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The Benghazi Cover-up and Scandal — Explosive Testimony of CIA — Americans Died — Obama Lied — False Narrative = The Big Lie — Democrat Deceivers — Tyrants Liars Club (TLC) — A Lie is A Lie is A Lie — Videos

Posted on April 5, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Story 2: The Benghazi Cover-up and Scandal — Explosive Testimony of CIA  – Americans Died — Obama Lied — False Narrative = The Big Lie — Democrat Deceivers — Tyrants Liars Club (TLC) — A Lie is A Lie is A Lie — Videos

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

~Friedrich Nietzsche

“Anything is better than lies and deceit!”

~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

 

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Benghazi-cartoon

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Hillary Clinton at senate hearingJay Carney on Benghazi

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April 2 Benghazi hearing with Mike Morell

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell denies Benghazi cover-up – Lone Wolf

Bachmann Challenges Former Acting CIA Director on Benghazi

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

House Intel CMTE Holds Hearing On Benghazi Scandal – Michele Bachmann Heated Exchange

Fox praises Thornberry’s questions at Benghazi hearing

Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi

Rep. Thornberry questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi Part 2

Political Fallout From Michael Morell’s Benghazi Testimony

Ex-CIA Acting Dir. Mike Morell: No Complaints About Susan Rice’s Talking Benghazi Points

Fox praises Thornberry’s questions at Benghazi hearing

Rogers: ‘Some Disagreement’ Between Morrell’s Prior Testimony and CIA Libyan Station Chief

Westmoreland Questions Former CIA Deputy

Director in Benghazi Hearing

A Benghazi Cover-Up? – Fmr CIA Deputy Director To Testify Today – DC Scandal – Fox & Friends

Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi

BREAKING: CIA Deputy Resigns after 33 years Service, Replaced by WH Lawyer

Lying To Congress – Mike Morell’s Benghazi Attack

Testimony Coming Under Fire – Dc Scandal

Fox News Benghazi cover up Mike Morell’s testimony comes under fire

Benghazi Scandal Frm CIA Deputy DIR Morrell Accused Of Misleading Lawmakers On Benghazi

Rep. Peter King Reacts To Mike Morell’s Benghazi Testimony

Lying To Congress – Mike Morell’s Benghazi Attack Testimony Coming Under Fire – Dc Scandal

Rand Paul ATTACKS Gov Cover Up

RAND PAUL BRINGS IT!… Tells Hillary Clinton: YOU Are to Blame for Benghazi!

U.S. Covert War in Syria Collapsing

BENGHAZI: The Real Reason Behind Obama’s Cover-up

GOP Lawmaker Says Benghazi Investigation Will Lead to Hillary: ‘It Was Her Show’

BREAKING: Obama Dispersing Benghazi Survivors Around US and Changing their Names

TRIFECTA — The Benghazi Scandal and Cover-Up: Is the Mainstream Media Finally Taking Notice?

 

Benghazi Scandal “Phony Scandal?” – David Ubben Fought Alongside FMR Navy Seal To Protect Consulate

Pat Caddell: John Boehner “purposely” helping Obama cover-up Benghazi

Murder Of Chris Stevens In Benghazi Attack Ordered By American Military Leadership, Possibly Obama

Obama LIED About Benghazi Attack!!! (Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer Interview)

Rush Limbaugh on Benghazi Scandal: “They’re about to Blow this Sky High”; Reviews Scandal Timeline

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: Truth coming out

Glenn Beck Why Obama Hid the Truth of Benghazi

Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.

Things Get Tense When Bachmann Grills Former CIA Deputy Director Over Benghazi Talking Points

 

The former deputy director of the CIA insisted during a congressional hearing Wednesday that he did not alter the infamous 2012 Benghazi talking points due to political pressure, despite pointed questioning by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

“The narrative that the attack evolved spontaneously from a protest was a narrative that intelligence community analysts believed,” Mike Morell said. “That turned out to be incorrect. But that is what they believed at the time. So there is no politics there whatsoever.”

“Let me actually give you the facts,” Morell added to Bachmann, before contending the five edits that were made had nothing to do with politics, but instead involved minor stylistic changes and edits to increase accuracy.

Just four days after the attack, the former deputy director of the CIA removed references about threats from extremists tied to Al Qaeda, substituting it by saying that “there are indications extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

Bachmann argued such changes were of importance.

“You made significant, substantive changes for the White House,” she said. “Whether it was on behalf, we don’t know. But we know you are the one that made those changes.”

“Ma’am, if you look at the record, what you will see that the changes were fully consistent with what our analysts believed at the time. Period,” the former deputy director replied.

Bachmann said that those on the ground at the time of the attack were ignored and argued that there was an “intentional misleading of the public.”

Morell maintained that the changes he made to the widely debunked 2012 talking points were not for political reasons.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/02/things-get-tense-when-bachmann-grills-former-cia-deputy-director-over-benghazi-talking-points/

Michael Morell: No cover-up on Benghazi

By LUCY MCCALMONT

Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell denied Wednesday that there was any cover-up or political influence in messaging after the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“We did not deliberately downplay the role of terrorists in the Benghazi attack in our analysis or in the talking points,” Morell said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.

“And neither I, nor anyone else at the agency, deliberately misled anyone in Congress about any aspect of the tragedy in Benghazi,” Morell added.

(PHOTOS: 10 slams on Obama and Benghazi)

Morell was deputy director of the agency at the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Both Morell and the agency, as well as the administration, have faced criticism from the right regarding the handling of the attack, including claims that there were political motives behind the framing of the information surrounding the incident.

Many took issue with the talking points following the attack, namely the delay in calling it a terrorist attack carried out by Al Qaeda versus a spontaneous demonstration in protest of an anti-Muslim video.

Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the talking points “did not reflect the best information available” and were used by the administration “to perpetrate a false narrative about the attacks.”

Rogers also asked Morell why he did not say during a November 2012 hearing following the attack why references to Al Qaeda had been taken out of the talking points. Morell said that at the time, he did not know who took them out.

(PHOTOS: Clinton’s best Benghazi hearing lines)

“But to be fair, and, in retrospect, what I wish I would have done, was to say to you, ‘Chairman, I do not know who took Al Qaeda out of the talking points, but you should know that I myself made a number of changes to the points.’ That’s what I should have said. I didn’t,” Morell said.

Morell also said there are things that both he and the agency “should have done differently,” but he dismissed political motivations.

“There are areas where the CIA’s performance and my own performance could have been better, but none of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process. None.”

Morell said he did not know that the talking points would be used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly following the attacks, which were widely criticized and, many say, cost her the secretary of state position, as she later withdrew her consideration for the spot.

“In fact, I didn’t even know she was going to be on the Sunday shows,” Morell said, adding that no one asked him or the agency to prepare Rice.

Morell said he believed that Rice, who is now national security adviser, would have had the talking points, as well as intelligence information from the days prior. However, he acknowledged that she did not have information sent by the CIA’s station chief on the ground, which concluded that the attack was possibly preplanned.

“Don’t you think that was an important document to get in the hands of someone who is going to brief the country on what was actually happening on the ground?” Rogers asked.

Morell said that the information had not been disseminated outside of the CIA and that at the time, he did not find the arguments that it was a preplanned attack “compelling.” Morell said earlier in the hearing that when the information from the station chief was first sent to analysts, they were “sticking to their judgment” that it was a protest.

“So I believed what my analysts said, that there was a protest. I also believed it to be a terrorist attack. You see, we never, we never saw those two things as mutually exclusive, and so I believed both of those at the same time,” Morell said.

Taking issue with Morell’s testimony was Rep. Devin Nunes.

”The problem is that you have all of these conflicting stories, right?” Nunes (R-Calif.) said to Morell, after questioning him on the sequence of dialogue regarding the attack.

“I read your testimony, and you have an excuse for everything,” Nunes later added. “For everything … which is fine, but when the chairman asks you about when you sat next to Director of National Intelligence [James] Clapper in November of 2012, you don’t have an excuse, you only have an apology.”

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has been a vocal critic in the handling of Benghazi, also criticized Morell’s testimony.

“He gave a lot of excuses today and a lot of reasons,” King said Wednesday on Fox News’s “Happening Now.”

“The fact is, to believe him you have to believe, basically, everything is contradictory to the facts,” King said, adding that the administration has not told the truth on Benghazi and that Morell has been part of that process.

“Bottom line is, Susan Rice and the administration told the American people it arose out of a video and demonstration,” King said. “They never mentioned terrorism at all, and that’s the reality. They can’t rewrite history.”

Morell, during his testimony Wednesday, said, “no doubt it was a terrorist attack,” but he said the motivations of those who carried out the attack is unknown, because they have not been caught.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/michael-morrell-benghazi-cia-105290.html

CIA officer confirmed no protests before misleading Benghazi account given

Information on ground rejects protest account

Guy Taylor

 

Before the Obama administration gave an inaccurate narrative on national television that the Benghazi attacks grew from an anti-American protest, the CIA’s station chief in Libya pointedly told his superiors in Washington that no such demonstration occurred, documents and interviews with current and former intelligence officials show.

The attack was “not an escalation of protests,” the station chief wrote to then-Deputy CIA Director Michael J. Morell in an email dated Sept. 15, 2012 — a full day before the White House sent Susan E. Rice to several Sunday talk shows to disseminate talking points claiming that the Benghazi attack began as a protest over an anti-Islam video.


PHOTOS: Shocking photos reveal devastation of Benghazi attack


That the talking points used by Mrs. Rice, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, were written by a CIA that ignored the assessment by its own station chief inside Libya, has emerged as one of the major bones of contention in the more than two years of political fireworks and congressional investigations into the Benghazi attack.

What has never been made public is whether Mr. Morell and others at the CIA explicitly shared the station chief’s assessment with the White House or State Department.

Two former intelligence officials have told The Washington Times that this question likely will be answered at a Wednesday hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during which Mr. Morell is scheduled to give his public testimony.

Mr. Morell, who has since left the CIA, declined to comment on the matter Monday. He now works at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington insider strategic communications firm.

One former intelligence official close to Mr. Morell told The Times on the condition of anonymity that “the whole question of communication with the station chief will be addressed in his testimony.”

“We’re confident that it will clarify the situation in the minds of many who are asking,” the former official said.


PHOTOS: Eye-popping excuses in American political scandals


Another former intelligence official told The Times that Mr. Morell did tell the White House and the State Department that the CIA station chief in Libya had concluded that there was no protest but senior Obama administration and CIA officials in Washington ignored the assessment.

Why they ignored it remains a topic of heated debate within the wider intelligence community.

A third source told The Times on Monday that Mr. Morell and other CIA officials in Washington were weighing several pieces of “conflicting information” streaming in about the Benghazi attack as the talking points were being crafted.

“That’s why they ultimately came up with the analysis that they did,” the source said. “The piece that was coming out of Tripoli was important, but it was one piece amid several streams of information.”

One of the former intelligence officials said the Libya station chief’s assessment was being weighed against media reports from the ground in Benghazi that quoted witnesses as saying there had been a protest. Analysts at the CIA, the source said, also were weighing it against reporting by other intelligence divisions, including the National Security Agency.

“The chief of station in Tripoli who was 600 or 700 miles away from the attacks wouldn’t necessarily have the only view of what actually went on in Benghazi,” that former official said.

U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack.

While the testimony is expected to focus on Benghazi, the hearing arrives at a time of growing tensions between Congress and the CIA over such matters as the Bush administration’s interrogation rules and mutual charges of spying and illegality between the Senate intelligence committee and the agency.

Lawmakers are likely to press Mr. Morell for a reaction to reports this week that a classified Senate intelligence report has concluded that harsh interrogation methods used in the years after Sept. 11 provided no key evidence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and that the CIA misled Congress on the matter.

The CIA disputes that conclusion. The Senate panel is expected to vote Thursday on sending the Obama administration a 400-page executive summary of the “enhanced interrogation” report to start a monthslong declassification process.

One of the key issues likely to come up during the House hearing involves what was said during a series of secure teleconferences between CIA officials in Washington and Libya from the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, to the completion of Mrs. Rice’s talking points for dissemination on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Times on Monday that the station chief’s email to Mr. Morell was written after one of the teleconferences during which senior CIA officials in Washington — Mr. Morell among them — made clear to the Tripoli station chief that they were examining alternative information that suggested there was a protest before the attack.

After the exchange, Mr. Morell signed off on the CIA talking points given to Mrs. Rice promoting what turned out to be the false narrative of a protest. The development ultimately triggered an angry reaction from Republicans, who have long claimed that the Obama administration, with an eye on the November elections, was downplaying the role of terrorists in order to protect the president’s record on counterterrorism.

Documents since released by the White House show that administration officials boasted in internal emails at the time about Mr. Morell’s personal role in editing and rewriting the talking points.

Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them,” an Obama administration official wrote Mrs. Rice on the morning of Sept. 15.

What is not clear is whether the email was in any way referring to the conflicting intelligence streams about a protest in Benghazi.

Alternatively, the email notes that Mr. Morell was uncomfortable with an initial draft of the talking points batted back and forth between White House and CIA officials “because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack” in Benghazi.

During interviews with The Times, several former senior intelligence officials have lamented the whole “talking points” issue, saying the CIA was caught in the middle of the White HouseCongress and the reality on the ground in Benghazi while crafting the points.

The reason the CIA ended up taking the lead on the talking points was because, as news of the attack was breaking around the world, lawmakers on the House intelligence committee were seeking guidance from the agency on how to respond to media questions without revealing classified information.

Specifically, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and the committee chairman, and ranking Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland asked for the guidance.

One former senior intelligence official told The Times that as word circulated through the inner circles of the intelligence community that the CIA was working on the talking points, officials within the Obama administration steered the mission toward crafting something Mrs. Rice could say on national talk shows.

“In essence, the talking points got repurposed,” the former official said. “What it turned into — and I don’t think Michael ever knew this, it’s something to watch for in his testimony this week — was, ‘Let’s hand this thing to the U.N. ambassador and make it what she should say.’”

“That’s a big deal,” the former official said. “It’s one thing to prepare something for lawmakers so they don’t make a mistake or say something inaccurate. It’s quite another matter to have that feed the administration’s then-current, definitive account of what had actually happened in Benghazi.”

“There are a lot of twists and turns in this,” added another former intelligence official. “A lot of it hangs on the fact that the agency thought they were crafting these talking points for Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers, not the White House.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/31/cia-ignored-station-chief-in-libya-when-creating-t/?page=all#pagebreak

Former CIA official accused of misleading lawmakers on Benghazi

By Catherine Herridge

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell is facing accusations from Republicans that he misled lawmakers about the Obama administration’s role in crafting the bogus storyline that a protest gone awry was to blame for the deadly Benghazi attack.

Among other discrepancies, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee allege Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input — but emails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.

“We found that there was actual coordination which could influence then — and did influence — what CIA conveyed to the committees about what happened [in Benghazi],” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told Fox News.

Burr was one of six Republicans who leveled the allegations against Morell, who also served as acting director, in an addendum to a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report. According to the claims, in late 2012, Morell testified the so-called Benghazi talking points were sent to the White House “for their awareness, not for their coordination.”

The 16-page addendum continues, “No effort was made to correct the record … the Acting Director’s (Morell) testimony perpetuated the myth that the White House played no part in the drafting or editing of the talking points.”

After Morell’s 2012 testimony, committee Republicans say they insisted on reading the raw email traffic in the days leading up to then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show appearances, where she linked the attack to a protest. Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told Fox News in a recent interview that they only got the emails between the CIA, State Department and White House because lawmakers threatened to hold up former White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.

Once the emails were released, Republican lawmakers say the conflict with Morell’s testimony was clear. Morell, who at the time was CIA Director David Petraeus’ deputy, was at the heart of the process, cutting some 50 percent of the text — and Republicans say White House coordination began at the earliest stages.

Also in late 2012, Morell and Rice met with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. In a statement released at the time, the senators said Morell blamed the FBI for cutting references to Al Qaeda and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.

“What I found curious is that he did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI. They went ballistic,” Graham said in a recent interview. “Within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it.”

Graham’s characterization of the meeting was backed up by Ayotte in a recent interview. “I was in that meeting when Susan Rice was with Director Morell when he blamed the FBI for changing those talking points, and you know then we call the FBI, the FBI goes crazy and said ‘we didn’t change the talking points.’ And so you have to wonder particularly now that we know that he may have received that email the day before what was going on.”

The email Ayotte is referring to was sent by the CIA’s top operative on the ground in Libya to Morell, and others at the CIA, one day before Rice’s Sunday show appearances. In the Sept. 15, 2012 email, first publicly documented in the bipartisan section of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, the CIA chief of station in Tripoli reported the attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.”

One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, is now urging that Morell be recalled to clear up his testimony.

“I think it’s important for the integrity of the oversight,” Wolf said, adding that congressional oversight would be rendered meaningless if Morell were not recalled given the allegations against him.

Wolf, whose resolution to establish a select committee has the backing of a Republican majority in the House, recently wrote a letter to all House Republicans calling for Morell to testify again, potentially in both chambers, to address possible conflicts with previous testimony.

New details, confirmed by Fox News, suggest a similar scenario played out before the House Intelligence committee, chaired by Republican Mike Rogers.

In mid-November 2012, Morell testified along with James Clapper, the nation’s intelligence chief, and Matt Olsen, a senior counterrorism official.
When asked who was responsible for the talking points, first requested by Rogers’ committee, Clapper said he had no idea, while Morell remained silent, according to sources familiar with the testimony.

“If your silence does create a misleading impression even if you don’t have a strict legal obligation to speak up I think as a public official — somebody entrusted, infused with the public trust — you do have an obligation to speak up to make the truth known,”  Tom Dupree, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, said.

Once the talking points emails were released, and Morell’s involvement came into sharper focus, in May 2013 he was asked to testify a second time before the House Intelligence Committee. Sources familiar with Morell’s second testimony say he admitted to changing the talking points, and he offered shifting explanations — from classification issues, to not compromising the FBI investigation — and that exposing the failure of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to act on repeated security warnings seemed unprofessional.

While two sources say Morell insisted the talking points were an afterthought at a White House meeting on Sept. 15 where the text was finalized, an email from White House adviser Ben Rhodes suggests otherwise. Late in the evening of Sept. 14, Rhodes wrote to email addresses at the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, State Department, White House and National Security Staff: “There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed … we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression. We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”

Dupree said lawmakers face a choice. “If you’re not getting the full truth in those questions, well then you can either abandon your oversight function or you can call those people back and press them and confront them with the facts.”

Since retiring from the CIA, Morell has taken on high-profile assignments for the administration, including the NSA review panel and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is now a paid TV commentator for CBS News, has a book deal, and works for Beacon Global Strategies, whose founder Philippe Reines has been described by the New York Times magazine as Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”

In an email to Fox News on Feb. 13, Morell said: “I stand behind what I have said to you and testified to Congress about the talking point issue. Neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”

When asked specific questions about Republican allegations he provided misleading testimony, Morell did not answer the questions, instead referring Fox News to the CIA public affairs office.

Spokesman Dean Boyd provided this statement to Fox News: “As we have said multiple times, the talking points on Benghazi were written, upon a request from Congress, so that members of Congress could say something preliminary and in an unclassified forum about the attacks. As former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has stated publicly time and again, the talking points were never meant to be definitive and, in fact, the points themselves noted that the initial assessment may change. He has addressed his role in the talking points numerous times. We don’t have anything further to add to the large body of detail on the talking points that is already in the public domain.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/20/former-cia-official-accused-misleading-lawmakers-on-benghazi/

 

Mike Morell: Man in the Middle of Benghazi Talking Points Scandal

Recent reporting has centered on CIA deputy director Mike Morell as a key player in critical and misleading changes made to the Obama Administration’s Benghazi talking points. The CIA talking points were cited by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five different national Sunday talk shows on September 16, five days after the attack. Administration officials from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on down cited them. The initial draft of the talking points was produced by the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis on September 14 at 11:15 a.m. A demonstration was mentioned, but so was al-Qaeda and Ansar-al-Sharia involvement. It referred to the CIA’s “numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.” National Security Council (NSC) staff edited the talking points on the 14th. But it was the State Department that had the most reservations. Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman (and now Assistant Secretary of State for Europe) Victoria Nuland did not like the CIA’s draft—nor did her “building leadership,” as she said in an e-mail on September 14 at 9:24 p.m. She wrote to the NSC staff:

Why do we want Hill to start fingering Ansar Al Sharia, when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have the investigation results…and the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that?… Concerned.

The next morning, September 15, at 9.45 a.m., Morell produced what became essentially thefinal version of the talking points (Senate report, p. 51), removing references to known terrorist groups and identifying a non-existing demonstration as the cause. Outrageously, the official talking points contradicted the known facts. According to the recent report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (p. 33), on September 15, the CIA’s Chief of Station in Tripoli reported in an e-mail that the Benghazi attacks were “not an escalation of protests.” Morrell completely ignored it. Below are the finalized talking points:

  • “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
  • “The assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
  • “The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with the Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”

The text was not only misleading but so pathetic that then-CIA director David Petraeus commented, “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this.” However, it was the State Department and the White House that were calling to shots, and Mike Morell played along.

http://blog.heritage.org/2014/02/11/mike-morell-man-middle-benghazi-talking-points-scandal/

 

Michael Morell

Michael Morell
Michael Morell, December 2012.JPG
Morell in December 2012
Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
In office
May 6, 2010 – August 9, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Kappes
Succeeded by Avril Haines
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Acting
In office
November 9, 2012 – March 8, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by David Petraeus
Succeeded by John Brennan
In office
July 1, 2011 – September 6, 2011
Preceded by Leon Panetta
Succeeded by David Petraeus
Personal details
Born Michael Joseph Morell
September 4, 1958 (age 55)
Cuyahoga FallsOhio, U.S.
Alma mater University of Akron
Georgetown University

Michael Joseph Morell (born September 4, 1958) was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013. Morell retired from his post on August 9, 2013, to devote more time to his family and to pursue other professional opportunities. As of 2014, Morell is CBS News‘ Senior Security Correspondent.

Early life and education

Morell is a native of Cuyahoga FallsOhio. His formal education includes a B.A. in economics from the University of Akron and an M.A.in economics from Georgetown University.[1] He joined the CIA in 1980. He was chief of the CIA‘s division on AsiaPacific and Latin America.[2]

Career

Most of Morell’s work in the agency was devoted to Asian projects.[1] He also managed the staff that produced the Presidential Daily Briefings for President George W. Bush. Morell was Bush’s briefer during the September 11, 2001 attacks, and has been quoted as saying, “I would bet every dollar I have that it’s al Qaeda.” Furthermore, Morell was a trusted asset to President Barack H. Obama II in the Osama bin Laden raid on May 2, 2011.[1][2] Before his 2010 nomination as deputy director, Morell served as director for intelligence, a position he had held since 2008. Before that, he served as the CIA’s first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008.

In May 2010, Morell was sworn in as the deputy director of the CIA, succeeding Stephen Kappes.[3] From July 1, 2011, to September 6, 2011, he served his first stint as acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, following the appointment of Leon Panetta assecretary of defense.[4] On November 9, 2012, Morell once again became acting director after David Petraeus, following the sex scandal.[5] Obama chose John Brennan, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by 12 to 3 vote on March 5, 2013.[6]

Morell announced his retirement from the CIA on June 12, 2013.[7]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Morell

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President Obama’s Trust Gap Widens — The Unbelievable President Loses Support of American People and World Leaders — The Decline and Fall of President Obama — Lame Duck — Videos

Posted on March 31, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, National Security Agency (NSA_, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Vacations, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: President Obama’s Trust Gap Widens — The Unbelievable President Loses Support of American People and World Leaders — The Decline and Fall of President Obama — Lame Duck — Videos

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All False statements involving Barack Obama

Mistrust overshadows Obama’s Saudi trip

US President Barack Obama meets Saudi King Abdullah Friday as mistrust fuelled by differences over Iran and Syria overshadows a decades-long alliance between their countries.

Obama, who is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia late in the afternoon on a flight from Italy, is expected to hold evening talks with the monarch on a royal estate outside Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has strong reservations about efforts by Washington and other major world powers to negotiate a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme.

It is also disappointed over Obama’s 11th-hour decision last year not to take military action against the Syrian regime over chemical weapons attacks.

Saudi analyst Abdel Aziz al-Sagr, who heads the Gulf Research Centre, said Saudi-US relations are “tense due to Washington’s stances” on the Middle East, especially Iran.

The recent rapprochement between Tehran and Washington “must not take place at the expense of relations with Riyadh,” Sagr told AFP.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, long wary of Shiite Iran’s regional ambitions, views a November deal between world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme as a risky venture that could embolden Tehran.

The interim agreement curbs Iran’s controversial nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief, and is aimed at buying time to negotiate a comprehensive accord.

But Sagr said “arming the Syrian opposition will top the agenda” during Obama’s visit, his second since his election in 2009.

Analyst Khaled al-Dakhil spoke of “major differences” with Washington, adding that Obama will focus on easing “Saudi fears on Iran and on regional security.”

Saudi Arabia, the largest power in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, fears that a possible US withdrawal from the Middle East and a diplomatic overture towards Iran would further feed Tehran’s regional ambitions.

Iranian-Saudi rivalry crystallised with the Syrian conflict: Tehran backs President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while several GCC states support the rebellion against him.

- ‘Clearing the air’ -

Obama’s stances towards events reshaping the region “have strained (Saudi-US) relations but without causing a complete break,” said Anwar Eshki, head of the Jeddah-based Middle East Centre for Strategic and Legal Studies.

US security and energy specialist professor Paul Sullivan said Obama meeting King Abdullah could “help clear the air on some misunderstandings.”

“However, I would be quite surprised if there were any major policy changes during this visit. This is also partly a reassurance visit,” he added.

White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that “whatever differences we may have do not alter the fact that this is a very important and close partnership”.

However, Riyadh seems to be reaching out more towards Asia, including China, in an apparent bid to rebalance its international relations.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz visited China, Pakistan, Japan and India this month, reportedly to strengthen ties.

The US-Saudi relationship dates to the end of World War II and was founded on an agreement for Washington to defend the Gulf state in exchange for oil contracts.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia is the world’s top producer and exporter of oil.

Obama and the king are also expected to discuss deadlocked US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

They will also discuss Egypt, another bone of contention since the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, who was a staunch US and Saudi ally.

The kingdom was dismayed by the partial freezing of US aid to Egypt after the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July — a move hailed by Riyadh.

On Thursday, Egypt’s Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi resigned as defence minister after announcing he would stand for president.

Meanwhile, dozens of US lawmakers have urged Obama in a letter to publicly address Saudi Arabia’s “systematic human rights violations,” including efforts by women activists to challenge its ban on female drivers.

And rights group Amnesty International said Obama “must break the US administration’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record by taking a strong public stand against the systematic violations in the kingdom.”

“It is crucial that President Obama sends a strong message to the government of Saudi Arabia that its gross human rights violations and systematic discrimination are unacceptable,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“A failure to do so would undermine the human rights principles the USA purports to stand for,” she added in a statement.

Amnesty also urged Obama to express “dismay” at the kingdom’s ban on women driving as his visit coincides with a local campaign to end the globally unique ban.

http://news.yahoo.com/mistrust-overshadows-obamas-saudi-trip-055623617.html

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Nuclear Security Summit 2014 — Loose Nuke War Game — 1 Nuclear Weapon — NYC or Washington? — You Choose — Videos

Posted on March 26, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Films, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Merkel miffed at Barack Obama and David Cameron ‘nuclear war game’

World leaders played an interactive nuclear war game designed to test their responses to a terrorist atomic “dirty bomb” attack that threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of people

 

David Cameron joined Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping and other world leaders to play a “nukes on the loose” war game to see how they would cope with a terrorist nuclear attack.

The German chancellor grumbled at being asked to play games and take tests with the Prime Minister, US and Chinese presidents around a table with dozens of heads of state at a nuclear summit in The Hague.

Her complaints were overruled because Mr Obama was keen on the idea and in on the surprise.

In the war game, played out by actors in a series of short films, a terrorist attack with an atomic “dirty bomb” takes place in the financial heart of an unnamed but Western metropolis. “It could be the City of London, or Wall Street, Milan or anywhere”, summit leaders were told.

As the scenario unfolded, it emerged that the terrorists are from an unidentified global terror network and they have stolen nuclear material from an unidentified country that had poorly secured its radiological and nuclear stockpiles.

The bomb is being built in a clandestine laboratory with stolen uranium. It is an improvised explosive device but deadly and the clock is ticking, the leaders were told. Hundreds of thousands of people could be about to die.

“They had to give an answer on their own, in real time. It was like a test. It put them on the spot. Should they inform the public or keep them in the dark,” said a diplomatic source.

“Should they work with other countries or stand alone to try to thwart or minimise the attack? How should they make the cold calculation of how to get a more sustainable human cost in terms of deaths?”

Each world leader had a computer tablet with a touch screen options to make one of four responses to a series of four scenario films played by actors and mimicking the famous 1983 Cold War Hollywood thriller “War Games”, where a computer hacker triggers a nuclear missile scare.

In a competitive environment, with a ticking clock, the leaders had to make rapid choices before the results were presented to the group, anonymously stripped of their identities and followed by discussion.

Perhaps predictably at a world summit on nuclear security, the war game found that shared, collective international decisions were able to stop the terrorist network before they could actually build the dirty bomb.

US officials said that the unconventional approach had been designed to give a “scare you to death” shock to make leaders seriously think about the security of nuclear materials.

But not everyone was happy about playing the war game with the grumbling led by Mrs Merkel who was unimpressed with role-playing at such a high-powered gathering. Mr Obama, who helped plan the game, overrode the moaning. He had Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, his lead national security adviser on the issue, helpfully by his side.

“Leaders had their doubts about participation on their own without their expert civil servants. It was about discussion and problem solving without leaders relying on written statements to read out. At the end the leaders were more enthusiastic,” said a spokesman for the summit.

 

Would you survive a nuclear blast?

Nuclear Blast Mapper on the PBS “Race for the Superbomb” web site show how horribly destructive thermonuclear weapons are. The fission bomb detonated over Nagasaki had an explosive power equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT. Blast Mapper’s 1-million ton hydrogen bomb, hypothetically detonated on the earth’s surface at any location you choose, has 50 times the explosive power of that 1945 explosion. Video clips of actual A-bomb detonations and their effects can also be viewed at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb

The adjoining map of the Tri-Cities, Washington, shows circles of destruction from a 1 megaton surface blast centered on Columbia Center mall.

Blast map key

NOTE: Blast pressure within the circles is greater than the indicated values and is less outside the circles. The zones of destruction in the map are broad generalizations and do not take into account factors such as weather and topography. Fatality numbers do not include the significant delayed effects of trauma, fire, or radioactivity.

12 psi (pounds per square inch), Radius: 1.7 miles

At ground zero lies a crater 200 feet deep and 1000 feet in diameter. The rim of the crater is composed of highly radioactive soil and debris. Nothing recognizable remains within about 0.6 mile from the center except, perhaps, the remains of some buildings’ foundations. At 1.7 miles, only some of the strongest buildings — those made of reinforced, poured concrete — are still standing. Ninety-eight percent of the population within this area are dead immediately.

5 psi, radius – 2.7 miles

Virtually everything is destroyed between the 12 and 5 psi circles. The walls of typical multi-story buildings, including apartment buildings, are completely blown out. The bare, structural skeletons of some buildings rise above the debris as you approach the 5 psi circle. Single-family residences within this area are completely blown away — only their foundations remain. Fifty percent of the population between the 12 and 5 psi circles are dead. Forty percent more are injured.

2 psi, radius – 4.7 miles

Any single-family residences that are not completely destroyed are heavily damaged. The windows of office buildings are blown away, as are some of their walls. Everything on these buildings’ upper floors, including the people who were working there, are thrown onto the street. Substantial debris clutters the entire area. Five percent of the population between the 5 and 2 psi circles are dead. Forty-five percent are injured.

1 psi, radius – 7.4 miles

Residences are moderately damaged. Commercial buildings have sustained minimal damage. Twenty-five percent of the population between the 2 and 1 psi circles have been injured, mainly by flying glass and debris. Many others have suffered flash burns from thermal radiation generated by the explosion.

Fallout effects

Radiation effects are for downwind areas.

Assumptions: wind speed – 15 mph, time frame – 7 days

3,000 rem*, distance – 30 miles

Much more than a lethal dose of radiation. Death can occur within hours of exposure. About ten years will need to pass before levels of radioactivity in this area are low enough to be considered safe by U.S. peacetime standards.

900 rem, distance – 90 miles

A lethal dose of radiation. Death occurs from two to fourteen days.

300 rem, distance – 160 miles

Causes extensive internal damage, including harm to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract. Also results in a loss of white blood cells and temporary hair loss.

90 rem, distance – 250 miles

No immediate harmful effects, but does result in a temporary decrease in white blood cells. Two to three years will need to pass before radioactivity levels in this area are low enough to be considered safe by U.S. peacetime standards.

*rem stands for “roentgen equivalent man.” It is a measurement used to quantify the amount of radiation that will produce certain biological effects.

NOTE: This information is drawn mainly from “The Effects of Nuclear War” (Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, Washington DC, 1979).

http://www.wcpeace.org/nuc_weapons-1.htm

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Noah November — People Payback Purges Presidential Poison Pill — Obamacare — Drown Democrats — Freakout — Videos

Posted on March 17, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

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Story 2: Noah November — People Payback Purges Presidential Poison Pill — Obamacare — Drown Democrats — Freakout  – Videos

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Do Dems need a ‘wake up call’ for 2014?

Obamacare hardship exemption: What you need to know News

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Bill O’Reilly to Glenn Beck: If Obamacare Implodes, Democrats Will Be ‘Banished For 10 to 15 Years’

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The True Tea Party Message Direction for 2014

Tea Party debate: Tea Party vs. establishment: Who is helping the right, and who is hurting it?

Obama Factor Adds to Fears of Democrats

By JONATHAN MARTIN and ASHLEY PARKER

Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.

The combination has led to uncharacteristic criticism of Mr. Obama and bitter complaints that his vaunted political organization has done little to help the party’s vulnerable congressional candidates.

The latest in a cascade of bad news came Friday when Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts, announced an exploratory committee to challenge the incumbent Democrat in New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and when the Republican-aligned “super PAC” American Crossroads said it would spend $600,000 to help his effort.

Earlier, another top-tier Republican recruit, Representative Cory Gardner, decided to challenge Senator Mark Udall of Colorado; the two races create unanticipated opportunities improving Republicans’ chances to take control of the Senate. No prominent Democrats predict their party will win back the House.

Interviews with more than two dozen Democratic members of Congress, state party officials and strategists revealed a new urgency about the need to address the party’s prospects. One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates. At the same time, Democrats are pressing senior aides to Mr. Obama for help from the political network.

“I’m a prolific fund-raiser, but I can’t compete with somebody who has got 50-some-odd billion dollars,” said Representative Joe Garcia of Florida, a vulnerable first-term member who has already faced more than $500,000 in negative TV ads from third-party conservative groups. “One hopes the cavalry is coming. One hopes the cavalry is coming.”

The gap is yawning. Outside Republican groups have spent about $40 million in this election cycle, compared with just $17 million by Democrats.

When two senior White House officials — Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director, and Phil Schiliro, the health care adviser — went to the Capitol late last month to address Senate Democrats about the Affordable Care Act, they were met with angry questions about why Mr. Obama’s well-funded advocacy group, Organizing for Action, was not airing commercials offering them cover on the health law.

Among those raising concerns was Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, who also has a low-key style and warm relationship with Mr. Obama.

“They did not want to hear about health care enrollment,” one source familiar with the meeting said, describing “a high level of anxiety.”

After the loss in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which Mr. Obama carried in 2012, Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm, asked the White House political director, David Simas, for additional help during a Wednesday meeting at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Responding to these concerns, several Democrats said Friday that Organizing for Action would cut back its fund-raising activities so the group would not be in competition with the candidates for donors. Katie Hogan, a spokeswoman for it, said, “We understand and expect that some of our more than 420,000 contributors will shift their focus to their local campaigns during the midterm season.”

Democrats also said that the White House would make Mr. Obama available for additional fund-raisers and that the president was starting to meet with small groups of the party’s largest contributors that could benefit the party’s own super PACS.

“Everyone is trying to send the signal: Don’t get ahead of yourself — 2016 is critical, but 2014 comes first,” said David Plouffe, the president’s former campaign manager.

Mr. Obama’s approval rating of 41 percent in a Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll last week matched that of a New York Times/CBS News survey in February and represents one of the clearest reasons for Democratic malaise. Since the post-World War II era, that measurement has been one of the most accurate predictors of midterm results, and any number below 50 means trouble for the party that holds the White House.

“The state of Democrats is very much tied to the state of the president, and in that regard, these are far from the best of times,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

In addition to problems with the health law, the White House is losing the support of Democrats on key appointments such as Mr. Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and his choice to be surgeon general. Also last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, broke with the administration with a scalding criticism of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Historical trends over all also argue against the president’s party in a sixth year. In 1958, Republicans lost 48 seats in the House and 13 in the Senate; in 2006, Republicans lost 30 seats in the House and six in the Senate. In the past 50 years, only Bill Clinton in 1998, when his approval ratings were much higher than Mr. Obama’s today, did not drag down his party in a second midterm; Democrats picked up five House seats.

Republicans also seem to be benefiting from the argument — reinforced by advertising and by their media surrogates — that Mr. Obama has presided over an activist government that has overreached and proved incompetent.

Most Democrats up for re-election are trying to put some distance between themselves and the president, choosing surrogates such as Mr. Clinton to campaign for them, particularly in the South and parts of the West.

Asked whether Mr. Obama is a liability, Representative Ami Bera, Democrat of California, demurred. “We haven’t really focused much on the president,” he said. “We’re focused on Sacramento County and the folks that are there.”

This unease is also prompting Democrats to speak more candidly about what many see as the root cause for their political difficulties: the bungled unveiling of the health law, in particular the insurance website, and the White House’s failure to market the initiative effectively.

“The rollout left a bad taste in people’s mouth from Day 1, and it’s hard to create a new flavor now,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee.

To stem losses, the Democratic National Committee is focusing on technology and data to give their candidates, as well as the state parties, the latest tools they will need to turn out the vote more effectively and efficiently. And Senate Democrats will try to make races about local issues rather than a referendum on Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s aides say he is not idly watching congressional Democrats drown in a Republican wave. By the end of June, the president will have attended 14 events for Democratic groups.

But on Capitol Hill, Democrats are furious that the same major contributors who enabled Mr. Obama and allied outside groups to raise over $1 billion for his re-election in 2012 are not rallying to ensure the president does not face a Congress controlled entirely by Republicans for his final two years.

Democrats say that the party needs more donors with the means of the California billionaire Thomas F. Steyer, who is helping candidates who support addressing climate change, to protect candidates who backed the health law.

“I’m not in the super PAC business, but we need somebody like a Steyer to get in the fight on the Affordable Care Act,” said Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Democrats, he said, are “getting beat to death.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/us/politics/obama-factor-adds-to-fears-of-democrats.html?_r=0

Anatomy of a Democratic Midterm Freakout

National Democrats are in a near panic — if the media’s highly-attuned panic detectors are any indicator — with a “poisonous” president unable to use his popularity to sway voters, a “screaming siren” warning about mid-term turnout, and Republicans on the offensive on Obamacare. There are a long eight months until November, but Democrats seem unlikely to get much sleep over the interim.

There are (at least!) six reasons why.

1. The midterms were always going to be bad for Democrats because of turnout.

It’s important to remember that the midterm elections were always going to be difficult for the Democrats. Lower turnout elections usually favor Republicans, whose older, wealthier constituents vote more reliably. One large reason that Republican David Jolly won the special election in Florida last week was thatturnout was very, very low.

On Bloomberg TV over the weekend, Obama advisor David Plouffe didn’t mince words. “We have a turnout issue,” he said. “This is a screaming siren that the same problems that afflicted us [in 2010] could happen again.” In 2010 — a low turnout election that strongly favored the nascent Tea Party movement — Democrats lost 63 seats. Republicans are unlikely to make that much progress again simply because they did so well four years ago. But Democrats are unlikely to make much headway — and certainly won’t retake the Chamber. “No prominent Democrats predict their party will win back the House,” The New York Times drily notes.

2. President Obama is near all-time lows on his approval ratings.

That Times article also contains a quote explaining one of the key reasons Democrats are freaked out. “One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Obama was becoming ‘poisonous’ to the party’s candidates.” Presidential popularity can be a key tool for ginning up support on the campaign trail. And being tied to an unpopular president can be an anchor.

Last week, an NBC / Wall Street Journal poll identified the poison. Obama’s approval is at a record low in the surveys, and voters are wary of voting for people who are seen as solidly supportive of his administration. Democrats are eager to get Obama’s vaunted-but-diminished voter engagement apparatus involved in their races, but Mr. Obama is welcome to remain in Washington, thank you very much.

3. Republicans have figured out how to walk the line on Obamacare.

In the wake of Jolly’s win last week, Republicans clearly feel emboldened to return to the attack on Obamacare, a policy that (obviously not objective) GOP Chair Reince Priebus called “complete poison out there in the field.” As Reuters notes, the win “has emboldened Republicans to press their case hard against Obama’s signature first-term achievement.”

Reuters reports that a Democratic pollster sent a memo around Capitol Hill after last week’s race, explaining that “‘keeping parts’ of the Affordable Care Act that work and ‘fixing those that don’t’ drew higher numbers than ‘the Republican message of repeal.’”

Which is why House Republicans, after 50 votes attempting to curtail the law, have shifted toward a package of fixes. The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa describesthe proposal as a sort of greatest hits of Republican reform proposals. And the rationale for releasing it now is obvious. “In meetings with Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last week,” Costa reports, “House leadership allies cast Florida as a sign of good things to come in November. But they also cautioned that Republicans needed to offer a clearer alternative.”

It’s important to note that the caucus’ right-most wing, the group that largely prompted those 50 votes, is skeptical. But in order to rebut the Democrats on the campaign trail, Republicans only need an alternative in-hand, not necessarily for anything to pass.

4. Outside Republican groups are outspending their opposition.

A key concern from Democrats is how badly they’re being outspent. While Jolly and the Republicans were outspent by his Democratic rival Alex Sink and her allies in Florida, that’s not the case nationally. The Times reports that “Republican groups have spent about $40 million in this election cycle, compared with just $17 million by Democrats” — largely focused on a repeal of Obamacare. The head of the Democrats’ House campaign committee, New York Rep. Steve Israel, put it bluntly. “Florida 13 doesn’t keep me up at night,” he said, “but the aggregate Republican super PAC money makes me toss and turn.”

“I’m a prolific fund-raiser,” Florida Rep. Joe Garcia told the Times, “but I can’t compete with somebody who has got 50-some-odd billion dollars.”

5. Republicans are expanding the number of races where they want to compete.

The money the Democrats have will also need to be spent in places they would rather not have to spend it. On Friday, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brownentered the Senate race in New Hampshire, forcing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee arm to have to spend money in a year when they’re already desperate to hold existing seats. Brown trails, but the DSCC would obviously rather spend that money holding embattled seats in Louisiana or Arkansas — or unseating Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

6. Democrats freaking out will only make all of the above problems worse.

In The Washington Post, columnist E. J. Dionne despairs, “Listlessness is bad politics. Defensiveness is poor strategy. And resignation is never inspiring.”

Obama and his party are in danger of allowing the Republicans to set the terms of the 2014 elections, just as they did four years ago. The fog of nasty and depressing advertising threatens to reduce the electorate to a hard core of older, conservative voters eager to hand the president a blistering defeat.

On one hand, it’s the turnout argument, that Republicans will be excited about turning out in November and Democrats won’t. But in a larger sense, Dionne’s message is that Democrats need to change their attitude, and quickly. Which, of course, is like telling someone suffering from depression to get over it. The problem runs a little deeper than that.

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/03/anatomy-democratic-midterm-freakout/359229/

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The Plane — The Plane — Where is the plane? — Crashed Landed — Where? Where? — Fantasy Island! Fantasy Island? — New Reality TV Series Publicity Stunt — Reality: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Hijacked — Destination Unknown — Malaysian Prime Minister News Conference — Videos

Posted on March 15, 2014. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crashed, Crime, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Education, Faith, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, history, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Weather, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Noah November — People Payback Purges Presidential Poison Pill — Obamacare — Drown Democrats — Freakout  – Videos]

FLIGHT GEAR | HOW TO START THE BOEING 777-200ER

Best Cockpit landing ever

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FULL] Malaysia Airlines Hijacked: Was Malaysia Airlines 370 Hijacked?

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Malaysia Airlines Mystery: How Does a Plane Vanish?

Officials Investigate Stolen Passports Used on Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

Missing airliner may have flown on for 7 hours

By , and , Updated: Saturday, March 15, 12:40 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that a missing passenger jet was steered off course after its communications systems were intentionally disabled and could have potentially flown for seven additional hours.

In the most comprehensive account to date of the plane’s fate, Najib drew an ominous picture of what happened aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying investigators had determined there was “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”

Najib said the investigation had “refocused” to look at the crew and passengers. A Malaysia Airlines representative, speaking to relatives of passengers in Beijing, said the Malaysian government had opened a criminal investigation into the plane’s disappearance.

(See: New map shows possible search corridors for the Malaysia Airlines flight.)

The plane’s whereabouts remain unknown one week after it disappeared from civilian radar shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. But Najib, citing newly analyzed satellite data, said the plane could have last made contact anywhere along one of two corridors: one stretching from northern Thailand toward the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, the other, more southern corridor stretching from Indonesia to the remote Indian Ocean.

U.S. officials previously said they believed the plane could have remained in the air for several extra hours, and Najib said Saturday that the flight was still communicating with satellites until 8:11 a.m. — 7 ½ hours after takeoff, and more than 90 minutes after it was due in Beijing. There was no further communication with the plane after that time, Najib said. If the plane was still in the air, it would have been nearing its fuel limit.

“Due to the type of satellite data,” Najib said, “we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.”

A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation on Friday said the only thing the satellite can tell is how much it would need to adjust its antenna to get the strongest signal from the plane. It cannot provide the plane’s exact position or which direction it flew, just how far the plane is, roughly, from the last good data-transmission location when the digital datalink system was actually sending data up to the satellite.

The U.S. official said the search area is somewhere along the arc or circumference of a circle with a diameter of thousands of miles.

The new leads about the plane’s end point, though ambiguous, have drastically changed a search operation involving more than a dozen nations. Malaysia on Saturday said that efforts would be terminated in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, the spot where the plane first disappeared from civilian radar.

Malaysian authorities are now likely to look for help from other countries in Southeast and South Asia, seeking mysterious or unidentified readings that their radar systems might have picked up.

The plane, based on one potential end point, could have spent nearly all its flight time over the Indian Ocean as it headed to an area west of Australia. But if the plane traveled in the direction of Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan, it would present a more perplexing scenario in which it would have evaded detection for hours while flying through a volatile region where airspace is heavily monitored: Burma, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan and western China are all in the neighborhood of that path, as is the United States’ Bagram air base, which is in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials in Afghanistan would not comment on the possibility that the plane had flown over that country, but that scenario seems unlikely given the tight western control over Afghan airspace.

Afghan officials said they rely on Americans on such matters. “We do not know what has happened to the plane or if it has overflown Afghan air space. We do not have a radar. Go and ask the Americans,” said a senior Afghan official.

A Pakistani official said his country has not yet been asked by Malaysia to share its radar data, but will provide them if asked.

“Given the strong radar system that we have, and also that India and other countries in the region have, it’s very difficult for a plane to fly undetected for so long,” said Abid Qaimkhan, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Malaysia has confirmed that a previously unknown radar trail picked up by its military was indeed MH370. That blip suggests the plane had cut west, across the Malaysian peninsula, after severing contact with the ground. Malaysia received help in analyzing that radar data from the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, and the British Air Accident Investigation Branch.

Malaysian investigators now believe that the Boeing-777 airliner, bound for Beijing with 227 passengers, deliberately cut a series of communications systems as it headed toward the boundary of Malaysian airspace. U.S. officials and aviation experts say the plane could have been hijacked by somebody with aviation knowledge or sabotaged by a crew member.

Investigators have not yet presented a clear scenario of what could have happened on board. Reuters reported that Malaysian police on Saturday searched the home of the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who had more than three decades of commercial flight experience. A senior Malaysian police official refused to confirm the search.

Zaharie had a flight simulator at his home, something that appeared in a YouTube video posted from his unconfirmed YouTube account. Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Friday that “everyone is free to do their own hobby” and that it isn’t unusual for pilots to have home simulators.

U.S. officials have said that the plane, shortly after being diverted, reached an altitude of 45,000 feet and “jumped around a lot.” But the airplane otherwise appeared to operate normally. Significantly, the transponder and a satellite-based communication system did not stop at the same time, as they would if the plane had exploded, disintegrated or crashed into the ocean.

Najib said Saturday that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, was disabled just as MH370 reached the eastern coast of Malaysia. The transponder was then switched off, Najib said, as the aircraft neared the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace.

According to the Malaysian government, a satellite that tracked the aircraft was located more than 22,000 miles above sea level. Even after the ACARS system was disconnected, the satellite still received some basic signal from the plane — what one U.S. official described as a “handshake.” Though no data was being transmitted, the satellite continued to reach out to the plane on an hourly basis and received confirmation that the plane was still flying.

“There’s no circuit breaker that would allow you to shut off the handshake,” the official said.

That satellite handshake took place on a system operated by Inmarsat, a British satellite company that provides global mobile telecommunications services.

U.S. officials declined to say how closely that handshake allowed them to track the path of the missing plane. But one U.S. official explained that the satellite wasn’t able to read the plane’s exact location or even what direction it flew. Instead, the satellite was able to determine how far the plane had traveled since the last known spot where ACARS was transmitting data. That could explain how Malaysia created two possible arcs where the plane might have traveled.

Najib said Saturday that the search for MH370 had entered a “new phase.” The U.S. Navy, already positioned to the west of the Malaysian peninsula, was planning to meet tonight to discuss whether and how to redeploy its assets, spokesman Cmdr. William Marks said.

Indian officials said Saturday morning that they were still awaiting new orders in response to the Malaysian prime minister’s statement that the official search focus shift from the South China Sea to the two “corridors” west of Malaysia.

“Nothing is certain. These are all probabilities,” said Captain D.K. Sharma, a spokesman for the India Navy. “Let the new orders come. Let’s see how we respond.”

India has now expanded its search from the area around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands — where five vessels and four planes have been deployed — to the north and west, by adding four additional aircraft to scour the massive Bay of Bengal — two P-8I anti-submarine and electronic intelligence planes and three other military aircraft, including a C-130J and two Dorniers. Search teams from the Indian military had spent much of the day Friday searching the jungles on remote islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, most of which are uninhabited, but so far have come up empty.

Other nations along the Bay of Bengal are now the expanding search as well. Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina, said that country had deployed two aircraft and two frigates in the Bay of Bengal.

Harlan reported from Kuala Lumpur, and Gowen reported from New Delhi. Liu Liu contributed from Beijing. Tim Craig contributed from Pakistan, Joel Achenbach, Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz contributed from Washington and Rama Lakshmi contributed from New Delhi.

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Collectivists Celebrate 100 Anniversary of Start of World War I By Starting World War III? — Accidents Happen — Cold War Turns Into Hot War — Videos

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Entertainment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Programming, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

europe-mapUkrain-physical-mapukraine_russia_timeline

 map_of_russian_gas_pipelines_supplies_to_europe_via_ukraine

 

gas_europe

map_eurrussian_gas_pipelines

 

Russia dismisses U.S. proposals in Ukraine talks

Drifting Towards War

Ron Paul: U.S. Already Spent $5 Billion to Undermine Ukrainian Government

Victoria Nuland’s Admits Washington Has Spent $5 Billion to “Subvert Ukraine”

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Debate: Is Ukraine’s Opposition a Democratic Movement or a Force of Right-Wing Extremism…

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OReilly: Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine

2/18/14 Stephen F. Cohen, Ph.D. on O’Reilly claiming we’re Putin bashing

US Betrayal of Russia

 

Learn How The United States Is Behind The Kiev Ukraine Riots

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OBAMA PUSHING WAR WITH RUSSIA WORLD WAR 3 RUSSIAN TROOPS IN UKRAINE! 3-2-14

John McCain moves to start World War 3 in Ukraine

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The First World War – Part 1/10

The First World War – Part 2/10

The First World War – Part 3/10

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The First World War – Part 8/10

The First World War – Part 9/10

The First World War – Part 10/10

The Guns of August

The Guns of August is a documentary that follows the book by the same title by author, Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), an eminent American historian. She received the first of her two Pulitzer prizes for this 1962 masterpiece on World War I. The documentary was made in 1965. Barbara Tuchman was highly respected for her ability to present complex subjects and present them with clarity. Until I read the previous review, I have never heard of anyone accusing her of hating Germany or its people or of her book being anti-German propaganda. But there are pictures of shot civilians and movies of smoldering ruins. Then again, there are people who claim the Holocaust never took place and is just anti-Nazi propaganda… Facts: On August 3 1914, Germany declared war on France. The German invasion plan for France called for an attack through Belgium, instead of through the heavily defended Franco-German border. Belgium was neutral and its neutrality was protected by treaty with Great Britain. The Germans attacked on August 3rd. The next day, August 4th, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Germany warned Belgium that they only wanted to reach France and if Belgium complied, there wouldn’t be any trouble. Despite its small army, Belgium chose to protect its sovereignty and its honor and paid for it. Liège, Aarschot, Andenne, Tamines, Dinant, and Leuven, where the worst of the German depredations occurred.

 

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Neocon Warmonger Senate John McCain Off To Beat The War Drums — Go Home Senator — American People Want No US Intervention Into Ukraine! — Drums Beating Along The Black Sea — Videos

Posted on March 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Energy, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Security, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

John McCain moves to start World War 3 in Ukraine

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War Party : Documentary on the Neoconservative War Party

Richard Perle – Defining Neoconservatism Q&A 1/6

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Richard Perle – Defining Neoconservatism Q&A 4/6

Richard Perle – Defining Neoconservatism Q&A 5/6

Richard Perle – Defining Neoconservatism Q&A 6/6

‘They knew they were right’ A Critique of Neoconservatism 2/5

‘They knew they were right’ A Critique of Neoconservatism 3/5

‘They knew they were right’ A Critique of Neoconservatism 4/5

‘They knew they were right’ A Critique of Neoconservatism 5/5

 

 

 

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Betrayal of the Constitution: The Neocons Now Run the GOP | John F. McManus

 

John McCain: NeoCon and his NeoCon advisor

 

Roundtable: As Crimea Threatens Secession, Does East-West Split Hasten Ukraine’s Polit. Divide? 1/2

Roundtable: As Crimea Threatens Secession, Does East-West Split Hasten Ukraine’s Polit. Divide? 2/2

 

Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, U.S. in Regional Crisis (1/2)

 

Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, U.S. in Regional Crisis (2/2)

 

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Snowden Speaks At SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas — Videos

Posted on March 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Education, External Hard Drives, Faith, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

FULL: Edward Snowden and ACLU at SXSW

Snowden Appears Via Video Conference At SXSW Panel

 

 

Snowden’s first live: ‘Constitution being violated on massive scale’ (FULL VIDEO)

Speaking remotely from Russia on Monday, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told attendees at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas that encryption is still a powerful deterrent against government surveillance.

“Obama Is BIG BROTHER And He’s A LIAR!”

 Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes

By DYLAN BYERS | 3/13/14 5:03 AM EDT Updated: 3/13/14 8:27 AM EDT

Next month, the trustees who oversee America’s most distinguished journalistic award could face their toughest decision in at least four decades.

The issue before the Pulitzer Prize Board: Does it honor reporting by The Washington Post and The Guardian based on stolen government documents that are arguably detrimental to the national security of the United States, and which were provided by a man who many see as a traitor? Or, does it pass over what is widely viewed as the single most significant story of the year — if not the decade — for the sake of playing it safe?

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The politically charged debate surrounding the National Security Agency’s widespread domestic surveillance program, and the man who revealed it, Edward Snowden, is certain to prompt intense discussion for the 19-member Board as it gathers to decide this year’s winners, according to past Board members, veteran journalists and media watchdogs. The debate echoes the historic decision in 1972, when the Board honored The New York Times for its reporting on Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers, they said.

(WATCH: Edward Snowden speaks at SXSW festival)

“This is an institutional question for them,” said Robert Kaiser, the veteran Washington Post journalist and a previous Pulitzer Prize finalist. “This is a very good argument to have, and there are members of that Board who are going to raise these questions and want to talk about them.”

The risks are manifold, and there is no easy answer: Honoring the NSA reporting — particularly in the coveted category of Public Service — would inevitably be perceived as a political act, with the Pulitzer committee invoking its prestige on behalf of one side in a bitter national argument. In effect, it would be a rebuttal to prominent establishment voices in both parties who say that Snowden’s revelations, and the decision by journalists to publish them, were the exact opposite of a public service. President Barack Obama has said that Snowden’s leaks “could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come.” Former Vice President Dick Cheney has called him “a traitor.” Snowden, who is living in Russia, is facing three felony charges in a criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department.

Yet to pass on the NSA story would be to risk giving the appearance of timidity, siding with the government over the journalists who are trying to hold it accountable and ignoring the most significant disclosure of state secrets in recent memory. It would also look like a willful decision to deny the obvious: No other event has had as dramatic an impact on national and international debates over state surveillance and individual privacy. Last December, in a move that Snowden later described as vindication, a federal district judge ruled that the NSA surveillance Snowden exposed most likely violates the Constitution. Another judge later found the surveillance lawful.

(Also on POLITICO: Snowden Inc.)

“The stories that came out of this completely changed the agenda on the discussion on privacy and the NSA,” said David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. “There’s an enormous public good in that, and it’s yet to be proven at all that somehow did great damage to national security.”

Two teams are being considered for their work on the NSA leaks, POLITICO has confirmed. One is made up of The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill, who published the first landmark report on the NSA’s collection of Verizon phone records, and have since played an integral role in building upon those revelations. The other is Poitras and Barton Gellman, who reported on the wide-ranging surveillance program known as “PRISM” for The Washington Post.

Here, too, the Board faces a challenge: In the eyes of privacy advocates, Greenwald’s work has been much more consequential in the larger arc of the Snowden story, and it was Greenwald who flew to Hong Kong to meet with Snowden and earn his trust. But Greenwald, a staunch anti-surveillance advocate with a brash, outsider’s persona, is not the type of journalist the Pulitzer Board has typically admired. Gellman, by contrast, with his serious and soft-spoken demeanor and decades in the business, comes straight out of Pulitzer central casting. But on what grounds could the Pulitzers recognize Gellman and not Greenwald?

(Also on POLITICO: Snowden: Hill, FISA need watchdog)

All of these questions will be on the table when the Pulitzer committee meets on April 10 and 11. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 14, at a 3 p.m. news conference at Columbia’s Journalism School.

Sig Gissler, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, and several board members declined to comment on the group’s approach to the NSA reporting, citing the confidentiality of the selection process. “Jurors sign oaths of confidentiality. We certainly do not comment on what is or is not entered or nominated,” Gissler said.

Both Greenwald and Gellman also declined to comment, as did the top editors at The Guardian and The Washington Post. Submissions in each category have already been considered by separate juries, which nominate three finalists to the Board. The Board then considers those nominations for the prizes; with a three-fourths vote, they can move a submission to a different category or recommend another work for consideration. The Guardian’s reporting was conducted through its U.S. outlet in New York, making it eligible for submission.

Several journalists believe that Snowden’s actions should have no bearing on the Pulitzer board’s considerations. It is the reporting that is being honored, not the source, they said.

(Also on POLITICO: Snowden still stirring the political pot)

“The question always is, ‘What was the best journalism produced in the past year?’ And it’s hard to think of a story that has had the impact of the NSA revelations,” said Rem Rieder, the media editor and columnist at USA Today . “These articles made public really important information that the public needs to know, and started a very important national debate over something that should not be decided unilaterally by the executive branch without public input or knowledge.”

Others have a harder time drawing such a definitive line. Michael Kinsley, the veteran political columnist and commentator, has wondered if there isn’t a dubious double standard in the way journalists are honored as heroes while their sources are portrayed as criminals. “If Snowden is guilty of a crime, why isn’t Bart Gellman guilty also?” he asked in an essay for The New Republic last year. Kinsley declined to comment for this piece.

Many of Snowden’s critics are often quick to paint Greenwald, Snowden’s staunchest public advocate, as an accomplice. James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, even referred to “Snowden and his accomplices” while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January.

Whatever the Board’s intention, the decision to give an award to any NSA-related journalism would almost certainly be interpreted as a vindication of Snowden’s efforts, many said. That perceived declaration would surely invite blowback from those who see Snowden in a negative light. In January, after The New York Times editorial board called for clemency for Snowden, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) accused the paper’s editors of being “apologists for terrorists.”

The complications don’t end there. If the Board does decide to honor the reporting on the NSA, it will then have to wrestle with the fact that reporters from two publications were involved in the revelations. Though the Board has given dual awards in the past — the last occasion was in 2006 when The New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald split the Public Service award for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina — Greenwald’s role as an advocate could further impact the decision. The Brazil-based lawyer, who now works for Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, has kept a high profile throughout the past nine months, publicly advocating on Snowden’s behalf — and against the U.S. government — in television appearances, news interviews, and on social media.

“This institution [the Pulitzers] has a tendency to take itself awfully seriously,” said Kaiser, who described Greenwald’s work as “causist” reporting. “Whether committed causes should get a Pulitzer Prize for any kind of reporting is an open question. They’ll have to decide how judgmental they need to be.”

Gellman’s more traditional handling of the NSA story may have more appeal to the board. Instead of jumping into the fray on a near-daily basis, fighting on Twitter and giving contentious cable news interviews, Gellman has produced a few comprehensive reports that sought to put new revelations in a greater context. His ties to The Washington Post have also given the NSA story the imprimatur of “old media” integrity, which the Board is said to value.

Finally, there is the issue of effort. Though Greenwald and Gellman have dismissed the suggestion that Snowden’s trove of NSA files simply fell into their laps, the Pulitzer Board could feel conflicted about giving an award to the recipients of stolen documents when other applicants may have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting on, say, a local government issue. In several instances throughout its history, the Board has honored reporting based to a significant degree on the amount of effort and diligence shown by the reporters.

“The one wild card is the degree of difficulty question,” Rieder said. “Not to minimize the role of the reporters — it’s not just stenography. You have to sift through the information, present it clearly, explain why it matters, put it in context, etc. The real challenge would be if you had entries where reporters had to go to extraordinary lengths to pry out information of vital interest to the public, as opposed to having it turned over to them. If you had examples of great magnitude, that would make it complicated. That said, this was clearly the story of last year.”

“There’s a real question about whether this is reporting,” Kaiser said. “It might be a public service award, but it’s not a great reporting coup when a source comes to you and hands you this stuff.”

Both Greenwald and Gellman have adamantly dismissed the suggestion that they were merely stenographers for Snowden. Greenwald in particular traveled to Hong Kong and spent hours working with Snowden and earning his trust. Greenwald also continues to pore over the files in his possession, and says he has published just a small fraction of what Snowden gave him.

While the Board refuses to discuss next month’s awards, there are precedents that shed light on how that committee may decide to handle the NSA-related submissions.

In 1972, after what The Associated Press then described as “unprecedented debate,” the Pulitzer committee gave The New York Times the Public Service award for Neil Sheehan’s reporting on the Pentagon Papers, which he had received from former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg. At the time the award was given, Ellsberg was awaiting trial on charges of theft, which were later dropped.

Michael Gartner, the former NBC News president and Iowa newspaperman who spent 10 years on the Pulitzer Board, said he saw no substantive difference between the journalism that resulted from Ellsberg and Snowden’s stolen documents.

“I’m sure that there will be great debates over Snowden’s stuff, but really wasn’t that precedent set with the Pentagon Papers? The nature of the theft might be different, but isn’t the journalism the same — great stories produced from documents that were leaked by an employee of a private contractor?” Gartner wrote in an email. “I can make a distinction between Ellsberg and Snowden, if I have to, based on the nature of what they stole, but how can the board make a distinction between what was published then and what was published now? Reporting is reporting. If I were arguing for the Snowden stuff — and I would — that is the argument I would make.”

In 2006, the Pulitzer committee honored James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times for their reporting on the George W. Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program. That decision, too, was a subject of intense internal debate. President Bush had personally asked the Times not to publish the article, and the committee’s decision to honor Risen and Lichtblau’s report was seen as a public rebuke of Bush administration policies.

Last month, in a move that set the stage for April’s Pulitzer debate, Long Island University gave both the Greenwald and Gellman teams the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting.

John Darnton, the curator of the Polk Awards, said he received emails from critics who, seemingly unaware of the precedent set by the Pentagon Papers, blasted the group’s decision to honor reporting based on stolen government documents. One of those emails came from Accuracy In Media, the conservative watchdog.

In a lengthy email to POLITICO, Cliff Kincaid, director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, criticized Snowden and Greenwald for threatening national security.

“Political figures in both political parties agree that Snowden is a traitor. So what does that make his enablers in the media? They are certainly not journalists who deserve journalism prizes,” Kincaid wrote. “Journalism awards should not be given to recipients of stolen national security documents whose work has made America more vulnerable to terrorist attacks and its military personnel more likely to die at the hands of terrorists or enemy regimes.”

To date, no substantial evidence has emerged publicly that any of Greenwald or Gellman’s reporting has compromised America’s national security or military personnel, although intelligence officials have said they’ve detected changes in how groups like Al Qaeda communicate as a result of the broad controversy.

In the end, Darnton said the 10-member Polk panel hardly thought twice about the decision to bestow awards on Greenwald and Gellman.

“In the case of the NSA coverage, we began with a predisposition to seriously consider it because the repercussions were immense,” he explained. “There was a bit of discussion, but not much. The story itself is just so significant — there was no great dissent.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/edward-snowden-pulitzer-prize-washington-post-guardian-nsa-104608_Page2.html

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CIA Spied On Senate and Deleted Documents — Feinstein Hypocrit or Defender of Privacy — Stop Watching Us CIA and NSA! Video

Posted on March 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Climate, Communications, Computers, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Data Storage, Economics, Education, External Hard Drives, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Programming, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Systems, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

Stop Watching Us: The Video

Activists protest Sen. Feinstein’s ‘hypocritical’ support of NSA surveillance

 

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Feinstein: CIA Spied on Senate Committee

 

Feinstein: CIA has been spying on Senate computers

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Is the CIA Spying on the Senate? | The Rubin Report

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How the Government Tracks You: NSA Surveillance

CIA Spies on Senate Staffers: A Troubling Pattern Is Reinforced

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein—who traditionally is a stalwart defender of the intelligence community—came out swinging against them this week. While on the floor of the Senate, she laid bare a two year long struggle concerning CIA spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers investigating CIA’s early 2000s torture and enhanced interrogation techniques. The spying by CIA crosses a line when it comes to Congressional oversight of the intelligence community. And it’s an emblem of the extreme imbalance between the power of Congress and the power of the intelligence community. If the intelligence community thinks they can act in such a way towards the people who are supposed to oversee them, what else do they think they can do?

How Did This Happen?

According to Senator Feinstein, the spying occurred in a facility provided by CIA to Senate Intelligence staffers. As part of the investigation, CIA agreed to not interfere with the facility or with the Senate Intelligence staff’s computers. After the staffers found a smoking gun document (an internal CIA review) that contradicted CIA’s own conclusions, the staffers—just like with previous documents—transferred it back to their own facility in the Senate. Soon after, the CIA found out about the possession and deleted files on the Senate staffers’ computers not once, but twice. Over 800 documents were deleted. Staffers do not know what those deleted documents contained.

The Oversight Regime Must Be Fixed

Senator Feinstein’s speech is the first step to ensuring Congressional oversight prevails, but the Department of Justice, which is currently conducting an investigation, should not be the only entity to review the details. The latest breach of trust by the intelligence community must spur Congress to exert their oversight powers and begin a full investigation into these actions and the oversight regime at-large.

These are pressing topics. It’s clear that the lack of oversight was a key factor in many of the egregious intelligence activities we learned about from the documents provided by Edward Snowden. The intelligence community evaded answering questions fully, or providing key documents to the intelligence committees. CIA spying is more proof that the oversight regime needs an overhaul. First and foremost, the American people—and Congress—need an oversight regime that works.

A Long Term Pattern

Some people are aghast at CIA’s actions. Details about the spying are sparse; however, it seems CIA may be guilty—at the minimum—of obstruction laws. But we’ve seen this before from the intelligence community. And we don’t have to draw from examples in the 1960s and 70s when the intelligence community was spying on Martin Luther King Jr. or anti-Vietnam activists. All we have to do is look at the past decade.

After the attacks on September 11, it took years for Senator Jay Rockefeller—then the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Community—to get a briefing and key documents for the entire committee about intelligence community actions. More recently, we saw obfuscation by the intelligence community in 2009 when it misled the FISA court. And just last year, the Director of National Intelligence, General James Clapper, lied to Congress about collecting data on innocent Americans. We also know members of Congress describe intelligence briefings as a game of 20 questions. Despite CIA’s original cooperation, it seems clear CIA did not want the Senate staffers to conduct a full investigation.

It should be obvious to anyone that these actions paint a picture—and confirm a pattern—of out-of-control intelligence agencies. The American public is losing a tremendous amount of trust in the intelligence community—trust that is necessary for the intelligence community to conduct its job. But it’s even more dangerous to the government body that is supposed to oversee the intelligence community: Congress.

Congress Must Act

Senator Feinstein’s concern over CIA spying on her staff should extend to a concern about NSA’s collection of all Americans’ calling records. Both actions are examples of intelligence community overreach and abuse of their authorities. There are serious problems when the stalwart defender of the intelligence community takes to the Senate floor to discuss problems with the committee’s oversight.

Beyond Senator Feinstein, Congress must retake its oversight role. For far too long has the intelligence community run roughshod over the intelligence committees. Time and time again, we’ve seen the inability for the intelligence community to grapple with the behemoth of the intelligence community. This must stop. An investigation should be carried out not only into CIA spying, but into the oversight regime as a whole, the classification system, and the egregious actions by the intelligence community—including the activities of NSA. All of these topics are core problems concerning the inability for the Senate Intelligence Committee to be fully briefed—or even grasp—intelligence community actions. This week may have been a loss for Congressional oversight, but members of Congress must reassert their power. Their duty to serve as representatives of the American people demand it.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/03/cia-spies-senate-staffers-troubling-pattern-reinforced

 

 

Rand Paul on alleged CIA-Senate hacking: ‘This cannot happen in a free country’

By Joel Gehrke
 
 Heads should roll at the CIA if Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., proves that intelligence officers hacked her staff’s computers as part of a dispute over a committee report on waterboarding, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told reporters.”There’s an incredible arrogance to me that the CIA thinks they can spy on a committee that is providing oversight for the CIA, and I think it’s a real, very serious constitutional breach,” Paul said outside the Senate chamber on Thursday. “This cannot happen in a free country.”Feinstein took to the Senate floor Tuesday to allege that “the CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers.” CIA director John Brennan denied Feinstein’s allegations, telling NBC, “The CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.” That denial has some lawmakers withholding judgement on the matter, at least for now.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised Feinstein. “I tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you’re a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly,” Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing Thursday morning. “Not without evidence — when I say evidence, [I mean] documentation of what it is that she is putting forth.”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/rand-paul-on-alleged-cia-senate-hacking-this-cannot-happen-in-a-free-country/article/2545625

Feinstein: CIA searched Intelligence Committee computers

By , and Adam Goldman, Published: March 11// // E-mail the writers//

A behind-the-scenes battle between the CIA and Congress erupted in public Tuesday as the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the agency of breaking laws and breaching constitutional principles in an alleged effort to undermine the panel’s multi-year investigation of a controversial interrogation program.Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the CIA of ­secretly removing documents, searching computers used by the committee and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct — charges that CIA Director John Brennan disputed within hours of her appearance on the Senate floor.

Video

<caption> Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned whether a CIA search of congressional records might have undermined government oversight during a Senate floor speech Tuesday. </caption>

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned whether a CIA search of congressional records might have undermined government oversight during a Senate floor speech Tuesday.

Read more:

Why the CIA and lawmakers are feuding

Why the CIA and lawmakers are feuding

Adam Goldman MAR 11

What you need to know about the dispute over an investigation o the agency’s interrogation program.

 

Transcript: Feinstein says CIA searched Intelligence panel computers

Transcript: Feinstein says CIA searched Intelligence panel computers

MAR 11

“Let me say up front that I come to the Senate floor reluctantly,” she said.

 

Transcript: Brennan says his agency has done nothing wrong

MAR 11

“If I did something wrong, I will go to the president and I will explain to him exactly what I did and what the findings were,” he said.

 

Senators praise Feinstein speech, want answers from CIA

Senators praise Feinstein speech, want answers from CIA

Ed O’Keefe MAR 11

If true, “this is Richard Nixon stuff,” one senator says.

 

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<:ARTICLE>Feinstein described the escalating conflict as a “defining moment” for Congress’s role in overseeing the nation’s intelligence agencies and cited “grave concerns” that the CIA had “violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”Brennan fired back during a previously scheduled speech in Washington, saying that “when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”

The dueling claims exposed bitterness and distrust that have soared to new levels as the committee nears completion of a 6,000-page report that is expected to serve as a scathing historical record of the agency’s use of waterboarding and other brutal interrogation methods on terrorism suspects held at secret CIA prisons overseas after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Displaying flashes of anger during her floor speech, Feinstein said her committee would soon deliver the report to the White House and push for declassification of a document that lays bare “the horrible details of the CIA program that never, never, never should have existed.”

The latest dispute is in some ways a proxy for a deeper conflict over that document. The CIA and the committee are at odds over many of the report’s conclusions about the effectiveness of the interrogation program, but they are battling primarily over tension that surfaced during the investigation.

Feinstein’s remarks provided the most detailed account of that investigation, describing an arrangement in which the CIA set up a secret facility in Northern Virginia with computers where committee investigators were promised unfettered access to millions of operational cables, executive memos and other files on the interrogation program.

The disagreement between Feinstein and Brennan centers on whether agency employees or committee staff members — or both — abused their access to that shared network to gain an upper hand.

Feinstein implied that the CIA sabotaged the committee’s efforts from the outset, loading a massive amount of files on computers with no index, structure or ability to search. “It was a true document dump,” she said.

Over a period of years, investigators pored over more than 6.2 million classified records furnished by the CIA, using a search tool that agency technical experts agreed to install. But U.S. officials said the committee gained access to a set of documents that the agency never intended to share, files that were generated at the direction of former director Leon E. Panetta as part of an effort to take an inventory of the records being turned over to Feinstein’s panel.

The two sides have engaged in heated exchanges in recent days over the nature of those files and how they were obtained.

Referring to them as the “Panetta internal review,” Feinstein insisted that committee staff members discovered the documents during an ordinary search of the trove. She said they are particularly valuable because in tracking the flow of documents, CIA employees in some cases drew conclusions about their contents that match the subsequent interpretations made by committee staff members.

Jeremy Bash, Panetta’s former chief of staff, said Tuesday that that was never the director’s intent. Panetta “did not request an internal review of the interrogation program,” he said. “He asked the CIA staff to keep track of documents that were being provided. . . . He asked that they develop short summaries of the material, so that we would know what was being provided.”

Meanwhile, a letter that Brennan distributed to the CIA workforce on Tuesday raised questions about Feinstein’s claims and her awareness of how and when the committee obtained what she is calling the Panetta review files.

The letter, which Brennan sent to Feinstein on Jan. 27 and which was attached to a message he sent the workforce, recounts a meeting they had weeks earlier to discuss the matter. During that meeting, Feinstein said she didn’t know that the committee already had copies of the Panetta review. Brennan pushed her to explain why the panel had recently requested the files when they were already in its possession.

“You informed me that you were not aware that the committee staff already had access to the materials you had requested,” Brennan wrote, according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post. Brennan urged Feinstein to work with the agency to determine how the committee had obtained the documents, a request she ultimately rejected, officials said.

The CIA began to suspect that the panel had obtained those files this year after lawmakers referred to the supposed “internal review” publicly. U.S. officials said CIA security personnel then checked the logs of the computer system it had set up for the committee, and found that the files had been moved to a part of the network that was off-limits to the CIA.

 

“They did something to get those documents,” said a U.S. official briefed on the matter. A security “firewall was breached. They figured out a work-around to get it.” The official declined to elaborate.

Feinstein said the review documents were “identified using the search tool provided by the CIA” but she was careful not to say precisely how they were obtained. “We don’t know whether the documents were provided intentionally by the CIA, unintentionally by the CIA, or intentionally by a whistleblower,” she said.

She acknowledged, however, that committee investigators made hard copies of those files and whisked them away to its offices on Capitol Hill, in part because the committee had previously seen cases in which more than 900 pages of records dis­appeared from the database with no explanation.

Feinstein expressed outrage that the CIA referred the matter to the FBI. “There is no legitimate reason to allege to the Justice Department that Senate staff may have committed a crime,” she said, describing the move as a “potential effort to intimidate this staff, and I am not taking it lightly.”

She also noted that the referral was made by Robert Eatinger, the CIA’s acting general counsel, who previously served as the top lawyer for the department that ran the CIA’s secret prisons, and who “is mentioned by name more than 1,600 times in our study.”

Feinstein, who has been a staunch supporter of other CIA programs including its drone campaign, said the agency may have violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, as well as laws against domestic surveillance.

Although Republicans on the committee initially voted in favor of opening the investigation, GOP members abandoned the effort after it began and none has voted to endorse it.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the intelligence panel, told Bloomberg News that the dispute is “more complicated than what’s being put out there by Senator Feinstein or others. . . . I don’t think anyone has a clean hand and I think it’s important for the full truth to come out. I think people may be surprised to learn that, in this case, there were no good guys and maybe two or three bad ones.”

 

[Read a full transcript of Feinstein’s remarks.]

Brennan said he had ordered the CIA’s inspector general to review the agency’s conduct. The inspector general, in turn, has issued a separate referral seeking a Justice Department review.

Asked whether he would resign if the CIA was found to be in the wrong, Brennan said he would let the president decide his fate. “If I did something wrong, I will go to the president,” the director said. “He is the one who can ask me to stay or to go.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/feinstein-cia-searched-intelligence-committee-computers/2014/03/11/982cbc2c-a923-11e3-8599-ce7295b6851c_story.html

 

 

 

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Global Government Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion and Climbing — Videos

Posted on March 9, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Rants, Resources, Security, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

National Debt Projection for 2014.IMF

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Public Debt 1792 - 2014

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U.S. Debt Clock.org

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

$17 Trillion U.S. DEBT – A Visual Perspective

Chart: Total Federal Government Debt Since 1950

How Big Is the U.S. Debt?

US Unfunded Liabilities

Peter Schiff Thinks ‘Unfunded Liabilities’ Is An Economic Indicator

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Economist: Real national debt is over $70 trillion, not $17 trillion

The First 12 Hours of a US Dollar Collapse

Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

Debt-Statue-of-Liberty

Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge, BIS Says

By John Glover  Mar 9, 2014 6:00 AM CT

The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.

“Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS. The organization is owned by 60 central banks and hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of regulators and central bankers that sets global capital standards.

Austerity Measures

Marketable U.S. government debt outstanding has surged to a record $12 trillion, up from $4.5 trillion at the end of 2007, according to U.S. Treasury data compiled by Bloomberg. Corporate bond sales globally jumped during the period, with issuance totaling more than $21 trillion, Bloomberg data show.

Concerned that high debt loads would cause international investors to avoid their markets, many nations resorted to austerity measures of reduced spending and increased taxes, reining in their economies in the process as they tried to restore the fiscal order they abandoned to fight the worldwide recession.

Adjusting budgets to ignore interest payments, the International Monetary Fund said late last year that the so-called primary deficit in the Group of Seven countries reached an average 5.1 percent in 2010 when also smoothed to ignore large economic swings. The measure will fall to 1.2 percent this year, the IMF predicted.

The unprecedented retrenchments between 2010 and 2013 amounted to 3.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and 3.3 percent of euro-area GDP, according to Julian Callow, chief international economist at Barclays Plc in London.

The riskiest to the most-creditworthy bonds have returned more than 31 percent since 2007, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. Treasury and agency debt handed investors gains of 27 percent in the period, while corporate bonds worldwide returned more than 40 percent, the indexes show.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-09/global-debt-exceeds-100-trillion-as-governments-binge-bis-says.html

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Senator Rand Paul Wins CPAC Poll for Second Year In A Row — Republican Candidate for President in 2016 — We Are The Champions — I Stand With Rand — Videos

Posted on March 9, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, Heroes, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, Math, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Obamacare, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Public Sector, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Senator Paul Extends Lead Fro 2013 Win Over Rubio

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Rand Paul wins CPAC 2014 Presidential Straw Poll C-SPAN

Rand Paul wins CPAC 2014 Presidential Straw Poll C-SPAN

Rand Paul Previews His CPAC 2014 Speech

Rand Paul CPAC 2014 Speech (FULL) – Let Us All Stand Together in Liberty!

Rand Paul’s CPAC 2013 Speech – 3/14/2013

The BEST foreign policy speech EVER! – Libertarian Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul

Best 7 minutes of Ronald Reagan at CPAC

President Reagan’s Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference – Feb. 26 , 1982

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Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them a desire, a dream, a vison.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Queen - We Are The Champions (HQ) (Live At Wembley 86)

Queen- live at Wembley Stadium 12-07-1986 Saturday (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second

Rubio and Ryan, GOP leaders in Congress all see big drops in support

Sen. Rand Paul demolished his competition in the 2014 Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll on Saturday, winning 31 percent of the vote — nearly three times the total of second-place Sen. Ted Cruz.

The poll also found a strong plurality of attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference believe marijuana should be fully legalized, with 41 percent saying it’s time to change the law and tax it. Another 21 percent said it should be legalized only for medicinal purposes, while just 31 percent said it should remain illegal in all cases.


SEE ALSO: CPAC 2014 straw poll results


In the presidential poll, Mr. Cruz’s 11 percent was a big improvement for the freshman senator, who won just 4 percent in last year’s straw poll. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson was third with 9 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was fourth with 8 percent in results that signal growing discontent with the GOP establishment in Washington.

Indeed, CPAC voters now have an unfavorable view of Republicans in Congress, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of the job the GOP is doing on Capitol Hill. Just last year the GOP had a 54 percent approval rating, and in 2012 they held a 70 percent approval rating.

But a series of tough votes over the last few months that saw Republican leaders work with President Obama to boost spending and raised the government’s debt limit have deepened a rift between the GOP’s leadership on Capitol Hill and conservative activists around the country.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Thursday marks the first day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Enlarge PhotoSen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual … more >

That could be one reason why Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who wrote December’s budget deal that boosted spending in 2014 and 2015, saw his standing with CPAC voters cut in half — from 6 percent support in last year’s presidential straw poll to just 3 percent this year.

Sen. Marco Rubio suffered an even bigger drop, falling from 23 percent and second place in 2013 to seventh place, with 6 percent, this year.

“I like Ted Cruz, I like Rand Paul, I like Mike Lee. I like Rubio, but less now than I did a year ago because of immigration,” said David Fitzwilliam, 83.


SEE ALSO: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty


For Mr. Paul, the victory is his second in a row, and he saw his support climb from 25 percent last year to 31 percent this year.

“He is the only true liberty candidate who focuses on civil liberties more than anybody else,” said Al Seltzinger, 36, from Baltimore. “I think the way the nation is going today with the government and the president going against the Constitution that we need someone who holds strict to the Constitution and whose voting record is pretty solid when it comes to the Constitution.”

Mr. Cruz also jumped from just 4 percent last year — when he was a newly sworn-in senator — to his 11 percent this year.

Mr. Carson, who gained prominence with a 27-minute speech challenging Mr. Obama when the two appeared at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, is also on the rise. In last year’s straw poll, taken just after that speech, he garnered 4 percent of the vote, but jumped to 9 percent this year.

“I love Ted Cruz, I love Rand Paul, but Ben Carson is all of the above,” said Jean Carlton, a 71-year-old CPAC attendee who said the doctor’s lack of Washington experience was a big plus.

For his part Mr. Christie, who has faced political troubles back home in New Jersey after his staffers caused a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge to punish a town mayor, seems to be holding steady among activists. He rose from 7 percent last year to 8 percent support this year.

In his speech to the conference on Thursday, Mr. Christie argued that the GOP needs to not only pick a conservative champion, but pick a candidate who can get elected.

“We can’t govern if we can’t win,” he said.

That resonated with some CPAC straw poll voters.

“I think he has the best chance in the general election. I am less optimistic about his chances in the primary, but he seems to be more palatable to Independents and Democrats. I think electability is the main concern,” said Matthew Smith, a 19-year-old student at Yale University.

This year’s straw poll listed 25 potential candidates, which is far more than usual. The high number signals just how wide open the GOP’s presidential contest is with two years to go before the first caucuses and primaries.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton easily leads the rest of her party’s field in national and state polling.

Previous versions of The Washington Times/CPAC poll showed that the audience that gathers in Washington leans younger and more libertarian than the conservative movement throughout the country, which likely gives Mr. Paul a boost with this crowd here.

Indeed, his father, then-Rep. Ron Paul, won the straw poll twice on a similar libertarian-minded message, though he struggled to translate that support into votes when it came to primaries and caucuses.

The straw poll was conducted between Thursday and Saturday afternoon, and 2,459 votes were cast.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/8/rand-paul-wins-2014-cpac-straw-poll-ted-cruz-finis/

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Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Energy, European History, Faith, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014 Will be posted by Friday noon.

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Story 3: Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

Donald Rumsfeld on Russia, Ukraine, Obama !

Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine (Dispatch Two)

Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine (Dispatch One)

Russia fires first shots of Crimea invasion – Ukraine update – Truthloader

The Alex Jones Show(VIDEO Commercial Free) Sunday March 2 2014: Ukraine Mobilizes For War

Headlines: Hillary Clinton compares Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Nazi Germany

Obama: ‘Russia on the Wrong Side of History’

WW3 UPDATE: Ukrainian FORCES MOBILISING As RUSSIA Approves MILITARY ACTION In Ukraine

Russia Expands Its Natural Gas Infrastructure (Agenda)

Videographic: Sidestepping Russia’s gas monopoly

Ukrainian Protests and Russian Influence (Dispatch)

Crimea in the middlegaspipelines

Story 3: Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:

President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

—Office of the Press Secretary

Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994

Published December 5, 1994

The Presidents of Ukraine, Russian Federation and United States of America, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed three memorandums (UN Document A/49/765) on December 5, 1994, with the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Through this agreement, these countries (later to include China and France in individual statements) gave national security assurances to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Joint Declaration by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of December 4, 2009 confirmed their commitment.

Excerpt:

“Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or

political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear

weapons are used;

5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclearweapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;

6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.

Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.

For Ukraine:

(Signed) Leonid D. KUCHMA

For the Russian Federation:

(Signed) Boris N. YELTSIN

For the United Kingdom of Great

Britain and Northern Ireland:

(Signed) John MAJOR

For the United States of America:

(Signed) William J. CLINTON

U.S./U.K./Ukraine Press Statement on the Budapest Memorandum Meeting

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 5, 2014

On 5 March 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a meeting in Paris with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and the Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andriy Deshchytsia.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the urgent question of the Budapest Memorandum, the agreement signed by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Russia in 1994. The United States had conveyed an invitation to the Russian Federation to the meeting. We deeply regret that the Russian Federation declined to attend.

The Budapest Memorandum sets out the obligations of signatories in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Under its terms, the three parties commit to refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The Memorandum also obliges the UK, US and Russia to consult in the event of a situation arising where the memorandum commitments are questioned.

Ukraine voluntarily surrendered the world’s third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for these assurances. The three Governments treat these assurances with utmost seriousness, and expect Russia to as well. Russia has chosen to act unilaterally and militarily. The United Kingdom and United States will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we commend the new Ukrainian government for not taking actions that might escalate the situation. Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can only degrade Russia’s international standing and lead to greater political and economic consequences.

In the meeting, the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine discussed steps needed to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called on Russia to engage in consultations with Ukraine as they have committed to in the Budapest memorandum.

The United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine agreed that direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, facilitated as needed by members of the international community, are crucial to resolving the current situation. They also agreed that international observers should be deployed immediately in Ukraine, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The three governments reaffirmed the importance of protecting the rights of all Ukrainian citizens, and believed that international observers would help address any concerns regarding irregular forces, military activity and the treatment of all Ukrainians irrespective of their ethnicity or spoken language.

 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/03/222949.htm

The Budapest Memorandum and Crimea

With tensions rising in Crimea and pro-Russian forces controlling the peninsula’s main airports, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Russia to “not violate the Budapest Memorandum.” So what is the “Budapest Memorandum” and what does it have to do with Crimea?

What exactly is the “Budapest Memorandum”?

The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” is a diplomatic memorandum that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act — a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union — to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.

Which principles in the Helsinki Final Act, reiterated in the “Budapest Memorandum,” are relevant to the current situation in the Crimea?

In the “Budapest Memorandum,” Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged that none of them would ever use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.

They specifically pledged they would refrain from making each other’s territory the object of military occupation or engage in other uses of force in violation of international law.

All sides agreed that no such occupation or acquisition will be recognized as legal and that the signatories would “consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.”

Is there anything legally binding about the “Budapest Memorandum” regarding Russia’s obligations to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity?

“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” says Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law.

“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere.”

Kellman concludes that there are a host of other sources of international law that oblige Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity — including the provisions of the CSCE treaty and the UN Charter.

http://www.voanews.com/content/the-budapest-memorandum-and-crimea/1862439.html

: The forgotten treaty which could drag the US and UK into WAR with Russia if Putin’s troops intervene in Ukraine

  • The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine’s borders
  • It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994
  • Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty
  • Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country
  • President Obama says he is ‘deeply concerned’ by the news
  • The US and Britain have both made ‘crisis calls’ to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries

By JILL REILLY and LIZZIE EDMONDS

A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.

The revelation comes as reports suggest the Kremlin was moving up to 2,000 troops across the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to their fleet base at Sevastopol.

At least 20 men wearing the uniform of the Russian fleet and carrying automatic rifles surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post in a standoff near the port yesterday.

Last night it was still unclear the exact scale of Russian boots on the ground in Crimea or the identity of gunmen who have taken over airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol – though reports suggest they are Russian marines or Moscow- controlled militias.

The action came as President Obama delivered blunt warnings to Moscow.

‘We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,’ he told reporters at the White House.

‘Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,’ he said in a brief appearance.

‘The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.’

U.S. officials also said the President could scrap plans to attend an international summit in Russia and take negotiations on deepening trade ties with the country off the table in response to Russian involvement in the Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added: “This could be a very dangerous situation if this continues in a provocative way.”

Asked about options in a CBS News interview, he said that “We’re trying to deal with a diplomatic focus, that’s the appropriate, responsible approach.”

Both the U.S. and the UK are advising against all non-essential trips to Ukraine – especially Crimea.

former British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said in an interview that war could be an option 'if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.'

former British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said in an interview that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

NATO also asked Russia not to take action that could escalate tension. However Moscow responded by telling the organization to ‘refrain’ from provocative statements on Ukraine and respect its ‘non-bloc’ status.

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

It promises to protect Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Kiev has demanded the agreement is activated after insisting their borders had been violated.

In response Mr Brenton said in a BBC radio interview: ‘If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia’.

Ukraine accused Russia of a ‘military invasion and occupation’, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula.

Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe’s largest countries.

Any Russian military incursion in Crimea would dramatically raise the stakes in Ukraine’s conflict, which saw pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych flee last weekend after three months of anti-government protests. Yanukovych vowed Friday at a news conference in Russia to ‘keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ though he called any military action ‘unacceptable.’

Moscow has vowed to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Crimea, where it has a major naval base, and Ukraine and the West have warned Russia to stay away.

Russia did not confirm its troops were involved in Friday’s action in Crimea, which would be a major escalation.

In Kiev, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a resolution demanding that Russia halt steps it says are aimed against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis.

THE BUDAPEST REFERENDUM

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was a international treaty signed on February, 5, 1994, in Budapest.

The diplomatic document saw signatories make promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine.

The agreement promises to protest Ukraine’s borders in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document.

It was an unprecedented case in contemporary international life and international law.

Whether is it legally binding in complex.

‘It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,’ says Barry Kellman is a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law told Radio Free Europe.

‘I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation,’ Ukraine’s newly named interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote in a Facebook post.

The chief of Ukraine’s security council, Andriy Parubiy, seemed to strike a less strident tone later in the day, saying gunmen had tried to ‘seize’ the airports in the Crimean cities of Simferopol and Sevastopol but insisting in comments to the Interfax news agency that ‘de-facto the airports are controlled by the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine.’

Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service also said about 30 Russian marines from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – which is based in Sevastopol – had taken up position outside the Ukrainian Coast Guard base in the area. It said the marines said they were there to prevent any weapons at the base from being seized by extremists.

Russia’s defense ministry had no comment.

Yanukovych made his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, not far from the Ukrainian border. It was the first confirmation that he had left the country, and he said he was ‘forced’ to do so only after his family received threats.

‘I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ he said.

Yanukovych said he supports Crimea’s residents who are worried about ‘nationalists’ in Kiev and added that Russia cannot stand by while events in Ukraine unfold. He denied, however, that this amounts to a call for military intervention.

‘Any military action in this situation is unacceptable,’ he said. 

Tensions rising: A Russian soldier on an armoured personnel carrier halted on a road in Ukraine around 20 miles from Sebastapol, where there is a large Russian military presence

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Tensions rising: A Russian soldier on an armoured personnel carrier halted on a road in Ukraine around 20 miles from Sebastapol, where there is a large Russian military presence

The prosecutor-general’s office in Kiev said it would seek Yanukovych’s extradition to Ukraine, where he is wanted on suspicion of mass murder in last week’s violent clashes between protesters and police, during which over 80 people were killed.

At the airport serving Simferopol, commercial flights were landing and taking off despite dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings patrolling with assault rifles. They didn’t stop or search people leaving or entering the airport, and refused to talk to journalists.

One man who identified himself only as Vladimir said the men were part of the Crimean People’s Brigade, which he described as a self-defense unit ensuring that no ‘radicals and fascists’ arrive from other parts of Ukraine. There was no way to verify his account.

The airport deployments came a day after masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles seized the parliament and government offices in Simferopol and raised the Russian flag. Ukrainian police cordoned off the area but didn’t confront the gunmen. They remained in control of the buildings Friday.

The Russian foreign and defense ministries had no comment. Russia’s state RIA Novosti and Interfax cited an unnamed official from the Russian Black Sea Fleet denying involvement, saying Russian servicemen stationed in Crimea have not moved into the airports and denying that the Russian military was in control there.

Tensions between the two countries were high, however. Russia continued with massive combat readiness exercises involving most of its troops in western and southern Russia that it said were unrelated to the Ukraine conflict. The moves were reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.

Russian military forces are blockading an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, an act Ukraine's new interior minister has announced branded an 'armed invasion'

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Russian military forces are blockading an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, an act Ukraine’s new interior minister has announced branded an ‘armed invasion’

As events in the Crimea region heighten tensions with neighboring Russia, this morning armed men also took over the other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, according to a Facebook post by Mr Avakov

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As events in the Crimea region heighten tensions with neighboring Russia, this morning armed men also took over the other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, according to a Facebook post by Mr Avakov

Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea

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Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea

The move came as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukraine's new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country's new government

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The move came as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukraine’s new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country’s new government

The Kremlin, in a statement published late Thursday, said President Vladimir Putin had instructed the government to ‘maintain contacts with the counterparts in Kiev in what concerns trade and economic ties between Russia and Ukraine.’

Moscow has been sending mixed signals about Ukraine but pledged to respect its territorial integrity. Putin has long dreamed of pulling Ukraine, a country of 46 million people considered the cradle of Russian civilization, closer into Moscow’s orbit.

Meanwhile, Swiss prosecutors announced they had launched a criminal investigation against Yanukovych and his son Aleksander over ‘aggravated money laundering.’

They said police and Geneva’s chief prosecutor conducted a search and seized documents Thursday at the premises of a company owned by Aleksander Yanukovych.

Ukraine's ex-President Yanukovych has made his first public appearance since being ousted, telling a news conference that he was going to fight for his country's future

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Ukraine’s ex-President Yanukovych has made his first public appearance since being ousted, telling a news conference that he was going to fight for his country’s future

Switzerland and Austria both said they would freeze any assets Yanukovych and his entourage might have in those countries.

Ukraine’s population is divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support.

Crimea, a southeastern peninsula of Ukraine that has semi-autonomous status, was seized by Russian forces in the 18th century under Catherine the Great, and was once the crown jewel in Russian and then Soviet empires.

It became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality until the 1991 Soviet collapse meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

In a bid to shore up Ukraine’s fledgling administration, the International Monetary Fund has said it is ‘ready to respond’ to Ukraine’s bid for financial assistance; Ukraine’s finance ministry has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to avoid default.

The European Union is also considering emergency loans for a country that is the chief conduit of Russian natural gas to western Europe.

And Putin, in his statement, asked his government to ‘hold consultations with foreign partners including the IMF and the G8 nations to provide financial aid to Ukraine.’

Associated Press journalists approaching the Sevastopol airport found the road leading up to it blocked by two military trucks and a handful of gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms and carrying assault rifles.

A car with Russian military plates was stopped at the roadblock. A man wearing a military uniform with a Russian flag on his sleeve got out of the car and was allowed to enter on foot after a brief discussion with the gunmen.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html

Fact Check: Could a Little-Known International Agreement With Ukraine Force U.S., Britain Into War With Russia?

The United States and Britain “reaffirmed” their commitment to protect Ukraine’s borders in exchange for the nation giving up its nuclear weapons in a little-known agreement known as the “Budapest Memorandum signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The Daily Mail notes reports “if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.”

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as a British ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said war is certainly on the table if it’s determined that the Budapest Memorandum is “legally binding.”

According to the Daily Mail, Kiev has asked that the agreement be honored as it claims its borders have been violated.

“If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia,” Brenton told BBC radio.

Ukraine has accused Russia of a “military invasion,” though details are still coming in.

The unsettling news comes after President Barack Obama warned Russia about military action in Ukraine on Friday.

But a closer look at the Budapest Memorandum shows the specifics might be more complex than some are assuming. Article one of the agreement states:

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine … to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

Reaffirming a “commitment” to Ukraine’s borders and being legally required to go to war are two very different ideas.

There will surely be much debate over whether the Budapest Memorandum is a legally binding agreement requiring action. The U.S. going to war with Russia is likely a last resort for the Obama administration.

According to rferl.org, the Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic memorandum, not an official treaty.

Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law, told the website that the answers to questions about whether the agreement is binding are “complex.”

“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” he said.

“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere,” the professor added.

Armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports in Crimea on Friday and Russian transport planes flew into the strategic region, Ukrainian officials said, an ominous sign of the Kremlin’s iron hand in Ukraine. President Barack Obama bluntly warned Moscow “there will be costs” if it intervenes militarily.

The sudden arrival of men in military uniforms patrolling key strategic facilities prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” – a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.

Unidentified armed men patrol outside of Simferopol airport, on February 28, 2014. Ukraine accused today Russia of staging an 'armed invasion' of Crimea and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula's main airport. (Source: AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Unidentified armed men patrol outside of Simferopol airport, on February 28, 2014. Ukraine accused today Russia of staging an ‘armed invasion’ of Crimea and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula’s main airport. (Source: AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama urged Russia to respect the independence and territory of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor, which is undergoing political upheaval.

“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,” Obama said.

“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, that would invite the condemnation of nations around the world,” he continued. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

He did not say what those costs might be.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/28/fact-check-could-a-little-known-international-agreement-force-u-s-britain-into-war-with-russia/#

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international treaty signed on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine‘s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France later gave individual statements of assurance as well.[1][clarification needed]

The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996.[2][3]

Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, the US stated that Russian involvement is in breach of its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, and in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.[4][5]


According to the memorandum, Russia, the US, and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Ukraine becoming party to the 
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:

  1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
  2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
  3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
  4. Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
  5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
  6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.[6]

Analyse

Under the treaty, the signatories offered Ukraine “security assurances” in exchange for its adhesion to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum bundled together a set of assurances that Ukraine already held from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Final Act, United Nations Charter and Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Ukrainian government nevertheless found it politically valuable to have these assurances in a Ukraine-specific document. [7] [8]

The Budapest Memorandum was negotiated as a political agreement. It refers to assurances, not defined, but less than a military guarantee of intervention. According to Stephen MacFarlane, a professor of international relations “It gives signatories justification if they take action, but it does not force anyone to act in Ukraine.”[7][8]

Issues

Tuzla Island crisis

Main article: Tuzla Island

Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996 in return for “security assurances” from five nuclear powers, including Russia who was seen by Ukraine as the main threat to its territorial integrity.[2] In 2003, Russian construction efforts were seen as an attempt to annex Tuzla Island off the Crimean coast of Ukraine.[2] The Russian threat to Tuzla led to the Ukrainian leadership appealing to NATO for consultations on security, as outlined in the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter, without result.[2] The dispute led to negotiations over delimitation of the maritime borders. In a 2012 preliminary agreement, Ukraine and Russia agreed that Tuzla Island would be considered Ukraine’s territory.[9][needs update]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia after hosting the Budapest Memorandum Ministerial on the Ukraine crisis in Paris, France, on March 5, 2014.

2014 Crimean crisis

Main article: 2014 Crimean crisis

In February 2014, unidentified troops seized or blockaded various airports, as well as other strategic sites throughout Crimea.[10] Official Ukrainian sources have said that the troops are Russian, attached to the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Crimea,[11] likely placing Russia in violation of the Budapest Memorandum. The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the movement of armoured units attached to the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, but asserts that they are acting within the scope of the various agreements between the two countries. Other official Russian sources deny that the units in the area of Sevastopol International Airport, specifically, are attached to the Black Sea Fleet.[12]

On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:

President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

—Office of the Press Secretary[4]

[5]

In response to the crisis, the Ukrainian parliament has requested that the Memorandum’s signatories reaffirm their commitment to the principles enshrined in the treaty, and further asked that they hold consultations with Ukraine to ease tensions.[13]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994″. Council on Foreign Relations. December 5, 1994. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d The Crimea:Europe’s Next Flashpoint, By Taras Kuzio, November 2010
  3. Jump up^ [1]
  4. Jump up to:a b Office of the Press Secretary. “Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin”. whitehouse.gov.
  5. Jump up to:a b Washington Post Editorial Board. “Condemnation isn’t enough for Russian actions in Crimea”. Washington Post.
  6. Jump up^ Memorandum on Security Assurances [2]
  7. Jump up to:a b Are the US and the UK bound to intervene in Ukraine?france24, 03-03-2014
  8. Jump up to:a b Ukraine crisis’ impact on nuclear weapons, 4-March-2014
  9. Jump up^ http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120713/174576071.html
  10. Jump up^ Higgins, Andrew; Reevell, Patrick (28 February 2014). “Armed, masked men appear at airports in Crimea”The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Booth, William; DeYoung, Karen (28 February 2014). “Reports of Russian military activity in Crimea prompts stern warning from Obama”The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  12. Jump up^ “Movement of Russian armored vehicles in Crimea fully complies with agreements – Foreign Ministry”. RT. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  13. Jump up^ “Ukrainian parliament appeals to Budapest Memorandum signatories”. Interfax Ukraine. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.

External links

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 1 of 4. From Rus to Ukraine

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 2 of 4. Ukraine or Little Russia?

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 3 of 4. Together Forever

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 4 of 4. Independence

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The Economics of Russian Imperialism in Ukraine: Russia Goes Around Ukraine with Gas Pipelines — Videos

Posted on March 5, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Talk Radio, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: The Economics of Russian Imperialism in Ukraine: Russia Goes Around Ukraine with Gas Pipelines — Videos

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Russian-Ukrainian Conflict Spilling Beyond Borders And Into Natural Gas Markets

 

Ken Silverstein

Contributor

The Russian and Ukrainian conflict is about freedom — not just to political expression but also to explore new economic ties with the western world, which includes finding additional access to lucrative natural gas supplies.

It’s a battle that extends well beyond the walls of the former Soviet Bloc and into the heart of Europe that has long relied on Russian natural gas to provide about a quarter of its needs and which a third of it flows through Ukraine’s pipelines. Now that Russia has taken military control of the Crimean section of Ukraine, those conduits are in peril.

Russia, meantime, provides anywhere from one-third to one-half of Ukraine’s natural gas. And, since 2006, the two nations have had legitimate battles over how to value that vital product. During the early years of that dispute, Russia had wanted to quadruple prices to Ukraine. Recently, though, those natural gas prices are tied to global oil prices and have sold at much greater rates, which has cut Ukraine’s consumption of Russian natural gas.

Ukraine still subsidizes the gas that it does buy for its own citizens, noting that without such help, its already recession-ridden country would go into an economic tailspin. The International Monetary Fund is reporting that energy subsidies made up 7.5 percent of Ukraine’s 2012 gross domestic product.

“The Ukrainian economy has been in recession since mid-2012, and the outlook remains challenging. In January–September 2013 GDP contracted by 1.25 percent year-over-year, reflecting lower demand for Ukrainian exports and falling investments,” says the IMF’s December 2013 analysis.

For the moment, Ukraine — and Europe as well — have gotten a minor reprieve because each has had a mild winter. Europe is also warming to U.S. natural gas imports in the form of liquefied natural gas, which can sell for a premium there. Its also been shying away, lately, from Russian gas and using more coal.

Europe, too, has also won access to a number of new pipeline routes, or ones that are able to bypass Ukraine and enter the continent other ways. Among them: Pipelines are linking the Caspian Sea, Middle East and North Africa with Continental Europe. Algeria, for example, is increasing the capacity of its export routes that carry gas into Italy and efforts are also underway to do the same for routes into France and Germany.

Ukraine could ultimately break loose of the natural gas shackles from which Russia has help it captive. A Washington Post story says that Ukraine has signed deals with Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell to invest as much as $10 billion into shale gas development in the western part of the country. ExxonMobil, meantime, wants to drill for oil and gas in the deep water of the Black Sea there — something that the paper says will have to wait given the uncertainties.

 

It’s accurate to say that the distrust that permeated during Cold War era still exists. But Russia can still be counted on — to act in its self interest. And in this case, the need to grow its own economy and to continue to market its natural gas to both Eastern and Western Europe could help soothe things.

Many Europeans say that Russia needs the revenues from selling its natural gas as much as the West needs those supplies. They maintain that the former Communist state is as reliable of a partner as the nations of the Middle East or Northern Africa. Other nations made up of mostly the former Soviet Bloc argue that Russia leverages its natural gas domination as a way to earn economic clout.

There’s no disagreement that Russia holds vast natural gas reserves. According to theU.S. Energy Information Administration, it possesses 27.5 percent of the world’s gas supply. About half of its own needs are met with natural gas while it provides about 23 percent of Europe’s demand.

Russia’s prized national asset is the natural gas company Gazprom, which is an outgrowth of the old Soviet empire. Today, though, Gazprom suffers from aging fields, state regulation and monopolistic control.

While Russia has been investing in its natural gas sector, it lacks the know-how or the capital to vastly increase its production. For that, it has been in talks with some western enterprises that consist of ConocoPhilips and Norsk Hydro of Norway to develop the gas-rich Shtokman fields in the Barents Sea. To become an energy leader, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says that between $173 billion and $203 billion must be invested in Russia’s gas sector by 2020.

Therein is the western world’s leverage with Russia, which needs the capital and technology to increase its international status. The crisis in Ukraine, however, is challenging the whole geo-political-economic paradigm. Russia needs Ukraine both culturally and economically. But it also needs to refurbish its image and to ingratiate itself with the world community.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2014/03/03/russian-ukrainian-conflict-spilling-beyond-borders-and-into-natural-gas-markets/

Russia Moves to Deploy Troops in Ukraine

In Phone Call, Obama Urges Putin to De-escalate Tensions

By

ALAN CULLISON in Sevastopol,
PAUL SONNE in Simferopol and
GREGORY L. WHITE in Moscow

The American and Russian presidents spoke on the phone for 90 minutes on Saturday after Russia’s parliament voted unanimously to deploy troops in Ukraine, defying warnings from Western leaders not to intervene.

In his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin , U.S. President Barack Obamaexpressed “his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Mr. Obama urged Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.

Saturday’s developments come as Russian troops and their local allies have already largely taken control of Crimea, a restive province of Ukraine that belonged to Russia until 1954 and remains predominantly pro-Russian.

In a statement after the call between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama, the White House said the U.S. “condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.”

Mr. Putin told Mr. Obama that Russia reserved the right to intervene in Ukraine to protect its interests and those of the Russian-speaking population there, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

Mr. Putin also spoke of “provocations, crimes by ultranationalist elements, essentially supported by the current authorities in Kiev.” It wasn’t clear what incidents Mr. Putin was referring to.

n Moscow, Russian lawmakers also asked Mr. Putin to recall the country’s ambassador to the U.S. On Friday, Mr. Obama had publicly warned Russia that there would be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

Western officials expressed alarm and cautioned Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

French President François Hollande also spoke with Mr. Putin Saturday and urged him to avoid any use of force in Ukraine. The French leader held a round of phone calls with Mr. Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that aimed to forge a common position between the allies.

“I deplore today’s decision by Russia on the use of armed forces in Ukraine. This is an unwarranted escalation of tensions,” said European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is “gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation” in Ukraine.

In an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Saturday that the regional Crimean government had formally requested Russian military assistance to restore stability to the peninsula. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power denounced the Russian decision to intervene as “dangerous as it is destabilizing” and said it was taken without legal basis. “The Russian military must stand down,” Ms. Power said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu. U.S. defense officials wouldn’t immediately provide any details of the call and didn’t say whether Mr. Hagel delivered any warning or caution.

In Brussels, ambassadors to the main political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are set to meet Sunday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Afterward, the ambassadors will meet with the Ukrainian ambassador to NATO in a format called the NATO-Ukraine Council.

Meanwhile, skirmishes broke out in other regions of Ukraine, raising concern about broader unrest.

The new government in Kiev called an urgent session of its security council Saturday evening and set a special parliamentary meeting for Sunday to discuss the Russian move.

Vitali Klitschko, the former boxing champion who is one of the protest movement’s most prominent leaders, called on parliament to call a “general mobilization” to respond to the threat, apparently referring to Ukraine’s military.

Heavily armed troops, many from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, surrounded key facilities across the region in the past day. The newly installed pro-Russian leader of Crimea Saturday formally asked Russia to deploy its troops to help secure the region.

Mr. Putin’s request didn’t specify how many troops might be sent. It said they would be deployed “until the normalization of the social-political situation in the country.”

The request cited the “threat to the lives of Russian citizens” living in Crimea, as well as the personnel of the Black Sea Fleet.

The approval of Mr. Putin’s request doesn’t necessarily mean troops will be dispatched immediately, an official said.

“Having the right (to deploy forces) doesn’t mean immediately, momentarily exercising that. So we will hope that the situation will go according to a better scenario and won’t continue to be exacerbated as it is now,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a radio interview.

Mr. Peskov said in the interview that no decision had been made yet on deploying forces to Ukraine or on recall of the ambassador.

Sergei Aksyonov, who was appointed prime minister of Crimea after armed men took over the regional parliament this week, said troops from the Black Sea Fleet are guarding vital facilities in the region and helping with patrols to ensure public order. Mr. Aksyonov, who is pro-Russian, said he was taking command of the peninsula’s police and army.

In the economically important eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, hundreds of pro-Russian protesters massed Saturday in the main square and took over a main government administration building, and raised the Russian flag, according to local residents and news outlets. It was unclear whether the protesters were local residents. The number of protesters was also unclear; Russian and Ukrainian media had wildly different estimates of crowd strength.

The Donetsk city council issued a statement demanding a referendum over whether the mining region with strong ties to Russia should remain part of Ukraine.

By nightfall, the area around the Donetsk main square was quiet. A reporter from Ukrainian national television said that the protesters remained inside the building, drinking tea and planning new pro-Russia protests for Monday.

In Kharkiv, protests erupted Saturday between crowds of mostly young men who have been camped out at different sides of the city’s main square—Europe’s largest city square—for weeks now.

The groups, one which is pro-Kiev and the other which is pro-Moscow, are mostly local youth, some of which are supporters of the local football team, who appear to have more personal grievances with each other rather than deeply held political agendas, according to local residents who know several of the people at the demonstration.

Interfax reported that about 100 people were injured in the disorder Saturday, though that figure couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

Ukraine military bases were quickly surrounded and sealed off Saturday by Russian forces in Crimea as the Kremlin made preparations for a larger-scale landing of troops.

Russian troops were posted near the gates and around the perimeters of several bases near Sevastopol. When asked why they were there, officers replied that they were providing security to the bases, to stop any pro-Russian citizens who might try to take them.

The troops posted around the base had no markings on their uniforms. Their commander, when asked if he could reveal their nationality, said “of course not.” Others admitted they were Russian. Ukrainian officials at the base said the Russians were allowing food and provisions to be brought in.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the government in Kiev of trying to destabilize the region and directing gunmen to capture Crimea’s ministry of internal affairs building overnight. It said the attack, which couldn’t be verified, was averted with “decisive action.”

Five people who live in the buildings next to the ministry building in Simferopol said everything was peaceful Friday night and they heard nothing. There were no signs of struggle at the building complex.

Vladimir Krashevsky, a top official at the Simferopol-based division of the local berkut, or riot police, said there was no attack by Kiev-allied gunmen on the building, where he gave an impromptu news conference Saturday.

“There was no attack here and there won’t be one,” he said.

The resolution authorizing the use of force in Ukraine cited the threat to Russian citizens there, but officials in Moscow repeatedly suggested that the Kremlin was coming to the defense of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, even if they hold Ukrainian citizenship.

“There is a threat today to the lives and safety of our fellow citizens, of Russian speakers, of ethnic Russians,” Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the upper house of parliament, told reporters after the vote. “We can’t remain indifferent.”

Asked about possible western counter-intervention, she said there was no ground for it. “With all due respect to the United States, where is the U.S. located and where is Russia? This is happening on Russia’s border.”

Alexander Chekalin, a senator, spoke before the vote, saying, “we are one people, speaking one language, following one faith and sharing one history.” The eastern and southern parts of Ukraine have a large number of Russian-speakers who are members of the Orthodox church.

On Friday, armed men surrounded Crimea’s two main airports, took command of its state television network and set up checkpoints along the key roads connecting the peninsula to the rest of Ukraine. On Saturday, professional military men in unmarked green camouflage uniforms appeared outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol.

Ukrainian officials said the well-equipped men—many of whom carried sophisticated automatic weapons—were Russian soldiers.

The leader of the Crimean Tatars, the ethnic minority that accounts for 12% of Crimea and supports the new government in Kiev, sought to dispel the notion that the seizure of government buildings in Crimea had grown out of a citizen uprising.

“These buildings were seized by specially trained people acting on military orders,” said Refat Chubarov, the Tatar leader and deputy in the parliament, at a news conference Saturday.

Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, called the continuing militarization in Crimea a provocation intended to draw in Ukraine militarily. He demanded Russian forces return to their base in Sevastopol.

“The presence of Russian troops is nothing more than a violation of the agreement for the Black Sea Fleet to be in Ukraine,” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. “We urge the Russian government to withdraw their troops and return them to their base.”

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303801304579412380376851854

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Ukraine People vs. Russia — USA Response — Absolutely Nothing! — Videos

Posted on March 3, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-220

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 Story 2: Ukraine People vs. Russia — USA Response — Absolutely Nothing! — Videos

Ukraine_Political

map

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The Coming Stock Market Crash and Recession? The End of American As You Know It? — Videos

Posted on March 3, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, Climate, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Securities and Exchange Commission, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-220

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Story 1: The Coming Stock Market Crash and Recession? The End of American As You Know It? — Videos

Obama ObamaCare Economic Collapse stock-market-crash-1929 20141929-IS-A-MOLEHILL-COMPARED-TO-THIS-MOUNTAINdow-today-vs-1929-feb-5

01 - 140121 Strongest + Logest Bull Cycles in the DJIA since 1900stockMCrash

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Bubble, Stock Market Crash Coming Like 1929

Bubble, Stock Market Crash Coming New uptade Economic Monitor 2014

Keiser Report: Guest Dough Casey

Doug Casey on Stupidity, Evil, and the Decline of the U.S.

Jim Rogers Stock Market Crash, The Fed Will Come To The Rescue

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Market Crash, Global Economic Shocks Coming in 2014, World War 3 Gerald Celente

World Economy : Chart shows similarities between 1929 Stock Market Crash and Today

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Peter Schiff Market Crash 2014 | London Real

Peter Schiff – Market Crash 2014 | London Real

There Will Be No Economic Recovery. Prepare Yourself Accordingly.

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Cutting Defense Expenditures and Size of the Army — Videos

Posted on February 27, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Tax Policy, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-218

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Story 1: Cutting Defense Expenditures and Size of the Army — Videos

Military-spending-sequesterproposed-dicretionary

military-spending-economist0053_defense-comparison-full

Military Spending 5

us_military_spendingdefensechart

Govt Spending 12-13

3 Reasons Conservatives Should Cut Defense

Spending Now!

Chuck Hagel has proposed shrinking the US Army to its smallest force since World War Two

Pentagon Plans to Cut Army to Pre World War II Level

Size of U.S. army could be drastically reduced

Ron Paul on Defense Spending vs. Overseas Military Spending

BBC News Japan boosts military forces to counter China

Military Video_ Us Air force Falling Behind Russia And China In Technology

Pentagon plans to shrink US Army to pre-WWII level

The Pentagon plans to scale back the US Army by more than an eighth to its lowest level since before World War II, signaling a shift after more than a decade of ground wars.

Saying it was time to “reset” for a new era, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking American forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000.

In a speech outlining the proposed defense budget, he said Monday that after Iraq and Afghanistan, US military leaders no longer plan to “conduct long and large stability operations.”

If approved by Congress, the Pentagon move would reduce the army to its lowest manning levels since 1940, before the American military dramatically expanded after entering World War II.

The proposed 13 percent reduction in the army would be carried out by 2017, a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The spending plan is the first to “fully reflect” a transition away from a war footing that has been in place for 13 years, Hagel said at a press conference.

The plan comes amid growing fiscal pressures and after years of protracted counter-insurgency campaigns, which saw the army reach a peak of more than 566,000 troops in 2010.

Having withdrawn US forces from Iraq in 2011, President Barack Obama has promised to end America’s combat role in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

The proposed cut in manpower along with plans to retire some older aircraft and reform benefits for troops could run into stiff resistance in Congress.

A senior US military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged the political challenge.

“We’re going to need some help from our elected representatives to get this budget across the finish line,” the officer said.

Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee immediately expressed reservations about the budget proposal.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who sits on the committee, said the proposals had the “potential to harm America’s military readiness.”

The Pentagon had previously planned to downsize the ground force to about 490,000.

But Hagel warned that to adapt to future threats “the army must accelerate the pace and increase the scale of its post-war drawdown.”

Hagel also said the army national guard and reserves would be cut by five percent.

The smaller force would entail some “added risk” but it would still be able to defeat an adversary in one region while also “supporting” air and naval operations in another, he said.

The Pentagon for years had planned to ensure the army could fight two major wars at the same time but that doctrine has been abandoned.

Even under the planned reductions, the US Army will remain one of the largest in the world and the American military’s budget still dwarfs other countries’ defense spending.

While the army will see troop numbers drop, the military’s elite special operations forces will be increased to 69,700 — up from 66,000 currently.

- Retiring old aircraft -

The proposed budget also calls for scrapping the Air Force’s entire fleet of A-10 “tank killer” aircraft and retiring the storied U-2 spy plane that dates back to the 1950s.

The A-10 enjoys backing from some lawmakers but commanders want to invest in the new hi-tech F-35 fighter jet and the unmanned Global Hawk surveillance drone.

The budget would reduce the US Navy’s planned fleet of littoral combat ships, a small vessel designed for coastal waters that faces questions about its reliability.

Instead of 52 LCS ships, the budget calls for building only 32 and requires the navy to study developing similar ships with heavier weapons and tougher defenses.

Venturing into politically sensitive territory, Hagel called for slowing growth in pay and benefits — which make up nearly half the Pentagon’s budget — and closing more bases in the United States.

Lawmakers have long resisted base closures or any reform of pay, pensions or other benefits.

Military spending doubled after the attacks of September 11, 2001 but has started to decline as lawmakers push to slash government budgets.

Under a bipartisan accord adopted in December to avert automatic spending cuts, the Defense Department will have a $496 billion budget for fiscal year 2015.

But the Pentagon is backing a $26 billion “opportunity” fund that would bolster training and other programs.

http://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-proposes-shrink-us-army-pre-wwii-level-183915098.html;_ylt=AwrTWf1X8gtTyCsAGVTQtDMD

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Senator Rand Paul Republican Party Front-Runner — A Profile in Courage — Videos

Posted on February 27, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Raves, Resources, Security, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-219

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

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Story 1: Senator Rand Paul Republican Party Front-Runner —  A Profile in Courage –Videos

rand-paulRand Paul, Kelley Paul, William Paul, Robert Paul, Duncan PaulRand_Paul_family

Profile in Courage

Sen. Rand Paul : I’ll Decide in 2014 on a Presidential Run – 2/17/13

Sen. Paul: I heard Obama say `trust me` on NSA

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

Judge Jeanine Pirro Asks Rand Paul If He Will Run For President 2016

Chris Matthews: Rand Paul Will Be Republican Presidential Nominee in 2016

Rand Paul: Voters ready for Libertarian Republican in 2016

Sen. Rand Paul Defends the Fourth Amendment – February 11, 2014

Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) Announces Lawsuit Vs Pres Obama, Dirs Of NSA, FBI, DNi, FBI Named In Suit

Sen. Rand Paul Delivers Response to President’s State of the Union Address

Senator Rand Paul HUMILIATES and EXPOSES John Kerry!!

Explosive: Sen. Rand Paul To Hillary Clinton – I Would Have Fired You

Reclaiming Our Rights in the 21st Century (Sen. Rand Paul)

How Rand Paul said the ‘politically bravest thing’ in Washington

Chris Christie Ties Rand Paul for 2016 GOP Primary Lead as Ted Cruz Slips 5 Points

Rand Paul: I’m Thinking Of Running For President – Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor 2/5/2013

Rand Paul: NSA Spying Doesn’t Make Me Feel Any Safer, But I Do Feel My Privacy Is Being Intruded On

Rand Paul: Voters ready for Libertarian Republican in 2016

Sen. Rand Paul Filing Class-Action Lawsuit Against NSA

Liberty & Civil Rights speech by Senator Rand Paul Howard University

How the GOP Can Attract Young People: Rand Paul and Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck: Rand Paul On Freedom

Rand Paul Is the GOP’s Early Presidential Front-Runner

While the establishment hopes for a governor to emerge, he is quietly putting together a formidable operation.

Republican strategists like to say the party’s next nominee needs to hail from the GOP’s gubernatorial ranks. It’s a response to how unpopular Washington is—particularly the party’s congressional wing—and a reflection of the party’s strength in holding a majority of governorships. But another reason for the gubernatorial focus is to sidestep the one formidable candidate that gives the establishment heartburn: Sen. Rand Paul.

Make no mistake: The Kentuckian scares the living daylights out of many Republicans looking for an electable nominee capable of challenging Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he’s working overtime to broaden the party’s image outside its traditional avenues of support. The 2016 Republican nominating fight will go a long way toward determining whether Paul is the modern version of Barry Goldwater or at the leading edge of a new, more libertarian brand of Republicanism.

“That’s the big challenge—is America ready? I think that Rand and his small-L libertarian Republicanism can break through,” said Paul’s longtime adviser Jesse Benton. “He’s a fundamentally better messenger than Barry Goldwater—[Goldwater's 1964 campaign slogan] ‘In your heart you know he’s right’ is not very compelling. Rand is a wonderful communicator, and I think a message of individual liberty can build wide support.”

Either way, Paul’s brand of politics is a distinct departure from the party’s traditional moorings. His occasional sympathy for Edward Snowden puts him on an island within the party. His critique of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance techniques and noninterventionist views on foreign policy are gaining some conservative followers, but are still outside the party mainstream. Many conservative foreign policy hawks could sooner support Clinton than Paul in a 2016 matchup.

And he’s got a history of questionable associations and controversial comments that would make Democratic opposition researchers salivate. Whether it’s hiring a top aide who was a former secessionist talk-show host (and defending him amid controversy), questioning the legality of the 1964 Civil Rights Act during his Senate campaign, or facing allegations of plagiarism from past speeches, Paul’s got plenty of controversies poised to reemerge in a presidential campaign. Paul’s invocation of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky to attack Hillary Clinton in recent weeks is classic Paul—throw red meat into the fire to energize the base, regardless of the political consequences.

At the same time, Paul has been doing more than almost any other Republican to expand the party’s appeal to nontraditional GOP voters—the type of activity that’s imperative for future success. He spoke at Howard University and historically black Simmons College in Kentucky (twice) as part of an outreach effort toward African-Americans. His Jack Kemp-like pitch for “economic freedom zones” has even drawn the interest of the NAACP, which invited him to speak. He’s been leading the call for reforming drug sentencing, an issue that’s won support from many young voters and minorities who disproportionately bear the burden of current zero-tolerance policy. This week, at a Missouri Republican Party banquet, he said the party needs “a more diverse party—with tattoos and without tattoos.”

Meanwhile, the politics of the 2016 Republican nomination look increasingly favorable to Paul. He is one of the top fundraisers in the field, has a ready-made base of support from his father’s presidential networks, and has proven his savvy political instincts with a made-for-TV drone filibuster and NSA lawsuit. The newly compressed Republican presidential calendar should benefit a Paul candidacy, since he’s got the grassroots support to play in the small states and the money to fight forward in the big media-market states that follow.

Paul’s mutually beneficial alliance with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who faces reelection this year, is a prime example of his political foresight. McConnell has helped him build chits with the establishment, including donors skeptical of his national viability. McConnell, meanwhile, has gotten tea-party validation to get him through a contested primary against businessman Matt Bevin. He’s also benefited from Paul’s swipes at former President Clinton, who is emerging as an important surrogate for McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell, if he survives the general election, could become the next majority leader. But Paul, in taming the establishment skepticism toward him, could end up with the bigger prize.

“He is the Republican front-runner,” said Republican strategist Scott Jennings, who served as deputy political director in the George W. Bush administration and is now running a pro-McConnell super PAC in Kentucky. “The political instinct of when to do things is not something you teach—you either have it or you don’t. He’s got a knack for finding populist issues showing why the government is stupid, and people like it.”

http://www.nationaljournal.com/against-the-grain/rand-paul-is-the-gop-s-early-presidential-front-runner-20140225

Rand Paul

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of theRepublican Party and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. During his father’s final term in the house, he was the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.

A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling GreenKentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. He remained active in politics and founded Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994, of which he is still chairman.[2]

In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. He subsequently defeated Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway in the general election. A member of the Tea Party movement, he supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, the Read the Bills Act, and widespread reduction in federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or “non-interventionist“, father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[3][4] He has garnered attention for his positions, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.[5]

Rand Paul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Paul Rand.
This is a good article. Click here for more information.
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Rand Paul
Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate.jpg
Paul in January 2011
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Mitch McConnell
Preceded by Jim Bunning
Personal details
Born Randal Howard Paul
January 7, 1963 (age 51)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul (father)
Carol Wells Paul (mother)
Children William
Robert
Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University
Duke University (M.D.)
Occupation Ophthalmologist
Religion Presbyterian[1]
(baptized Episcopalian)
Website Senator Rand Paul

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of theRepublican Party and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. During his father’s final term in the house, he was the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.

A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling GreenKentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. He remained active in politics and founded Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994, of which he is still chairman.[2]

In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. He subsequently defeated Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway in the general election. A member of the Tea Party movement, he supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, the Read the Bills Act, and widespread reduction in federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or “non-interventionist“, father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[3][4] He has garnered attention for his positions, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.[5]

Early life and education

Randal Howard Paul[6] was born on January 7, 1963, in PittsburghPennsylvania, to Carol (née Wells) and Ron Paul. His father is a physician and former U.S. Representative of Texas’ 14th congressional district. The middle child of five, his siblings are Ronald “Ronnie” Paul Jr., Lori Paul Pyeatt, Robert Paul and Joy Paul-LeBlanc.[7] Paul was baptized in the Episcopal Church[8] and identified as a practicing Christian as a teenager.[9] Despite his father’s libertarian views and strong support for individual rights,[9][10] the novelistAyn Rand was not the inspiration for his first name. Growing up, he went by “Randy”,[11] but his wife shortened it to “Rand.”[9][12][13]

The Paul family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1968,[11][14] where he was raised[15][16] and where his father began a medical practice and for an extent of time was the onlyobstetrician in Brazoria County.[11][14] When he was 13, his father was elected to the United States House of Representatives.[17] The younger Paul often spent summer vacations interning in his father’s congressional office.[18] In his teenage years, Paul studied the Austrian economists that his father respected, as well as the writings of Objectivistphilosopher Ayn Rand.[11] Paul went to Brazoswood High School and was on the swimming team and played defensive back on the football team.[9][15] Paul attended Baylor University from fall 1981 to summer 1984. He was enrolled in the honors program at Baylor, and had scored approximately in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test.[19] During the time he spent at Baylor, he was involved in the swim team and Young Conservatives of Texas and was a member of a secret organization known as the NoZe Brotherhood.[20] Paul left Baylor early when he was accepted into the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned an M.D. in 1988, and completed his residency in 1993.[19]

Medical career

Paul has held a state-issued medical license since moving to Bowling Green in 1993.[21] He received his first job from Dr. John Downing of Downing McPeak Vision Centers, which brought him to Bowling Green after completing his residency. Paul worked for Downing for about five years before parting ways. Afterwards, he went to work at the Gilbert Graves Clinic, a private medical group in Bowling Green, for 10 years before creating his own practice in a converted one-story house across the street from Downing’s office.[22] After his election to the U.S. Senate, he merged his practice with Downing’s medical practice.[23] Paul has faced two malpractice lawsuits between 1993 and 2010; he was cleared in one case while the other was settled for $50,000.[22] Regardless, his medical work has been praised by Downing and he has medical privileges at two Bowling Green hospitals.[21][22]Paul specializes in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, LASIK procedures, and corneal transplants.[12] As a member of the Bowling Green Noon Lions Club, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to help provide eye surgery and exams for those who cannot afford to pay.[24]

National Board of Ophthalmology

In 1995, Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) boards on his first attempt and earned board-certification under the ABO for 10 years. In 1997, to protest the ABO’s 1992 decision to grandfather in older ophthalmologists and not require them to be recertified every 10 years in order to maintain their status as board-certified practitioners, Paul, along with 200 other ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology (NBO) to offer an alternative ophthalmology certification system.[25][26] The NBO was incorporated in 1999, but he allowed it to be dissolved in 2000 after not filing the required paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State‘s office. Paul later recreated the board in September 2005, three months before his original 10-year certification from the ABO lapsed. His ABO certification lapsed on December 31, 2005. Paul has since been certified by the NBO,[21] with himself as the organization’s president, his wife as vice-president, and his father-in-law as secretary.[27] The ophthalmology board is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).[21] The NBO was again dissolved on September 10, 2011.[28]

Political activism

Paul served as the head of the local chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas during his time at Baylor University. While attending Duke Medical School, Paul volunteered for his father’s 1988 Libertarian presidential campaign. In response to President Bush breaking his election promise to not raise taxes, Paul founded the North Carolina Taxpayers Union in 1991.[18] In 1994, Paul founded the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU), serving as chair of the organization from its inception. He has often cited his involvement with KTU as the foundation of his involvement with state politics.[29] Described as “ideological and conservative” by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the group considered itselfnonpartisan,[30][31] examining Kentucky legislators’ records on taxation and spending and encouraging politicians to publicly pledge to vote uniformly against tax increases.[32][33]

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2010 that although Paul had told a Kentucky television audience as recently as September 2009 that KTU published ratings each year on state legislators’ tax positions and that “we’ve done that for about 15 years”, the group had stopped issuing its ratings and report cards after 2002 and had been legally dissolved by the state in 2000 after failing to file registration documents.[29]

Paul spoke on his father’s behalf when his father was campaigning for office,[34] including throughout the elder Paul’s run in the 2008 presidential election, during which Rand campaigned door-to-door in New Hampshire[35] and spoke in Boston at a fundraising rally for his father on the anniversary of the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.[36]

In February 2014, Paul joined the Tea Party-affiliated conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks in filing a class-action lawsuit charging that the US government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records metadata is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.[37][38][39] Commenting on the lawsuit at a press conference, Paul said, “I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records…. I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”[37] He also said there was no evidence the surveillance of phone metadata had stopped terrorism.[37] Critics, including Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz[40] and Steven Aftergood, the director of the American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy,[39] called the lawsuit a political “stunt”. Paul’s political campaign organization said that the names of members of the public who went to Paul’s websites and signed on as potential class-action participants would be available in the organization’s database for future campaign use.[37][41] On the announcement of the filing of the lawsuit, Mattie Fein, the spokeswoman for and former wife of attorney Bruce Fein, complained that Fein’s intellectual contribution to the lawsuit had been stolen and that he had not been properly paid for his work.[42] Paul’s representatives denied the charge, and Fein issued a statement saying that Mattie Fein had not been authorized to speak for him on the matter and that he had in fact been paid for his work on the lawsuit.[42]

Paul is co-author of a book entitled The Tea Party Goes to Washington (2011) with Jack Hunter, also known as the “Southern Avenger.”[43][44] Paul is also the author ofGovernment Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds (2012).[45]

Paul was included in Time magazine’s world’s most influential people, for 2013.[46]

Electoral history

Primary campaign

Then-U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul speaking with a supporter at a healthcare rally in Louisville, Kentucky in November 2009

At the beginning of 2009, there was an online grassroots movement to draft Paul in a bid to replace beleaguered Republican Kentucky senator Jim Bunning. The news of Paul’s potential candidacy became a topic of national interest and was discussed in the Los Angeles Times[47] and locally in the Kentucky press.[48] Paul’s father remarked, “Should Senator Bunning decide not to run, I think Rand would make a great U.S. Senator.”[49]

On May 1, 2009, Paul officially confirmed that if Bunning, whose fundraising in 2009 matched his poor numbers in opinion polling for the 2010 election,[50] declined to seek a third term, he would almost certainly run in the Republican Party primary to succeed him,[51] and formed an exploratory committee soon after, while still promising to stay out of the race if Bunning ultimately decided to run for reelection. Paul made this announcement on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, though a Kentucky news site first broke the news.[52]

On July 28, 2009, Bunning announced that he would not run for reelection in the face of insufficient fundraising. The announcement left only Paul and Secretary of State Trey Grayson as the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination,[53] with Paul announcing on August 5, 2009 that he would officially run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. The announcement was made through a series of national TV events, radio, and other programs, as well as newspapers in Kentucky.[54][55][56]

Early fundraising success

On August 20, 2009, Paul’s supporters planned a moneybomb to kick off his campaign. The official campaign took in $433,509 in 24 hours. His website reported that this set a new record in Kentucky’s political fundraising history in a 24-hour period.[57]

A second “moneybomb” was held on September 23, 2009, to counter a D.C. fundraiser being held for primary opponent Trey Grayson, by 23 Republican United States Senators, 17 of whom voted for the bank bailout.[58] The theme was a UFC “fight” between Paul and “We the People” vs. Trey Grayson and the “D.C. Insiders”.[59] The money bomb ended up raising $186,276 for Paul in 24 hours on September 23;[60] bringing Paul’s Senate campaign’s total raised to over one million. Later in the campaign, Paul claimed his pledge to not take money from lobbyists and Senators who had voted for the bailout was only a “primary pledge”;[61] he subsequently held a DC fundraiser with the same Senators who had been the target of the September 23, 2009 “moneybomb”. Paul ended up raising some $3 million during the primary period.

Primary victory

Then-U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul with then-Senator Jim Bunning at a rally inHebron, Kentucky in November 2010

Although Grayson was considered the frontrunner in July 2009,[62] Paul found success characterizing Grayson as a “career politician” and challenging Grayson’s conservatism. Paul ran an ad in February that made an issue out of Grayson’s September 2008 admission that he voted for Bill Clinton when he was 20 years old.[63] James Dobson, a Christian evangelical figure, endorsed Grayson on April 26 based on the advice of what Dobson described as “senior members of the GOP”, but on May 3 the Paul campaign announced that Dobson had changed his endorsement to Paul[64] after Paul and some Paul supporters had lobbied Dobson insisting on Paul’s social conservative bona fides.[65]

On May 18, Paul won the Republican Senatorial primary by a 23.4% margin,[66] meaning he would face the Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway, in the November 2 general election.[67]

General campaign

In the 2010 general election, Paul faced Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. The campaign attracted $8.5 million in contributions from outside groups, of which $6 million was spent to help Paul and $2.5 million to help Conway. This money influx was in addition to the money spent by the candidates themselves: $6 million by Paul and $4.7 million by Conway.[68][69] On June 28, 2010, Paul supporters held their first post-primary online fundraising drive, this time promoted as a “money blast”.[70][71]

Paul’s campaign got off to a rough start after his comments on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stirred controversy.[72] Paul stated that he favored 9 out of 10 titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but that had he been a senator during the 1960s, he would have raised some questions on the constitutionality of Title II of the Act.[73] Paul said that he abhors racism, and that he would have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to repeal Jim Crow Laws. He later released a statement declaring that he would have voted for the Act and stated “unequivocally … that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964″.[74][75] Later he generated more controversy by characterizing statements made by Obama Administration officials regarding the BP oil spill cleanup as sounding “un-American”.[76]

U.S. Senate career

Tenure

112th Congress (2011-13)

Rand Paul being sworn in as a senator by Vice President Joe Biden, along with his family, in the Old Senate Chamber in theUnited States Capitol building

Paul was sworn in on January 5, 2011 along with his father, marking the first time in congressional history that someone served in the Senate while their parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives.[77] He was assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural ResourcesHealth, Education, Labor and PensionsHomeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Businesscommittees.[78] Paul also formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus with Jim DeMint and Mike Lee as its inaugural members.[79] His first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. This proposal included cutting the Department of Educationby 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul’s proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aidwould be eliminated.[80] He later proposed a five-year budget plan intended to balance the budget.[81]

In February, Paul was one of two Republicans to vote against extending three key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals not linked to terrorist groups).[82] In May, he remained the last senator opposing the PATRIOT Act, and was ultimately defeated on May 26.[83]

On March 2, Paul was one of nine senators to vote against a stopgap bill that cut $4 billion from the budget and temporarily prevent agovernment shutdown, citing that it did not cut enough from the budget.[84] One week later, he voted against the Democratic and Republican budget proposals to keep funding the federal government, citing that both bills did not cut enough spending. Both bills failed to pass the Senate.[85] He later voted against stopgap measures on March 17 and April 8, both of which passed the senate.[86] On April 14, He was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.[87] Paul voiced opposition to U.S. intervention in the Libyan civil war and has criticized President Obama for not gaining congressional consent forOperation Odyssey Dawn.[88] During the debt ceiling crisis, the Senator stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted.[89]Paul was a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by Democratic opposition.[90] On August 3, Paul voted against a bill that would raise the debt ceiling.[91]

On September 7, Paul called for a vote of no confidence in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.[92] Later that month, Paul blocked legislation that would strengthen safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he stated the bill was not strong enough.[93] In October, Paul blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, saying that he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green.[94] Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a Congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.[95]

113th Congress (2013-15)

For the 113th Congress, Paul was added to the Foreign Relations committee and retained his spot on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees.[96]

On March 6–7, 2013, Paul engaged in a talking filibuster to delay voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA. Paul questioned the Obama administration’s use of drones and the stated legal justification for their potential use within the United States.

Rand Paul speaking during his filibuster

Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes.[97] He ceded to several Republican senators and Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, who generally also questioned drone usage.[98][99] Paul noted his purpose was to challenge drone policy in general and specifically as it related to noncombatants on U.S. soil. He requested a pledge from the Administration that noncombatants would not be targeted on U.S. soil.[100] Attorney General Eric Holder responded that the President is not authorized to deploy extrajudicial punishment without due process, against non combatant citizens. Paul answered that he was “quite happy” with the response.[101] The filibuster was ended with a cloture vote of 81 to 16, and Brennan was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 63 to 34.[102]

In March 2013, Paul, with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, threatened another filibuster, this one opposing any legislative proposals to expand federal gun control measures.[103] The filibuster was attempted on April 11, 2013, but was dismissed by cloture, in a 68–31 vote.[104]

Also in March 2013, Paul endorsed fellow Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell‘s 2014 re-election campaign.[105] McConnell had previously hired Paul’s 2010 campaign manager, Jesse Benton, as his own campaign manager.[106] Paul’s endorsement was seen as a major win for McConnell in avoiding a challenge in the Republican primary.[105] In August 2013, a phone call was released to the public in which Benton said that he was “holding his nose” in supporting McConnell in order to help a potential Rand Paul presidential candidacy.[107]

In response to Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy, Paul stated he would not allow the government to attempt to bail out Detroit. In a phone interview with Breitbart.com on July 19, 2013, Paul said, “I basically say he is bailing them out over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington.” Paul said he thought a federal bailout would send the wrong message to other cities with financial problems.[108] In September, Paul stated that the United States should avoid military intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war.[109] In an op-ed, Paul disputed the Obama administration’s claims that the threat of military force caused Syria’s government to consider turning over its chemical weapons, instead arguing that the opposition to military action in Syria, and the delay that it caused, led to diplomatic progress.[110]

In October 2013, Paul was the subject of some controversy when it was discovered that he had plagiarized from Wikipedia part of a speech in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Referencing the movie Gattaca, Paul quoted almost verbatim from the Wikipedia article about the film without citing the source.[111][112][113] Evidence soon surfaced that Paul had copied passages in a number of his other speeches and published works nearly verbatim from other authors without giving credit to the original sources,[114][115] including in the speech he had given as the Tea Party rebuttal to the president’s 2013 State of the Union address and in a three-page-long passage of Paul’s bookGovernment Bullies, which was taken directly from an article by the conservative think thank The Heritage Foundation.[116][117] When it became apparent that an op-ed article Paul had published in the Washington Times and testimony he had given before the Senate Judiciary Committee both contained material that was virtually identical to an article that had been published by another author in The Week a few days earlier,[118] the Washington Times said that the newspaper would no longer publish the weekly column Paul had been contributing to the paper.[119] After a week of almost daily news reports of new allegations of plagiarism, Paul said that he was being held to an “unfair standard”, but would restructure his office in order to prevent mistakes in the future, if that would be what it would take “to make people leave me the hell alone”.[120]

Committee assignments

Current
Previous

Political positions

A member of the Tea Party movement,[121][122] Paul has described himself as a “constitutional conservative”[123] and a libertarian.[124] The National Journal rated him the sixth most conservative senator based on votes cast in 2012.[125]

He supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation.[5] Unlike his more stridently “non-interventionist” father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[126]

Paul describes himself as “100% pro life”.[127] Paul opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.[128] He has been a sponsor or co-sponsor of several legislative measures to effectively ban all abortions, except possibly in cases in which the mother’s life is at risk.[128] He believes legal personhood begins at fertilization.[129][130][131]

He opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide.[132][133] He has argued that Congress’ political position is “ten years behind the American public.”.[134]

He has criticized mandatory minimums that have led to unreasonably harsh sentences for repeated offenders. He has highlighted the case of Timothy L. Tyler as particularly unfair.[135]

Rand Paul speaking at the 2013Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on March 14, 2013

In a January 2013 interview, he spoke of a possible 2016 presidential candidacy. While not promising a run, he stated the decision would be made within the next two years. He also indicated his intention to shape GOP politics regardless of a run.[136]

He delivered the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on February 13, 2013,[137] while Marco Rubio gave the official Republican response. This prompted some pundits to call that date the start of the 2016 Republican primaries.[138]

He spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. on March 14, 2013.[139] Two days later he won the 2013 CPAC straw poll with 25% of the votes cast.[140] At a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast on April 17, 2013, he reaffirmed that he was considering a 2016 run for the presidency and said no decision would be made before 2014.[141]

He won the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference poll, held April 19–20, 2013, with 39% [142] and the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll, also held on April 20, with 58%.[143] His 2013 itinerary reportedly included trips through several early primary states.[144]

Personal life

Paul is married to Kelley (née Ashby) Paul. They live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she is a freelance writer and manages payroll and marketing communications for his ophthalmology practice.[145] They have three sons: William, Duncan and Robert. Paul wears hearing aids in both ears

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Will Governor Jerry Brown Challenge Hillary Clinton for Democratic Party Nomination For President in 2016? — Videos

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Story 1: Will Governor Jerry Brown Challenge Hillary Clinton for Democratic Party Nomination For President?- Videos

Jerry Brown declares California drought emergency

Water wars: California drought spawns political fight

Gov. Jerry Brown Delivers 2014 State Of The State Address

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Nixes 2016 Presidential Bid

Keynote Address: Gov. Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown for President?

Gov Jerry Brown 14-15 Budget Press Conference

John King, USA : CNN: Jerry Brown running on experience

CA Gov. Jerry Brown interview- media in politics (Merv Griffin Show 1981)

BAY AREA FLASHBACK – Jerry Brown Presidential Campaign (1976)

Brown rules out presidential bid

By Seema Mehta

Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2016, dashing political speculation that he might make a fourth bid for the White House.

“No, that’s not in the cards. Unfortunately,” he told reporters at a news conference before brightening about his current job: “Actually, California is a lot more governable.”

Brown, who ran for president in 1976, 1980 and 1992, was the subject of some speculation recently when his office did not categorically rule out another run, the governor was touting his work in California as a template for the nation and some activists named him as an alternative to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is weighing a bid.

Brown was in Riverside to discuss prisons, education and water policy with local officials, part of a two-day, three-city trip to inland portions of the state. He visited Bakersfield on Tuesday morning and Fresno on Monday. Last week, he unveiled his budget in Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Brown is up for reelection this year and has raised millions for a bid. But he has been coy about his intentions.

Asked about the purpose of his travel schedule, Brown declared Bakersfield a “wonderful place,” said politics did not interest him and continued to demur about his intentions.

“We have time,” he said. “I’m not running yet.”

http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-pc-brown-rules-out-presidential-bid-20140114,0,869179.story#ixzz2uIGedGZa

Jerry Brown breaks some hearts: won’t run for president in 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown will not run for president in 2016, he said Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Moonbeam put to rest speculation that he might launch his fourth bid for president, 40 years after he first sought the Democratic nomination in 1976.

“No, that’s not in the cards. Unfortunately,” he said.

Brown raised eyebrows last month when he declined to outright deny interest in a bid. He has touted his efforts to deal with California’s economic woes as a model for the whole country, which some took as an indication that he was seeking a national stage.

“Things happen in California that are not happening in Washington,” Brown in October, the Los Angeles Times reported. “We can do a lot of things in California to shift the [political] climate throughout the whole country.”

But Brown quashed any hopes that he might wade into the mire of politics in Washington, D.C.

“Actually,” he told reporters, “California is a lot more governable.”

This would have been Brown’s fourth try for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 1992 he mounted a strong but ultimately unsuccessful run against Bill Clinton, winning support from The New York Times and other major publications for his flat tax proposal. Brown lost the nomination to Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980, during his first tenure as governor of the Golden State. His 1980 campaign prompted the Dead Kennedys to warn that Brown would create a “Zen Fascist” dictatorship in which kids would be forced to “meditate in school,” in their punk classic “California Über Alles.”

http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/15/jerry-brown-breaks-some-hearts-wont-run-for-president-in-2016/

Jerry Brown, urged to run for president, won’t rule out 2016 bid

|By Mark Z. Barabak

If he weren’t the nation’s oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016.

He boasts a household name, an impressive list of accomplishments in the country’s most populous state — a state some once deemed ungovernable — glowing national media coverage and a deep familiarity with the pitfalls and rigors of a White House bid, having run three times before.

Now, some are pushing Brown to consider another try for the White House, even if it means taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the prohibitive, if still undeclared, Democratic favorite.

“I think Jerry is precisely what America needs,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, the leader of a national nurses union and a strong political ally of Brown. “He has the courage of his convictions, which we haven’t seen in a very long while.”

Brown, who is up for reelection in 2014, has not yet stated his intention to seek another term, though he has raised millions of dollars for what would appear to be an easy campaign.

Asked if Brown would categorically rule out another presidential bid in 2016, a spokesman, Jim Evans, referred to a statement Brown made in May at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Citing his past primary victories, Brown said “time is kind of running out on that.”

“I guess I’ll just have to stay and do the work of being the governor, which I actually enjoy because I have some perspective that I didn’t used to have,” Brown said.

The famously Delphic governor often leaves people guessing about his motivation and intentions, which leaves plenty of leeway ahead of 2016. Absent a clear-cut statement of disinterest from Brown — who sought the White House in 1976, 1980 and 1992 — some see familiar signs of a presidential-candidate-in-waiting.

The governor has widely touted California’s comeback and his record as a model for the rest of the country and, especially, a dysfunctional Washington, D.C. With support from an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature — and a combination of spending cuts and voter-approved tax hikes — Brown has brought the state’s deficit-ridden budget under control, overhauled the education finance system to benefit poorer students, pushed through major environmental initiatives and reaped the benefits — job growth, an improved housing market — of a slow but steady economic recovery.

“Things happen in California that are not happening in Washington,” Brown said during an October appearance at an electric-vehicle expo in San Francisco. “We can do a lot of things in California to shift the [political] climate throughout the whole country.”

In a victory lap a few weeks later, he traveled to the nation’s capital and ticked off the bills he had signed, including immigration-friendly legislation and laws promoting green energy. “We didn’t wait for the federal government,” he crowed.

At the same time, Brown has established himself as a moderating force in Sacramento, pushing back against liberals on issues such as gun control and business regulation, which, to some, suggests an effort to shed the kooky Left Coast image of his first time as governor, more than 20 years ago, and craft a more centrist profile ahead of 2016.

Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr. (born April 7, 1938) is an American politician who currently serves as the 39th Governor of California since 2011; he previously served as California’s 34th Governor[3] from 1975 to 1983. Both before and after his original two terms as Governor, Brown served in numerous state, local, and party positions. He was a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees (1969–1971), Secretary of State of California (1971–1975), chairman of the California Democratic Party (1989–1991), Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007) and Attorney General of California (2007–2011).

Brown sought the Democratic nominations for President of the United States in 19761980, and 1992, and was the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in California in 1982, but was unsuccessful in those attempts. He is the son of Pat Brown, the 32nd Governor of California. On October 7, 2013, he became the longest-serving governor in California history measured by cumulative service.

As a consequence of the 28-year gap between his second and third terms, Brown has been both the sixth-youngest California governor(and the youngest since the 1860s) and the oldest California governor in history.

Early life, education, and career

Brown was born in San Francisco, California, as the only son of four siblings born to Bernice Layne Brown, and District Attorney of San Francisco and later Governor of California, Edmund Gerald “Pat” Brown, Sr.[4] His father was of half Irish and half German descent.[5]He was a member of the California Cadet Corps at St. Ignatius High School, where he graduated in 1955.[citation needed]

In 1955, Brown entered Santa Clara University for a year, and left to attend Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary, intent on becoming a Catholic priest. Brown left the seminary after three years,[6] enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley in 1960, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1961. Brown went on to Yale Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1964.[4] After law school, Brown worked as a law clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Mathew Tobriner.

Returning to California, Brown took the state bar exam and passed on his second attempt.[7] Brown then settled in Los Angeles and joined the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor. In 1969, Brown ran for the newly created Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, which oversaw community colleges in the city, and placed first in a field of 124.[8]

Secretary of State (1971–1975)

In 1970, Brown was elected California Secretary of State. Brown argued before the California Supreme Court and won cases againstStandard Oil of CaliforniaInternational Telephone and TelegraphGulf Oil, and Mobil for election law violations.[8] In addition, he forced legislators to comply with campaign disclosure laws. While holding this office, he discovered the use of falsely notarized documents to earn a tax deduction by then-President Richard Nixon. Brown also drafted and helped to pass the California Political Reform Act of 1974, Proposition 9, passed by 70% of California’s voters in June, 1974. Among other provisions, it established the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Governor of California (1975–1983)

First term

California Chief Justice Donald Wright (left) swearing in Brown as Governor of California on January 6, 1975

In 1974, Brown ran in a highly contested Democratic primary for Governor of California against Speaker of the California Assembly Bob Moretti, San Francisco Mayor Joseph L. Alioto, Representative Jerome R. Waldie, and others. Brown won the primary with the name recognition of his father, Pat Brown, whom many people admired for his progressive administration.[9] In the General Election on November 5, 1974, Brown was elected Governor of California over California State Controller Houston I. Flournoy; Republicans ascribed the loss to anti-Republican feelings from Watergate, the election being held only ninety days after President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Brown succeeded Republican Governor Ronald Reagan, who had planned on retiring from office after serving two terms.

After taking office, Brown gained a reputation as a fiscal conservative.[10] The American Conservative later noted he was “much more of a fiscal conservative than Governor Reagan.”[11] His fiscal restraint resulted in one of the biggest budget surpluses in state history, roughly $5 billion.[12][13] For his personal life, Brown refused many of the privileges and perks of the office, forgoing the newly constructed governor’s residence and instead renting a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, adjacent to Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento.[14] Instead of riding as a passenger in a chauffeured limousine as previous governors had done, Brown walked to work and drove in a Plymouth Satellite sedan.[15][16]

As governor, Brown held a strong interest in environmental issues. He appointed J. Baldwin to work in the newly created California Office of Appropriate Technology, Sim Van der Ryn as State Architect, Stewart Brand as Special Advisor, John Bryson as chairman of the California State Water Board. Brown also reorganized the California Arts Council, boosting its funding by 1300 percent and appointing artists to the council[8] and appointed more women and minorities to office than any other previous California Governor.[8] In 1977, he sponsored the “first-ever tax incentive for rooftop solar” among many environmental initiatives.[17] In 1975, Brown obtained the repeal of the “depletion allowance“, a tax break for the state’s oil industry, despite the efforts of lobbyist Joe Shell, a former intraparty rival to Richard M. Nixon.[18]

Like his father, Brown strongly opposed the death penalty and vetoed it as Governor, which the legislature overrode in 1977. He also appointed judges who opposed capital punishment. One of these appointments, Rose Bird as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, was recalled by voters after a strong campaign financed by business interests upset by her “pro-labor” and “pro-free speech” rulings. The death penalty was only “a trumped-up excuse”[19] to use against her, even though the Bird Court consistently upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty.[20] In 1960, he lobbied his father, then Governor, to spare the life of Caryl Chessman and reportedly won a 60-day stay for him.[21][22]

Brown was both in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment and opposed to Proposition 13, the latter of which would decrease property taxes and greatly reduce revenue to cities and counties.[23] When Proposition 13 passed in June 1978, he heavily cut state spending, and along with the Legislature, spent much of the $5 billion surplus to meet the proposition’s requirements and help offset the revenue losses which made cities, counties, and schools more dependent on the state.[12][23] His actions in response to the proposition earned him praise from Proposition 13 author Howard Jarvis who went as far to make a television commercial for Brown just before his successful reelection bid in 1978.[23][24] The controversial proposition immediately cut tax revenues and required a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes.[25] Proposition 13 “effectively destroyed the funding base of local governments and school districts, which thereafter depended largely on Sacramento for their revenue”.[26] Max Neiman, a professor at the Institute of Government Studies at University of California, Berkeley, credited Brown for “bailing out local government and school districts” but felt it was harmful “because it made it easier for people to believe that Proposition 13 wasn’t harmful.”[17]

Second term

Brown won re-election in 1978 against Republican state Attorney General Evelle J. Younger. Brown appointed the first openly gay judge in the United States when he namedStephen Lachs to serve on the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1979.[27] In 1981, he also appointed the first openly lesbian judge in the United States, Mary C. Morgan to the San Francisco Municipal Court.[28] Brown completed his second term having appointed a total of five gay judges, including Rand Schrader and Jerold Krieger.[29][30] Through his first term as Governor, Brown had not appointed any openly gay people to any position, but he cited the failed 1978 Briggs Initiative, which sought to ban homosexuals from working in California’s public schools, for his increased support of gay rights.[27]

In 1981, California Governor Jerry Brown, who had established a reputation as a strong environmentalist, was confronted with a serious medfly infestation in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was advised by the state’s agricultural industry, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection service (APHIS), to authorize airborne spraying of the region. Initially, in accordance with his environmental protection stance, he chose to authorize ground-level spraying only. Unfortunately, the infestation spread as the medfly reproductive cycle out-paced the spraying. After more than a month, millions of dollars of crops had been destroyed and billions of dollars more were threatened. Governor Brown then authorized a massive response to the infestation. Fleets of helicopters sprayed malathion at night, and the California National Guard set up highway checkpoints and collected many tons of local fruit; in the final stage of the campaign, entomologists released millions of sterile male medflies in an attempt to disrupt the insects’ reproductive cycle.

Ultimately the infestation was eradicated, but both the Governor’s delay and the scale of the action has remained controversial ever since. Some people claimed that malathion was toxic to humans, as well as insects. In response to such concerns, Brown’s chief of staff, B. T. Collins, staged a news conference during which he publicly drank a glass of malathion. Many people complained that, while the malathion may not have been very toxic to humans, the aerosol spray containing it was corrosive to car paint.

Brown proposed the establishment of a state space academy and the purchasing of a satellite that would be launched into orbit to provide emergency communications for the state—a proposal similar to one that was indeed eventually adopted. In 1979, an out-of-state columnist, Mike Royko, at the Chicago Sun-Times, picked up on the nickname from Brown’s girlfriend at the time, Linda Ronstadt, who was quoted in a 1978 Rolling Stone magazine interview humorously calling him “Moonbeam”.[31][32] A year later Royko expressed his regret for publicizing the nickname,[33] and in 1991 Royko disavowed it entirely, proclaiming Brown to be just as serious as any other politician.[34][35][36][37]

Brown chose not to run for a third term in 1982, and instead ran for the United States Senate, but lost to San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson. He was succeeded as Governor by George Deukmejian, then state Attorney General, on January 3, 1983.

Senate defeat and public life

In 1982, Brown chose not to seek a third term as governor, instead, Brown ran for the United States Senate for the seat being vacated by Republican S.I. Hayakawa. He was defeated by Republican San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson by a margin of 52% to 45%. After his Senate defeat, Brown was left with few political options.[38] Republican George Deukmejian, a Brown critic, narrowly won the governorship in 1982, succeeding Brown, and was reelected overwhelmingly in 1986. After his Senate defeat in 1982, many considered Brown’s political career to be over.[38]

Brown traveled to Japan to study Buddhism, studying with Christian/Zen practitioner Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle under Yamada Koun-roshi. In an interview he explained, “Since politics is based on illusions, zazen definitely provides new insights for a politician. I then come back into the world of California and politics, with critical distance from some of my more comfortable assumptions.”[39] He also visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, where he ministered to the sick in one of her hospices.[40] He explained, “Politics is a power struggle to get to the top of the heap. Calcutta and Mother Teresa are about working with those who are at the bottom of the heap. And to see them as no different than yourself, and their needs as important as your needs. And you’re there to serve them, and doing that you are attaining as great a state of being as you can.”[39]

Upon his return from abroad in 1988, Brown announced that he would stand as a candidate to become chairman of the California Democratic Party, and won against investment banker Steve Westly.[41] Although Brown greatly expanded the party’s donor base and enlarged its coffers, with a focus on grassroots organizing and get out the vote drives, he was criticized for not spending enough money on TV ads, which was felt to have contributed to Democratic losses in several close races in 1990. In early 1991, Brown abruptly resigned his post and announced that he would run for the Senate seat held by the retiring Alan Cranston. Although Brown consistently led in the polls for both the nomination and the general election, he abandoned the campaign, deciding instead to run for the presidency for a third time.

In 1995, with Brown’s political career at a low point, in the motion picture Jade, the fictional Governor of California tells an assistant district attorney to drop a case, “unless you want as much of a future in this state as Jerry Brown.” The assistant DA responds “Who’s Jerry Brown?”

Presidential bids

1976

Brown first ran for the Democratic nomination for President in March 1976, after the primary season had begun, and over a year after some candidates had started campaigning. Brown declared, “The country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe. The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits.”[42][43]

Brown’s name began appearing on primary ballots in May and he won in MarylandNevada, and his home state of California.[44] He missed the deadline inOregon, but he ran as a write-in candidate and finished in third behind Jimmy Carter and Senator Frank Church of Idaho. Brown is often credited with winning the New Jersey and Rhode Island primaries, but in reality, uncommitted slates of delegates that Brown advocated in those states finished first. With support from Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, Brown won a majority of delegates at the Louisiana delegate selection convention; thus Louisiana was the only southern state to not support Southerners Carter or Alabama Governor George Wallace. Despite this success, he was unable to stall Carter’s momentum, and his rival was nominated on the first ballot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Brown finished third with roughly 300 delegate votes, narrowly behind Congressman Morris Udall and Carter.

1980

In 1980, Brown challenged Carter for renomination. His candidacy had been anticipated by the press ever since he won re-election as governor in 1978 over the Republican Evelle Younger by the largest margin in California history, 1.3 million votes. But Brown had trouble gaining traction in both fundraising and polling for the presidential nomination. This was widely believed to be the result of the more prominent candidate Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Brown’s 1980 platform, which he declared to be the natural result of combining Buckminster Fuller‘s visions of the future and E. F. Schumacher‘s theory of “Buddhist economics“, was much expanded from 1976. His “era of limits” slogan was replaced by a promise to, in his words, “Protect the Earth, serve the people, and explore the universe.”

Three main planks of his platform were a call for a constitutional convention to ratify the Balanced Budget Amendment, a promise to increase funds for the space program as a “first step in bringing us toward a solar-powered space satellite to provide solar energy for this planet,”[45] and, in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, opposition to nuclear power. On the subject of the 1979 energy crisis, Brown decried the “Faustian bargain” that he claimed Carter had entered into with the oil industry, and declared that he would greatly increase federal funding of research into solar power. He endorsed the idea of mandatory non-military national service for the nation’s youth, and suggested that the Defense Department cut back on support troops while beefing up the number of combat troops.

Brown opposed Kennedy’s call for universal national health insurance and opposed Carter’s call for an employer mandate to provide catastrophic private health insurance.[46] As an alternative, he suggested a program of tax credits for those who do not smoke or otherwise damage their health, saying: “Those who abuse their bodies should not abuse the rest of us by taking our tax dollars.”[46] Brown also called for expanding the use of acupuncture and midwifery.[46]

As his campaign began to attract more members of what some more conservative commentators described as “the fringe”, including activists like Jane FondaTom Hayden, andJesse Jackson, however his polling numbers began to suffer. Brown received only 10 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, and he was soon forced to announce that his decision to remain in the race would depend on a good showing in the Wisconsin primary. Although he had polled well there throughout the primary season, an attempt to film a live speech in Madison, the state’s capital, into a special effects-filled, 30-minute commercial (produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola) was disastrous.[47]

1992

When Brown announced his intention to run for president against President George H.W. Bush, many in the media and his own party dismissed his campaign as having little chance of gaining significant support. Ignoring them, Brown embarked on a grassroots campaign to, in his own words, “take back America from the confederacy of corruption,careerism, and campaign consulting in Washington”.[48] In his stump speech, first used while officially announcing his candidacy on the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brown told listeners that he would only be accepting campaign contributions from individuals and that he would not accept over $100.[49] Continuing with his populistreform theme, he assailed what he dubbed “the bipartisan Incumbent Party in Washington” and called for term limits for members of Congress. Citing various recent scandals onCapitol Hill, particularly the recent House banking scandal and the large congressional pay-raises from 1990, he promised to put an end to Congress being a “Stop-and-Shop for the moneyed special interests“.

As Brown campaigned in various primary states, he would eventually expand his platform beyond a policy of strict campaign finance reform. Although he focused on a variety of issues throughout the campaign, he highlighted his endorsement of living wage laws and opposition to free trade agreements such as NAFTA; he mostly concentrated on his tax policy, which had been created specifically for him by Arthur Laffer, the famous supporter of supply-side economics who created the Laffer curve. This plan, which called for the replacement of the progressive income tax with a flat tax and a value added tax, both at a fixed 13 percent rate, was decried by his opponents as regressive. Nevertheless, it was endorsed by The New York TimesThe New Republic, and Forbes, and its raising of taxes on corporations and elimination of various loopholes which tended to favor the very wealthy, proved to be popular with voters. This was, perhaps, not surprising, as various opinion polls taken at the time found that as many as three-quarters of all Americans believed the current tax code to be unfairly biased toward the wealthy. He “seemed to be the most left-wing and right-wing man in the field… [calling] for term limits, a flat tax, and the abolition of the Department of Education.”[50] Brown scored surprising wins in Connecticut and Colorado and seemed poised to overtake Clinton.

Due to his limited budget, Brown began to use a mixture of alternative media and unusual fund raising techniques. Unable to pay for actual commercials, he used frequent cable television and talk radio interviews as a form of free media to get his message to voters. In order to raise funds, he purchased a toll-free telephone number, which adorned all of his campaign stances.[51] During the campaign, Brown’s repetition of this number combined with the moralistic language used, led some to describe him as a “political televangelist” with an “anti-politics gospel”.[52]

Despite poor showings in the Iowa caucus (1.6%) and the New Hampshire primary (8%), Brown soon managed to win narrow victories in MaineColoradoNevadaAlaska, andVermont, but he continued to be considered a small threat for much of the campaign. It was not until shortly after Super Tuesday, when the field had been narrowed to Brown, former Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, and frontrunner Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas, that Brown began to emerge as a major contender in the eyes of the press. On March 17, Brown forced Tsongas from the race when he received a strong third-place showing in the Illinois primary and then defeated the senator for second place in the Michigan primary by a wide margin. Exactly one week later, he cemented his position as a major threat to Clinton when he eked out a narrow win in the bitterly-fought Connecticut primary. As the press focused on the primaries in New York and Wisconsin, which were both to be held on the same day, Brown, who had taken the lead in polls in both states, made a gaffe: he announced to an audience of various leaders of New York City’s Jewish community that, if nominated, he would consider the Reverend Jesse Jackson as a vice-presidential candidate.[53] Jackson, who had made a pair of anti-semitic comments about Jews in general and New York City’s Jews in particular while running for president in 1984, was still despised in Jewish communities. Jackson also had ties to Louis Farrakhan, who said Judaism was a “gutter religion,” and with Yasir Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.[53] Brown’s polling numbers suffered. On April 7, he lost narrowly to Bill Clinton in Wisconsin (37%–34%), and dramatically in New York (41%–26%).

Although Brown continued to campaign in a number of states, he won no further primaries. Although overwhelmingly outspent, Brown won upset victories in seven states and his votes won to money raised ratio was by far the best of any candidate in the race.[54] He still had a sizable number of delegates, and a big win in his home state of California would deprive Clinton of sufficient support to win the Democratic nomination, possibly bringing about a brokered convention. After nearly a month of intense campaigning and multiple debates between the two candidates, Clinton managed to defeat Brown in this final primary by a margin of 48% to 41%. Although Brown did not win the nomination, he was able to boast of one accomplishment: At the following month’s Democratic National Convention, he received the votes of 596 delegates on the first ballot, more than any other candidate but Clinton. He spoke at the convention, and to the national viewing audience, yet without endorsing Clinton, through the device of seconding his own nomination. There was animosity between the Brown and Clinton campaigns, and Brown was the first political figure to criticize Bill Clinton over what became the Whitewater controversy.[51]

Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007)

Mayor Jerry Brown (left) with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (middle) and San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom (right).

What would become Brown’s re-emergence into politics after six years was in Oakland, California, an “overwhelmingly minority city of 400,000.”[55] Brown ran as an independent “having left the Democratic Party, blasting what he called the ‘deeply corrupted’ two-party system.”[55] Prior to taking office, Brown campaigned to get the approval of the electorate to convert Oakland’s weak mayor political structure, which structured the mayor as chairman of the city council and official greeter, to a strong mayor structure, where the mayor would act as chief executive over the nonpolitical city manager and thus the various city departments, and break tie votes on the Oakland City Council.[55] He won with 59% of the vote in a field of ten candidates.[55] The political left had hoped for some of the more progressive politics from Brown’s earlier governorship, but found Brown “more pragmatic than progressive, more interested in downtown redevelopment and economic growth than political ideology”.[56]

The city was rapidly losing residents and businesses, and Brown is credited with starting the revitalization of the city using his connections and experience to lessen the economic downturn, while attracting $1 billion of investments, including refurbishing the Fox Theatre, the Port of Oakland, and Jack London Square.[55] The downtown district was losing retailers, restaurateurs and residential developers, and Brown sought to attract thousands of new residents with disposable income to revitalize the area.[57] Brown continued his predecessor Elihu Harris‘s public policy of supporting downtown housing development in the area defined as the Central Business District in Oakland’s 1998 General Plan.[58] Since Brown worked toward the stated goal of bringing an additional 10,000 residents to Downtown Oakland, his plan was known as “10K.” It has resulted in redevelopment projects in the Jack London District, where Brown purchased and later sold an industrial warehouse which he used as a personal residence,[55] and in the Lakeside Apartments District near Lake Merritt. The 10k plan has touched the historic Old Oakland district, the Chinatown district, the Uptown district, andDowntown. Brown surpassed the stated goal of attracting 10,000 residents according to city records, and built more affordable housing than previous mayoral administrations.[57]

Brown had campaigned on fixing Oakland’s schools, but “bureaucratic battles” dampened his efforts. He concedes he never had control of the schools, and his reform efforts were “largely a bust”.[55] He focused instead on the creation of two charter schools, the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland Military Institute.[55] Another area of disappointment was overall crime. Brown sponsored nearly two dozen crime initiatives to reduce the crime rate,[59] although crime decreased by 13 percent overall, the city still suffered a “57 percent spike in homicides his final year in office, to 148 overall”.[55]

Attorney General of California (2007–2011)

Brown in 2009

In 2004, Brown expressed interest to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of California in the 2006 election, and in May 2004, he formally filed to run. He defeated his Democratic primary opponent Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo 63% to 37%. In the general election, Brown defeated Republican State Senator Charles Poochigian 56.3% to 38.2%, one of the largest margins of victory in any statewide California race.[60] In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, Brown’s eligibility to run for Attorney General was challenged in what Brown called a “political stunt by a Republican office seeker” (Contra Costa County Republican Central Committee chairman and state GOP vice-chair candidateTom Del Beccaro). Plaintiffs claimed Brown did not meet eligibility according to California Government Code §12503, “No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General unless he shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office.” Legal analysts called the lawsuit frivolous because Brown was admitted to practice law in the State of California on June 14, 1965, and had been so admitted to practice ever since. Although ineligible to practice law because of his voluntary inactive status in the State Bar of California from January 1, 1997 to May 1, 2003, he was nevertheless still admitted to practice. Because of this difference the case was eventually thrown out.[61][62]

As Attorney General, Brown represented the state in fighting death penalty appeals and stated that he would follow the law, regardless of his personal beliefs against capital punishment. Capital punishment by lethal injection was halted in California by federal judge Jeremy D. Fogel until new facilities and procedures were put into place.[63] Brown moved to resume capital punishment in 2010 with the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown after the lifting of a statewide moratoriumby a California court.[64] Brown’s Democratic campaign, which pledged to “enforce the laws” of California, denied any connection between the case and the gubernatorial election. Prosecutor Rod Pacheco, who supported Republican opponent Meg Whitman, said that it would be unfair to accuse Jerry Brown of using the execution for political gain as they never discussed the case.[65]

In June 2008, Brown filed a fraud lawsuit claiming mortgage lender Countrywide Financial engaged in “unfair and deceptive” practices to get homeowners to apply for risky mortgages far beyond their means.”[66][67] Brown accused the lender of breaking the state’s laws against false advertising and unfair business practices, the lawsuit also claimed the defendant misled many consumers by misinforming them about the workings of certain mortgages such adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only loans, low-documentation loans and home-equity loans while telling borrowers they would be able to refinance before the interest rate on their loans adjusted.[68] The suit was settled in October 2008 after Bank of America acquired Countrywide. The settlement involved the modifying of troubled ‘predatory loans’ up to $8.4 billion.[69]

Proposition 8, a contentious voter-approved amendment to the state constitution that banned same-sex marriage was upheld in May 2009 by the California Supreme Court.[70][71] In August 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[72] Brown and then Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger both declined to appeal the ruling.[73] The state appeals court declined to order the men to defend the proposition and scheduled a hearing in early December to see if there is “legal standing to appeal Walker’s ruling.”[74]

Governor of California (2011–present)

Third term

Brown at an campaign rally in Sacramento two days before the election

Brown announced his candidacy for governor on March 2, 2010.[75] First indicating his interest in early 2008, Brown formed an exploratory committee in order to seek a third term as governor in 2010, following the expiration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s term.[76][77]

Brown’s Republican opponent in the election was former eBay president Meg Whitman. Brown was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times,[78] The Sacramento Bee,[79] the San Francisco Chronicle,[80] the San Jose Mercury News,[81] and theService Employees International Union.[82] Brown won the race 53.8% to Whitman’s 40.9%.

Brown was sworn in for his third term as governor on January 3, 2011, succeeding Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will be up for re-election in 2014. Brown is working on a budget that would shift many government programs from the state to the local level, a reversal of trends from his first tenure as governor.[83]

On June 28, 2012, Governor Brown signed a budget that made deep cuts to social services with the assumption that voters would pass $8 billion in tax hikes in November 2012 to close California’s $15.7-billion budget deficit. “This budget reflects tough choices that will help get California back on track,” Governor Brown said in a statement.[84]

When asked by writer Marc Collins, in an article from Pacific Standard magazine on August 12, 2012, what the state needs to get back on track even if his initiative passes, Governor Brown remarked: “We need budget cuts. We need the continued growth of the economy for a long period of time. We’re suffering from the mortgage meltdown that killed 600,000 jobs in the construction industry. … We’re recovering from a national recession slowly—over 300,000 jobs [gained] since the recession. We’ve got a million to go. That needs to continue, but that depends not only on Barack Obama and the Congress and the Federal Reserve, but also on [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, China, the European Union, and the self-organizing quality of the world economy. We need all that, which we don’t have control over. What we do have control over is managing affairs to win public regard and confidence, and technically we need to make these hard cuts that Democrats don’t want to make, but a gimmicky sort of budget won’t lend itself to voters passing new taxes.”[85]

In September 2012, Brown signed legislation sponsored by California State Senator Ted Lieu that prohibits protesters at funerals within 300 feet, with convicted violators punishable with fines and jail time; the legislation was in response to protests conducted by the Westboro Baptist Church.[86]

In the November 2012 general elections, voters approved Brown’s proposed tax increases in the form of Proposition 30. Prop 30 raised the state personal income tax increase over seven years for California residents with an annual income over US$250,000 and increased in the state sales tax by 0.25 percent over four years. It allowed the state to avoid nearly $6 billion in cuts to public education.[87]

Electoral history

Personal life

Anne Gust, Brown’s wife and the First Lady of California

A bachelor as governor and mayor, Brown attracted attention for dating high-profile women, the most notable of whom was singer Linda Ronstadt.[88] In March 2005, Brown announced his engagement to his girlfriend since 1990, Anne Gust, former chief administrative officer for The Gap.[89] They were married on June 18 in a ceremony officiated by Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland. They had a second, religious ceremony later in the day in the Roman Catholic church in San Francisco where Brown’s parents had been married. Brown and Gust live in the Oakland Hills in a home purchased for $1.8 million, as reported by The Huffington Post.[90]

Beginning in 1995, Brown hosted a daily call-in talk show on the local Pacifica Radio station, KPFA-FM, in Berkeley broadcast to major US markets.[39] Both the radio program and Brown’s political action organization, based in Oakland, were called We the People.[39] His programs, usually featuring invited guests, generally explored alternative views on a wide range of social and political issues, from education and health care to spirituality and the death penalty.[39]

The official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown, commemorating his first period as Governor of California was painted by Don Bachardyand unveiled in 1984. The painting has long been controversial due to its departure from the traditional norms of portraiture.[91]

Brown has a long-term friendship with Jacques Barzaghi, his aide-de-camp, whom he met in the early 1970s and put on his payroll. Author Roger Rapaport wrote in his 1982 Brown biography California Dreaming: The Political Odyssey of Pat & Jerry Brown, “this combination clerk, chauffeur, fashion consultant, decorator and trusted friend had no discernible powers. Yet late at night, after everyone had gone home to their families and TV consoles, it was Jacques who lingered in the Secretary (of state’s) office.” Barzaghi and his sixth wife Aisha lived with Brown in the warehouse in Jack London Square; Barzaghi was brought into Oakland city government upon Brown’s election as mayor, where Barzaghi first acted as the mayor’s armed bodyguard. Brown later rewarded Barzaghi with high-paying city jobs, including Arts Director[citation needed]. Brown dismissed Barzaghi in July 2004.[92]

In April 2011 Brown had surgery to remove a basal-cell carcinoma from the right side of his nose.[93] It was announced in December 2012 that Brown was being treated for early stage (the precise stage and grade was not stated) localized prostate cancer with a very good prognosis.[94]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Brown

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Obama’s Era of Austerity is Over — Let The Big Spending Beginning — President Is Delusional Suffers From Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Videos

Posted on February 22, 2014. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Math, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Politics, Private Sector, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Resources, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 176: November 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 175: November 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 174: November 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 173: November 22, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 172: November 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 171: November 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 170: November 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 169: November 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 168: November 15, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 167: November 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 166: November 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 165: November 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 164: November 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 163: November 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 162: November 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 161: November 4, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 160: November 1, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-216

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

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Story 1: Obama’s Era of Austerity is Over — Let The Big Spending Beginning — President Is Delusional Suffers From Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Videos

 Congressional Budget Office’s newest reports

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In the past few years, debt held by the public has been significantly greater relative to GDP than at any time since just after World War II, and under current law it will continue to be quite high by historical standards during the next decade. With debt so large, federal spending on interest payments will increase substantially as interest rates rise to more typical levels. Moreover, because federal borrowing generally reduces national saving, the capital stock and wages will be smaller than if debt was lower. In addition, lawmakers would have less flexibility than they otherwise would to use tax and spending policies to respond to unanticipated challenges. Finally, such a large debt poses a greater risk of precipitating a fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose so much confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget that the government would be unable to borrow at affordable rates.

http://cbo.gov/publication/45086

Federal Budget Deficits Are Projected to Decline Through 2015 but Rise Thereafter, Further Boosting Federal Debt

posted by Barry Blom & Leigh Angres on february 20, 2014

CBO recently released The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024. In that report, CBO projects that if current laws remain in place, the federal budget deficit will total $514 billion in fiscal year 2014. That deficit will be $166 billion smaller than the figure posted in 2013 and down sharply from the shortfalls recorded between 2009 and 2012, which exceeded $1 trillion annually. At 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), this year’s deficit would be near the average experienced over the past 40 years and about 7 percentage points lower than the figure recorded in 2009.

Today’s post summarizes CBO’s assessment of the budget outlook over the next decade. Three more posts—to appear over the next several days—will provide more detail about the outlook for spending, revenues, and the economy. One more post will expand upon CBO’s economic forecast, explaining the reasons behind the slow recovery of the labor market.

Under Current Law, Federal Debt Will Grow to 79 Percent of GDP at the End of 2024, CBO Estimates

CBO constructs it baseline projections of federal revenues and spending over the coming decade under the assumption that current laws generally remain unchanged. Under that assumption, revenues are projected to grow by about 1 percentage point of GDP over the next 10 years—from 17.5 percent in 2014 to 18.4 percent in 2024. But outlays are projected to rise twice as much, from 20.5 percent of GDP in 2014 to 22.4 percent in 2024. The increase in outlays reflects substantial growth in the cost of the largest benefit programs—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—and in payments of interest on the government’s debt; those increases would more than offset a significant decline in discretionary spending relative to the size of the economy.

Although the deficit in CBO’s baseline projections continues to decline as a percentage of GDP in 2015, to 2.6 percent, it then starts to increase again in 2016, reaching 4.0 percent of GDP in 2024. That figure for the end of the 10-year projection period is roughly 1 percentage point above the average deficit over the past 40 years relative to the size of the economy.

That pattern of lower deficits initially, followed by higher deficits for the remainder of the projection period, would cause debt held by the public to follow a similar trajectory (see the figure below). Relative to the nation’s output, debt held by the public is projected to decline from 74 percent of GDP in 2014 to 72 percent of GDP in 2017, but to rise thereafter, to 79 percent of GDP at the end of 2024. (As recently as the end of 2007, debt held by the public was equal to 35 percent of GDP.)

Federal Debt Held by the Public

In the past few years, debt held by the public has been significantly greater relative to GDP than at any time since just after World War II, and under current law it will continue to be quite high by historical standards during the next decade. With debt so large, federal spending on interest payments will increase substantially as interest rates rise to more typical levels. Moreover, because federal borrowing generally reduces national saving, the capital stock and wages will be smaller than if debt was lower. In addition, lawmakers would have less flexibility than they otherwise would to use tax and spending policies to respond to unanticipated challenges. Finally, such a large debt poses a greater risk of precipitating a fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose so much confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget that the government would be unable to borrow at affordable rates. (For a discussion of the consequences of elevated debt, see CBO’s December 2013 report Choices for Deficit Reduction: An Update.)

Projected Deficits Reflect Substantial Growth in the Cost of the Largest Benefit Programs

Projected deficits and debt for the coming decade reflect some of the long-term budgetary pressures facing the nation. The aging of the population, the rising costs of health care, and the expansion in federal subsidies for health insurance that is now under way will substantially boost federal spending on Social Security and the government’s major health care programs by 2 percentage points of GDP over the next 10 years (see the figure below). But the pressures of aging and the rising costs of health care will intensify during the next few decades. Unless the laws governing those programs are changed—or the increased spending is accompanied by corresponding reductions in other spending relative to GDP, by sufficiently higher tax revenues, or by a combination of those changes—debt will rise sharply relative to GDP after 2024. (For a more detailed discussion of the long-term budget situation, see CBO’s September 2013 report The 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook.)

Spending and Revenues Projected in CBO's Baseline, Compared With Levels in 1974

Moreover, holding discretionary spending within the limits required under current law—an assumption that underlies these projections—may be quite difficult. The caps on discretionary budget authority established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25) and subsequently amended will reduce such spending to an unusually small amount relative to the size of the economy. With those caps in place, CBO projects, discretionary spending will equal 5.2 percent of GDP in 2024; by comparison, the lowest share for discretionary spending in any year since 1962 (the earliest year for which such data have been reported) was 6.0 percent in 1999. (Nevertheless, total federal spending would be a larger share of GDP than its average during the past 40 years because of higher spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other health insurance subsidies for low-income people, and interest payments on the debt.) Because the allocation of discretionary spending is determined by annual appropriation acts, lawmakers have not yet decided which specific government services and benefits will be reduced or constrained to meet the specified overall limits.

The Budget Outlook for the Coming Decade Has Worsened Since May 2013

The baseline budget outlook has worsened since May 2013, when CBO last published its 10-year projections. A description of the changes in CBO’s baseline since May 2013 can be found in Appendix A of the report. At that time, deficits projected under current law totaled $6.3 trillion for the 2014–2023 period, or about 3 percent of GDP. Deficits are now projected to be about $1 trillion larger. The bulk of that change occurred in CBO’s estimates of revenues: The agency has reduced its projection of total revenues by $1.6 trillion, mostly because of changes in the economic outlook. A decrease of $0.6 trillion in projected outlays through 2023 partially offset that change.

Barry Blom is an analyst in CBO’s Budget Analysis Division and Leigh Angres is special assistant to the CBO Director.

how_congress_spends_your_money

Bar Chart Data Source: Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) published by the U. S. Treasury Department. WE DON’T MAKE THIS UP! IT COMES FROM THE U. S. GOVERNMENT! NO ADJUSTMENTS.

The MTS published in October, reports the final actual expenditures for the previous FY. This chart shows FY2013 actual spending data. Here is the link to download your own copy from the Treasury Department web site.

The chart normally shows the proposed budget line for the next fiscal year (FY2014 started 1 October 2013), but the two-year deal for 2014-2015 signed in December 2013, has so few details that showing a “budget” for 2014 or 2015 is no possible. And now Congress has passed the Appropriations (spending) bill that funds the budget through end of FY2014. The details are in a 1500+ page bill that no one in Congress read. But you CAN read it. Here it is H.R.3547 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. (it’s a large pdf document … give it time.)

But we may have an option; we will use the historical tables published by the OMB, about mid-FY2014, take the data from the “estimated” 2014 column. Look for it later.

The Congressional Budget Office reported on the Federal Debt and the Risk of a Financial Crisis in this report on the non-budget.

Look at the bar chart to find items that are growing and items that are being reduced. The largest growth is at the Department of Agriculture; it handles Food Stamps (SNAP). You pay taxes, your money is paying for food stamps.

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Here is a MUST SEE … The Budget in Pictures!

NDAC studies the Budget Proposals submitted to the U.S. Senate each year by the President of the United States and the House of Representatives. One of the documents that goes along with the budget proposals, “Historical Tables“, is published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Our analysis is discussed on the home page of this web site.

http://www.federalbudget.com/chartinfo.html

Out-of-Control Spending Is to Blame for America’s Deficit Problem

Federal spending is projected to grow at a rapid pace beyond the 10-year budget window. Without reforms, spending on interest on the debt, health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc.), and Social Security will reach unsustainable levels. As a result, these spending levels will cause exploding deficits as tax revenues will be at their modern average level (1952-2008).

americas-deficit-federal-spending-680

Where Does All the Money Go?

In 2012, the major entitlement programs-Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care-consumed 45 percent of all federal spending. These programs, and interest on the debt, are on track to consume an even greater share of spending in future years, while the portion of federal spending dedicated to other national priorities will decline.

SHARE OF FEDERAL SPENDING IN 2012

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Entitlement Program Spending Is Massive

Annual spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs is massive compared to other federal spending priorities. There is too much waste and inappropriate spending in the discretionary budget as well, but Congress will not be able to rein in spending and debt without reforming the entitlement programs.

ESTIMATED ANNUAL SPENDING IN 2014

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Publicly Held Debt Set to Skyrocket

Runaway spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will drive federal debt to unsustainable levels over the next few decades. Total national debt comprises publicly held debt (the most relevant to credit markets) and debt that one part of the government owes to another, such as the Social Security Trust Fund.

national-debt-skyrocket-680

All Tax Revenue Will Go Toward Entitlements and Net Interest by 2030

In less than two decades, all projected tax revenues would be consumed by three federal programs (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, which includes CHIP and Obamacare) and interest on the debt. Entitlement reform is a must.

entitlements-historical-tax-levels-680

What if a Typical Family Spent and Borrowed Like the Federal Government?

Families understand that it is unwise to repeatedly spend much more than they take in. But Washington continues its shopping spree on the taxpayer credit card with seemingly no regard to the stack of bills the nation has already piled up.

typical-family-spent-like-government-680

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The Beatles – Taxman

How Obama could kill the Democratic Party

The Price of a U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade

U.S. deficit to decline, then rise as labor market struggles: CBO

Top 10 MILITARY BUDGETS