart

Obama_2013_sequestration_tax_increase

Rand Paul: Sequester Doesn’t Cut Enough – Stossel 2/28/2013

Balderdash! Sen. Rand Paul demolishes Obama’s sequester scare tactics

Hooray for SEQUESTRATION…

Illegal Immigrants Released from Detention Centers…

Bernanke Urges Sequestration Alternative

The Obama Sequester: He Was For It, Before He Was Against It

Obama Then and Now: I was for the sequester and now I am against it

Rand Paul: Obama Claiming To Have Cut Debt By $2 Trillion Is Absurd – 2/13/2013

Paul Ryan confronted on sequester

The Truth about Sequestration

Fiscal Cliff: 5 Facts about the Federal Budget (animated) (2012)

Sequestration 101

Sequestration and transfer authority

Rand Paul: Sequester Is A Pittance – 2/19/2013

Rand Paul to Obama on Sequester: Stand Up, Be a Leader and Just Do the Right Thing

Sen Paul Sequester Barely Cuts Any Icing From Cake

Greenspan:  Odds of Sequestration Occurring Are Very High

Krauthammer: ‘Republicans Should Do Nothing’ On The Sequester

Next big challenge facing DC: The sequester

US military fighting against ‘sequester’ cuts

What is the March 1 sequester!…

Sessions Criticizes Composition Of Sequester, Says Surging Domestic Spending

Understanding the Sequester with David Sirota

Obama Senior Adviser: Haven’t Talked To Congressional Leaders About The Obama

Bob Woodward: Sequester was Obama’s Solution

Drama Obama Pleas For Delay To Sequestration Cuts

Jay Carney: Yes the Sequester Idea Was Put Forward by the President’s Team

Flashback: Obama promises veto stopgap alternative to sequester cuts

Bob Woodward on ‘The Price of Politics,’ Fiscal Fight

In summer 2011, a partisan Congress sparred with the White House on how to solve the U.S. debt crisis. Judy Woodruff talks to journalist Bob Woodward about his new book, “The Price of Politics,” about how Washington’s politicians couldn’t look past their own political aspirations in order to forge a deal.

Our Lying President – Debate lie on sequestration

White House Already Backpedaling On Obama Sequestration Comments

Bob Woodward talks about his new book ‘The Price of Politics’

Fox & Friends Rips Obama On Sequester: Is It ‘Blackmail’ To Get More Tax Hikes

CBO Director: “We haven’t seen a specific proposal” from Obama on replacing

OBAMA despises his OWN idea: the SEQUESTER

Obama:Congress Putting Thousands Of Jobs At Risk

Markets Will React Big When Reality Sets In

Peter Schiff: Obama recession will be worse than the Obama recovery

John Lennon – Give Peace or  Sequester A Chance (Original Video Tape)

John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created

Obama invented the ‘sequester’ in the summer of 2011 to avoid facing up to America’s spending problem.

By JOHN BOEHNER

A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more. In a bit of irony, President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect. Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama’s statements is that it is a product of the president’s own failed leadership.

The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

By law, the sequester focuses on the narrow portion of the budget that funds the operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense. Exempt is most entitlement spending—the large portion of the budget that is driving the nation’s looming debt crisis. Should the sequester take effect, America’s military budget would be slashed nearly half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Border security, law enforcement, aviation safety and many other programs would all have diminished resources.

How did the country find itself in this mess?

During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked toward a plan to reduce the deficit to allow for an increase in the federal debt limit, President Obama and I very nearly came to a historic agreement. Unfortunately our deal fell apart at the last minute when the president demanded an extra $400 billion in new tax revenue—50% more than we had shaken hands on just days before.

It was a disappointing decision by the president, but with just days until a breach of the debt limit, a solution was still required—and fast. I immediately got together with Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to forge a bipartisan congressional plan. It would be called the Budget Control Act.

The plan called for immediate caps on discretionary spending (to save $917 billion) and the creation of a special House-Senate “super committee” to find an additional $1.2 trillion in savings. The deal also included a simple but powerful mechanism to ensure that the committee met its deficit-reduction target: If it didn’t, the debt limit would not be increased again in a few months.

But President Obama was determined not to face another debt-limit increase before his re-election campaign. Having just blown up one deal, the president scuttled this bipartisan, bicameral agreement. His solution? A sequester.

With the debt limit set to be hit in a matter of hours, Republicans and Democrats in Congress reluctantly accepted the president’s demand for the sequester, and a revised version of the Budget Control Act was passed on a bipartisan basis.

Ultimately, the super committee failed to find an agreement, despite Republicans offering a balanced mix of spending cuts and new revenue through tax reform. As a result, the president’s sequester is now imminent.

Both parties today have a responsibility to find a bipartisan solution to the sequester. Turning it off and erasing its deficit reduction isn’t an option. What Congress should do is replace it with other spending cuts that put America on the path to a balanced budget in 10 years, without threatening national security.

Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn’t even voted on a solution, let alone passed one. By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.

The president has repeatedly called for even more tax revenue, but the American people don’t support trading spending cuts for higher taxes. They understand that the tax debate is now closed.

The president got his higher taxes—$600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts—at the end of 2012. He also got higher taxes via ObamaCare. Meanwhile, no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines.

Washington must get serious about its spending problem. If it can’t reform America’s safety net and retirement-security programs, they will no longer be there for those who rely on them. Republicans’ willingness to do what is necessary to save these programs is well-known. But after four years, we haven’t seen the same type of courage from the president.

The president’s sequester is the wrong way to reduce the deficit, but it is here to stay until Washington Democrats get serious about cutting spending. The government simply cannot keep delaying the inevitable and spending money it doesn’t have.

So, as the president’s outrage about the sequester grows in coming days, Republicans have a simple response: Mr. President, we agree that your sequester is bad policy. What spending are you willing to cut to replace it?

— Mr. Boehner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, is speaker of the House.

A version of this article appeared February 20, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495104578314240032274944.html

2013 United States federal budget

The 2013 United States federal budget is the budget to fund government operations for the fiscal year 2013, which is October 2012–September 2013. The original spending request was issued by President Barack Obama in February 2012.[1] The actual appropriations for fiscal year 2013 must be authorized by the full Congress before the budget can take effect, in accordance with the United States budget process.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates caps on discretionary spending, which under current law will be lowered beginning in January 2013 to remove $1.2 trillion of spending over the following ten years. In addition, several temporary tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the beginning of the 2013 calendar year, including the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts on income, capital gains, and estate tax, which had been extended in a 2010 tax deal, as well as a payroll tax cut that began as a result of the 2010 deal and had been most recently extended in an early 2012 tax deal. The combination of sudden spending cuts and tax increases has led to concerns about significant negative effects on the economy in the wake of the weak recovery from the late 2000s recession.

History

Budget Control Act and the Deficit Reduction Committee

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed in August 2011 as a resolution to the debt-ceiling crisis. The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget is the first to be affected by the second of two rounds of budget cuts specified in the act. (The first round of cuts has already been applied to the ten years beginning in FY2012.) For this second round of cuts, the Budget Control Act had formed the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, sometimes referred to as the “supercommittee”, to identify at least $1.2 trillion in cuts over the ten years beginning with FY2013, and specified automatic across-the-board cuts of the same amount, equally split between security and non-security programs, if no such budget reduction legislation was passed by Congress.[4]

On November 21, 2011, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced that it did not reach a deal on the budget-cutting legislation, raising the possibility that the automatic cuts would be activated if the full Congress could not enact its own deficit reduction legislation by December 23, 2011. The supercommittee’s lack of an agreement was attributed to the refusal of Republicans to consider any tax increases, combined with Democratic insistence on including these revenue increases such as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which under current law expire at the end of 2012.[5]

Initial proposals

President Obama’s February 2012 budget message to Congress addressed themes of economic crisis and response, an updated defense strategy, taxation fairness, income equality, fiscal responsibility, and investments in education and research to help the U.S. compete economically. He wrote: “The way to rebuild our economy and strengthen the middle class is to make sure that everyone in America gets a fair shot at success. Instead of lowering our standards and our sights, we need to win a race to the top for good jobs that pay well and offer security for the middle class. To succeed and thrive in the global, high-tech economy, we need America to be a place with the highest-skilled, highest-educated workers; the most advanced transportation and communication networks; and the strongest commitment to research and technology in the world. This Budget makes investments that can help America win this race, create good jobs, and lead in the world economy.”[6]

Key elements of the President’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 included expiration of a variety of tax cuts for couples earning over $250,000 ($200,000 if single), short-term stimulus measures to support job growth, and targeted tax cuts for families and businesses. The budget included 2013 revenues of $2.9 trillion or 17.8% GDP (up from $2.5 trillion or 15.8% GDP in 2012) and spending of $3.8 trillion or 23.3% GDP (similar to the prior year in dollar terms but below the 24.3% GDP in 2012). The projected 2013 deficit was $900 billion (5.5% GDP), down from the 2012 deficit of $1.3 trillion (8.5% GDP).[7]

Over the 2013-2022 period, the budget essentially freezes defense and non-defense discretionary spending in dollar terms, such that these categories shrink relative to a growing economy, from 8.7% GDP to 5.9% GDP. Mandatory spending (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other safety net programs) remain around 14% GDP. Net interest rises from 1.5% GDP to 3.3% GDP. Revenues rise steadily during the period from 17.8% GDP to 20.1% GDP, averaging 19.2% GDP.[8] Debt held by the public rises from $12.6 trillion to $18.7 trillion, but remains flat around 77% GDP during the period.[9]

On May 16, 2012, the United States Senate voted on a 52-page Republican budget amendment billed as a summary of the nearly 2,000 pages in the Obama administration’s 2013 budget proposal. The amendment was defeated by a unanimous 99–0 vote, which paralleled the House of Representatives having voted a similar rejection in March by a count of 414–0. Those defeats of the Republicans’ amendments marked the second year in a row such summary bills met unanimous opposition.[10] In explaining their votes against, Congressional Democrats disputed whether the Republican summary accurately represented the Obama budget proposal; by contrast, Congressional Republicans claimed that their amendment included ample data taken directly from said budget.[11]

Legislation begins to be passed

On July 31, 2012, a tentative deal was announced to fund the government from October 2012 through March 2013 through a continuing resolution, with spending rates slightly higher than the FY2012 levels. The deal was reached because Republicans were eager to avoid a prolonged dispute that could threaten a government shutdown just before the upcoming 2012 general elections.[12] The bill, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, was passed in the House 329–91,[13] passed in the Senate 62–30,[14] and signed by President Obama on September 28, 2012.[15]

On August 1, 2012, the House and Senate passed competing bills on the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The House bill would extend all the tax cuts for one year, while the Senate version would allow taxes to rise on incomes over $250,000. The passage of the bills was reported as being intended as political cover; progress on tax legislation was not expected until after the November elections.[16]

In late December, the Republican House leadership proposed legislation that would allow tax cuts to rise relative to 2012 levels only for annual income over $1,000,000. The proposal was known as “Plan B”, and was intended to force the Senate and the Obama administration to pass it and delay further negotiations until the following month, when Republicans were expected to use the reaching of the federal debt limit as leverage. However, the House vote on the plan was abruptly cancelled on December 20, 2012 after it became clear that the bill did not have enough support to pass, due to conservative members of the House who would not support any legislation that would raise taxes without also cutting spending.[17]

On December 28, 2012, the Senate passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 to provide for $60.4 billion in additional spending to cover recovery costs from Hurricane Sandy, which had hit the northeastern United States in late October. The bill passed the Senate 62–32, but faced uncertain prospects in the House.[18]

At around 2 a.m. on January 1, 2013, the Senate passed a compromise bill, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, by a margin of 89–8. The bill would delay the budget sequestration by two months, and bill includes $600 billion over ten years in new tax revenue relative to extending 2012 levels, which is about one-fifth of the revenue that would have been raised had no legislation been passed. The revenue would come from increased marginal income and capital gains tax rates relative to their 2012 levels for annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples; a phase-out of certain tax deductions and credits for those with incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples, an increase in estate taxes relative to 2012 levels on estates over $5 million, and expiration of the two-year-old cut to payroll taxes, which is applied to income under the Social Security Wage Base, which was $110,100 in 2012. All these changes would all be made permanent.[19][20] House Speaker John Boehner promised a prompt vote on the Senate bill, but the prospect of the House passing an amended bill raised the prospect that legislation might not be enacted by the end of the 112th Congress at noon on January 3.[21]

Analysis

Implications of the Budget Control Act

Main articles: Budget Control Act of 2011 and United States fiscal cliff

The automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion resulting from the absence of a deal from the supercommittee over ten years would be split equally between security and non-security programs, and include $500 billion in cuts to the Department of Defense. The FY2013 defense budget would be reduced 11%, from $525 billion to $472 billion, after already having been cut from $571 billion in the first installment of cuts in the Budget Control Act. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta initially gave the total cut figure as 23%.[22] The planned cuts include reductions in troop levels, a modest limit in pay raises for soldiers starting in 2015, an increase in health fees for veterans, delays in the construction of new naval ships and in the purchasing of new fighter aircraft such as the F-35, and the possibility of a round of base closings within the United States, but cuts to special operations, cyberwarfare, and intelligence programs were avoided.[23] Initial reports had also suggested that the number of carrier battle groups might be reduced from 11 to 10,[22] although it was later determined that the number of aircraft carriers would not in fact be cut.[24] Some Republicans in Congress advocated reversing the cuts to the military, citing the effect on national security, and Secretary Panetta has opposed the cuts, calling them “devastating” and raising “substantial risk of not being able to meet our defense needs.” President Obama has promised to veto any legislation seeking to avoid the cuts, and House Speaker John Boehner also indicated his commitment to following the cuts in the Budget Control Act.[5][25] According to the Center for American Progress, several Presidents have significantly reduced defense spending after wars, without compromising national security. Defense spending in 2011 remained high by historical standards, adjusted for inflation.[26]

The Budget Control Act also specifies automatic cuts of 7.8% to domestic programs and 2% to Medicare, while Medicaid and Social Security will be unaffected. These entitlement programs were protected from cuts in return for the absence of new revenues in the Budget Control Act.[27]

The automatic cuts to domestic programs would include cuts of up to 11% to science research and development agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the U. S. National Laboratories run by the Department of Energy. It is anticipated that this could cause federal grant acceptance levels to fall into the single digits, a consequence which has been called catastrophic for academic institutions by Michael Lubell of the American Physical Society. The cuts could also endanger politically controversial research such as climate change research programs in NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.[28] Due to the role of scientific research in economic growth and job creation, and given international competition in this field, the cuts have been opposed by professional and academic organizations, and federal support of research and development has been called “an area of U.S. investment too critical to be cut” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[29][30]

Ten-year projections

Annual rates of increase in major revenue categories budgeted for the 2012-2022 period were:

  • Individual income taxes: 8.4%
  • Corporation income taxes: 8.2%
  • Social insurance (mainly payroll) taxes: 6.6%
  • Total tax revenues: 7.6%

Annual rates of increase in major spending categories budgeted for the 2012-2022 period were:

  • Defense: 1.8%
  • Non-defense discretionary: 1.6%
  • Social Security: 5.8%
  • Medicare: 6.6%
  • Medicaid: 8.5%
  • Net interest: 14.2%
  • Total spending: 5.0%[31]

Changes in revenues primarily represent a return to the long-run average. Tax revenues historically have averaged around 18% GDP. The subprime mortgage crisis resulted in significant declines in revenues due to high unemployment and reduced economic activity, with revenue falling to a record low 15% GDP. President Obama’s budget preserves the Bush income tax cuts for couples earning below $250,000, while eliminating some tax exemptions and deductions (tax expenditures).[32]

Defense and non-defense discretionary expenses are essentially frozen in real dollar terms for the 2013-2022 period, growing at or below the rate of inflation. Department of Defense spending rose at an annual rate of 8% between 2000 and 2011; this amount includes both the baseline and war spending. Non-defense discretionary spending rose at an annual rate of 6.6% between 2000 and 2011. Mandatory spending is mainly driven by demographic changes (i.e., an aging population, with fewer workers per retiree), healthcare cost increases per capita, and Social Security cost of living adjustments. Interest costs represent a return to more typical interest rates as the economy recovers along with the growing public debt.[32]

Total revenues and spending

The Obama administration’s February 2012 budget request contained $2.902 trillion in receipts and $3.803 trillion in outlays, for a deficit of $901 billion.[33] The budget projects a reduction in the deficit to $575 billion by 2018 before rising to $704 billion by 2022.[34]

Total receipts (in billions of dollars)::

Item Requested[33]
Individual income tax 1,359
Corporate income tax 348
Social Security and other payroll tax 959
Excise tax 88
Customs duties 33
Estate and gift taxes 13
Deposits of earnings and Federal Reserve System 80
Other miscellaneous receipts 21
Total 2902

Total outlays by agency (in billions of dollars):

Agency Discretionary Mandatory Total
Department of Defense including Overseas Contingency Operations 666.2 6.7 672.9
Department of Health and Human Services including Medicare and Medicaid 80.6 860.3 940.9
Department of Education 67.7 4.2 71.9
Department of Veterans Affairs 60.4 79.4 139.7
Department of Housing and Urban Development 41.1 5.2 46.3
Department of State and Other International Programs 56.1 3.4 59.5
Department of Homeland Security 54.9 0.5 55.4
Department of Energy 35.6 –0.6 35.0
Department of Justice 23.9 12.7 36.5
Department of Agriculture 26.8 127.7 154.5
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 17.8 –0.02 17.8
National Intelligence Program 52.6 0 52.6
Department of Transportation 24.0 74.5 98.5
Department of the Treasury 14.1 96.2 110.3
Department of the Interior 12.3 1.2 13.5
Department of Labor 13.2 88.4 101.7
Social Security Administration 11.7 871.0 882.7
Department of Commerce 9.5 –0.5 9.0
Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works 8.2 –0.007 8.2
Environmental Protection Agency 9.2 –0.2 8.9
National Science Foundation 7.4 0.2 7.5
Small Business Administration 1.4 –0.006 1.4
Corporation for National and Community Service 1.1 0.007 1.1
Net interest 246 0 246
Disaster costs 2 0 2
Other spending 34.0- 61.7 29.5
Total 1,510 2,293 3,803

References

  1. ^ Riley, Charles (February 13, 2012). “Obama unveils $3.8 trillion budget”. CNNMoney. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  2. ^ Hensarling, Jeb (November 22, 2011). “Why the Super Committee Failed”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  3. ^ Murray, Patty. “Deficit-reduction chair says she’s not done working for compromise”. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Lisa Mascaro; Kathleen Hennessey (July 31, 2011). “U.S. leaders strike debt deal to avoid default”. Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b Steinhauer, Jennifer; Cooper, Helene; and Pear, Robert (22 November 2011). “Panel Fails to Reach Deal on Plan for Deficit Reduction”. The New York Times: p. A18. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  6. ^ President Obama-The Budget Message of the President-February 2012
  7. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Tables S5 and S6
  8. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S-6
  9. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S15
  10. ^ Dinan, Stephen (16 May 2012). “Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate”. Washington Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  11. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/house-and-senate-unanimously-reject-obama-budgets-or-do-they/
  12. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (1 August 2012). “Leaders Reach Tentative Deal on Spending to Avoid Fight Before Election Day”. The New York Times: p. A11. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  13. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (14 September 2012). “House Republicans Welcome Back Ryan, and His Vote, on a Spending Measure”. The New York Times: p. A13. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  14. ^ “U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress – 2nd Session: On the Joint Resolution (H.J.Res. 117)”. United States Senate. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  15. ^ “Status of Appropriations Legislation for Fiscal Year 2013″. Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  16. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2 August 2012). “House Approves One-Year Extension of the Bush-Era Tax Cuts”. The New York Times: p. A12. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  17. ^ Weisman, Jonathat (21 December 2012). “Boehner Cancels Tax Vote in Face of G.O.P. Revolt”. The New York Times: p. A1. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  18. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (29 December 2012). “Senate Passes $60.4 Billion for Storm Aid; Bill’s Fate in House Is Unclear”. The New York Times: p. A15. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  19. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (1 January 2013). “Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise”. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  20. ^ Hook, Janet; Hughes, Siobhan (1 January 2013). “Fiscal-Cliff Focus Moves to House”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  21. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer; Weisman, Jonathan (1 January 2013). “G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage”. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  22. ^ a b Bumiller, Elisabeth (23 November 2011). “Despite Threat of Cuts, Pentagon Officials Made No Contingency Plans”. The New York Times: p. A20. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  23. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth; Shanker, Thom (27 January 2012). “Defense Budget Cuts Would Limit Raises and Close Bases”. The New York Times: p. A12. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  24. ^ Stewart, Phil (21 January 2012). “U.S. won’t cut carrier fleet to fix budget, Panetta says”. Reuters. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  25. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (23 November 2011). “Automatic Military Cuts May Stand in Congress”. The New York Times: p. A20. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  26. ^ Center on American Progress-A Historical Perspective on Defense Spending-July 2011
  27. ^ Bendavid, Naftali (21 November 2011). “Congress’s Deficit ‘Bomb’: Scary or Not?”. Washington Wire. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  28. ^ Hand, E. (2011). “Debt deal sets day of reckoning”. Nature 476 (7359): 133–134. doi:10.1038/476133a. PMID 21833060. edit
  29. ^ Ham, Becky (25 November 2011). “Science, Engineering Groups Urge Lawmakers to Protect R&D”. Science 334 (6059): 1079. doi:10.1126/science.334.6059.1079.
  30. ^ “Open Letter to the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction”. Stand With Science. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  31. ^ OMB-President Obama’s 2013 Budget-Summary Table S4 and S5
  32. ^ a b CBO-Long Term Economic Outlook-January 2012
  33. ^ a b “Fiscal Year 2013 Budget of the U.S. Government”. United States Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  34. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2012-02-10). “Obama Budget Bets Other Concerns Will Trump the Deficit”. New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-22.

Further reading

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget

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Amity Shlaes–Coolidge–Videos

Posted on February 19, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

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President Coolidge, 1st Presidential Film (1924)

President Coolidge’s Inauguration  (1925) 

Calvin Coolidge: The Best President You’ve Never Heard Of – Amity Shlaes

Calvin Coolidge book by Amity Shlaes on w/ Glenn Beck on The Blaze TV

Amity Shlaes, Author, “Coolidge”

Digital Age-Why is Coolidge the Forgotten President?-Amity Shlaes

“How They Did It” – Part 1 of 4

“How They Did It” – Part 2 of 4

“How They Did It” – Part 3 of 4

“How They Did It” – Part 4 of 4

Background Articles and Videos

Keep Cool With Coolidge, Not Obama: Obama Reveals His True Hatred of Business

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

Calvin Coolidge–Videos

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Santa Obama’s $9 Minimum Wage: Good Propaganda, Bad Economics–Videos

Posted on February 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Talk Radio, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Santa Obama’s $9 minimum wage: good propaganda, bad economics

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Presidential economic policies like the proverbial “road to hell” are often paved with good intentions.

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said:

“Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets.”

Why not increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour and win America’s war on poverty?

What are the economic consequences or impact of a $9 minimum wage on young high school and college students seeking employment? A decidedly negative impact if economic history is any guide.

The large increase in teenage unemployment is partly driven by the increase in the minimum wage. When the minimum wage rate was increased in July 2008 from $5.85 to $6.55 there was an upward spike in the teenage unemployment rate to greater than 20 percent. When the minimum wage was again increased in July 2009 from $6.55 to its current rate of $7.25, there was another upward spike in the teenage unemployment rate to greater than 25 percent. This rising trend of upward spikes in teenage unemployment rates after an increase in the minimum wage is reflected in the following chart.

Unemployment rate or percent of 16-19 years from 1948 to present

             unemployment_rate_1948_present_16_19-years_edited           

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor

David Neumark, professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine and William L. Wascher, deputy director in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Federal Reserve Board, in their book, “Minimum Wages,” provide a comprehensive review of the evidence on the economic effects of minimum wage laws. They concluded that such laws reduce employment opportunities for less-skilled workers, tend to reduce their earnings and are not very effective in reducing poverty.

If Congress passes an increase in the minimum wage to $9 as proposed by Obama, young, inexperienced, low-skill workers, especially blacks and Hispanics, will again be hurt for they will not be hired by businesses who cannot afford to pay them the higher mandated minimum wage. This will be reflected in yet another spike upward in the teenage unemployment rate that might exceed 30 percent.

Furthermore, young American citizens, especially blacks and Hispanics, will face stiff competition from the more than 11 million illegal aliens who predominantly seek low-skilled jobs. Obama and progressives in both the Democratic and Republican parties want to grant these illegal aliens immediate legal status to work in the U.S.

Obama is repeating the past economic policy mistakes of progressive presidents from both political parties such as Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Carter and the Bushes in mandating higher than free market wage rates. These well-intentioned but massive government interventionist economic policies lead to prolonged depressions and recessions with high unemployment rates, especially for young, inexperienced, low skilled and minority workers.

Thirty years ago the black economist, Walter E. Williams, explored the effects of federal and state government intervention into the economy, including minimum wage laws, in the PBS documentary, Good Intentions, based upon his 1982 book, “The State Against Blacks.” Those favoring a rise in the federal minimum wage would be well advised to view this video together with “Milton Friedman on the Minimum Wage” on YouTube before advocating an increase in the minimum wage.

For young American citizens an entry-level job paying a lower competitive market wage rate is preferable to no job at a higher government mandated minimum wage.

Good intentions are not enough. Results measured in jobs created count.

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Digital Age-Why is Coolidge the Forgotten President?-Amity Shlaes

Sumner’s Explanation of The Forgotten Man – Revised for the 21st Century

Sumner’s Explanation of The Forgotten Man – Revised for the 21st
Century

By Joshua Lyons 9/25/09

As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong,  from which X is suffering, A talks it over  with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed – with the praise of Y – to remedy  the evil and help X.

Their law always proposes to determine  what C shall do for X or, in the better case,  what A, B and C shall do for  X.

As for A and B, who get a  law to make themselves do for X what they are willing to do for  him, we have nothing to say except that they might better have done it without  any law, but C is forced to comply with the new law.

All this  is done while Y looks on with glee and proclaims that  A and B are so good for helping poor  X.

A is the  politician
B is the humanitarian, special interest, do-gooder, reformer, social speculator, etc.
C is The Forgotten Man (i.e. you, me, us)
X is the downtrodden, the oppressed, the little guy, the misunderstood, etc.
Y is the Mainstream Media

In other words…
As soon as THE POLITICIAN observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which THE DOWNTRODDEN is suffering, THE POLITICIAN talks it over with THE HUMANITARIAN, and THE POLITICIAN and THE HUMANITARIAN then propose to get a law passed – with the praise of THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA – to remedy the evil and help THE DOWNTRODDEN.

Their law always proposes to determine what THE FORGOTTEN MAN shall do for THE DOWNTRODDEN or, in the
better case, what THE POLITICIAN, THE HUMANITARIAN and THE FORGOTTEN MAN shall do for THE DOWNTRODDEN.

As for THE POLITICIAN and THE HUMANITARIAN, who get a law to make themselves do for THE DOWNTRODDEN what they are willing to do for him, we have
nothing to say except that they might better have done it without any law, but THE FORGOTTEN MAN is forced to comply with the new law.

All this is done while THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA looks on with glee and proclaims that THE POLITICIAN and THE HUMANITARIAN are so good for helping poor THE DOWNTRODDEN.

The preceding commentary was based on William Graham Sumner’s explanation of The Forgotten Man.

http://forgottenmenblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/sumners-explanation-of-forgotten-man.html

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The Truth about the Minimum Wage

Obama: “Raise Minimum Wage to $9 an Hour” – SOTU 2013

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 Milton Friedman on Minimum Wage

Power of the Market – Minimum Wage

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

The Job-Killing Impact of Minimum Wage Laws

“Good Intentions” by Dr. Walter Williams

Dr. Walter Williams’ 1982 PBS documentary “Good Intentions” based on his book, “The State Against Blacks”. The documentary was very controversial at the time it was released and led to many animosities and even threats of murder.

In “Good Intentions”, Dr. Williams examines the failure of the war on poverty and the devastating effect of well meaning government policies on blacks asserting that the state harms people in the U.S. more than it helps them. He shows how government anti-poverty programs have often locked people into poverty making the points that:

- being forced to attend 3rd rate public schools leave students unprepared for working life
– minimum wages prevent young people from obtaining jobs at an early age
– licensing and labor laws have had the effect of restricting entrance of blacks into the skilled trades and unions
– the welfare system creates perverse incentives for the poor to make bad choices they otherwise would not

Dr. Williams presents the following solutions to these problems:

Failing Public Schools – Give parents greater control over their children’s education by setting up a tuition tax credit or voucher system to broaden competition in turn revitalizing both public and non-public schools

Minimum Wages – Remove the minimum wage from youngsters to give more young people the chance to learn the world of work at an early age instead spending their free time idle an possibly falling into the habits of the street

Restrictive Labor Laws, Jobs Programs – Eliminate government roadblocks that prevent new entrepreneurs from starting their own business

Welfare Programs – Enact a compassionate welfare system such as a negative income tax which would remove dependency and dis-incentives for the poor to get themselves out of poverty

Scholars interviewed in the documentary include Donald Eberle, Charles Murray, and George Gilder.

Good Intentions 1 of 3 Introduction and Public Schools with Walter Williams

Good Intentions 2 of 3 Minimum Wage, Licensing, and Labor Laws with Walter

Good Intentions 3 of 3 The Welfare System and Conclusions with Walter Williams 

Government Intervention and Individual Freedom | Walter Williams

Obama: “Time to Pass Immigration Reform” – State of the Union 2013 

Contrasting Views of the Great Depression | Robert P. Murphy

 

Why You’ve Never Heard of the Great Depression of 1920 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Uncommon Knowledge: The Great Depression with Amity Shlaes

Calvin Coolidge: The Best President You’ve Never Heard Of – Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes, Author, “Coolidge”

Keep Cool With Coolidge, Not Obama: Obama Reveals His True Hatred of Business

Obama Wants $9 Minimum Wage…

 

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Obama’s Kill List–Drones–Remotely Piloted Aircraft–RPAs–Killing Machines–We Don’t Torture Terrorists–We Kill Americans, Civilians and Children in Undeclared Wars–Obama is Judge, Jury, and Executioner–Hope, Change, and Murder, Inc.–The Mass Murderer In The White House–Videos

Posted on February 14, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Diasters, Drones, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Technology, Transportation, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Spies in the sky

Rand Paul Says He’ll Block Nominations Until Answered If Drone Assassinations

Obama’s Kill List, Drones, & Assassinating U.S. Citizens

Deadly Drone Strikes – Obama is ‘Serious’

Obama Drone Strikes Are ‘Mass Murder’ – Jeremy Scahill 

Drone Strikes Kill Numerous Civilians – Report

“Thousands Of Innocent People Have Been Killed Under These Drone Attacks!”

Gerald Celente on Farrakhan “Murderer in The White House” comment “Call These People What They Are”

Drone Spin: Killing machine PR swarms US mainstream

Judge Napolitano on Government Killing Americans

Who Said You Can Kill Americans Mister President?

Obama’s kill list revealed

Is Obama a Mass Killer of Innocent Children?

Obama: Nobel Peace Prize winner with a kill list

DOJ Drone Memo: If Bush Attempted This Policy, Democrats Would’ve Called

DOJ White Paper on Drone Memo

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf

John Brennan: The Nexus of Torture and Drone Assassinations

America’s War Drones Kill Over 800 Civilians – 200 Children – Casualties Of War

Obama Kill List Exposed: Leaked Drone Memo; Assassination of U.S. Citizens

Drone Strike Kills 4 In Pakistan

Attack of the Drones – USA

 Rise of the Machines – USA

Pentagon drones flying domestic; declaring war on your privacy?

Congress launches ‘Attack of the drones’

By Michael Isikoff National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the  September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director.  Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses  “an imminent threat of violent attack.”


But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described  by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches.  It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

Michael Isikoff, national investigative correspondent for NBC News, talks with Rachel Maddow about a newly obtained, confidential Department of Justice white paper that hints at the details of a secret White House memo that explains the legal justifications for targeted drone strikes that kill Americans without trial in the name of national security.

“The condition that an operational  leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.

Read the entire ‘white paper’ on drone strikes on Americans

Instead, it says,  an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American  has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is  no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

As in Holder’s speech, the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful:  In addition to the suspect being an imminent threat, capture of the target must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” But the memo elaborates on some of these factors in ways that go beyond what the attorney general said publicly. For example, it states that U.S. officials may consider whether an attempted capture of a suspect  would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. If so, U.S. officials could determine that the capture operation of the targeted American would not be feasible, making it lawful for the U.S. government to order a killing instead, the memo concludes.

The undated memo is entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.”  It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly.

Although not an official legal memo, the white paper was represented by administration  officials as a policy document that closely mirrors the arguments of classified memos on targeted killings by the Justice Department’s  Office of Legal Counsel, which provides authoritative legal advice to the president and all executive branch agencies. The administration has refused to turn over to Congress or release those memos publicly — or even publicly confirm their existence. A source with access to the white paper, which is not classified, provided a copy to NBC News.

“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which is suing to obtain administration memos about the targeted killing of Americans.  “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. … It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”

In particular, Jaffer said, the memo “redefines the word imminence in a way that deprives the word of its ordinary meaning.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the white paper. The spokeswoman, Tracy Schmaler, instead pointed to public speeches by what she called a “parade” of administration officials, including Brennan, Holder, former State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh and former Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson that she said outlined the “legal framework” for such operations.

Pressure for turning over the Justice Department memos on targeted killings of Americans appears to be building on Capitol Hill amid signs that Brennan will be grilled on the subject at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

On Monday, a bipartisan group of 11 senators — led by Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon — wrote  a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to release all Justice Department memos on the subject. While accepting that “there will clearly be circumstances in which the president has the authority to use lethal force” against Americans who take up arms against the country,  it said, “It is vitally important … for Congress and the American public to have a full understanding of how  the executive branch interprets the limits and boundaries of this authority.”

Anticipating domestic boom, colleges rev up drone piloting programs

The completeness of the administration’s public accounts of its legal arguments was also sharply criticized last month by U.S. Judge Colleen McMahon in response to a  lawsuit brought by the New York Times and the ACLU seeking access to the Justice Department memos on drone strikes targeting Americans under the Freedom of Information Act.  McMahon, describing herself as being caught in a “veritable Catch-22,”  said she was unable to order the release of the documents given “the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for the conclusion a secret.”

In her ruling, McMahon noted that administration officials “had engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of citizens.” But, she wrote, they have done so “in cryptic and imprecise ways, generally without citing … any statute or court decision that justifies its conclusions.”

In one passage in Holder’s speech at Northwestern in March,  he alluded – without spelling out—that there might be circumstances where the president might order attacks against American citizens without specific knowledge of when or where an attack against the U.S. might take place.

“The Constitution does not  require the president to delay action until some theoretical end-stage of planning, when the precise time, place and manner of an attack become clear,”  he said.

But his speech did not contain the additional language in the white paper suggesting that no active intelligence about a specific attack is needed to justify a targeted strike. Similarly, Holder said in his speech that targeted killings of Americans can be justified  if “capture is not feasible.” But he did not include language in the white paper saying that an operation might not be feasible “if it could not be physically effectuated during the relevant window of opportunity or if the relevant country (where the target is located) were to decline to consent to a capture operation.” The speech also made no reference to the risk that might be posed to U.S. forces seeking to capture a target, as was  mentioned in the white paper.

The white paper also includes a more extensive discussion of why targeted strikes against Americans does not violate constitutional protections afforded American citizens as well as   a U.S. law that criminalizes the killing of U.S. nationals overseas.

It  also discusses why such targeted killings would not be a war crime or violate a U.S. executive order banning assassinations.

“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” the white paper reads. “In the Department’s view, a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban. Similarly,  the use of lethal force, consistent with the laws of war, against an individual who is a legitimate military target would be lawful and would not violate the assassination ban.”

Ask the experts: Drones

By Sydney Sarachan
“…How precise are drone attacks?RC: Pretty precise is my understanding.  If you think about it, a drone pilot first sits outside of a structure doing surveillance for a long time.  Upon getting the order, he or she delivers the missile from relatively nearby.  That is why some experts (for instance, American University’s Kenneth Anderson) argue that drones strikes may be more consistent with limits on collateral damage. It may also explain higher observed rates of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in drone pilots. Of course, even manned missile attacks are often preceded by on-the-ground reconnaissance that paints a specific target.CF: This depends upon the kind of drone attack. In Pakistan’s FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) they are all intelligence-led (as opposed to “troops in contact”). On this, please see the other pieces I have written on this: Drone Wars  and Drones Over Pakistan – Menace or Best Viable Option?JF: Drones are extremely precise. The debate over their use has been whether they are accurate: whether they target the right people. In terms of precision, they do hit the targets we give them very consistently, we just don’t always know who that target is.RN: Since the answer to this question depends on how many civilians are killed or injured for each targeted “militant” who has been killed, it can’t be answered without answering the question of how many civilian casualties there have been.NW: Although missiles launched from drones may be more precise than some other weapons systems, they are known to have caused the deaths of hundreds of civilian bystanders.  The issue is less one of technical precision than it is the standards under which the U.S. government decides who may be targeted and how it protects civilian bystanders from death or injury, as it is required to do under international law.  Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of lethal force is illegal unless it is a last resort to avert a concrete, specific, and imminent threat.  Further, the government is obligated to take all feasible precautions to protect civilian bystanders from harm.  But those aren’t the standards that the government is using. The New York Times has reported that the U.S. “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”  Regardless of the theoretical precision of drone attacks, when the government uses such flawed reasoning it will inevitably cause civilian bystander deaths, in violation of international law. …”
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Chris Dorner–New Left’s New Social Justice Hero: Black Veteran Ex-L.A.P.D. Cop Killer — Another Lone Wolf Killer–Go Figure–Depravity Scale–Police Execute Killer By Burning Cabin–Police Were Judge, Jury, and Executioner — Vigilante Justice — Videos

Posted on February 14, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Economics, Education, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Raves, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Did the Police Execute Chris Dorner?

LATEST NEWS : Is the Dorner manhunt over?

ULTIMATE PROOF_ SWAT Team Purposely Set Fire To Dorner’s Cabin Waco Style Fire

Christopher Dorner Shootout – Cops say “Burn It Down”

Drones Search for Cop Killer & LAPD Apology

Chris Dorner Cabin Shootout Exposed Mainstream Media Misinformation

Liberal Hypocrisy On Display Over Murder Suspect’s Manifesto

“He Had An RPG!” Young Turks Guest Justifies Cops Executing Chris Dorner

CHRIS DORNER ~ Hero or Villain? RT NEWS Scathing Report and Investigation…

Cop Killer Christopher Dorner Gaining Supporters on Facebook

Christopher Dorner – Hero or Villain?

Liberals mourn Christopher Dorner

Depraved CNN Pundits Defend Dorner

Depravity Scale

Understanding Motives of The ‘Lone Wolf’ Shooter/Killer, Mass Murderer’s Deadly A

Psychiatrist analyzes shooters’ mindsets

What creates a MASS SHOOTER

Chris Dorner Triggers An Avalanche Of Support On The Internet Some Hailing Him A Truth Teller

CNN: Chris Dorner Is ‘Like Watching Django [Unchained] Getting Revenge’

On Wednesday, a CNN panel explored the phenomenon of people on social media expressing sympathy and support for Chris Dorner, whose rampage ended yesterday as law enforcement cornered him in a remote cabin in Big Bear, California. Two of CNN’s panel guests said that Dorner’s murder spree exposed the issue of “police brutality.” One contributor said that Dorner’s escapades reminded him of watching “Django Unchained in real life.”
The Daily Beast contributor Lauren Ashburn said she was offended by those who found Dorner’s murderous actions laudable. She said that his attacks on innocent people were a tragedy, and hours of airtime were “wasted” covering the killer’s motivations.

Official Christopher Rambo Dorner Story

Whistle Blower Cop killing Corrupt Cops until they come clean !!!

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Anonymous: Operation Dorner | #OpDroner

Alex Jones Predicted Chris Dorner Torched Waco Style 2 Hours Before Fire

Chris Dorner Torched Waco Style?

Media Complicit in Cover Up of Dorner Execution

Did Police Scanners Reveal Police Plan to Torch Fugitive Chris Dorner’s Hideout?

After a massive weeklong manhunt, police cornered fugitive ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner in a cabin near Big Bear Lake.

It has since been learned that Dorner had been hiding in a nearby cabin for the past several days holding a couple captive since police found his burned out truck nearby several days earlier.

Early Tuesday Dorner initially fled in a stolen purple Nissan but crashed that vehicle and fled into the forest only to emerge nearby and carjack local resident, Richard Helterbrake on a nearby rural road. After allowing Helterbrake to retrieve his dog from his vehicle, Dorner then escaped in his white extended cab pickup.

The vehicle was spotted by Forest Service personnel and Dorner is reported to have fled into the forest and taken refuge in a rural cabin in the Big Bear area after a shoot out with two San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Deputies which left both wounded. One deputy, Jeremiah McKay was airlifted in critical condition and was confirmed dead.

Numerous police quickly converged on the area and after a fierce gun battle the cabin was engulfed in flames. A single set of remains was recovered from the cabin on Wednesday but has not yet been confirmed as belonging to Dorner. The charred state of the remains means DNA testing will be required and that is expected to take several days. In the interim, the LAPD has announced that they will continue their protective details on the 40 people named as possible targets in Dorner’s rambling 6,000 word manifesto.

Recordings of the police communications picked up on a police scanner appear to show the police discussing plans to burn the cabin. To hear the recordings click on the accompanying video link.

This latest revelation brings additional scrutiny and criticism on police methods in the wake of Chris Dorner‘s rampage which he argued was necessary to bring to light the corrupt practices of the LAPD and their institutional use of excessive force.

http://www.examiner.com/article/police-scanners-reveal-police-torched-rogue-ex-cop-chris-dorner-s-hideout

What is the Depravity Scale Research?

Judges and juries both across the United States and in other countries who decide that a crime is “depraved,” “heinous,” or “horrible” can assign more severe sentences. Yet there is no standardized definition for such dramatic words that courts already use. And while we may all recognize that some crimes truly separate themselves from others, there is no standard, fair way to distinguish crimes that are the worst of the worst, or “evil.”

To minimize the arbitrariness of how courts determine the worst of crimes, and to eliminate bias in sentencing, the Depravity Scale research aims to establish societal standards of what makes a crime depraved, and to develop a standardized instrument based on specific characteristics of a crime that must be proven in order to merit more severe sentences.

This research will refine into the Depravity Standard, an objective measure based on forensic evidence. This instrument distinguishes not who is depraved but rather, what aspects of a given crime are depraved and the degree of a specific crime’s depravity. The research will enhance fairness in sentencing, given that it is race, gender and socio-economic blind.

The research has already been guided by legal and scientific study. Now, a two-part survey has been developed to involve the general public in establishing societal standards of what makes a crime depraved. The first part enables the general public to shape the specific intents, actions, and attitudes that should be included as items of the Depravity Standard instrument, and the second involves the general public in refining the relative weight of these items. In both surveys, all members of the general public are urged to participate. This is the first project ever developed that invites citizens’ direct input to forensic science research, and the first project ever developed in which citizens shape future criminal sentencing standards.

Your perspectives on depraved crime should be included in the Depravity Standard. Therefore, we ask that you participate in this landmark project. Thank you for your interest. Want to learn more?

https://depravityscale.org/depscale/

Dorner, Folk Hero of the Left

February 14, 2013 By Matthew Vadum

Nobody loves cop killers more than left-wingers do.

The grotesque outpouring of love for cop killer Chris Dorner, an ex-cop now presumed dead in a fiery shootout at Big Bear Lake, California, should make all sane Americans fear for the future of their country.

Dorner is suspected of killing at least one police officer and two others. He allegedly gunned down 28-year-old Monica Quan and her husband-to-be 27-year-old Keith Lawrence outside their home. Quan’s father Randy, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer turned lawyer, represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings that resulted in Dorner’s dismissal. Dorner reportedly called Mr. Quan days after the murder to taunt him.

Dorner’s cross-country rampage has been met in recent days with Facebook fan pages, sympathetic statements on Twitter, and grassroots-level enthusiasm for this brutal sociopath.

But making vicious killers into folk heroes is nothing new for the Left. American history in recent decades is bursting with cop killers romanticized by the Left.

Among those who have stuck it to The Man by killing “pigs” are: Troy Davis, executed in 2011 for murdering police officer Mark MacPhail as he came to the aid of an assault victim; Lovelle Mixon, killed in a gunfight with police in 2009; Mumia abu-Jamal, imprisoned for life for the 1981 murder of a police officer; Leonard Peltier, convicted in 1977 for gunning down FBI agents; Assata Shakur, escaped from prison in 1979, a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA), having been granted “asylum” in Cuba; and 1960s radicals like Marilyn Buck.

In a rambling self-incriminating manifesto that Dorner posted online, the ex-Los Angeles police officer says “No one grows up and wants to be a cop killer … but, as a young police officer I found that the violent suspects on the streets are not the only people you have to watch.”

Dorner argues that he is sacrificing himself for the greater good by going on his murder spree, which he refers to as “a necessary evil” aimed at effecting change in the Los Angeles Police Department. “The only thing that changes policy and garners attention is death.”

In one of several chilling passages, Dorner waxes philosophical: “Let the balance of loss of life take place. Sometimes a reset needs to occur.”

In his online screed, Dorner praises an assortment of left-wingers. He lauds President Obama for doing what he considers a good job under difficult circumstances. For their anti-Second Amendment efforts, Dorner hails TV host Piers Morgan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Vice President Joe Biden. He also gives shout-outs to a galaxy of celebrities and public figures. Complimenting the First Lady on her hairstyle, he interjects, “Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama.”

There are also those slippery souls who stop short of endorsing Dorner’s killing spree, but who ponder aloud whether society drove him to murder. Their musings bear a creepy similarity to the Left’s post-9/11 hand-wringing about the true “root causes” of the attacks on America.

MSNBC ranter Chris Matthews and death row groupie Marc Lamont Hill suggest that Dorner’s online essay is a kind of petition for redress of grievances that needs to be taken seriously.

Matthews suggested Americans shouldn’t be so quick to judge Dorner because he may have had a legitimate beef against the LAPD. He asked reporter Andrew Blankstein, “How do you write a story like this that’s objective for the big metropolitan paper, the Los Angeles Times?”

Matthews added, “Are there people in your newsroom, editors who are saying, ‘We have to be careful here. It’s not simple. This man may have a complaint.’”

Matthews, of course, has never been concerned about fairness for non-leftists. He prefers to lump nonviolent Tea Party supporters in with the Taliban and the Third Reich.

Hill, host of HuffPost Live and a professor at Columbia University, said the Dorner saga is a needed civics lesson for the public about racism and the excessive use of force. “This has been an important conversation that we’ve had about police brutality, about police corruption, about state violence.”

“As far as Dorner himself goes, he’s been like a real life superhero to many people,” Hill said. Adding an obligatory disclaimer, Hill said, “What he did was awful, killing innocent people was bad, but when you read his manifesto, when you read the message that he left, he wasn’t entirely crazy.”

Those cheering on Dorner were happy to see him exact vengeance against a corrupt system, Hill said. “It’s almost like watching Django Unchained in real life … It’s kind of exciting.”

Hill has a soft spot for those who murder police officers. He co-authored The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America (Third World Press, 2012) with Mumia abu-Jamal. Mumia, as left-wingers affectionately call him, is celebrated as a political prisoner even though in court he has never denied shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner execution-style.

The book is essentially a transcript of a mutual admiration society, as the two radicals trade compliments and insights about how rotten America is. Hill tells Mumia that “you’re in prison but somehow still free, while I’m out here feeling profoundly un-free.”

Even this highly successful black man with his Ivy League Ph.D. who is sometimes called a “celebrity intellectual,” feels oppressed by American society.

“But to some degree, I feel un-free because I’m still encumbered by the very things that I’m critiquing in my work: consumerism, patriarchy even White supremacy … I’m trying to heal, man.”

Not surprisingly, in 2009 Fox News fired Hill as a paid on-air contributor after he acquired a reputation for defending cop killers and racists. But somehow he keeps finding his way back onto TV screens.

Meanwhile, the ever-resourceful self-described “communist” Van Jones is urging Americans not to concern themselves with Dorner’s decidedly left-of-center views.

“In the wake of a tragedy, it is understandable to ask why this happened,” says Jones. “It is appropriate to discuss ways to keep it from happening again. But we should draw the line at suddenly giving an exalted place in our national discourse to the political rantings of a murderer.”

How convenient, especially since Dorner’s views on cops seem to differ little from his own. Forced out as President Obama’s green jobs czar in 2009 for signing a 9/11 “truther” petition, Jones is a longtime supporter of convicted cop killer Mumia abu-Jamal. Jones founded Oakland’s Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in order to combat perceived police brutality.

But with Barack Obama in power, it is more difficult to be shocked by sympathetic reactions to Dorner.

The people doing the cheering are the Democratic Party’s electoral base.

Obama himself invites rappers who praise cop killers to perform at the White House.

One such entertainer, Common, is known for performing, “A Song For Assata,” which is a tribute to fugitive black militant Assata Shakur. Here’s one verse from the tune:

“In the spirit of God.
In the spirit of the ancestors.
In the spirit of the Black Panthers.
In the spirit of Assata Shakur.
We make this movement towards freedom
For all those who have been oppressed, and all those in the struggle.
Yeah. yo, check it-
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.”

Common believes Shakur is a martyr. That’s one of the reasons he was invited to the White House. Obama and those who sympathize with cop killers are on the same wavelength.

If someone writes a song about Dorner, don’t be surprised if the person shows up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/matthew-vadum/dorner-folk-hero-of-the-left/

Background Articles and Videos

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Jim Rogers Asks Whether Obama Is ‘Delusional’ Or ‘Lying’–Videos

Posted on February 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Jim Rogers Asks Whether Obama Is ‘Delusional’ Or ‘Lying’

America is a FREAKING MESS…

Barack Obama is AMERICA’S DAD….

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Here Comes The Judge–Here Comes The Judge–Napolitano–and The Tea Party–Videos

Posted on February 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Here comes the Judge!

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano discusses the Libertarian Party w/ Glenn Beck & The Fr

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Rand Paul The Future 2016 Presidential Nominee of The Tea Party–Videos

Posted on February 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

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Rand Paul Gives The Tea Party Response To The President’s State of the Union Address

Rand Paul’s Plan To Grow The Economy – Glenn Beck Radio 2/13/2013

Senator Rand Paul: Restoring the Founders’ Vision of Foreign Policy – Heritage Foundation

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President Barack Obama’s State of The Union Address, February 12, 2013– Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response and Marc Rubio’s Republican Response–Videos

Posted on February 12, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, Entertainment, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Golf, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Money, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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The 2013 State of the Union Address

Rand Paul Gives The Tea Party Response To The President’s State of the Union Address

Marco Rubio – 2013 State of the Union – GOP Response w/ Water Break (12:01) (English)

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Transcript: Obama’s State Of The Union Address As Prepared For Delivery

 

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:


Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”


Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.


Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.


But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.


It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.


It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.


It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.


The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.


Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget – decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery.


Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.


Now we need to finish the job. And the question is, how?


In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.


Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits.


That idea is even worse. Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.


But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight.


On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.


To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?


Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.


I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won’t be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.


Now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?


A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.


Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.


After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.


There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns. So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.


If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.


After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.


But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.


The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.


Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.


In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.


Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.


America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings.


Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.


Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.


But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.


These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. And that has to start at the earliest possible age.


Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.


Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.


Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.


We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.


Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.


Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.


To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.


Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.


Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.


Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.


And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.


In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.


But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.


We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.


Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.


Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.


Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.


Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity – broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class – that has always been the source of our progress at home. It is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.


Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda. Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.


Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.


Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.


As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts. I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.


Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The regime in North Korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.


Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands – because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.


America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.


That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.


Even as we protect our people, we should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.


We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.


Above all, America must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. I saw the power of hope last year in Rangoon – when Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed an American President into the home where she had been imprisoned for years; when thousands of Burmese lined the streets, waving American flags, including a man who said, “There is justice and law in the United States. I want our country to be like that.”


In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.


All this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. And I want to thank my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us.


But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.


Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.


It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.


Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.


One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.


Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.


Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.


The families of Newtown deserve a vote.


The families of Aurora deserve a vote.


The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.


Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.


We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.


We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.


We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”


We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.


When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”


That’s just the way we’re made.


We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:


We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.


Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/12/171841852/transcript-obamas-state-of-the-union-as-prepared-for-delivery


Full Text of Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response to State of the Union

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech


These are the prepared remarks of Rand Paul’s Tea Party rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. Follow U.S. News’s live coverage here.


I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.


People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.


For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.


We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.

The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.

Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem.

Tonight, the President told the nation he disagrees. President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt.

What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.

What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations.

He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.

All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have.

I was elected to the Senate in 2010 by people worried about our country, worried about our kids and their future. I thought I knew how bad it was in Washington. But it is worse than I ever imagined.

Congress is debating the wrong things.

Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending – a little or a lot.

About how much to increase taxes – a little or a lot.

The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.

Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.

So, what is the President’s answer? Over the past four years he has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.

He says he wants a balanced approach.

What the country really needs is a balanced budget.

Washington acts in a way that your family never could – they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.

Tonight I urge you to demand a new course.

Demand Washington change their ways, or be sent home.

To begin with, we absolutely must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution!

The amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations.

Liberals complain that the budget can’t be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years.

The Penny Plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support.

It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here.

That is not true.

In fact, there is plenty.

Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.

It is time for a new bipartisan consensus.

It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America.

The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.

Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America’s credit rating.

Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.

Bipartisanship is not what is missing in Washington. Common sense is.

Trillion-dollar deficits hurt us all.

Printing more money to feed the never-ending appetite for spending hurts us all.

We pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or the gas pump. The value of the dollar shrinks with each new day.

Contrary to what the President claims, big government and debt are not a friend to the poor and the elderly. Big-government debt keeps the poor poor and saps the savings of the elderly.

This massive expansion of the debt destroys savings and steals the value of your wages.

Big government makes it more expensive to put food on the table. Big government is not your friend. The President offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor.

Under President Obama, the ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.

The cycle must be broken.

The willpower to do this will not come from Congress. It must come from the American people.

Next month, I will propose a five-year balanced budget, a budget that last year was endorsed by taxpayer groups across the country for its boldness, and for actually solving the problem.

I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who wants to cut spending.

But in recent years, there has been no one to work with.

The President’s massive tax hikes and spending increases have caused his budgets to get ZERO votes in both houses of Congress. Not a single Democrat voted for the President’s budget!

But at least he tried.

Senate Democrats have not even produced a budget in the time I have been in office, a shameful display of incompetence that illustrates their lack of seriousness.

This year, they say they will have a budget, but after just recently imposing hundreds of billions in new taxes, they now say they will include more tax hikes in their budget.

We must stand firm. We must say NO to any MORE tax hikes!

Only through lower taxes, less regulation and more freedom will the economy begin to grow again.

Our party is the party of growth, jobs and prosperity, and we will boldly lead on these issues.

Under the Obama economy, 12 million people are out of work. During the President’s first term 800,000 construction workers lost their jobs and another 800,000 simply gave up on looking for work.

With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses.

The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!

For those who are struggling we want to you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and pathway to success.

We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future.

We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities.

We must be the party that says, “If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.”

For those striving to climb the ladder of success we must fix our schools.

America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages.

We have cut classroom size in half and tripled spending on education and still we lag behind much of the world.

A great education needs to be available for everyone, whether you live on country club lane or in government housing.

This will only happen when we allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black.

Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice.

Competition has made America the richest nation in history. Competition can make our educational system the envy of the world.

The status quo traps poor children in a crumbling system of hopelessness.

When every child can, like the President’s kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true!

Washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read.

We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills!

We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!

And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say:

Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there.

If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.

We are the party that adheres to the Constitution. We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!

We will fight to defend the entire Bill of Rights from the right to trial by jury to the right to be free from unlawful searches.

We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it.

We cannot and will not allow any President to act as if he were a king.

We will not let any President use executive orders to impinge on the Second Amendment.

We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.

Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty when the executive branch and the legislative branch are combined. Separation of powers is a bedrock principle of our Constitution.

We took the President to court over his unconstitutional recess appointments and won.

If necessary, we will take him to court again if he attempts to legislate by executive order.

Congress must reassert its authority as the protector of these rights, and stand up for them, no matter which party is in power.

Congress must stand as a check to the power of the executive, and it must stand as it was intended, as the voice of the people.

The people are crying out for change. They are asking for us to hear their voices, to fix our broken system, to right our economy and to restore their liberty.

Let us tonight let them know that we hear their voices. That we can and must work together, that we can and must re-chart our course toward a better future.

America has much greatness left in her. We will begin to thrive again when we begin to believe in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents, when we balance our budget, when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation’s prosperity.

Thank you and God Bless America.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/12/full-text-of-rand-pauls-tea-party-response-to-state-of-the-union?page=4

Text of Senator Marc Rubio’s response to the Union address on Tuesday night

Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans.  And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington.  It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.

But President Obama?  He believes it’s the cause of our problems.  That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.

More government isn’t going to help you get ahead.  It’s going to hold you back.

More government isn’t going to create more opportunities.  It’s going to limit them.

And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs.  It’s going to create uncertainty.

Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow.

Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs.

And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.

For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance.  But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with.  And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring.  Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.

Now does this mean there’s no role for government?  Of course not.  It plays a crucial part in keeping us safe, enforcing rules, and providing some security against the risks of modern life. But government’s role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can’t play its essential role when it ignores those limits.

There are valid reasons to be concerned about the president’s plan to grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the president’s agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.

When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather – he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.

When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them – he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled to fend for themselves.

And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.

Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.

And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.

Hard-working middle-class Americans who don’t need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They want a plan to grow the middle class.

Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class.  Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012.

But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade.

Tax increases can’t do this. Raising taxes won’t create private-sector jobs. And there’s no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That’s why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.

One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. And let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense. If we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent, it will create middle-class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like China.

Simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class, because it will make it easier for small businesses to hire and grow.

And we agree with the president that we should lower our corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world, so that companies will start bringing their money and their jobs back here from overseas.

We can also help our economy grow if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest. We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.

Helping the middle class grow will also require an education system that gives people the skills today’s jobs entail and the knowledge that tomorrow’s world will require.

We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training.

We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.

And because tuition costs have grown so fast, we need to change the way we pay for higher education.

I believe in federal financial aid. I couldn’t have gone to college without it. But it’s not just about spending more money on these programs; it’s also about strengthening and modernizing them.

A 21st century workforce should not be forced to accept 20th century education solutions. Today’s students aren’t only 18-year-olds.  They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained.

We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.

When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.

All these measures are key to helping the economy grow. But we won’t be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve our debt problem.

Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.

The president loves to blame the debt on President Bush. But President Obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight.

The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.

The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.

I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.

Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time for him to do it.

Of course, we face other challenges as well. We were all heart broken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country. But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.

On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can’t remain powerful if we don’t have an economy that can afford it.

In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out tonight.

The choice isn’t just between big government or big business. What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government that allows small and new businesses to create middle class jobs.

We don’t have to raise taxes to avoid the president’s devastating cuts to our military. Republicans have passed a plan that replaces these cuts with responsible spending reforms.

In order to balance our budget, the choice doesn’t have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need.  Instead we should grow our economy so that we create new taxpayers, not new taxes, and so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves.

And the truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians.

Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important.

If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever.

And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.

At a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little or nothing about our real problems, some are starting to believe that our government leaders just can’t or won’t make the right choices anymore.

But our strength has never come from the White House or the Capitol.  It’s always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that, if you have a dream and you are willing to work hard, nothing should be impossible.

Americans have always celebrated and been inspired by those who succeed. But it’s the dreams of those who are still trying to make it that sets our nation apart.

Tonight, all across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. For many of these parents, life has not gone the way they had planned.

Maybe they were born into circumstances they’ve found difficult to escape. Maybe they’ve made some mistakes along the way. Maybe they’re young mothers, all alone, the father of their child long gone.

But tonight, when they look into the eyes of their child for the first time, their lives will change forever. Because in those eyes, they will see what my parents saw in me, and what your parents saw in you. They will see all the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves.

This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.

But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.

Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.

Now, let that hope bring us together again.  To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.

Thank you for listening.  May God bless all of you. May God bless our president. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12438&Itemid=199

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
                                                  STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
             TABLE 1.  SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)

                                                        ACCOUNTING DATE:  01/13

   PERIOD                                                                     RECEIPTS                OUTLAYS    DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+  ____________________________________________________________  _____________________  _____________________  _____________________
   PRIOR YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   163,072                261,539                 98,466
     NOVEMBER                                                                  152,402                289,704                137,302
     DECEMBER                                                                  239,963                325,930                 85,967
     JANUARY                                                                   234,319                261,726                 27,407
     FEBRUARY                                                                  103,413                335,090                231,677
     MARCH                                                                     171,215                369,372                198,157
     APRIL                                                                     318,807                259,690                -59,117
     MAY                                                                       180,713                305,348                124,636
     JUNE                                                                      260,177                319,919                 59,741
     JULY                                                                      184,585                254,190                 69,604
     AUGUST                                                                    178,860                369,393                190,533
     SEPTEMBER                                                                 261,566                186,386                -75,180

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                          2,449,093              3,538,286              1,089,193

   CURRENT YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   184,316                304,311                119,995
     NOVEMBER                                                                  161,730                333,841                172,112
     DECEMBER                                                                  269,508                270,699                  1,191
     JANUARY                                                                   272,225                269,342                 -2,883

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                            887,778              1,178,193                290,415
 http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0113.txt
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FBI Criminal Investigation of White House Leaks–Videos

Posted on February 12, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Energy, Foreign Policy, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, media, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Radio, Strategy, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , |

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Obama Impeachment Over White House Leaks

Democrat Senator: Obama White House Behind National Security Leaks

Obama, White House leaks ‘offensive’

Michael Coren on White House security leaks

Listening Post : Playing the Osama bin Laden card

Axelrod Hammered On National Security Leaks Coming From The White House

Rep. King on CNN “Erin Burnett OutFront” on recent leaks of classified information

TREASON Obama Leaks Israeli Strike Plan on Iran Todays News

Zero Dark Thirty Official Final Trailer (2012) – Kathryn Bigelow Bin Laden Movie HD

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Obama Out of Step on Economic Issues With American People Including Federal Deficits, Taxes, The Economy, Energy, Immigration and Gun Policy — Videos

Posted on February 12, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Culture, Economics, Employment, Entertainment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , |

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Poll: Obama’s Approval Rating Dives Down 7 Points To 46%, GOP at 19%

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http://www.gallup.com/poll/160385/obama-rated-highest-foreign-affairs-lowest-deficit.aspx

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http://www.gallup.com/poll/160385/obama-rated-highest-foreign-affairs-lowest-deficit.aspx

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Dr. Benjamin Carson’s Amazing Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast — Gifted Hands — Who Gives Children A Second Chance –Videos

Posted on February 11, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, College, Communications, Education, Health Care, High School, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Psychology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

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Dr. Benjamin Carson on Fox News Sunday –  February 24, 2013

Dr. Benjamin Carson’s Amazing Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast with

Dr. Benjamin Carson On Sean Hannity Explains Why He Felt The Need To Lecture

Dr Carson: Straight-Talking Speech Brings Rave Reviews

The Five Panel Celebrates Conservative Doctor Who Criticized Obama To His Face 

Sleepy Obama Sits Through Prayer Breakfast Where Dr. Benjamin Carson Blasts

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Doctor’s Amazing Grace, Life and Speech

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Ever hear a speaker that got your attention and kept it for an entire speech?

Dr. Benjamin Carson, world-renowned neurosurgeon, told the National Prayer Breakfast audience in Washington that his mother, who had a third-grade education and worked three jobs as a domestic, knew he and his brother were smart, made them turn off the television and read two books a week from the public library and write reports about them.

“You know, after a while, I actually began to enjoy reading those books because we were very poor, but between the covers of those books I could go anywhere, I could be anybody, I could do anything. I began to read about people of great accomplishment; and as I read those stories, I began to see a connecting thread. I began to see that the person who has the most to do with you and what happens to you in life is you. You make decisions. You decide how much energy you want to put behind that decision. And I came to understand that I had control of my own destiny. And, at that point, I didn’t hate poverty anymore, because I knew it was only temporary. I knew I could change that. It was incredibly liberating for me, made all the difference.”

Carson commented upon education, fiscal irresponsibility, taxes and health care.

“Why is it so important that we educate our people? Because we don’t want to go down the pathway as so many pinnacle nations that have preceded us. I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful. Nobody could even challenge them militarily, but what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility,” he said.

Carson would replace the existing federal income tax system with a flat and fair tax modeled after the tithe.  He said, “What about our taxation system? So complex there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and tittle of our tax system. If I wanted to get you, I could get you on a tax issue. That doesn’t make any sense. What we need to do is come up with something that is simple.”

He continued, “When I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the Universe, God, and he’s given us a system. It’s called tithe. Now we don’t necessarily have to do it 10 percent but it’s principle. He didn’t say, if your crops fail, don’t give me any tithes. He didn’t say, if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality.”

A practicing physician, Carson briefly outlined his alternative solution to the health care crisis: “When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there’s nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they’re going to learn how to be responsible.”

Carson said the response to his speech has been “overwhelmingly” positive.

Carson’s life is one of achievement and success through hard work and persistence. Carson graduated from Yale University, majoring in psychology and the University of Michigan, school of medicine. He completed his internship in general surgery and his residency in neurological surgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.

When he was 33, Carson became the youngest director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Medical history was made in 1987 by Carson and his surgical team, when they operated for 22 hours and separated the back of the heads of conjoined twins (the Binder twins). The twins survived and live independently today.

Carson’s medical practice focuses on traumatic brain injuries, brain and spinal cord tumors, achondroplasia, neurological and congenital disorders, craniosynostosis, epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia.

In 1994 Carson and his wife, Candy, created the Carson Scholars Fund which awards each year a “$1,000 college scholarship for students in grades 4-11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their community.” More than 5,200 scholarships and medals have been awarded across the nation.

carson_scholars

Dr. Carson with some of the Carson Scholars with their Olympic-size metals.

Credit: http://carsonscholars.org/scholarships/about-our-scholarships

He has written more than 100 neurosurgical publications and several bestselling books including “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,”  “Think Big,” “The Big Picture,” “Take The Risk,” and his most recent, “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”

“Gifted Hands,” a made-for TV movie about Carson’s life starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carson and Kimberly Elise as his mother Sonja was broadcast in 2007.

In 2008 Carson received the nation’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom, from President George W. Bush in the White House.

Celebrate black history month by listening to Carson’s speech and viewing his compelling life story, both of which are readily available on YouTube.

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Gifted Hands Dr Ben Carson

Excerpts from Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Hopkins Doctor Honored At White House

Gifted Hands

Gifted Hands- the Ben Carson Story

gifted hands . the ben carson story

Ben Carson – Liberty University Convocation

Dr Benjamin Carson :   In His Image

Background Information and Videos

Ben Carson biography

http://www.biography.com/people/ben-carson-475422

Dr. Ben Carson- Achieving Total HEALTH

Ben Carson: An Extraordinary Life – Conversations from Penn State

Dr Benjamin Carson

Great Risks Bring Greater Success – Dr. Ben Carson

Newsmakers — Dr. Ben Carson

New York Times Best-Selling Author Dr. Ben Carson on Health Disparities

Dr. Ben Carson Q&A Session

Benjamin Carson

Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an African American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, by President George W. Bush in 2008.

Early life

Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan and was raised by his single mother, Sonya Carson.[1] He struggled academically throughout elementary school, but started to excel in middle school and throughout high school. After graduating with honors from Southwestern High School, he attended Yale University, where he earned a degree in Psychology. He chose to go to Yale because in College Bowl, an old knowledge competition TV program, he saw Yale compete against and defeat many other colleges, including Harvard. Carson wanted to participate in College Bowl, but the program was discontinued. From Yale, he attended University of Michigan Medical School.

Career

Carson’s hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional reasoning skills made him a gifted surgeon.[2] After medical school, he became a neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Starting off as an adult neurosurgeon, Carson became more interested in pediatrics. He believed that with children, “what you see is what you get,[2] … when they’re in pain they clearly show it with a frown on their face or when they are happy they show it by smiling brightly.”

At age 33, he became the youngest major division director in Johns Hopkins history, as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Carson’s other surgical innovations have included the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and a hemispherectomy, in which a young girl suffering from uncontrollable seizures had one half of her brain removed.

In 1987, Carson made medical history by being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins (the Binder twins) who had been joined at the back of the head (craniopagus twins). The 70-member surgical team, led by Carson, worked for 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and can now survive independently. Carson recalls:

I looked at that situation. I said, ‘Why is it that this is such a disaster?’ and it was because they would always exsanguinate. They would bleed to death, and I said, ‘There’s got to be a way around that. These are modern times.’ This was back in 1987. I was talking to a friend of mine, who was a cardiothoracic surgeon, who was the chief of the division, and I said, ‘You guys operate on the heart in babies, how do you keep them from exsanguinating’ and he says, ‘Well, we put them in hypothermic arrest.’ I said, ‘Is there any reason that – if we were doing a set of Siamese twins that were joined at the head – that we couldn’t put them into hypothermic arrest, at the appropriate time, when we’re likely to lose a lot of blood?’ and he said, ‘No way .’ I said, ‘Wow, this is great.’ Then I said, ‘Why am I putting my time into this? I’m not going to see any Siamese twins.’ So I kind of forgot about it, and lo and behold, two months later, along came these doctors from Germany, presenting this case of Siamese twins. And, I was asked for my opinion, and I then began to explain the techniques that should be used, and how we would incorporate hypothermic arrest, and everybody said ‘Wow! That sounds like it might work.’ And, my colleagues and I, a few of us went over to Germany. We looked at the twins. We actually put in scalp expanders, and five months later we brought them over and did the operation, and lo and behold, it worked.[3]

Awards and honors

Carson has received numerous honors and many awards over the years, including over 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He was also a member of the American Academy of Achievement, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the [[Alpha Omega Alpha|Alpha

Publications and appearances

Carson has written four bestselling books published by Zondervan, an international Christian media and publishing company: Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, Take the Risk, and Think Big. The first book is an autobiography and two are about his personal philosophies of success that incorporate hard work and a faith in God; Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. In a debate with Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins, and Daniel Dennett, Carson stated he doesn’t believe in evolution: “I don’t believe in evolution…evolution says that because there are these similarities, even though we can’t specifically connect them, it proves that this is what happened.”[4]

A video documentary about Carson’s life titled Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story was released by Zondervan in 1992. Subsequently in 2009, a separate television movie with the same title premiered on TNT on February 7, 2009, with Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. in the lead role and Kimberly Elise portraying his mother.[5]

On February 7, 2013, Dr. Carson was a key speaker at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.[6]

Personal life

In June 2002 Carson was forced to cut back on his public appearances when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the cancer was caught in time. He still operates on more than 300 children a year, but has been trying to shorten his days: prior to his cancer he used to work from 7:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night.[7]

Carson and his wife Lacena “Candy” Rustin met at Yale in 1971 when he was a junior and she was a freshman; they married in 1975. Candy holds an M.B.A. degree and is an accomplished musician, and both are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Carson’s life and work was so admired in 2007 that a feature film was made about the doctor, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”.[8][9]

Publications

  • (2011) America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 978-0310330714
  • (2009) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-21469-6
  • (2008) Take The Risk, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-25973-8
  • (2000) The Big Picture, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 978-0310225836
  • (1996) Think Big, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-21459-9
  • (1990) Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Review & Herald Pub., ISBN 0-8280-0669-5

References

  1. ^ Ben Carson Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – Biography.com
  2. ^ a b Conversation from Penn State: Ben Carson Interview.
  3. ^ Biography and Video Interview of Benjamin Carson at Academy of Achievement.
  4. ^ Richard Dawkins & Daniel Dennett vs. Francis Collins & Benjamin Carson : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
  5. ^ Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ “Zondervan Author Ben Carson Gives Keynote at 2013 National Prayer Breakfast”. prnewswire.com. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of World Biography: Biography of Benjamin S. Carson.
  8. ^ “7 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT DR. CARSON — THE PRAYER BREAKFAST SPEAKER WHOSE SPEECH IN FRONT OF OBAMA WENT VIRAL”. TheBlaze. 8 February 2013.
  9. ^ “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”. IMBd. 7 February 2009.

External links

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Dereliction of Duty By President and Commander-In-Chief Obama–Sleeping While Americans Died–The Big Coverup and Scandal–The President Lied–Videos

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Diasters, Federal Government, government, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Raves, Resources, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Former National Security Adiviser Bud McFarlane: For Obama to Do Nothing is Dereliction of Duty

Know The TRUTH ~ Step By Step ~ Bret Baier’s ~ ‘Death and Deceit in Benghazi’

Obama Confronted on Benghazi – Stutters Through Response!

Mark Levin – Obama’s “Dereliction of Duty”

Rush military caller says that Obama ordered no response to Benghazi attack

BREAKING OBAMA MAY GO TO PRISON AND BE IMPEACHED KILLING OUR OWN

Father Of Murdered Navy Seal in Benghazi, Recounts Days After Attack – Judge Jeanine

Graham Questions Military Leaders on Response to Benghazi Attack

Part II: Graham Questions Military Leaders on Benghazi

Sen. Chambliss at Benghazi SASC Hearing

Panetta: Benghazi was a ‘problem of distance and time’.

No Word from Hillary During Benghazi Attack Panetta, Dempsey did not speak to Clinton

Panetta Defends Pentagon’s Benghazi Response

Senator Blunt Questions Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey About Benghazi Attacks

Rand Paul’s Reaction To Defense Secretary Panetta’s Benghazi Testimony – Fox News

Obama vs Panetta on Attacks in Benghazi – Obama Could have saved American Lives

Senators challenge military leaders on Benghazi attack response

“…The top two Defense Department officials were sharply challenged by lawmakers  Thursday on their insistent claims that nothing more could have been done to  save the four Americans who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack in  Benghazi.

Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey were  peppered with questions from Republican senators during a hearing before the  Senate Armed Services Committee. The officials claimed military aircraft and  other assets were too far away to get to the scene in time, and suggested armed  aircraft like F16s could have done more harm than good in a chaotic situation.  The senators, though, pressed the officials for a fuller explanation on why  military assets were not deployed to rescue Americans under attack that night —  in what will likely be their last chance to question the outgoing Defense  secretary.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., disputed testimony that the difficulty in  dispatching assets to the scene was “a problem of distance and time.” He  suggested the “light footprint” in the region and a failure to respond to  threats left the military ill-prepared.

“For you to testify that our posture would not allow a rapid response — our  posture was not there because we didn’t take into account the threats to that  consulate, and that’s why four Americans died,” he said. “We could have placed  forces there. We could have had aircraft and other capacity a short distance  away.”

He continued: “No forces arrived there until well after these murders took  place.”

Dempsey acknowledged having gotten word of a warning from the U.S. consulate  about being unable to withstand a sustained attack, but said the military never  got a request for support from the State Department.

“So it’s the State Department’s fault?” McCain asked, curtly.

“I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey said.

McCain responded: “Who would you blame?”

Dempsey went on to claim that several U.S. posts were facing significant  threats, though McCain said none so much as Benghazi.

Shortly afterward, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pressed Panetta again on why  no forces were deployed until after the attack was over. Dempsey and Panetta  said they talked to President Obama one time that night, but Graham questioned  why there weren’t subsequent follow-up conversations.

“It lasted almost eight hours … did the president show any curiosity?”  Graham asked.

Panetta said there was “no question” Obama “was concerned about American  lives.”

“With all due respect,” Graham responded, “I don’t believe that’s a credible  statement if he never called and asked you, ‘are we helping these  people?'”

The secretary’s testimony on Benghazi was long-sought by Republican  lawmakers. After then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified last month,  Graham had demanded that Panetta be brought before the Senate — threatening to  hold up the nomination of his prospective replacement Chuck Hagel over the  issue.

Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced last week that Panetta  would testify.

Responding to long-running questions about whether more military assets could  have been dispatched to protect those under fire in Libya on Sept. 11, Panetta  in his opening statement claimed there simply wasn’t enough time to do  more.

“There was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military  assets to respond,” he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We were  not dealing with a prolonged or continuous assault which could have been brought  to an end by a U.S. military response. … Time, distance, the lack of an  adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more  immediate response.”

Still, he said the Pentagon “spared no effort … to save American  lives.”

Panetta was testifying in what may be his final public appearance on Capitol  Hill as he prepares to leave the department.

Panetta, in his testimony, detailed the military response on the day and  night of the attack.

As Fox News has previously reported, he said an unarmed, unmanned drone was  positioned overhead the Benghazi compound.

But he said armed aircraft like AC-130 gunships would have taken too long to  get there — “at least nine to 12 hours if not more to deploy.”

“This was, pure and simple … a problem of distance and time,” he  said.

Panetta said he also directed that a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team  stationed in Spain prepare to deploy in addition to a second FAST platoon; a  special operations force in Central Europe prepare to deploy to a staging base  in Southern Europe; and a special ops force in the U.S. similarly prepare to  deploy to Southern Europe.

As for what was happening in Libya, he claimed the “quickest response” was  the Tripoli-based team of six people which was sent to Benghazi.

“Members of this team, along with others at the annex facility, provided  emergency medical assistance and supported the evacuation of all personnel. Only  12 hours after the attacks had begun, all remaining U.S. government personnel  had been safely evacuated from Benghazi,” he said.

Since the September assault, some have questioned whether enough was done to  protect those at the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. Four Americans,  including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed that night.

There have been questions about the perceived delays CIA officials —  stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air  support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News  has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support  would be above when they landed in Benghazi, but it wasn’t. …”

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/07/panetta-defends-military-response-to-benghazi-attack-at-senate-hearing/#ixzz2KGmLO0Iu

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The Run On The Fed–Countries Demanding Their Gold Reserves Back–The Currency War Gets Hot–Videos

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, History of Economic Thought, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Public Sector, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

gold3

GoldBycountry

Germany Repatriates Gold From France and US

James Turk on the Central Bank Gold Heist and Bundesbank Accounting Shenaniga

Bringing in the bullion Germany to repatriate gold from US and France

Germany Moves To Relocate Gold From New York Fed to Bundesbank

Germany Wants Its Gold Back From the Fed

Keiser Report: Welcome Home German Gold (E395)

Is Germany About to Start a Run on Gold Held at the New York Fed?

German lawmakers are to review Bundesbank controls of and management of Germany’s gold reserves. Parliament’s Budget Committee will assess how the central bank manages its inventory of Germany’s gold bullion bars that are believed to be stored not only in Frankfurt, but at locations outside Germany, according to German newspaper Bild.

What’s most interesting about all this is that Germany may follow in Hugo Chavez’s footsteps and repatriate their gold to Germany so as to have direct possession of and ownership of their gold reserves. It’s really the only way to protect a central bank’s gold ownership, since by simply going in and asking the New York Fed to show Germany “their” gold, the Fed can walk them in and show them a pile of gold and tell them that it is theirs. The next day they can walk Chinese officials in and show the Chinese the exact same pile of gold and tell them that the gold is theirs.

Possession is the only sure protection.

Germany’s huge gold reserves – 3,396.3 tonnes of gold are some 73.7% of Germany’s national foreign exchange reserves, and are held not only in Germany but at the New York Fed, in London and in Paris. Dumb.

What kind of pressure will the U.S. put on Germany to prevent them from repatriating their gold? The banksters clearly have German Chancellor Merkel in their pocket, but this is unlikely to be influence that is deep into German political leaders. Thus, a run on gold, started by Germany, is not an impossibility.

In this scenario, the noise you would hear is the spike in gold as Bernanke prints more dollars for open market purchases of gold to fill demand for delivery by various central banks. Yikes.

(ViaJamesMiller)

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/03/is-germany-about-to-start-run-on-gold.html

U.S. Dollar Collapse: Where is Germany’s Gold?

By Peter Schiff

The financial world was shocked this month by a demand from Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate a large portion of its gold reserves held abroad. By 2020, Germany wants 50% of its total gold reserves back in Frankfurt – including 300 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Bundesbank’s announcement comes just three months after the Fed refused to submit to an audit of its holdings on Germany’s behalf. One cannot help but wonder if the refusal triggered the demand.

Either way, Germany appears to be waking up to a reality for which central banks around the world have been preparing: the dollar is no longer the world’s safe-haven asset and the US government is no longer a trustworthy banker for foreign nations. It looks like their fears are well-grounded, given the Fed’s seeming inability to return what is legally Germany’s gold in a timely manner. Germany is a developed and powerful nation with the second largest gold reserves in the world. If they can’t rely on Washington to keep its promises, who can?

Where is Germany’s Gold?

The impact of Germany’s repatriation on the dollar revolves around an unanswered question: why will it take seven years to complete the transfer?

The popular explanation is that the Fed has already rehypothecated all of its gold holdings in the name of other countries. That is, the same mound of bullion is earmarked as collateral for a host of different lenders. Since the Fed depends on a fractional-reserve banking system for its very existence, it would not come as a surprise that it has become a fractional-reserve bank itself. If so, then perhaps Germany politely asked for a seven-year timeline in order to allow the Fed to save face, and to prevent other depositors from clamoring for their own gold back – a ‘run’ on the Fed.

Now, the Fed can always print more dollars and buy gold on the open market to make up for any shortfall, but such a move could substantially increase the price of gold. The last thing the Fed needs is another gold price spike reminding the world of the dollar’s decline.

Speculation Aside

None of these theories are substantiated, but no matter how you slice it, Germany’s request for its gold does not bode well for the future of the dollar. In fact, the Bundesbank’s official statements are all you need to confirm the Germans’ waning faith in the US.

Last October, after the Bundesbank had requested an audit of its Fed holdings, Executive Board Member Carl-Ludwig Thiele was asked in an interview why the bank kept so much of Germany’s gold overseas. His response emphasized the importance of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency:

Thiele’s statement can lead us to only one conclusion: by keeping fewer reserves in the US, Germany foresees less future need for “US dollar-denominated liquidity.””Gold stored in your home safe is not immediately available as collateral in case you need foreign currency. Take, for instance, the key role that the US dollar plays as a reserve currency in the global financial system. The gold held with the New York Fed can, in a crisis, be pledged with the Federal Reserve Bank as collateral against US dollar-denominated liquidity.”

History Repeats

The whole situation mirrors the late 1960s, during a period that led up to the “Nixon Shock.” Back then, the world was on the Bretton Woods System – an attempt on the part of Western central bankers to pin the dollar to gold at a fixed rate, while still allowing the metal to trade privately as a commodity. This led to a gap between the market price of gold as a commodity and the official price available from the Treasury.

As the true value of gold separated further and further from its official rate, the world began to realize the system was unsustainable, and many suspected the US was not serious about maintaining a strong dollar. West Germany moved first on these fears by redeeming its dollar reserves for gold, followed by France, Switzerland, and others. This eventually culminated in Nixon “closing the gold window” in 1971 by ending any link between the dollar and gold. This “Nixon Shock” spurred chronic inflation throughout the ’70s and a concurrent rally in gold.

Perhaps the entire international community is thinking back to the ’60s, because Germany isn’t the only country maneuvering away from the dollar today. The Netherlands and Azerbaijan are also discussing repatriating their foreign gold holdings. And every month, we hear about central banks increasing gold reserves. The latest are Russia and Kazakhstan, but in the last year, countries from Brazil to Turkey have been adding to their gold holdings in order to diversify away from fiat currency reserves.

And don’t forget China. Once the biggest purchaser of US bonds, it is now a net seller of Treasuries, while simultaneously gobbling up gold. Some sources even claim that China has unofficially surpassed Germany as the second largest holder of gold in the world.

Unlike the ’60s, today there is no official gold window to close. There will be no reported “shock” indicator of a dollar flight. This demand by Germany may be the closest indicator we’re going to get. Placing blame where it’s due, let’s call it the “Bernanke Shock.”

It Takes One to Know One

In last month’s Gold Letter, I wrote about the three pillars supporting the US Treasury’s persistently low interest rates: the Fed, domestic investors, and foreign central banks – led by Japan. I examined how Japan’s plans to radically devalue the yen may undermine that country’s ability to continue buying Treasuries, which could cause the other pillars to become unstable as well.

While private investors and even the Fed might be deluding themselves into believing US bonds are still a viable investment, Germany’s repatriation news makes it clear that foreign governments are no longer buying the propaganda. And why should they? If anyone should appreciate the real constraints the US government is facing, it is other governments.

Our sovereign creditors know that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama are just regular men in fancy suits. They know the Fed isn’t harboring some ingenious plan for raising interest rates while successfully selling back its worthless mortgage and government securities. Instead, the Fed is like a drug addict making any excuse to get its next fix. [See Bernanke's tell-all interview with Oprah where he confesses to economic doping!]

US investors should be as shocked as the Bundesbank about the Fed’s deception. While we cannot redeem our dollars for gold with the Fed, we can still buy gold with them in the open market. As more investors and governments choose to save in precious metals, the dollar’s value will go into steeper and steeper decline – thereby driving more investors into metals. That’s when the virtuous circle upon which the dollar has coasted for a generation will quickly turn vicious.

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets and Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse. His latest book is The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy, How to Save Yourself and Your Country.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-dollar-collapse-where-is-germanys-gold/5321894

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The Coming Collapse and Fall of the United States of America–Doug Casey, Gerald Celente, Marc Faber, Michael Maloney, Jim Rickards, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff — Videos

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Private Sector, Programming, Psychology, Public Sector, Raves, Regulations, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

financial_bubble

bubble-lifecycle.gif

financialcollapse

dollar-toilet-paper

kleptcrocy

The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

The First 12 Hours of a US Dollar Collapse

Doug Casey on the Problem with Glenn Beck’s Galt’s Gulch (and much more)

BEST DOUG CASEY SPEECH EVER! An Anarchist, Economic Collapse & 7 billion Chi

Doug Casey talks to James Turk

Doug Casey interviews Peter Schiff

RAGING CURRENCY WARFARE!

Gerald Celente Economic Collapse IMMINENT Gerald Celente Today

Marc Faber ‘We Are in the End Game’ – Economic Collapse

How does the Global Financial Crisis End – Michael Maloney explains

Jim Rickards: the Fed is Racing to Create Inflation Before the US Economy Implodes

Jim Rogers Predicts Global Depression In 2013-2014

The Dollar Collapse Revisited and a Bull Market in US Treasuries w/Peter Schiff!

Press Conference with FOMC Chairman Ben S. Bernanke

Conversations with Casey

http://www.caseyresearch.com/cwc

U.S. Dollar Collapse: Where is Germany’s Gold?

By Peter Schiff

The financial world was shocked this month by a demand from Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate a large portion of its gold reserves held abroad. By 2020, Germany wants 50% of its total gold reserves back in Frankfurt – including 300 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Bundesbank’s announcement comes just three months after the Fed refused to submit to an audit of its holdings on Germany’s behalf. One cannot help but wonder if the refusal triggered the demand.

Either way, Germany appears to be waking up to a reality for which central banks around the world have been preparing: the dollar is no longer the world’s safe-haven asset and the US government is no longer a trustworthy banker for foreign nations. It looks like their fears are well-grounded, given the Fed’s seeming inability to return what is legally Germany’s gold in a timely manner. Germany is a developed and powerful nation with the second largest gold reserves in the world. If they can’t rely on Washington to keep its promises, who can?

Where is Germany’s Gold?

The impact of Germany’s repatriation on the dollar revolves around an unanswered question: why will it take seven years to complete the transfer?

The popular explanation is that the Fed has already rehypothecated all of its gold holdings in the name of other countries. That is, the same mound of bullion is earmarked as collateral for a host of different lenders. Since the Fed depends on a fractional-reserve banking system for its very existence, it would not come as a surprise that it has become a fractional-reserve bank itself. If so, then perhaps Germany politely asked for a seven-year timeline in order to allow the Fed to save face, and to prevent other depositors from clamoring for their own gold back – a ‘run’ on the Fed.

Now, the Fed can always print more dollars and buy gold on the open market to make up for any shortfall, but such a move could substantially increase the price of gold. The last thing the Fed needs is another gold price spike reminding the world of the dollar’s decline.

Speculation Aside

None of these theories are substantiated, but no matter how you slice it, Germany’s request for its gold does not bode well for the future of the dollar. In fact, the Bundesbank’s official statements are all you need to confirm the Germans’ waning faith in the US.

Last October, after the Bundesbank had requested an audit of its Fed holdings, Executive Board Member Carl-Ludwig Thiele was asked in an interview why the bank kept so much of Germany’s gold overseas. His response emphasized the importance of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency:

Thiele’s statement can lead us to only one conclusion: by keeping fewer reserves in the US, Germany foresees less future need for “US dollar-denominated liquidity.””Gold stored in your home safe is not immediately available as collateral in case you need foreign currency. Take, for instance, the key role that the US dollar plays as a reserve currency in the global financial system. The gold held with the New York Fed can, in a crisis, be pledged with the Federal Reserve Bank as collateral against US dollar-denominated liquidity.”

History Repeats

The whole situation mirrors the late 1960s, during a period that led up to the “Nixon Shock.” Back then, the world was on the Bretton Woods System – an attempt on the part of Western central bankers to pin the dollar to gold at a fixed rate, while still allowing the metal to trade privately as a commodity. This led to a gap between the market price of gold as a commodity and the official price available from the Treasury.

As the true value of gold separated further and further from its official rate, the world began to realize the system was unsustainable, and many suspected the US was not serious about maintaining a strong dollar. West Germany moved first on these fears by redeeming its dollar reserves for gold, followed by France, Switzerland, and others. This eventually culminated in Nixon “closing the gold window” in 1971 by ending any link between the dollar and gold. This “Nixon Shock” spurred chronic inflation throughout the ’70s and a concurrent rally in gold.

Perhaps the entire international community is thinking back to the ’60s, because Germany isn’t the only country maneuvering away from the dollar today. The Netherlands and Azerbaijan are also discussing repatriating their foreign gold holdings. And every month, we hear about central banks increasing gold reserves. The latest are Russia and Kazakhstan, but in the last year, countries from Brazil to Turkey have been adding to their gold holdings in order to diversify away from fiat currency reserves.

And don’t forget China. Once the biggest purchaser of US bonds, it is now a net seller of Treasuries, while simultaneously gobbling up gold. Some sources even claim that China has unofficially surpassed Germany as the second largest holder of gold in the world.

Unlike the ’60s, today there is no official gold window to close. There will be no reported “shock” indicator of a dollar flight. This demand by Germany may be the closest indicator we’re going to get. Placing blame where it’s due, let’s call it the “Bernanke Shock.”

It Takes One to Know One

In last month’s Gold Letter, I wrote about the three pillars supporting the US Treasury’s persistently low interest rates: the Fed, domestic investors, and foreign central banks – led by Japan. I examined how Japan’s plans to radically devalue the yen may undermine that country’s ability to continue buying Treasuries, which could cause the other pillars to become unstable as well.

While private investors and even the Fed might be deluding themselves into believing US bonds are still a viable investment, Germany’s repatriation news makes it clear that foreign governments are no longer buying the propaganda. And why should they? If anyone should appreciate the real constraints the US government is facing, it is other governments.

Our sovereign creditors know that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama are just regular men in fancy suits. They know the Fed isn’t harboring some ingenious plan for raising interest rates while successfully selling back its worthless mortgage and government securities. Instead, the Fed is like a drug addict making any excuse to get its next fix. [See Bernanke's tell-all interview with Oprah where he confesses to economic doping!]

US investors should be as shocked as the Bundesbank about the Fed’s deception. While we cannot redeem our dollars for gold with the Fed, we can still buy gold with them in the open market. As more investors and governments choose to save in precious metals, the dollar’s value will go into steeper and steeper decline – thereby driving more investors into metals. That’s when the virtuous circle upon which the dollar has coasted for a generation will quickly turn vicious.

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets and Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse. His latest book is The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy, How to Save Yourself and Your Country.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-dollar-collapse-where-is-germanys-gold/5321894

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Silver Linings Playbook — Crazy Love — Videos

Posted on February 5, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, College, Comedy, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Films, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Movies, Music, People, Philosophy, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

jennifer

Silver-Linings-Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook —Crazy Love

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Cooper_Deniro

Pat Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) and his father Pat Sr. (Robert DeNiro) share their rage.

Credit: http://www.buzzmedia.com

A romantic comic-drama about mental illness, ballroom dancing, gambling and the Philadelphia Eagles with a puzzling title  — “Silver Linings Playbook” —  a movie or madness?

The first half of the movie is a drama about two crazy people struggling with their mental problems. Pat Solitano Jr., played by Bradley Cooper, is suffering from bipolar manic-depression. He was recently released after eight months in a psychiatric facility for severely beating his wife’s lover when he caught them in the shower having sex.

Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) has been depressed over the death of her husband, Tommy, and is a recovering sex addict who was fired from her job for sleeping with everyone in the office.

Pat moves in with his father, “Pat Sr.” (Robert De Niro), an unemployed compulsive-obsessive gambler and his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver). They care about their son’s recovery from mental illness and worry about his future.

Pat’s friend Ronnie Miles (John Ortiz) and his wife, Veronica (Julie Stiles), invite him to dinner. Ronnie warns Pat not to mention to his sister-in-law, Tiffany, the death of her husband. Pat and Tiffany quickly exchange inappropriate remarks and compare the drugs they have taken for their respective mental disorders.

The second half of the movie is a romantic-comedy as they both work together on their issues and strategies to recover from their mental illnesses.

Pat’s wife has moved away and has a restraining order against her husband for his past violent behavior.  Pat agrees to enter a ballroom dancing contest and practice with Tiffany provided she will get a letter to his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), with whom Pat hopes to get back together. Tiffany delivers to Pat a letter from Nikki in which she hints at a possible reconciliation.

Pat’s father asks his son to attend a Philadelphia Eagles football game on which he has placed a big bet believing his son will bring him luck or good juju. This requires Pat to miss a practice dance session with Tiffany. Pat, his brother Jake (Shea Whigham) and his psychiatrist Dr. Cliff Patel (Anupam Kher) meet in the stadium parking lot, where Pat gets into a fight and is arrested. Pat’s father loses the big bet. He believes it was the result of bad juju for his son not attending the game.  Tiffany convinces Pat Sr. that when his son is with her, the Eagles always win and she is good juju.

Pat Sr. doubles down with a parlay bet on the Eagles beating Dallas and for Pat and Tiffany to score at least 5 out of 10 points in the ballroom dance contest the same night. Tiffany becomes agitated when Pat’s wife Nikki shows up to watch the dance contest.

If you are an incurable romantic and optimist who believes in a match made in heaven and every cloud has a silver lining,” you may be enchanted by the film’s storybook ending. If you are a realist, this movie will seem hopelessly far-fetched and sheer madness.

The film’s Academy Award nominations include best picture, director (David O. Russell), actor (Cooper), actress (Lawrence), supporting actor (De Niro), supporting actress (Weaver), adapted screenplay (David O. Russell) and film editing (Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers).

It is rare for a film to be nominated for the Academy’s four top acting awards; the last time was in 1981 with “Reds,” as well as the so-called “big five” for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay. If the film won the “big five” awards it would be in the select company of “It Happened One Night” (1934), a romantic comedy, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1971), a drama set in a mental institution, and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), a thriller about a psychiatrist who is also a cannibalistic serial killer.

The film faces two tough competitors in “Argo” and “Lincoln” for best picture, director, actor, film editing and adapted screenplay. However, I will not be surprised if Russell edges out “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg or “Lincoln” writer Tony Kushner or “Argo” writer Chris Terrio for adapted screen play. However, “Silver Lining Playbook” looks like a real long shot for the “big five” because the most likely Oscar winner for best actor is Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln.

In January, Lawrence won a Golden Globe award for best actress in a comedy or musical and the Screen Actors Guild’s best actress award.

I believe “Silver Linings Playbook” will win at least two Oscars for best actress (Lawrence) and supporting actor (De Niro).

The movie is a crazy “chick flick”. For Valentine’s Day see the movie with a date and then sing Van Morrison’s Crazy Love:

I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her that’s where I belong
Yet Im running to her like a rivers song

Chorus:
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love…

Film rating: A

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Silver Linings Playbook Official Movie Trailer [HD]

Silver Linings Playbook Interview – Bradley Cooper (2012) – Comedy HD

Robert De Niro & Bradley Cooper interview – November 12, 2012

DP/30 @ TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, actor Bradley Cooper

Silver Linings Playbook Interview – Jennifer Lawrence (2012) Comedy HD 

Silver Linings Playbook 12 Min. Featurette (2012) – Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence Movie HD

Jennifer Lawrence Interview with David Letterman

DP/30: Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell, editor Jay Cassidy 

DP/30 @ TIFF 2012: Silver Linings Playbook, actor Jennifer Lawrence

DP/30: Silver Linings Playbook, actor Jacki Weaver

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Press Conference | Festival 2012

Silver Linings Playbook – Movie Review by Chris Stuckmann 

Silver Linings Playbook Book & Movie Review

TIFF 2012: Movie Review for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (CinemaVine.com) 

Film Autopsy (Review) of Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook movie review 

Silver Linings Playbook – Movie Review

Silver Linings Playbook – Movie Review

Silver Linings Playbook – Rowenet Review – Episode 266 

Silver Linings Playbook Movie Review 

Silver Linings Playbook reviewed by Mark Kermode

Film Review: Silver Linings Playbook

The Big Movie Mouth-Off Reviews: Silver Linings Playbook 

Review: SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK 

Bob Dylan and Van Morrison in Greece – Crazy Love

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Go See Lincoln — Now — Now — Now –Videos

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Go See Lincoln — Now — Now — Now –Videos

Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Culture, Economics, Education, Entertainment, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Movies, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Raves, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Go see Lincoln — now, now, now!

Raymond Thomas Pronk

Lincoln_meeting_advisers

President Lincoln meets with advisers to discuss the timing for passing the 13th Amendment

Credit: http://www.examiner.com

“Lincoln,” the film, is a riveting and moving masterpiece of an historical drama that covers the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life and his efforts to pass through Congress the 13th Amendment and end the Civil War.

Lincoln is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who spent a year researching the life and time of the president. Lewis’s memorable performance transforms Lincoln from a white marble statue in Washington, D.C., to an in-the-flesh father, husband, lawyer, storyteller, politician, strategist and visionary on the screen. His performance should earn Day-Lewis another Oscar, which would be his third Academy Award for best actor.

The focus of the movie is Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865, with the assistance of his close adviser and Secretary of State William Seward (played by David Strathairn), to round up enough Democratic and Republican votes to pass a bill in the House of Representatives that would lead to the passage of the 13th Amendment that would abolish slavery in the United States.  Lincoln directs Seward to enlist three unscrupulous political agents to offer patronage jobs, once they leave Congress in March, to lame-duck Democrats, who lost their seats in the November 1864 election, in exchange for their voting for the bill in January.

Lincoln seeks the assistance of Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), leader of the abolitionist movement and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to secure the votes of radical Republicans in the House.

Lincoln also needs the votes of all the conservative Republicans in the House. To accomplish this, Lincoln seeks the help of Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook), founder of the Republican Party, and unofficial adviser to Lincoln. Blair gives Lincoln his support provided he is given the authority to go to Richmond, Va., the capitol of the Confederacy, to initiate peace talks.

Blair is successful in getting the Confederacy to send a three-man peace delegation headed by the Confederate States vice president Alexander Stephens (Jackie Earle Haley), that is delayed en route by Lincoln in order to first get the emancipation bill through Congress. The bill almost fails at the last moment when the Democrats disclose to the House the rumor that a Confederate peace delegation is in Washington. Lincoln replies to the rumor by sending a misleading message to the House and the historic bill passes on Jan. 31.

Lincoln finally meets with the Confederate peace delegation on Feb. 3, 1865, in Hampton Roads on the River Queen steamboat. The meeting ends in failure because Lincoln offers no concessions and demands the end of slavery as a condition for peace — the unconditional surrender of the South.

The Civil War’s massive death toll exceeding 600,000 and destruction are graphically illustrated on screen with Lincoln’s visit on April 3 to the Petersburg battlefield after the Union victory to meet with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Jared Harris).

“Lincoln” is a Hollywood blockbuster film with record box-office receipts of more than $175 million and 12 Academy Award nominations. The film faces stiff competition at the box office and at the Academy Awards from the films “Argo”, “Les Miserables”, “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty”.

I believe Lincoln will win at least five Academy Awards including best picture, actor (Day-Lewis), director (Steven Spielberg), adapted screenplay (Tony Kushner), and cinematography (Janusz Kamiński) at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.

Celebrate the anniversary of the birth of this historic president on Feb. 12, 1809 or the Presidents’ Day and the Washington’s Birthday holiday on Feb. 18 by seeing “Lincoln”.

Film rating: A

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

Lincoln Official Trailer #1 (2012) Steven Spielberg Movie HD 

Steven Spielberg Talks to TIME About ‘Lincoln’

Lincoln Interview – Daniel Day-Lewis (2012) – Steven Spielberg Movie HD 

Lincoln Interview – Sally Field (2012) – Steven Spielberg Movie HD

DP/30: Lincoln, actor Sally Field

Sally Field “Lincoln” Interview

DP/30: Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner

Tommy Lee Jones’ Official ‘Lincoln’ Interview

Lincoln Q&A – Full Interview (2012) – Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis Movie HD

Beyond The Trailer:        Lincoln 2012 Movie Review – Steven Spielberg & Daniel Day

DP/30: Lincoln: Below The Line – Cinematographer, Costumer, Production dsigner

(l-r) cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, costume designer Joanna Johnston, production designer Rick Carter, make-up designer Lois Burwell

Lincoln – Movie Review

Persons of the Week: Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis of New ‘Lincoln’

Film History: Columnists and Historians Assess Spielberg’s “Lincoln”

by Kelly Candaele

“…ONE OF THE MOST gratifying aspects of Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln has been the debate that its release has generated among historians and journalists, a debate more important than the movie itself. What were the complex dilemmas that Lincoln faced as President? What were the political realities and conduct of the time? How should we interpret the decisions that Lincoln and others made? What role did slaves and free blacks play in their own liberation?

Despite the fact that the film focuses on a short period of time in Lincoln’s presidency and deals primarily with the political cut and thrust associated with the passage of the 13th Amendment, there is a real sense in which the film can be described as deeply philosophical. Lincoln is portrayed as a man of discipline, concentration, and energy, all characteristics that sociologist Max Weber defined as part of the serious politician’s vocation. By forging an effective and realized political character — one aspect of Weber’s definition of charismatic authority — an astute politician can change the nature of power in society. By controlling his all-too-human vanity, he can avoid the two deadly political sins of lack of objectivity and irresponsibility. For Weber, a certain “distance to things and men” was required to abide by an “ethic of responsibility” for the weighty decisions that leaders are often required to make.

Lincoln has always been a man for all political seasons. There is Lincoln the principled politician, who believed that war was a necessary and legitimate means to sustain the Union; Lincoln the timid compromiser, who as late as 16 months into the war declared that if he “could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it”; and Lincoln the reconciling healer of “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” of the Second Inaugural.

Conservative New York Times writer David Brooks argued in a November 22 column that it was Lincoln’s internal strength and ability to compromise that allowed for the possibility of public good. For Brooks, the temptations of fame and ideological rigidity are what undermine the average politician’s ability to compromise. Weber called the losers in that wrestling match with fame, political “windbags.”

But for liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, it was Lincoln’s principled stand on the 13th Amendment and the need to ban slavery that accounts for his iconic status as one of our greatest Presidents. In an October 19 piece, Dionne encouraged Obama to “follow Lincoln’s example” by refusing to compromise with current economic and financial injustice.

While most political journalists have viewed the film with an eye on the current political stalemate, our most prominent historians have looked for accuracy and context.

Columbia University Professor Eric Foner, one of the most eminent historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction, sees the film as an “inside the beltway” rendition of the period. In a recent interview on Jon Wiener’s KPFK radio show, Foner points out that during the period that the movie covers, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army was marching through South Carolina. Slaves, in full-scale rebellion, were seizing plantations and “occupying” the land that they had worked. Slavery was “dying on the ground,” Foner insisted, not just in the House of Representatives. In Lincoln, “We are back to the old idea of Lincoln freeing the slaves by himself,” Foner says, reinforcing a one-dimensional view of a complicated historical process. The problem is not what the movie shows but what it doesn’t show. Additionally, as Foner points out in his Pulitzer Prize wining book, The Fiery Trial, Lincoln was “non-committal” during the failed 1864 attempt by Congress to pass the 13th Amendment. This was at a time when abolitionists, including the Women’s National Loyal League headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were delivering “monster” petitions to congress urging them to pass the amendment. They had gathered 400,000 signatures by mid 1864, but Lincoln was pushing for state-enacted emancipation in the border-states and occupied south.

Lincoln was also a “passive observer” of Senator Charles Sumner’s “crusade” to pass legislation that would allow blacks to carry mail, ride on streetcars, and testify in Federal courts in the District of Columbia, although he signed the bills that managed to pass in Congress. It was not until John C. Fremont was nominated for President in May 1864 — as a challenge to Lincoln — that Lincoln encouraged his party to embrace a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

Foner also challenges the “race against time” plot of the movie, whereby recalcitrant Republicans and pro-slavery Democrats stall the work of Congress while a Confederate peace initiative threatens to undermine the amendment’s only chance at passage. In reality, Lincoln had told the lame-duck congress that if they did not pass the amendment he would call a special session of the new Congress in March of 1865, made up of enough Republicans (elected that November) to easily pass the amendment.

Historian James Oakes, in his book Freedom National — The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, published in early December, suggests that Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner might have that part of the history right. Oakes points out that a large number of Republicans felt that the amendment abolishing slavery was a “civil” rather than “military” measure, and that the basis for changing the constitution was thus linked to the winning of the war. As the war’s end drew closer, the justification for the 13th Amendment was potentially undermined.

In an email exchange with me about his book and the movie, Oakes speculates that Lincoln and his Republican allies were worried that public support for the passage of the amendment would dissipate as the exigencies of war diminished. “If abolition were imposed AFTER [Oakes’s caps] the South surrendered it might seem vindictive to northern voters, or voters might think Republicans were liars or were disingenuous for having claimed that abolition was a war measure,” Oakes wrote. Although this argument does not appear in the film, it was a central theme for New York Congressman Fernando Wood, the Democratic attack dog in Congress and in the film.

What Oakes finds more troubling in terms of historical accuracy is the scenario set up by Kushner, whereby conservative Republicans (represented in the film by Montgomery Blair) and Radical Republicans had to be brought in line to defeat the Democrats and pass the amendment. Oakes points out that the Republicans were united all along, as demonstrated by the House vote to pass the 13th Amendment that took place the previous July. There was only one Republican “no” vote at that time, cast by Ohio Republican James M. Ashley. Ashley was a strong supporter of the amendment, but realizing the amendment was about to lose, he voted no as a procedural maneuver that would allow him to call for reconsideration of the amendment when Congress returned in December.

Blair, who had represented Dred Scott in the famous Supreme Court case, was Lincoln’s Postmaster General until he was replaced in late 1864. Blair had influence in Maryland and Missouri and was called upon to secure Border State Unionist votes, not to cajole conservative Republicans. Between July 1864 — when Democrats and Border State congressman had defeated the amendment — and January 1865, both Maryland and Missouri had abolished slavery. So Congressmen who had represented slave states the previous July were representing free states in January. They were the Congressmen that Blair went after.

Historians and journalists will and should continue debating the historical accuracy and limited context of the film, especially the invisibility of blacks as central participants in their own liberation.

In his blog, Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin quotes from the 1992 book Slaves No More (by Ira Berlin et.al.), making it clear that despite Lincoln’s great accomplishment, historians overturned long ago a Lincoln-centered view of emancipation. The destruction of slavery was:

[A] process by which slavery collapsed under the pressure of federal arms and the slaves’ determination to place their own liberty on the wartime agenda. In documenting the transformation of a war for the Union into a war against slavery, it shifts the focus from the halls of power in Washington and Richmond to the plantations, farms, and battlefields of the South and demonstrates how slaves accomplished their own liberation and shaped the destiny of a nation.

The relegating of African Americans to secondary roles, even in films where black civil rights is the central topic (2011’s The Help is a recent example) is unfortunately the rule rather than the exception. But on the positive side, Lincoln has accomplished something that historian and literary critic Irving Howe suggested is very rare for American artists: the ability to portray politics as “a distinctive mode of social existence with manners and values of its own.”

The history of slavery, its origins, extirpation, and consequences, becomes more fascinating and illuminating once the context is expanded. Robin Blackburn’s new book The American Crucible — Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights argues that the success of anti-slavery movements involved some combination of class struggle, war, and a re-casting of the state’s relationship to the claims of property — New York Congressman Fernando Wood, for instance, spoke against the 13th Amendment as a “tyrannical destruction of individual property.” Wood was pointing to the broader underpinnings of both the Constitution and state law.

For Blackburn, who writes in a Marxist vein, dominant economic interests, both North and South, needed a “different type of state.” In the South, slaves, who were legally property, could run away, while northern manufacturing demanded state regulation of finance, funding for internal transportation and communications infrastructure, and tariff protection. These Unionist and Confederate “rival nationalisms” were both expansionist, the Union looking to overtake the continent and the Confederacy eyeing new slave territory in the West, the South and in Cuba. The clash, according to Blackburn, “was thus one of rival empires, as well as competing nationalisms.”

Foner also places the state in the center of Civil War and Reconstruction history, focusing on how shifting political dynamics shaped the economic and social relations that followed the abolition of slavery. Slavery was a mode of racial domination but also a system of labor that a “distinctive ruling class” was fighting to retain. The “labor question,” and what role the state would play in re-constituting a disciplined and docile labor force after the Civil War became central to the battle between former master and former slave.

It was Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln), Foner points out, who recognized the “hollow victory” that liberation would bring unless accompanied by the “destruction of the land-based political power” of the agrarian ruling classes. In Nothing but Freedom — Emancipation and Its Legacy, Foner reveals some striking similarities between post-emancipation southern politics and similar developments in the Caribbean and Africa. Struggles over immigration, labor laws, taxation, fiscal policy and the definition of property rights “reveal how much of post-emancipation politics was defined by the ‘labor problem.’ In the southern United States, sharecropping became the common solution to an economic struggle whereby resilient planters and large landowners where eventually (after Radical Reconstruction) able to deny blacks access to productive land, capital, and political power.

If this seems a bit far afield from the central focus of Lincoln, it shows how difficult — how impossible — it is to present complex historical “moments” through film. History is not a series of “moments” but is, as the recently deceased historian E.J. Hobsbawn reminded us, something that surrounds us. “We swim in the past as fish do in water, and cannot escape from it,” Hobsbawm wrote in On History. The historian’s role — from Hobsbawn’s (and Marx’s) point of view — is the examination of how societies transform themselves and how social structures factor in that process.

Getting history wrong, as Ernest Renan noted over a century ago, is an essential element in the formation of a nation. Historians will continue to inform us about whether Spielberg and Kushner got Lincoln wrong in the service of polishing a national myth. Perhaps it is an unfair criticism to direct at a two and-a-half-hour movie on one of our most important political figures, but this story of emancipation is woefully incomplete. How could it be otherwise?

Tragedy very often accompanies politics practiced a high level. Has any American President avoided making decisions about the life and death of others? Lincoln was a man able to control his vanity by casting a cold eye upon both the virtues and the corruptions of human beings. He was able to reject cynicism, that reliable psychological shield for feelings of political impotence, and this the movie demonstrates clearly.

The film succeeds in portraying Lincoln as a political man in Weber’s sense, a man of ambition who was willing to be held responsible for the results of his decisions.

Moving away from the sterile debate over whether he was a “compromiser” or a man of “principle,” the film shows he accepted the fact that, in his political life at least, there would be a constant tension between the two. …”

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?type=&id=1251&fulltext=1&media=#article-text-cutpoint

Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Historian’s Review

By Nicholas Roland

“… Steven Spielberg’s latest historical drama chronicles the 16th president’s final months and his struggle for passage of the 13th Amendment by the House of Representatives in 1865. Lincoln’s enduring popularity means that this film will be subjected to intense scrutiny and debate by historians, movie reviewers, and culture warriors alike.

Fortunately, Lincoln is blessed with a remarkably accomplished cast. Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln. Having supposedly read over 100 books on Lincoln in preparation for the role, he manages to convincingly replicate many aspects of Lincoln’s persona and physical aura: Lincoln’s purportedly high voice, his wry sense of humor and knack for storytelling, his slouched posture and awkward gait, and the overwhelming weariness incurred by the “fiery trial” of war all ring true.

Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Fields) is portrayed as a more or less sympathetic character, in accordance with more recent scholarship rejecting long-standing depictions of Mrs. Lincoln as a shrew, possibly suffering from a mental illness. Fields plays a First Lady who is grief-stricken over the loss of her son Willie and weary from the stress of a wartime presidential marriage. During a scene at a White House reception, she draws on her social training as a daughter of the Kentucky elite to skillfully defend against political critics.

Secretary of State William H. Seward (David Strathairn) also appears as an important source of support for Lincoln. Seward cuts patronage deals with lame duck Democratic Congressmen in order to help secure the passage of the 13th Amendment and acts as a sort of political muse to Lincoln. Seward harangues and cajoles Lincoln on policy and political strategy but ultimately serves as a loyal ally in carrying out Lincoln’s intent, a depiction born out in the historical record.

Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) is also a convincing secondary character, albeit with some historical problems. A leader of the radical wing of the Republican Party, Stevens is accurately portrayed as an advocate of racial equality and a vehement opponent of secessionists. However, a scene revealing the purported relationship between Stevens and his African-American housekeeper risks conveying the sense that this relationship was the primary motivation for Stevens’ crusade for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

Despite the excellent performances turned in by the star-studded cast, Lincoln has a number of shortcomings from a historian’s point of view. Based on Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film is at times a taut political thriller and at times the inspirational story of the final abolition of American slavery. The choice to focus on the last few months of Lincoln’s presidency is appropriate given the ultimate outcome of the American Civil War: the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of legal slavery. However, this narrow focus glosses over Lincoln’s famously ambiguous views on slavery and racial equality.

Spielberg’s Lincoln appears committed to rapidly ending slavery and even suggests that suffrage might eventually be extended to black men. In his lifetime, Lincoln was consistently criticized by radical Republicans and African-American leaders such as Frederick Douglass for his equivocation on slavery and lenient plans for Reconstruction. Lincoln seems to have held a lifelong commitment to the free-soil ideology that every man, white or black, has the right to earn for himself by the sweat of his brow. Despite this conviction, Lincoln repeatedly stated that he wished to preserve the Union, either with or without slavery. Lincoln viewed the Emancipation Proclamation and the enlistment of black troops as a wartime expedient to preserve the Union.

To its credit, Lincoln does make some references to contradictory statements Lincoln made earlier in his presidency about slavery.

Despite this nod toward the complexity of Lincoln’s political career, Spielberg risks reviving the Great Emancipator myth. The best evidence suggests that Abraham Lincoln personally abhorred slavery as an institution while simultaneously denying the concept of racial equality.

Some historians have argued that Lincoln’s personal beliefs underwent a significant change during the last year of the Civil War, and Lincoln did in fact suggest to the reconstructed government of Louisiana in 1864 that “very intelligent” black men and “those who have fought gallantly in our ranks” might be given access to the ballot box. As depicted by the film, during the 1864 Presidential campaign Lincoln threw his support behind passage of the 13th Amendment and was active in securing its passage in 1865. But he never became a radical abolitionist like Thaddeus Stevens, or an outright advocate of racial equality. Lincoln continued to put forth plans for the resettlement of freedmen to the Caribbean even after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and possibly even after the passage of the 13th Amendment.

Too narrow of a focus on the actions of Lincoln and other white politicians unfortunately downplays the role played by both enslaved and free African Americans in the Civil War-era struggle for freedom. Black characters largely appear passive in Spielberg’s account. Kate Masur points out that White House servants Elizabeth Keckley and William Slade were deeply involved in the free black activist community of Washington, D.C. Instead of appearing as dynamic characters within the President’s household, they are relegated to cardboard roles as domestics. The most assertive black character in the movie is a soldier who confronts the President about past ill-treatment and future aspirations. Lincoln artfully deflects the soldier’s concerns and the scene ends with the soldier quoting the Gettysburg Address. The one-dimensional black characters in Lincoln are unrecognizable as depictions of African Americans during the Civil War.

Early in the war, when Lincoln strenuously wished to avoid confronting slavery, black enslaved workers fled to federal lines and congregated around federal camps such as Fortress Monroe, Va. Congress passed the Confiscation Act of 1861 in reaction to this development, marking the first movement by the federal government to separate rebellious slaveholders from their enslaved workers. While Lincoln continued to insist that the war was a struggle to preserve the Union, African Americans did not wait for the Emancipation Proclamation to turn the war into much more than a sectional conflict. Slavery was destroyed as much by their individual actions as by the political workings of white politicians.

The film also has a number of smaller inaccuracies and stylistic issues. For example, Alexander H. Coffroth is depicted as a nervous Pennsylvania Democrat pressured into voting for the 13th Amendment. Coffroth actually served as a pallbearer at Lincoln’s funeral, indicating that he was more than a simple political pawn of the White House. And in a scene supposedly taking place after the fall of Richmond and Petersburg, Lincoln solemnly rides through a horrific battlefield heaped with hundreds of bodies. A battlefield such as this would likely represent one of the worst instances of combat in the Civil War. Richmond and Petersburg fell primarily due to General Ulysses S. Grant’s maneuvering to cut Confederate supply lines rather than through bloody fighting on the scale Spielberg depicts. Lincoln did in fact visit Richmond after it had fallen and was greeted there by hundreds of jubilant freed slaves in the streets of the former Confederate capital. The chance to depict such a poignant scene is not taken up by the filmmakers in favor of a continued focus on the political and military struggle waged by white Americans.

Perhaps most inexplicably, the movie does a poor job of identifying the various cabinet officials and Congressmen central to the plot. The average moviegoer is likely to be somewhat unsure of the exact role or importance of several characters. This is especially curious given the fact that obscure members of a Confederate peace delegation such as Confederate Senator R.M.T. Hunter and Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell are explicitly identified onscreen.

On the whole, Spielberg’s Lincoln is a masterful politician and a dynamic character, able to carefully mediate between his own evolving beliefs and the political realities of his age. This interpretation falls solidly in line with the mainstream of Lincoln scholarship. For an incredibly complex, sphinxlike figure such as Abraham Lincoln, perhaps we shouldn’t expect a more thorough interpretation from Hollywood.

http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2012/11/spielbergs-lincoln-a-historians-review/

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Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Culture, Entertainment, Films, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Psychology, Raves, Reviews, Strategy, Technology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Argo  —  takes off

Raymond Thomas Pronk

bryan-cranston-cia-director-in-argo-with-ben-affleck-images.jpeg

CIA meeting with Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston)

Credit: the peoples movies

“Argo” is loosely based on the declassified true story of the escape from Iran of six U.S. embassy staff members orchestrated by CIA exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) that saved real lives using a fake science fiction fantasy film as a cover story.

The film opens with the Nov. 4, 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by several hundred militant Islamist students who take the embassy staff hostage. Fifty-two embassy staff were held for 444 days until President Jimmy Carter left office on Jan. 20, 1981. Six diplomats escaped from the embassy and were hiding in the home of the Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber).

Affleck and company have managed to seamlessly synthesize a thriller/comedy/suspense hybrid. When in Washington the film is a thriller as the CIA, State Department and White House react to the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. When in Los Angeles, the movie is a series of one-liners and inside jokes about the Hollywood scene. When in Tehran the movie is an intense edge-of-your seat suspense story.

Chris Terrio’s screenplay masters the massive details of these shifting scenes and city locations into a credible and convincing narrative with humor and wit. In a pivotal meeting of CIA and State Department operation officers exploring exfiltration scenarios, Mendez says, “Exfils are like abortions. You don’t wanna need one, but when you do, you don’t do it yourself.” The CIA and Mendez are tasked with the exfiltration operation.

Mendez comes up with a plan to get the six diplomats out of the country as part of a fake Canadian film production crew scouting for primitive lunar-like locations in Iran.

Mendez and his CIA supervisor, Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston), enlist the help of an Oscar-winning film makeup artist, John Chambers (John Goodman), that the CIA has used in the past to create disguises. Chambers in turn contacts veteran film producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and together create a phony movie studio and publicity for a fake science fiction film called “Argo.”

In “Argo,” Affleck was outstanding both in front of the camera as Mendez and behind the camera as director. This is Affleck’s third and best feature film direction after two solid films, Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010).

In January “Argo” won the Golden Globe awards for best drama and director, the Producers Guild of America Theatrical Motion Picture award and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award.

“Argo” takes off as a Hollywood blockbuster with worldwide box office receipts exceeding $190 million and seven Academy Award nominations including best picture, supporting actor (Alan Arkin), film editing (William Goldenberg), original score (Alexandre Desplat), sound editing (Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn), sound mixing (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia) and adapted screenplay (Chris Terrio).

“Argo” faces stiff competition from “Lincoln” for best picture and adapted screenplay. However, I believe “Argo” will win at least four Academy Awards for best editing, original score, sound editing and sound mixing at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.

For sheer excitement, humor and suspense, and outstanding ensemble acting by the entire cast, “Argo” is an entertaining must see movie and Oscar contender.

Film rating: A

Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/

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