Archive for October, 2013

New Revealations About Benghazi Scandal From CBS 60 Minutes — Congress Demands Benghazi Survivors Testify As To What Happened! — Videos

Posted on October 31, 2013. Filed under: Communications, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 158: October 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 157: October 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 156: October 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

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Segment 0: New Revealations About Benghazi Scandal From CBS 60 Minutes — Congress Demands Benghazi Survivors Testify As To What Happened! — Videos

The Benghazi cover story

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton participate in a transfer ceremony of the remains of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed this week in Benghazi, at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak at transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base for Americans killed in Benghazi.         Credit:www.vosizneias.com

The Benghazi cover story was an awful, offensive, crude and disgusting online video that insulted believers in Islam lead to a spontaneous protest that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

On Sept. 14, 2012 during the transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made remarks to the families of the four Americans killed in Benghazi. She briefly reviewed the careers and lives of the deceased: Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”

On Sept. 16, 2012, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on all five Sunday morning TV news shows. The interviewers on all five shows asked Rice to provide the Obama administration’s explanation for the murder of the four Americans in Benghazi.

On ABC’s  “This Week,” in response to a question by Jake Tapper,  Rice answered, “But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”  Rice repeated this explanation on all five shows.

On Sept. 25, 2012, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He also repeated Rice’s explanation for what happened in Benghazi. Obama said, “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video.”

According to an Associated Press story by Paul Schemm and Michael Maggie: “Within 24 hours of the attack, both the embassy in Tripoli and the CIA station chief sent word to Washington that it was a planned militant attack,” and “there was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.”

The terrorist attackers numbering about 150 are suspected of being members of the powerful militia organization Ansar al-Shariah. Their members espouse a jihadist al-Qaida-like ideology. They fought in the Libyan civil war that overthrew the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi.

Gregory Hicks was deputy chief of mission and charge d’affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya on Sept. 11. He was called to testify before the House Oversight Committee that is investigating Benghazi on May 9. Hicks said, “I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody at the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”

On Oct. 27 CBS’s 60 Minutes Lara Logan said, “Contrary to the White House’s public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al-Qaida in a well-planned assault.”

Logan’s reporting coup was an interview with a new source, a British security officer, who uses a pseudonym. He said, “On his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al- Qaida flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.”

Also interviewed was Lt. Col. Andy Wood, chief security officer in Libya, and Hicks. Wood said, “Al-Qaida — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time ‘til they captured the third one.”

Wood added, “I made it known in a country team meeting, ‘You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It’s gonna happen. You need to change your security profile.’”

On Oct. 28  Fox News interviewed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He said, “So I am calling for a joint select committee. … The people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes. I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.”

The truth was known from the beginning that the terrorist attacks were planned and well-organized by a militia group called Ansar al-Shariah and had absolutely nothing to do with a YouTube video. The Benghazi cover story was a lie repeatedly told to deceive the American people during an election year.

60 Minutes – Benghazi (CBS – Oct 27, 2013) (Full)

Lara Logan reports on the events in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012. The al Qaeda attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador, Chris Stevens.

Lindsey Graham To FOX Blocking Every Senate Appointment Until Benghazi Survivors Can Testify

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Wants Answers From Hillary, Obama On Benghazi Believe It Or Not!

Sources U S aborted Benghazi raid

Benghazi Scandal – Missed Chance – 3rd Raid In Libya May Have Caught Benghazi Terrorist

Benghazi Scandal Cover Up! Rep Wolf Benghazi Survivors Asked To Sign Non Disclosure Agreement

Background Articles and Videos

Breaking: CNN Reports CIA Engaged in Massive Intimidation Campaign to Keep Benghazi a Secret

Malkin And Fox Hosts Bask In CNN’s Benghazi Interview That Blew Up Obama’s & [8-01-2013]

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Obamacare’s Metal Plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) With Higher Premiums and Deductibles — The Road To The Single Government Option Lead Plan — Videos

Posted on October 26, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Diasters, Economics, Education, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Reviews, Science, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 156: October 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-156

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

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Segment 0: Obamacare’s Metal Plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) With Higher Premiums and Deductibles — The Road To The Single Government Option Lead Plan — Videos

Health Pocket.com

http://www.healthpocket.com/individual-health-insurance

HealthCare.gov

https://www.healthcare.gov/

John C. Goodman – Obamacare Costs – 10-08-13

John C. Goodman – Obamacare Rate Increase – 10-15-13

Bret Baier If Problems With Obamacare Continue, ‘There Is Going to Have to Be a Delay’

John C. Goodman – Sticker Shock – 10-22-13

John C. Goodman – Death Spiral – 10-23-13

How to Get Obamacare ( healthcare.gov enrollment instructions )

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiHg4veV6q0]

Platinum Plans

Gold Plans

Silver Plans

Bronze Plans

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

The Pronk Pops Show 155, October 24, 2013, Segment 0: Obama’s Tech Surge Team for Healthcare.gov — Best & Brightest or Dumb, Blind and Deaf — Videos

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Obama’s Tech Surge Team for Healthcare.gov — Best & Brightest or Dumb, Blind and Deaf — Videos

Posted on October 24, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Raves, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-155

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

Segment 0: Obama’s Tech Surge Team for Healthcare.gov — Best & Brightest or Dumb, Blind and Deaf — Videos

See-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil-monkeys-

obamacare

obamacare (1)

Obamacare-Focus

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obamacare-everyone-hates-political-cartoon

obamacare-glitches-cartoon-sack-495x374

Obamacare-info-center

Obamacare-Exchange

fixing-obamacare-glitches-cartoon-heller-495x343

CartoonObCareFlowChartNateBeelerColDispatch_600.jpg.cms

What Went Wrong with the Obamacare Website?

NOW: House Committee Hearing on Affordable Care Act FAILED Website

NOW: House Committee Hearing on Affordable Care Act FAILED Website

Rep. McKinley questions contractors responsible for creating Obamacare website in E&C hearing.

Rep. Kinzinger questions panelists at Obamacare hearing

Greg Walden questions federal contractors about testing before the Obamacare rollout

SMUG: House Committee Hearing on Affordable Care Act FAILED Website

‘Monkey Court’: House Dem Dismisses Healthcare.gov Hearing

Who’s to Blame for Healthcare.gov Problems?

Obamacare website woes…

Rep. Griffith: “When did they know? How much did they know? Why didn’t they slow this down?”

Healthcare gov Goes on Trial in House Hearing (Oct.24) USA

$500 Million Obamacare Website A Bust|NewsDay

Upton: Why were we told Obamacare exchanges were ready?

Obama raising money off HealthCare.gov problems

W.H. Refers Reporters To HHS When Asked About Tech Surge Team

Obama Admin Tries Emergency Surgery, A Tech Surge! – Special Report 1st Segment

Obama Admin Launches “Tech Surge” To Tackle Obamacare Website Issues – America’s Newsroom

White House launches ‘tech surge’ to boost capacity

NBC’s Brian Williams Reports White House Will Delay Obamacare Individual Mandate

Congressional fight over Obamacare turns to website woes

Frustration grows over HealthCare.gov technical problems

Obamacare website is up and running TODAY HealthCare.gov what you need to know!!

HealthCare.gov: Tour of the Website

How to Get Obamacare ( healthcare.gov enrollment instructions )

Hearing on “Affordable Care Act: Implementation in the Wake of Administrative Delay”

Glenn BECK futilely attempts to access Obamacare exchanges ,BUT FAILED,THE SITE CRASHED

CBS Calls Obamacare Website Launch ‘Nothing Short of Disastrous’

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Obamacare’s HealthCare.gov: Crime Scene, Bureaucratic Disaster and Government Failure — Obamacare: Trick, Treat or Tax — Videos

Posted on October 21, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Health Care, history, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Language, Law, Macroeconomics, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-153

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09

healthcare.gov

Pres_Obama_You_Can_Keep_Your_Health_Care_Plan_Under_New_Law_Period_Obamacare_Remember_That_

Liarerr-obamacare-cartoon

Obamacar_600

obamacare_exchange

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employer_healthcare_insurance

silver_plan

federal-poverty-level-guide

Subsidies-by-Income-and-Household-Size

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Obamacare: trick, treat or tax?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

halloween

If you think Halloween is scary, you should see the HealthCare.gov website. It is frightening.

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he made a firm pledge to the American people.

“If you who make less than a quarter of a million dollars per year which includes 98 percent of small business owners, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime under my plan — not your payroll taxes, not your income taxes, not your capital gains taxes, nothing. It is time to give the middle class a break. That is what I will do as president of the United States,” Obama said. This was captured in a YouTube video titled “Not a Dime in Tax Increase for Those Earning Less than $250,000.”

Once he was elected, Obama made another promise to the American people.

Obama said, “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will make this promise to the American people; if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that healthcare reform should be guided by a simple principle, fix what is broken and build on what works.” This statement was captured in a YouTube video titled “Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy.”

On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Before Obamacare was enacted into law, Obama was interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. He asked the president, “You were against the individual mandate during the campaign. Under this mandate the government is forcing people to spend money and fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?”

Obama said, “… For us to say that you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it is saying is that we are not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you.”

Stephanopoulos responded, “I do not think I am making it up. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, tax, a charge usually of money imposed on persons or property for public purposes.”

Obama replied, “George, the fact you looked it up Merriam’s dictionary, that a definition of tax increase,   indicates to me that you are stretching it right now.” The entire exchange was captured in the YouTube video titled “Obamacare : FLASHBACK President Obama said Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax (Sept 20, 2009).”

When Obamacare was enacted, 26 states, along with several individuals and others challenged the constitutionality of Obamacare in the courts. They argued that the law was a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government the power to regulate commerce between the states. The Supreme Court ruled that the law could not be upheld under the Commerce Clause. This was the primary argument of the government in arguing for the constitutionality of the law. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority said, “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.”

However, the Supreme Court did accept the government’s tax argument that the individual mandate represented a tax on individuals who choose not the buy health insurance. The Court said, “going without insurance” is “just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”

Americans are not required to buy health insurance under the individual mandate, according to the Supreme Court in its ruling. However, if you elect not to buy one of Obamacare’s individual metal (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) plans through a state or federal health insurance exchange, you may be subject to a tax penalty or fine by the Internal Revenue Service.

For 2014, the fine is the greater of 1 percent of income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 per family. For 2015 the fine is the greater of 2 percent of income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975 per family. For 2016 the fine is the greater of 2.5 percent of income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child up to $2,085.

Millions of Americans are now finding out from their insurance companies that as a direct result of the passage of Obamacare, they can no longer keep their existing individual plans or doctors. Instead, they have the choice of either purchasing one of the Obamacare metal health insurance plans with much higher premiums and deductibles or pay the IRS fine.

Thanks to Obama the American people believed their taxes would not rise and they could keep their existing health insurance plans and doctors. Obamacare is not a treat, but a trick or tax.

Not a Dime in Tax Increase for Those Earning Less than $250,000

Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” – Barack Obama

Obamacare : FLASHBACK President Obama said Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax (Sept 20, 2009)

Obamacare, Deconstructed

Think the Affordable Care Act is good for America? Think again.

Oct 14: This just in :People are figuring out just how much “free” health care costs.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothe…

The momentum is on our side.

SOURCES:

1) Jackson & Coker Survey: Physician Opinions of the American Medical Association (2011) http://www.jacksoncoker.com/Promos/in…

Forbes “Doctors and AMA split over Contentious Issue of Obamacare” by Sally Pipes (Sept. 2011) http://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipe…

2) The New York Times “White Coast in the Rose Garden, as Obama Rallies Doctors on Health Overhaul” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg (Oct. 5, 2009) http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.co…

Doctors For America White House Rose Garden Ceremony – Press Release (Oct. 5, 2009) http://www.drsforamerica.org/news-2/p…

3) Congressional Budget Office Report Effects of the Affordable Care Act (March 2010) http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/file…

4) Congressional Budget Office Report Effects of the Affordable Care Act (May 2013) http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/file…

5) House Energy & Commerce Committee Report (May 2013) http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites…

6) Gallup Survey of Small Business Owners (May 2013) http://www.gallup.com/poll/162386/hal…

US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook Study (July 2013) http://uschambersmallbusinessnation.c…

7) Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act http://hastings.house.gov/uploadedfil…

8) US Dept. of HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines (2013) http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/13poverty…

House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “IRS: Enforcing Obamacare’s New Rules and Taxes” http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content…

9) Washington Examiner “IRS employee union: We don’t want Obamacare” by Joel Gehrke http://washingtonexaminer.com/irs-emp…

10) Kaiser Family Foundation ACA Subsidy Calculator http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-ca…

11) Office of Personnel and Management – Salaries (April 2013) http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversi…

12) Pew Research Center “Baby Boomers Retire” (Dec. 29, 2010) http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-numb…

13) American Association of Medical Colleges “Physician Shortages to Worsen Without Increases In Residency Training” (2010) https://www.aamc.org/download/153160/…

14) American Association of Medical Colleges “Recent Studies and Reports on Physician Shortages in the US” (Oct. 2012) https://www.aamc.org/download/100598/…

15) National Association of Community Health Centers “Access Denied: A Look At America’s Medically Disenfranchised” (2007) http://www.nachc.com/client/documents…

16) American Association of Medical Colleges State Physician Workforce Data Book (2011) https://www.aamc.org/download/263512/…

17) Merritt Hawkins & Associates Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times (2009) http://www.merritthawkins.com/pdf/mha…

18) Wall Street Journal “The Affordable Care Act’s Rate Setting Won’t Work” by Howard Dean. (July 28, 2013) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001…

19) Forbes “Unpublished CRS Memo: Obama Administration Has Missed Half Of Obamacare’s Legally Imposed Implementation Deadlines” by Avik Roy http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothe..

What you don’t know about Obamacare could kill you

Dr. Russell Blaylock on The Nightmare That is Obamacare

If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can’t Keep It!

Obama: “No sugar-coating” problems with HealthCare.gov

Issues plague Obamacare exchanges

‘Nothing Really Working’: MSNBC Hosts, Analyst Tear Into ‘Catastrophe’ of Obamacare

Zeke Emanuel: ObamaCare Should Have Been Managed Better, Implemented Better From The Start

Obamacare Exchange Failure Special Report All Star Panel Weigh In!

Pres Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Care Plan Under New Law, Period – “Obamacare” – Remember That?

 

Obamacare : Affordable Care Act rate increase triggers sticker shock for Americans (Oct 14, 2013)

Software engineers blame poor design for Obamacare site problems

Bret Baier If Problems With Obamacare Continue, ‘There Is Going to Have to Be a Delay’

Obama Defends Obamacare, But Says There Is No Excuse For Signup Problems

Problems plague Obamacare rollout

Bill O’Reilly, Kirsten Powers Clash Over Obamacare Problems: ‘This Is Such a Mess!’

The Truth About Obamacare Will Shock You

Blackburn Talks About the Problems with Obamacare

ZoNATION: Pay Attention to Obamacare!

ObamaCare will Hurt the Poorest Americans and Reduce Availability of Quality Care

Four Plans Offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace

Health Care Reform in 2 Minutes

Platinum Plans

Gold Plans

Silver Plans

Bronze Plans

Obamacare In 3 Minutes

eHealth – How Do Obamacare Subsidies Work?

How much are the Obamacare tax penalties?

Understanding Obamacare: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum

How Health Insurance Works

Idiots who voted for Obama

Jon Stewart Grills Health & Human Services SECY Kathleen Sebelius Over Obamacare

Reality Check for HealthCare.gov

Consumer Reports: ‘Stay Away From HealthCare.gov’

Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services,advised its readers to avoid the federal health-care exchange “for at least another month if you can.” “Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks.

Noting that only 271,000 of the 9.47 million people who tried signing up in the first week managed to create an account, Consumer Reports then provided a few tips to those attempting to slog through the application process. From attempting successive logins because “error messages . . . may not always match reality” to checking one’s inbox frequently because missing an e-mail a user will be timed out of the site and forced to start from square one, none of the suggestions guaranteed success.

The magazine has also released a string of scathing reviews. On October 1, the day the Obamacare exchanges went online, the magazine told people to be patient: “Don’t worry if you can’t sign up today or even within the next couple of weeks.” A week into enrollment, they urged again to “wait a couple weeks and hope that the site irons out its many problems” because the HealthCare.gov is “barely operational.”

As the editors continued to review the website over the next few days, they only had one positive statement: “On the plus side,” they noted, “consumers coming to HealthCare.gov are no longer stopped cold by an error message or a screen saying they’ve been put in a waiting line.”

Now three weeks into the exchanges, having offered reviews and advice, Consumer Reports said that “if all [these suggestions] are too much to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov,” at least for the time being.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361750/consumer-reports-stay-away-healthcaregov-alec-torres

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Tea Party Budget Vs. Lunatic Left Democrats In Deep Denial Out About Out-of-Control Government Spending Results In Deficits and Debt — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Macroeconomics, Tax Policy | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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White House Budget Request for FY 2013

white_house_info-BUDGET1202-receipts

Congressional Budget Office, The 2013 Long Term Debt Outlook

Deficits & the Debt

Budget Chef Presents: How to Balance the Budget W/O Raising Taxes!

If Tea Party Can Balance Budget In Four Years, Why Can’t Obama?

03/17/11: Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Five-Year Balanced Budget Plan

Van Hollen Opening Statement at Hearing on CBO’s Long-Term Budget Outlook

Huffman Reminds Budget Committee Why We Have A Deficit—Hint: It’s Not Obamacare…

CBO Long-Term Outlook Understates Danger, FOX Reports

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Government Spending Is The Problem and The Interest on The National Debt Will Stop It As Will Stopping The Spending — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

niall-ferguson

“For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized. As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities.”

~Niall Ferguson

National Debt Tops $17 Trillion As DC Punts On Spending Cuts

Niall Ferguson: “The “age of debt” has come to an end.”

Niall Ferguson – The $1 8 Trillion Tax You’ve Never Heard Of

Niall Ferguson It’s the Stupid Economy

Niall Ferguson at Charlie Rose 2011

Niall Ferguson Says 100% Certain Greece Will Default

Sequester Cuts Actually Helping, Not Hurting Our Economy

U.S. National Debt and Tax Policies: The Future of American Fiscal Policy (2013)

Niall Ferguson to Paul Krugman: You’re Still Wrong About Government Spending

Niall Ferguson: The Shutdown Is a Sideshow. Debt Is the Threat

An entitlement-driven disaster looms for America, yet Washington persists with its game of Russian roulette.

 

In the words of a veteran investor, watching the U.S. bond market today is like sitting in a packed theater and smelling smoke. You look around for signs of other nervous sniffers. But everyone else seems oblivious.

Yes, the federal government shut down this week. Yes, we are just two weeks away from the point when the Treasury secretary says he will run out of cash if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. Yes, bond king Bill Gross has been on TV warning that a default by the government would be “catastrophic.” Yet the yield on a 10-year Treasury note has fallen slightly over the past month (though short-term T-bill rates ticked up this week).

Part of the reason people aren’t rushing for the exits is that the comedy they are watching is so horribly fascinating. In his vain attempt to stop the Senate striking out the defunding of ObamaCare from the last version of the continuing resolution, freshman Sen. Ted Cruz managed to quote Doctor Seuss while re-enacting a scene from the classic movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Meanwhile, President Obama has become the Hamlet of the West Wing: One minute he’s for bombing Syria, the next he’s not; one minute Larry Summers will succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the next he won’t; one minute the president is jetting off to Asia, the next he’s not. To be in charge, or not to be in charge: that is indeed the question.

According to conventional wisdom, the key to what is going on is a Republican Party increasingly at the mercy of the tea party. I agree that it was politically inept to seek to block ObamaCare by these means. This is not the way to win back the White House and Senate. But responsibility also lies with the president, who has consistently failed to understand that a key function of the head of the executive branch is to twist the arms of legislators on both sides. It was not the tea party that shot down Mr. Summers’s nomination as Fed chairman; it was Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the new face of the American left.

Yet, entertaining as all this political drama may seem, the theater itself is indeed burning. For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized. As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities.

True, the federal deficit has fallen to about 4% of GDP this year from its 10% peak in 2009. The bad news is that, even as discretionary expenditure has been slashed, spending on entitlements has continued to rise—and will rise inexorably in the coming years, driving the deficit back up above 6% by 2038.

A very striking feature of the latest CBO report is how much worse it is than last year’s. A year ago, the CBO’s extended baseline series for the federal debt in public hands projected a figure of 52% of GDP by 2038. That figure has very nearly doubled to 100%. A year ago the debt was supposed to glide down to zero by the 2070s. This year’s long-run projection for 2076 is above 200%. In this devastating reassessment, a crucial role is played here by the more realistic growth assumptions used this year.

As the CBO noted last month in its 2013 “Long-Term Budget Outlook,” echoing the work of Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff : “The increase in debt relative to the size of the economy, combined with an increase in marginal tax rates (the rates that would apply to an additional dollar of income), would reduce output and raise interest rates relative to the benchmark economic projections that CBO used in producing the extended baseline. Those economic differences would lead to lower federal revenues and higher interest payments. . . .

“At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government’s willingness or ability to pay U.S. debt obligations, making it more difficult or more expensive for the government to borrow money. Moreover, even before that point was reached, the high and rising amount of debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget.”

Just how negative becomes clear when one considers the full range of scenarios offered by CBO for the period from now until 2038. Only in three of 13 scenarios—two of which imagine politically highly unlikely spending cuts or tax hikes—does the debt shrink from its current level of 73% of GDP. In all the others it increases to between 77% and 190% of GDP. It should be noted that this last figure can reasonably be considered among the more likely of the scenarios, since it combines the alternative fiscal scenario, in which politicians in Washington behave as they have done in the past, raising spending more than taxation.

Only a fantasist can seriously believe “this is not a crisis.” The fiscal arithmetic of excessive federal borrowing is nasty even when relatively optimistic assumptions are made about growth and interest rates. Currently, net interest payments on the federal debt are around 8% of revenues. But under the CBO’s extended baseline scenario, that share could rise to 20% by 2026, 30% by 2049, and 40% by 2072. By 2088, the last date for which the CBO now offers projections, interest payments would—absent any changes in current policy—absorb just under half of all tax revenues. That is another way of saying that policy is unsustainable.

The question is what on earth can be done to prevent the debt explosion. The CBO has a clear answer: “[B]ringing debt back down to 39 percent of GDP in 2038—as it was at the end of 2008—would require a combination of increases in revenues and cuts in noninterest spending (relative to current law) totaling 2 percent of GDP for the next 25 years. . . .

“If those changes came entirely from revenues, they would represent an increase of 11 percent relative to the amount of revenues projected for the 2014-2038 period; if the changes came entirely from spending, they would represent a cut of 10½ percent in noninterest spending from the amount projected for that period.”

Anyone watching this week’s political shenanigans in Washington will grasp at once the tiny probability of tax hikes or spending cuts on this scale.

It should now be clear that what we are watching in Washington is not a comedy but a game of Russian roulette with the federal government’s creditworthiness. So long as the Federal Reserve continues with the policies of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, the gun will likely continue to fire blanks. After all, Fed purchases of Treasurys, if continued at their current level until the end of the year, will account for three quarters of new government borrowing.

But the mere prospect of a taper, beginning in late May, was already enough to raise long-term interest rates by more than 100 basis points. Fact (according to data in the latest “Economic Report of the President”): More than half the federal debt in public hands is held by foreigners. Fact: Just under a third of the debt has a maturity of less than a year.

Hey, does anyone else smell something burning?

Correction: Net interest payments on the federal debt are about 8% of revenues. The Oct. 5 op-ed “The Shutdown Is a Sideshow. Debt Is the Threat” misstated the payments as a percentage of GDP.

Mr. Ferguson’s latest book is “The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die” (Penguin Press, 2013).

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304906704579113661593684356

 

Niall Ferguson Gets It Backwards, The Budget Deficit ‘Threat’ Is An Opportunity

John Tamny,

 

Back in 2008 in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential elections, John Stewart’s Comedy Channel show did a feature on John McCain going back to 1980. Each year offered a video clip of the Arizona Senator warning of a looming fiscal crisis related to the nation’s budget deficit.

Though one would be foolish to use The Daily Show as an economics lesson, the underlying point of the McCain segment was valid. Politicians, economists and mere members of the U.S. citizenry have been predicting deficit doom for as long as this writer’s been sentient, and probably even as long McCain’s been kicking.

All of which brings us to a recent Wall Street Journal Op-ed by British historian extraordinaire, Niall Ferguson. Though he seems to admit to joining an echo chamber that’s rather long in the tooth, Ferguson is the latest, and surely not the last to, in his own words, yell that the fiscal “theater is indeed burning.”  At this point we could fill several Rose Bowls with prominent individuals who’ve made the same argument. As he wrote last Saturday:

“For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized. As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities.”

This is in no way meant to dismiss Ferguson’s basic point. Maybe the horrid deficit tomorrow that never seems to come is on our doorstep, but at least for now it should be said that the television version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf made for modern consumption would star an angry adult male predicting deficit doom. Or maybe this is much ado about nothing. Better yet, maybe the proper way to look at the deficit question is to cease all the doom and gloom, and view the deficit as an opportunity.

For one, assuming we reach the point that all the deficit worriers talk about whereby the U.S. budget is consumed by interest payments, let’s look at the positives. Figure if Congressional appropriations are reduced to interest payments, it will be much more difficult for the fiscally incontinent members of both political parties to dream up new ways to waste our money.

Taking the debt discussion local for a moment, California has long been fingered by the same deficit-fearing crowd as a likely default prospect, but if so, does anyone think Apple AAPL +0.87%, Google GOOG +13.8%, and Intel INTC -0.19% will suffer higher rates for debt finance alongside the profligate State of California if the latter defaults?

Applied nationally, assuming Treasury goes explicit in its default in the way it’s long been implicit (the dollar that Treasuries pay out bought 1/35th of an ounce of gold in 1971, yet today it buys roughly 1/1300th) in its stiffing of creditors, is it really a certainty that Armageddon awaits as Ferguson presumes? Or is it more likely that investors, burned by Treasury, will migrate away from U.S. debt, along with government debt more broadly?

If so, never explained by the doomsayers is why this would be so bad. Creditors and investors won’t just sit on their money, rather they’ll find better, more hospitable places to put their capital to work. Assuming they charge Treasury 10% for 30-year debt, does anyone think Coca-Cola KO +0.6% will see its debt finance costs rise to a similar level?

If readers assume yes, that market panic would drive rates well beyond the aforementioned number, that too wouldn’t be a forever concept. High prices by virtue of being high naturally beget lower prices down the line as the high rates of interest lure profit-focused investors into the arena. Needless to say, whether investors simply tire of lending to Treasury such that they jack up rates, or if they raise rates in response to an actual default, financial capital won’t sit idle forever. Eventually investors will find new, and infinitely more productive places to deploy their funds. At risk of sounding too ‘tea party-ish’ given Ferguson’s not-so-veiled contempt for the movement, it’s not a reach to suggest that Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, FedEx’s Fred Smith, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett are much better allocators of capital than are John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

Of course to highly influential people like Ferguson, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Fed Chairman Bernanke, default is the unthinkable, and would surely lead to the ‘Mother of All Great Depressions’ as interest rates skyrocket amid panic in the markets, and also in the street. Fair enough, but also wholly unproven. Lest we forget, it was the same crowd, or a reasonable facsimile (Bernanke at least), who told us that a failure to save Citigroup (bailed out five times in 22 years by the Fed) would lead to a decades-long recession.  Yes, in Bernanke’s world the capitalist system can only sustain itself if we run away from capitalism with lightning speed in order to prop up that which the markets don’t want.  Oh well, at the very least consider where all of this default/crisis talk is coming from.

Importantly, there’s another option that’s not talked of enough as a path out of a deficit ‘crisis’ that they regularly warn us about. How about economic growth? It’s really that simple, and if the political class had a clue about how economies grow (they don’t, but too many of us blindly accept their warnings about bank failures, default, global contraction as though they do), they might turn all the deficit worrying to their advantage.

Simply put, economic growth is easy. Taxes are a penalty placed on work and investment, so reduce the penalty on both to get more of both. Regulations don’t work (see the banks overseen by the Fed, SEC and the rest), but they do inhibit the profit motive for distracting executives who should be focused on the shareholder, and by extension, the customer. Trade is why we get up for work each day so that we can exchange our surplus for that of others, so when barriers to trade are put up, we foster inefficiency all the while taxing the purpose of work. Money is how we measure the value of the goods we exchange, and the investments we enter into, so stabilize its value. Notable with money is that in his masterful book, The Cash Nexus, Ferguson wrote of ‘forever’ British debt instruments that forever paid out low rates of interest precisely because the Pound had a stable definition in terms of gold.

To make basic what already is, growing countries never have to worry about deficits simply because their debt is so attractive. Greece isn’t suffering a debt crisis because it owes too much money, rather it’s in trouble because its even more hapless political class doesn’t understand that its debt problems would disappear if it adopted growth policies like the ones listed above. As Forbes contributor Louis Woodhill has pointed out regularly, interest rates on Greek debt became even more onerous once its politicians raised taxes to ‘fix’ the problem. What they missed is that the deficit problem was one of too little growth. It’s much the same here.

In short, rather than worry about a debt ‘threat’ that never seems to materialize, we should view the deficit as an opportunity to implement policies that always work, and that may even turn people like John McCain into optimists. If so, we can then get serious about the real economic problem which is the size of government itself. The raging fire in the theater of the latter is largely smoke free, but it represents all the future Microsofts and Intels, cancer and heart disease cures, and transportation innovations that have never revealed themselves thanks to our wasteful political class consuming so much of our capital. Government spending is what Ferguson et al might focus on if they weren’t so blinded by the ‘horrific’ deficit problems of tomorrow that never seem to come, and that wouldn’t matter much even if they did.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2013/10/10/niall-ferguson-gets-it-backwards-the-budget-deficit-threat-is-an-opportunity/

 

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Mark Leibovich — This Town — “This Town Needs An Enema” — Tea Party To The Rescue — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Constitution, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Public Sector, Raves, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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This Town Needs an Enema

Mark Leibovich defends his insider account of DC culture

Mark Leibovich discuss new book w/ Glenn Beck This Town: Two Parties…in America’s Gilded Capital

 

‘This Week’ Web Extra: Mark Leibovich Answers Viewer Questions From Facebook, Twitter

“This Town” author Mark Leibovich talked to Glenn Beck on TheBlaze TV and discussed the book

Mark Leibovich on Glitz and Greed in Washington

Mark Leibovich “This Town”

“This Town” Author Mark Leibovich on Shaming D.C.’s Elite

“People now come here to get rich,” explains Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and author of the DC-centered book This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – plus plenty of valet parking! – in America’s Gilded Capital. “Twenty years ago, theoretically, this was a city built on public service.”

From the ugly networking at Tim Russert’s funeral to the incestuous relationship between media and politicians to the naked desire to cash out on one’s “public service” by becoming a lobbyist, Leibovich’s horrifying peek at life within Washington’s elite has something to offend every American.

“What I try to do is give voice to the entire carnival here,” Leibovich tells Reason’s Nick Gillespie. “[I wanted] to give readers outside of Washington…a fuller sense of what the full movie looks like.”

Mark Leibovich, Author, “This Town”

“This Town” with the New York Times’s Mark Leibovich

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Valerie Jarrett Leading From Behind Barack Obama — A Big Failure In Both Domestic and Foreign Policy — A Legacy of Failures — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, IRS, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Regulations, Resources, Security, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

valerie-jarrett

valerie_jarrett_obama_senior_adviser

val_jarrettvalerie-jarrett2Barack_Obama_and_Valerie_Jarrett_in_the_West_Wing_corridor

Who is Valerie Jarret?

Obama’s “Other Half”

Eye To Eye: Obama’s Key Advisor

Obama Admin Bad Blood? – Sources Cite Friction With Valerie Jarrett

In Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

Obama’s Wormy Brain Talks out of School: Valerie Jarrett

 

Valerie Jarrett’s battle plan for Obama’s second term

Valerie Jarrett Obama Knows What’s Best For America

Jonathan Alter rips Valerie Jarrett: ‘She’s not well-liked’

THE LATEST NEWS : Valerie Jarrett taking on White House complaints

Obama Admin Bad Blood? – Sources Cite Friction With Valerie Jarrett

Cornel West: Obama A ‘Rockefeller Republican In Blackface’

Professor Cornel West Discusses Obama’s Impact on African American Voters Part 1

Professor Cornel West Discusses Obama’s Impact on African American Voters Part 2

Tavis Smiley, Cornel West Slam Valerie Jarrett, Obama For Insincerity Toward African-Americans

Cornel West: Sharpton Sold Soul for Obama

Benghazi-Gate ‘Source’: “Obama Refused Clinton State Dept Request For Security in Benghazi”

Valerie Jarrett Truly Defines the “Culture of Corruption” – Michelle Malkin – Sean Hannity 8-1-12

Valerie Jarrett’s Stand Down Order

Valerie Jarrett Is The Other Power In The West Wing – The Other Half Of Obama Brain

Valerie Jarret Obama’s Senior Advisor l Obamas Position On The Public Option

Valerie Jarrett Recruited Van Jones

Valerie Jarrett’s Thoughts on Barack Obama

Valerie Jarrett Was Slum Lord in Obama’s State Senate District

Obama’s Valerie Jarrett: Often Whispered about, But Never Challenged

By John Fund

President Obama’s aides went to extraordinary lengths to uncover the identity of a senior official who was using Twitter to make snarky comments about White House staffers. Suspicion gradually centered on Jofi Joseph, the point man on nuclear nonproliferation at the National Security Council. So at a meeting in which everyone was in on the scam an inaccurate but innocuous news tidbit was revealed. When Joseph used his anonymous Twitter handle #natlsecwonk to broadcast the tidbit he was caught and promptly fired. He was not fired for revealing any secrets, but for making disparaging comments about thin-skinned administration players ranging from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

What apparently intensified the campaign to identify the “snarker” was a comment about Valerie Jarrett, the senior Obama adviser who has her own Secret Service detail and appears to exercise an inordinate amount of power behind the scenes. Joseph tweeted “I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me.”

Jarrett, an old Chicago friend of both Barack and Michelle Obama, appears to exercise such extraordinary influence she is sometimes quietly referred to as “Rasputin” on Capitol Hill, a reference to the mystical monk who held sway over Russia’s Czar Nicholas as he increasingly lost touch with reality during World War I.

Darrell Delamaide, a columnist for Dow Jones’s MarketWatch, says that “what has baffled many observers is how Jarrett, a former cog in the Chicago political machine and a real-estate executive, can exert such influence on policy despite her lack of qualifications in national security, foreign policy, economics, legislation or any of the other myriad specialties the president needs in an adviser.”

Delamaide believes the term “vacuous cipher” that was applied to Jarrett stung so much because it could be used as a metaphor for the administration in general. He writes that what “has remained consistent about the Obama administration is that vacuity — the slow response in a crisis, the hesitant and contradictory communication, a lack of conviction and engagement amid constant political calculation.” The stunning revelation that President Obama wasn’t kept properly apprised of problems with Obamacare’s website is just the latest example of how dysfunctional Obama World can be.

Whether Jarrett’s influence is all too real or exaggerated is unknowable. What is known is the extent to which she has long been a peerless enabler of Barack Obama’s inflated opinion of himself. Consider this quote from New Yorker editor David Remnick’s interview with her for his 2010 book The Bridge.

“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Up against a court flatterer of that caliber it’s no surprise that Jarrett has outlasted almost everyone who was in Obama’s original White House team — from chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to political guru David Axelrod to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. All are known to have crossed her, and all are gone. As one former Obama aide once told me: “Valerie is ‘She Who Must Not be Challenged.’”

When the revealing histories of the Obama White House are written it will be fascinating to learn just how extensive her role in the key decisions of the Obama years was.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/362203/obamas-valerie-jarrett-often-whispered-about-never-challenged-john-fund

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Oprah Says No To Obamas and Obamacare — Obamacare To Bad To Fail — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

oprah_obama

“Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.”
~Immanuel Kant

Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones – with ingratitude.
~Benjamin Franklin

Ezra Klein to MSNBC Obamacare Rollout a Big Failure So Far

White House planned Obamacare website glitches to hide how costly health plans are

LibertyNEWS TV – “ObamaCare – Too BAD to Fail?”

Oprah and the Obamas: Is It Over?

Ed Klein and The Amateur – GBTV

NBC cheerleading for ObamaCare

Classic FAIL! Obama’s MSNBC Anchor Can’t Access Obamacare Exchange – Hangs Up after long wait

“The Amateur: Barack Obama In The White House” by Edward Klein

Red State Update: Oprah For President

The Oprah Winfrey Show Barack Obama and Michelle Obama part1

Red State Update: Oprah Disses Sarah Palin

Even Oprah isn’t on board with ObamaCare

As the White House was gearing up to sell ObamaCare to the American people last summer, Valerie Jarrett, the president’s pointwoman on a host of issues, phoned Oprah Winfrey.

She invited the Queen of All Media to join celebrities, including Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys, to meet with President Obama and discuss how they could generate publicity for his health-care law.

Oprah refused.
Barack and Michelle Obama with Oprah Winfrey in 2011.Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

“All of Oprah’s top people thought she would go, because when the president invites you to the White House, most people automatically say yes,” said one of Oprah’s closest advisers. “But Oprah said she didn’t have the time or inclination to go. It wasn’t like she had to think it over. It was an immediate, flat-out, unequivocal no.”

Instead, Oprah sent a low-level rep from one of her talent agencies, which was regarded as a insult. Obama had been counting on Oprah’s immense persuasive powers to help enroll millions in ObamaCare. But as the rollout turned into a disaster, Oprah didn’t lift a finger to help.

The story of why Oprah has changed her tune and gone AWOL on ObamaCare goes well beyond mere gossip. It speaks volumes about the convergence of celebrity and politics under Obama and about a president who thinks nothing of using and then discarding his most loyal supporters.

Everyone remembers that Oprah went all out for Obama during the 2008 presidential election. What was not reported was that, in return, Oprah was promised unique access to the White House if Obama won. She’d get regular briefings on initiatives and a heads-up on programs to give her material for her fledgling cable network, OWN.

“Oprah intended to make her unique White House access a part of her new network,” a source close to Oprah told me. “There were big plans, and a team was put together to come up with proposals that would have been mutually beneficial.

“But none of that ever happened. Oprah sent notes and a rep to talk to Valerie Jarrett, but nothing came of it. It slowly dawned on Oprah that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence.”

Oprah did not campaign for Obama in the 2012 race, and she has been absent from his battles on gun control, immigration reform and the environment. She claims she is too busy to get involved in politics, even though she hosted a fund-raiser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who won a US Senate seat last week.

Oprah’s friends publicly dismiss the idea that she had a falling out with Obama. They note that she phoned Michelle Obama right after the 2012 election to congratulate her. They say Michelle invited her to have dinner with the first family. But the dinner never took place, and Oprah continues to be frozen out.

“Oprah was hoping there would be a genuine change in the atmospherics,” one of her friends told me. “But there hasn’t been. Clearly, she is being rebuffed at the level of Michelle and Valerie. And, just as obviously, President Obama hasn’t interfered on Oprah’s behalf.”

During Obama’s first term, I argued in my book “The Amateur” that Michelle was jealous of Oprah, furious that he was seeking her advice.

“For her part, Oprah doesn’t like being with Michelle, because the first lady is constantly one-upping the president and anybody else around her,” said an Oprah adviser.

“Oprah has struck back by banning the Obamas from her O, The Oprah Magazine . . . It probably hurts Oprah more than Obama, who, if he had his head screwed on straight, would have flown to California and begged Oprah to help him save ObamaCare.

“But Obama hasn’t budged, and neither has Oprah. She’s hurt and angry, and I seriously doubt that Oprah will ever make up with the Obamas. She knows how to hold a grudge.”

Edward Klein is the author of the New York Times No. 1 best seller “The Amateur,” available in paperback.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/20/even-oprah-isnt-on-board-with-obamacare/

Michelle Obama vs. Oprah: A weighty matter

A report that Michelle Obama said that Oprah’s “huge girth” makes her a terrible role model for kids is just one of the weighty issues that form the center an excerpt from bestselling author Ed Klein’s new book, “The Amateur,” published Monday in the New York Post.

Oprah Winfrey was a huge supporter of Obama from early on, throwing fundraisers for him and ultimately putting her professional reputation on the line to giver her endorsement.

“[S]he felt proud that she had been instrumental in electing the first black president of the United States,” Ed Klein writes in his book, ”and she believed that she had earned a place in the president-elect’s brain trust.”

Subsequently, Michelle and Oprah quickly became pals.

So why all the drama?

After the inauguration, things started to get dicey: According to Klein’s accounts, there was an immediate shift in tone between Michelle and Oprah.

When Oprah wanted to do an interview with the first lady, she had to go through middle men and red tape, getting the questions pre-approved. When she was ultimately allowed to interview Michelle, Michelle directed most of her answers and asides at Gayle King, Oprah’s long time best friend, instead of at Oprah.

This was all happening while Michelle was being told by advisers Valerie Jarrett and Desiree Rogers to distance herself from Oprah, and that Oprah was getting too close to the president and starting to act like the first lady herself.

The whole account sounds oddly similar to the movie “Mean Girls.” Michelle Obama was also allegedly jealous of Oprah’s relationships with Barack. In fact, Michelle was so paranoid of all the women working near her husband that she reportedly asked her “inner circle” to keep an eye on any girl that Barack got “touchy” with.

When Oprah went back to try to do another interview with Michelle about her anti-obesity campaign, she was flat out rejected. According to sources, Oprah told Gayle King that she really wanted to get on the phone and let Michelle have it, adding, “Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House!”

If that seems harsh, apparently the feeling is mutual. Michelle Obama has been known to go on rants about Oprah.

“Oprah only wants to cash in, using the White House as a backdrop for her show to perk up her ratings,” Michelle was quoted as telling her staff. “Oprah, with her yo-yo dieting and huge girth, is a terrible role model. Kids will look at Oprah, who’s rich and famous and huge, and figure it’s OK to be fat.”

This election cycle, Oprah has yet to throw the president lavish fundraisers like she did in 2007. Still, Obama cites Oprah for helping to make him president, thanking her for throwing her weight behind him when no one else did.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/14/michelle-obama-vs-oprah-a-weighty-matter/

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U.S. Dirty Debt Bomb Exploding — The First Shock Wave Hits — National Debt Increases Record $328 Billion in One Day — National Debt Over $17 Trillion — By February Will Hit $17.5 Trillion — Videos

Posted on October 18, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 140: September 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 139: September 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 138: September 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 137: September 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 136: September 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 135: September 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 134: September 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 133: September 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 132: September 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 131: September 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 130: September 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 129: September 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 128: September 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 127: September 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 126: September 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 125: September 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 124: September 6, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-152

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Segment 0: U.S. Dirty Debt Bomb Exploding  — The First Shock Wave Hits — National Debt Increases Record $328 Billion in One Day — National Debt Over $17 Trillion — By February Will Hit $17.5 Trillion — Videos

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Not Raising Debt Ceiling Won’t Put U.S. In Default – Ron Paul

tom_a_coburn_the_debt_bomb

Tom Coburn Tears Credit Card Poster On Senate Floor

GOP Sen. Tom Coburn Rips Up US Government Credit Card on TV, Gretchen Carlson Thanks Him

Coburn on Greatest Threat Facing the Country: Our Debt

Dr. Coburn addressing his colleagues in the Senate today, warning Congress of the dire consequences that will ensue if politics in Washington continues as usual: “Our country has a history of doing hard things. What we lack is leadership to call us to do those hard things. We find ourselves at a point in time where the greatest threat to our nation is our debt and our economy. We’re risking our future, not only our future economically but our future of liberty.”

Dr. Coburn on Charlie Rose on US Debt Crisis, Leadership Deficit in Washington

Senator Tom Coburn: Two Years Till Severe Debt Crisis

Senator Tom Coburn on the “Debt Bomb”

The Debt Bomb book Glenn Beck w/ Senator Tom Coburn on GBTV Stop Washington from Bankrupting America

Debt Ceiling, Gold, and Janet Yellen – Hype vs. Reality

“US’ DEBT BOMB CLOCK” IS TICKING!

Peter Schiff – Debt Ceiling Not The Problem; It’s the Lending Ceiling

Peter Schiff The Reality Is We’re Living In A Bubble And ALL

Bubbles Burst

[youtub3e=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCISlJ_qOtU]

Obama Lies About the Implications of Raising the Debt Ceiling

USA: A Nation In Debt- A Ticking Time Bomb

Will Higher Tax Rates Balance the Budget?

How Raising Taxes Will Not Balance the Budget: More Evidence

U.S. debt jumps $300 billion — tops $17 trillion for first time

Does Government Have a Revenue or Spending Problem?

What If the National Debt Were Your Debt?

What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt?

Why Not Print More Money?

How to Fix Our Fiscal Crisis

How Big Is the U.S. Debt?

Uploaded on Feb 11, 2011

For more details on the total Federal debt, start on slide 35 of this PowerPoint presentation: http://www.antolin-davies.com/present…

Economics professor Antony Davies illustrates the size the U.S. federal government’s debt and unfunded obligations. He breaks down the total U.S. debt and obligations into parts and compares them with the size of the GDP of countries around the world, showing the magnitude of America’s fiscal situation.

Want to give that graph a closer look? Prof. Davies has made it available on his website here:
http://www.antolin-davies.com/convent…

By Stephen Dinan

U.S. debt jumped more than $300 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week.

The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday.

The $328 billion increase is an all-time record, shattering the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.

The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” — the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.

Under the law, that replenishing happens as soon as there is new debt space.

In this case, the Treasury Department borrowed $400 billion from other funds beginning in May, awaiting a final deal from Congress and Mr. Obama.

Usually Congress sets a borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, that caps the total amount the government can be in the red.

But under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt can rise as much as Mr. Obama and Congress want it to, until the Feb. 7 deadline.

Judging by the rate of increase over the last five months, that could end up meaning Congress just granted Mr. Obama a debt increase of $700 billion or more.

Republicans initially sought to attach strings to the debt increase, but surrendered this week, instead settling on a bill that reopened the government and included some special earmark projects, but didn’t include any spending cuts.

Democrats insisted that the debt increase be “clean,” meaning without any strings attached. They say the debt increase only allows Mr. Obama to pay for the bills he and Congress already racked up, and that it doesn’t encourage new spending.

U.S. debt jumped more than $300 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week.

The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday.

The $328 billion increase is an all-time record, shattering the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.

The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” — the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.

Under the law, that replenishing happens as soon as there is new debt space.

In this case, the Treasury Department borrowed $400 billion from other funds beginning in May, awaiting a final deal from Congress and Mr. Obama.

Usually Congress sets a borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, that caps the total amount the government can be in the red.

But under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt can rise as much as Mr. Obama and Congress want it to, until the Feb. 7 deadline.

Judging by the rate of increase over the last five months, that could end up meaning Congress just granted Mr. Obama a debt increase of $700 billion or more.

Republicans initially sought to attach strings to the debt increase, but surrendered this week, instead settling on a bill that reopened the government and included some special earmark projects, but didn’t include any spending cuts.

Democrats insisted that the debt increase be “clean,” meaning without any strings attached. They say the debt increase only allows Mr. Obama to pay for the bills he and Congress already racked up, and that it doesn’t encourage new spending.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/18/us-debt-jumps-400-billion-tops-17-trillion-first-t/

Analysis: Debt fight dings U.S. Treasury bills’ status

By Richard Leong

(Reuters) – The safe-haven reputation of U.S. Treasury bills took a beating during the latest debt ceiling fight in Washington, and it won’t be regained soon, even after the last-minute deal to avert a threatened default.

The temporary agreement to lift the government’s debt limit may only pave the way for another political struggle between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers in early 2014 over the federal budget and borrowing levels.

While others measure the toll on the economy from the 16-day federal government shutdown, Wall Street is fretting over the future appetite for U.S. debt and its effect on federal borrowing costs.

During the next three-and-a-half months before the next debt ceiling deadline, the U.S. government might pay higher interest rates on its short-term debt.

Before the shutdown, the Treasury was selling one-month debt at next to nothing. The rise in yields as a result of the crisis will cost the Treasury an estimated $56 million more in interest payments than it would have incurred had this month’s auctions been sold in September.

While some one-month T-bill rates saw their yields decline to 0.02 to 0.03 percent after jumping above 0.70 percent less than 24 hours earlier, bills maturing in February still showed modestly elevated yields. If Washington repeats the battle that ended on Wednesday, bill rates would likely jump again.

“There’s a fundamental change in their risk profile. There’s a growing lack of confidence. It’s going to be problematic,” said Tom Nelson, chief investment officer at Reich & Tang, a New York-based cash management firm that oversees more than $33 billion in assets.

Investors are frustrated that they are forced to shun certain T-bill issues because of the self-imposed fiscal deadlines of politicians. Some of them want additional compensation to buy T-bills given the possibility of default every few months, even though most think the risk is very low.

Chances of a default seemed almost unfathomable three weeks ago before the debt ceiling showdown that accompanied the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.

“The reason you’re holding short Treasuries is because of their unparalleled safety and liquidity. If you’re not getting safety and liquidity, there’s no point in having them,” said Gregory Whiteley, who manages a $53 billion government bond portfolio at DoubleLine Capital in Los Angeles.

Before the political impasse ended, interest rates on T-bill issues set to mature in the second half of October through the first half of November hit five-year highs.

“This is the kind of volatility we have never seen. I’m afraid this will get worse and worse,” Reich’s Nelson said.

DEFAULT SKITTISHNESS

The surge in T-bill rates stemmed partly from major money market fund operators, including Fidelity, JPMorgan, BlackRock and PIMCO, dumping their holdings of T-bill issues that mature in the next four weeks because they were seen most vulnerable if the government did not raise the debt ceiling in time.

Reich’s Nelson took more drastic action.

He said he cleared his funds of all T-bills that mature between now and the end of the year and did not jump back to buy them, even after President Obama signed the debt ceiling deal into law before midnight.

In the meantime, default anxiety caused retail investors to rush to redeem their money fund shares.

Money funds posted their biggest weekly outflows in nearly a year, as assets fell $44.77 billion to $2.606 trillion in the week ended October 15, according to iMoneynet’s Money Fund Report.

The asset drop, while large, was still much less than the $103.21 billion plunge in the week ended August 2, 2011 during the first debt ceiling showdown between the White House and top Republican lawmakers.

COST OF A SHORT-TERM DEAL

A pick-up in interest costs, if it persists, would be a setback for the government as its deficit has been shrinking.

“There are costs associated with going through this each time, costs embedded into Treasuries securities, costs the Treasury has to incur in higher risk premiums at auction,” said Rob Toomey, associate general counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), on a call with reporters on Wednesday.

Bidding at last week’s one-month T-bill sale was the weakest since March 2009. Demand at this week’s bill auctions improved on hopes of a debt agreement, but interest rates remained higher than where they were almost three weeks ago.

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday warned it might strip the United States of its top AAA-rating due to the debt ceiling fight.

“This highlights the risk in the United States. It’s not good for investors. If investors want to diversify from the U.S., this gives them a reason to,” said Brian Edmonds, head of rates trading at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.

Skittishness in owning T-bills hurt Wall Street firms too. The 21 primary dealers, those top-tier investment banks that do business directly with the U.S. Federal Reserve, are required to buy the debt issued by the government at auctions.

“There are too much uncertainties. That’s dangerous especially if you are a primary dealer when you have to underwrite Treasury debt,” said Edmonds.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/17/us-usa-fiscal-debtrisk-analysis-idUSBRE99G12R20131017

Debt ceiling 101: What you need to know

By Alexandra Thomas

If you’ve kept up with U.S. news at all lately, you might’ve heard this: If Congress and the White House cannot reach a deal on the debt ceiling crisis by October 17, the U.S. government won’t have enough money to pay its bills. That sounds pretty scary — especially if you’re not quite sure what it all means.

So what exactly is the debt ceiling, anyway? And how can it affect you?

The debt ceiling crisis is not the same as the partial government shutdown

Yes, it’s confusing to other people as well. Two very complicated crises are happening in Washington simultaneously, and both are happening because lawmakers cannot come to an agreement.

The government shut down because lawmakers couldn’t agree on a deal to fund the government before the start of the new fiscal year. The debt ceiling refers to debt outstanding — bills for which the government has already approved the spending and has already committed to paying.

The shutdown only slightly changes the government’s payment schedule. When the government is closed, the number of daily payments the Department of the Treasury needs to make decreases, since many things are closed. But even during the shutdown, the U.S. government is still required to make a lot of other payments, including Social Security, Medicare and interest on the debt. And these are big payments that may impact the livelihood of millions of Americans.

The Treasury Department says if the limit (the debt ceiling) isn’t raised, the government could default on the bills it owes, which could then lead to a financial crisis similar to the events of 2008.

What is the debt ceiling?

The debt ceiling is the borrowing limit that Congress has set for itself as a way to control government spending. The difference between the amount of money the U.S. government takes in and the amount of money it spends each year is called the deficit. The ongoing deficit then adds up to the overall debt.

Congress usually approves more spending than it collects in tax revenue, so the Treasury has to borrow the rest of the money from other government accounts and by issuing IOUs, in order to pay those bills. Congress sets a cap on how much debt the government can have — called the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is the maximum amount the Treasury can borrow, and right now that limit is set at about $16.699 trillion.

Interactive: What’s up with the debt ceiling?

The U.S. government can borrow that amount, and no more, unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling.

In May, the government actually reached that limit, but over the past few months, the Treasury has been able to shuffle money around from various accounts to avoid taking on any more debt. That luxury is about to go away.

According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the government will soon run out of money, except for about $30 billion, and the Treasury will either need to increase revenue or take on more debt — or it won’t be able to pay certain bills.

How the government funds its spending

The government funds its spending in two ways: taxes and borrowing. The government borrows money by issuing Treasury bonds, or IOUs. When someone buys a Treasury bond, they’re basically lending the government money and racking up interest on the loan, which the government pays each month. On October 17, the government owes an interest payment of about $13 billion — the first payment the government won’t be able to make without raising the debt ceiling.

The cap on borrowing applies to debt owed to the public, anyone who buys Treasury bonds and debt owed to federal government trust funds — such as those set up for Social Security and Medicare.

After October 17, the government will only be bringing in enough money to pay about 68% of its bills, according to a recent survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center. According to the center’s analysis, beginning on October 18, the Treasury will be about $106 billion short of making the $328 billion in payments that are already scheduled through November 15. Normally, when the debts are due, the government just issues new debts (by selling bonds), however if the government doesn’t have the full amounts it owes, certain payments will be delayed.

Who would be impacted if the government goes into default?

The government typically spends, or owes, about $10 billion per day for various things. And if the government can’t make those payments, the first people to be affected will be people who get pay or benefits from the government. That includes members of the military and people who receive benefits such as Social Security and Medicare. Here’s a breakdown of the dates when the government is supposed to pay some of its biggest bills:

Oct. 23: $12 billion in Social Security payments.

Oct. 31: $6 billion in interest on its debt.

Nov. 1: $58 billion in Social Security payments, disability benefits, Medicare payments, military pay and retiree pay.

So what happens if the government can’t pay those bills?

Ideally, the government would be able to prioritize which bills it pays first, but that’s not a realistic possibility because of how the Treasury payment system works. The Treasury issues about 100 million monthly payments through a computer system, which pays the bills automatically as they come due, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. So, no one knows which checks will be issued at exactly what time. And if it begins making payments it doesn’t have the money for, checks will start bouncing. It’s just unclear at this point which ones would bounce.

So the government could pay some bills in full and delay others, or, it could delay all bills until it has enough money to pay each day’s bills in full. The problem with delaying them all is that, with each day that goes by, the total amount the government owes will continue to increase drastically.

Some federal contractors may accept an IOU, with higher interest, but people who depend on Social Security checks on a regular basis probably won’t want an IOU from the government that’s worth nothing right now. Plus, if the government misses a payment to bondholders, that could impact the stability of the U.S. bond market and confidence in the U.S. dollar.

If some payments are delayed, people could get payments, like Social Security checks, a few weeks late.

So what’s next?

Economists say missing the debt ceiling deadline won’t trigger an immediate recession. However, the longer Congress waits, the worse the problem could get.

According to Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at accounting firm Cohn Reznick, “Merely missing the debt ceiling deadline will not trigger a recession, but the risks will rise rapidly with each week after the deadline passes.”

Congress could agree on a short-term increase of the debt ceiling to allow the government to pay its bills, but a longer-term agreement must be reached eventually.

http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/10/10/what-debt-ceiling-deadline-congress

BPC’s Debt Limit Projection: Key Takeaways

Unless the debt limit is increased, there will come a point when Treasury does not have enough cash to pay all bills in full and on time

On September 10, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released its comprehensive debt limit analysis for fall 2013. On May 19 of this year, the debt limit was reinstated at a new, higher level, after having been suspended since February. Upon its reinstatement, the U.S. found itself up against the debt limit with the Treasury Department continuing to operate through the limited borrowing authority provided by extraordinary measures.

In July, BPC had projected that the X Date – the point at which extraordinary measures and cash on hand are exhausted and Treasury can no longer meet all federal financial obligations in full and on time – would be reached between mid-October and mid-November. With updated government financial data and a more extensive analysis of daily transactions that will occur in September, October, and November, BPC has narrowed that projected window to October 18 – November 5. This range will be regularly updated in the coming weeks, as warranted by the data.

We have already hit the debt limit. The U.S. officially reached its statutory borrowing limit of about $16.699 trillion on May 19, 2013. (Technically, Treasury has stayed $25 million below the actual limit of $16,699,421,000,000 since that time). To raise additional funds for paying the nation’s obligations beyond that date, the Treasury Secretary has been using some of the approximately $303 billion in available extraordinary measures. As of August 31, roughly $108 billion of these measures remained. Unless the debt limit is increased, eventually there will come a point when Treasury does not have enough cash to pay all bills in full and on time, and the government will be forced to default on some of its obligations. BPC refers to this date as the “X Date.”

BPC now projects that the “X Date” will occur between October 18 and November 5. This represents a range, which can be thought of as a confidence interval. A more precise estimate is not yet appropriate due to the volatility of revenue and the nature of the government’s financial obligations leading up to and during this period. Furthermore, even BPC’s estimated range for the X Date is a projection, which is subject to some uncertainty. The most significant sources of uncertainty are the quarterly tax payments due in mid-September, which tend to be volatile, along with general economic conditions. While federal government revenue has been strong compared to the previous fiscal year – coinciding with greater employment, increased corporate earnings, and slow-but-steady economic growth – there is no guarantee that these trends will continue.

How will Treasury make payments on or after the X Date? We don’t know. This would be an unprecedented situation. If the X Date arrived on October 18 (the start of BPC’s X-Date window), we project that Treasury would be $106 billion short of making $328 billion in scheduled payments through November 15, meaning that 32 percent of those obligations would go unpaid.

In one scenario, Treasury might prioritize some payments over others; our full report provides an illustrative example. Treasury, however, may not find that it has the legal authority or the technical capability to do this (because such prioritization could require extensive reprogramming of computer systems, which may not be possible in a short timeframe). An alternative approach would be for Treasury to wait until enough revenue is collected to make an entire day’s worth of payments at a time, meaning that all payments would be made in turn, but everyone anticipating funds from the government would see delays. While payment delays would be short in the beginning (one or two days), they would quickly cascade. If Treasury were to delay payments in this manner, and the X Date were reached on October 18, for example, Social Security payments due on November 1 would not be received by beneficiaries until November 13.

In any scenario, we assume that Treasury would do whatever it could to ensure that interest on the debt is paid in full and on time.

Substantial debt is scheduled to roll over after the X Date. From October 18 through November 15, over $370 billion in debt is expected to mature. Normally, this would be rolled over in a standard procedure by issuing new debt. Uncertainty surrounding the debt limit, however, could force Treasury to pay higher interest rates on this newly issued debt. Also, while very unlikely, there is a possibility that in a post-X Date environment, Treasury may not have sufficient buyers to complete its standard auction operation.

How much would the debt limit need to be increased in order to get through next year? BPC has projected the magnitude of the debt limit increase necessary to enable Treasury to meet all obligations through calendar year 2014. An increase of approximately $1.1 trillion would be required. There is a great amount of uncertainty in this estimate, however, given the amount of time that is covered.

Expect more updates. BPC will continue to update and refine our X-Date estimates as new information becomes available. To learn more, view our full report.

http://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/2013/09/10/bpc%E2%80%99s-debt-limit-projection-key-takeaways

Dollar Slips as Fed Worries Continue

Treasury Yields Fall as Investors Focus on Effects of Government Shutdown

By

MICHELE MAATOUK

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will have to keep its easy-money policies in place for longer following the partial U.S. government shutdown pushed the dollar close to its lowest point of the year against the euro and U.S. Treasury debt prices to their highest point since July.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury note, which move inversely to prices, touched 2.538%, the lowest level since July 24, according to CQG. The dollar continued its slide against major rivals, including the euro, the yen and the pound. The euro recently bought $1.3686 from $1.3676 late Thursday, while the pound fetched $1.6186 from $1.6165. The greenback traded at ¥97.71 from ¥97.93.

The drop in the dollar and the rise in Treasury debt prices were set in train earlier this week after lawmakers reached a temporary solution to raise the so-called debt ceiling, showing that investors doubt the Fed can start to reel in its stimulus measures—a process dubbed tapering—for as long as economic performance and data is compromised by the now-ended shutdown, and as long as the risk of repeat shutdowns lingers.

“As policy remains uber accommodative, the dollar has adjusted downwards,” said Scott Jamieson, head of multi-asset investing at Kames Capital in London, with $24 billion under management.

“While we have been inclined to see tapering next year, the market is only now coming to appreciate this,” said analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman. “After the September disappointment, surveys suggest that a majority shifted their expectations to December. Now in light of the fiscal drag and new uncertainty, the mid-January and mid-February limits on spending and debt issuance will loom large at the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and likely reduces the possibility of tapering then. The focus is likely to shift to the March 2014 FOMC meeting for the first tapering,” they said.

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher. The S&P 500 added 0.4% to 1740, pushing further into record territory. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.8% to 3893. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind, dropping 0.2% to 15370.

On Thursday, stocks staged a late-session comeback that helped push the S&P 500 to an all-time high close of 1733.15.

European stocks edged higher, supported by the late bounce in the U.S. and encouraging Chinese growth figures.

Now that Congress has temporarily approved a bill to raise the debt ceiling, attention is likely to shift back to earnings and fundamentals. And as investors reassess their expectations for any withdrawal of stimulus from the Fed, all eyes will be on the economic data that was delayed by the partial government shutdown. The next focus will beSeptember’s nonfarm payrolls report, which is due on Oct. 22.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579142850162694282

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Obama’s SAD Deal — Videos

Posted on October 17, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, Macroeconomics, Math, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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TR Square Deal

Square Deal – Wiki Article

Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal

Roosevelt and the New Deal Part 1

Roosevelt and the New Deal Part 2

HARRY TRUMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S

Harry S. Truman – Wiki Article

Obama Commends Lawmakers on Debt Deal | Shutdown News

Ted Cruz Speaks Before Senate Deal Vote | Shutdown News

Pres Obama’s Statement on Shutdown Deal

President calls for new approach after shutdown

Forex! US.DEBT CEILING! Why The Muted Reaction To A Deal

Relief as US approves debt deal

The Government Is Broke And They’re Coming For Your Cash — Episode 190

Peter Schiff – A Dangerous Person, at a Dangerous Time, Heading a Dangerous Institution

Peter Schiff – QE is Like a Drug – The More You Take the More You Need

Obama’s SAD Deal

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Presidents like to make deals with the American people that supposedly will fix things.

Theodore Roosevelt had his Square Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt had his New Deal, Harry Truman had his Fair Deal, and President Barack Obama has his SAD (Spending Addiction Disorder) deal.

The most recent developments in Obama’s SAD deal are the federal government will be completely open for business and funded through Jan. 15, 2014 under yet another continuing resolution passed on Wednesday by Congress and signed by the president. The gross national debt ceiling was suspended until Feb. 7, 2014. By then the national debt will be approaching $17.5 trillion and will exceed the entire gross domestic product for 2013 estimated to be about $16 trillion.

In other words the SAD deal means more government spending and taxes, more massive budgetary deficits, more government debt and more money and credit creation by the Federal Reserve System to finance the SAD habit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to open the government until Jan. 15, 2014 and extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, 2014.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to all the young people coming out of school who can’t find a job because of Obamacare. It provides no relief to all the single parents who have been forced into part-time work, struggling to feed their kids on 29 hours a week.”

Unfortunately, the SAD deal will continue the annual massive budgetary deficits that over the last five years have averaged more than $1.2 trillion per year and will increase the burden of debt on existing and future generations of the American people. Under Obama’s SAD deal the gross national debt has been increased over $6 trillion to fund the fiscal year deficits from 2009 through 2013. The White House has optimistically estimated that the fiscal year deficit for 2014 will be only $750 billion!

The SAD deal has resulted in the worse post-World War II economic recovery with unemployment rates exceeding 7 percent for the 56 months of the Obama’s presidency. Tens of millions of Americans are searching for a permanent full-time job.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) at the Republican conference meeting on Oct. 16 said, “We all agree Obamacare is an abomination. We all agree taxes are too high. We all agree spending is too high. We all agree Washington is getting in the way of job growth. We all agree we have a real debt crisis that will cripple future generations. We all agree on these fundamental conservative principles.”

The American people agree that the Washington ruling elite of both the Democrat and Republican parties are simply incapable of controlling their SAD habit.

Cruz is right. The ruling elite are not listening to the American people.

The American people want federal spending and taxes to be cut, a balanced budget, the national debt paid off and Obamacare repealed. The American people can no longer afford to pay for Obama’s SAD deal.

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Captain William D. Swenson Awarded Medal of Honor At White House — Videos

Posted on October 15, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Foreign Policy, Heroes, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Pistols, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Rifles, Security, Terrorism, Video, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

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Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

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Segment 0: Captain William D. Swenson Awarded Medal of Honor At White House — Videos

william-swensoncaptain_swensoncaptain_william_sevensonjeep_swensonswenson_captmedal_of_honorobama_swensonswenson_obamaobama_captain_swensonswenson_afgancaptain_swenson_2Medal_of_Honor_U.S.Army

Extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

In a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 15, President Barack Obama awarded Captain William D. Swenson the nation’s highest military honor for valor, the Medal of Honor.

Captain Swenson was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, as an adviser to the Afghan Border Police Mentor Team on Sept.8, 2009, when both Afghan soldiers and their American military trainers were ambushed near the village of Ganjgal in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, by more than 50 Taliban fighters.

The official citation for the award reads in part: “Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation.”

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades. After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman.”

Swenson is the sixth living person awarded the Medal Honor for valor in the Iraq and Afghanistan war, according to the Defense Department.

Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor by Obama in 2011 for rescuing troops that same day and recovering the remains of four Americans killed in the battle of Ganjgal and served beside Captain Swenson. Meyer in his book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War” said he would not be alive today if it was not for the actions of Captain Swenson and advocated that Swenson should receive the Medal of Honor.

Swenson was outspoken and critical of his superiors for not receiving timely air and artillery support. An investigation subsequently led to three Army officers being reprimanded. Swenson’s Medal of Honor was delayed when the paperwork for the award was lost.

Captain Swenson helped rescue and deliver to the medevac helicopter Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, N.M. who later died from complications from his wounds in the United States. This small part of the battle was captured in a video on YouTube titled “Army Capt. William Swenson Receives Medal of Honor.”

Gone but not forgotten are the four Americans killed in the ambush: 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25, of Virginia Beach, Staff Sgt. Aaron Keneflick, 30 of Roswell, Ga., Corpsman James Layton, 22 of Riverbank, Calif., and Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., 31, of Columbus, Ga. Also killed that day were 10 Afghan troops and an interpreter.

Swenson left the Army in February 2011 but has asked to return and is waiting for a decision by the Army.

After the ceremony Swenson standing in front of the West Wing, said, “Today, I stand with the Medal of Honor…but this award is earned with a team, a team of our finest, Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and our Afghan partners, standing side by side. This medal represents them, represents us.”

Obama bestows Medal of Honor on former Army captain for actions during Afghanistan firefight

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE

WASHINGTON — A former Army captain whose heroic actions in a deadly Afghan battle were captured on video received the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, from President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday.

Obama placed the award around the neck of William D. Swenson for his actions in a lengthy battle against the Taliban in the Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border four years ago, which claimed the lives of five Americans, 10 Afghan army troops and an interpreter.

Obama noted that although the honor has been bestowed nearly 3,500 times in U.S. history, never before had Americans been able to witness of a small part of the bravery that led to it. The video captured from cameras mounted on the helmets of evacuation helicopter pilots showed Swenson delivering a severely wounded soldier to the helicopter and placing a kiss on his head as he placed him inside.

Swenson, 34, retired from the military in February 2011 and has been living in Seattle. But two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that Swenson has asked to return to active duty, and the Army is working to allow it.

Swenson was serving as a trainer and mentor embedded with the Afghan National Security Forces in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan when they came under fire near dawn on Sept. 8, 2009. Obama recounted how Swenson dodged enemy fire, without a helmet, and risked his life to recover bodies and help save fellow troops. “Will Swenson was there for his brothers,” Obama said.

The president called Swenson a “pretty low key guy,” who would rather be on a Pacific Northwest mountain trail surrounded by cedar trees instead of in front of the cameras at the White House. But Obama, perhaps thinking of the current partisan budget dispute gripping Washington, said, “I think our nation needs this ceremony today.”

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Capt. William D. Swenson of Seattle, Wash., during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Swenson was being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in a lengthy battle against the Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border on Sept. 8, 2009, which claimed the lives of five Americans, 10 Afghan army troops and an interpreter.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

“In moments like this, Americans like Will remind us of what our country can be at its best, a nation of citizens who look out for one another, who meet our obligations to one another not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard — maybe especially when it’s hard,” Obama said. “And, Will, you’re an example to everyone in this city and to our whole country of the professionalism and patriotism that we should strive for, whether we wear a uniform or not, not just on particular occasions but all the time.”

After the Ganjgal battle, Swenson complained to military leaders after the fight that many of his calls for help were rejected by superior officers. Two Army officers were reprimanded for being “inadequate and ineffective” and for “contributing directly to the loss of life” following an investigation into the day’s events.

Four Americans died in the ambush: 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, a 25-year-old from Virginia Beach; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30, of Roswell, Georgia; Corpsman James Layton, 22, of Riverbank, California; and Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., a 31-year-old gunnery sergeant from Columbus, Georgia Army Sgt. Kenneth W. Westbrook, 41, of Shiprock, New Mexico, who Swenson delivered to the helicopter with a kiss, later died from his wounds.

The military says Swenson’s initial medal nomination was lost. Another man who fought in the battle, Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011.

Swenson is the sixth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama also attended Tuesday’s medal ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ed04caff3b044af4bab36af8ab5551d2/US–Obama-Medal-of-Honor

Captain William Swenson awarded the Medal of Honor (Official White House Feed) (HD)

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Washington Post The Fold

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/video/thefold/medal-of-honor-fighting-through-dire-situation/2013/10/15/d567d934-3572-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_video.html

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http://www.youtube.com/user/MedalOfHonorBook

Former Army Capt. William Swenson to receive Medal of Honor at White House

It was a tender moment that demonstrates the brotherhood of the U.S. servicemen who fought for their lives in a remote Afghanistan province four years ago. But former Army Capt. William Swenson said he does not recall the brief kiss he laid on the head of his severely wounded partner that day.

The video, recorded on the shaky helmet camera of a Medevac crewman, captured the kiss without the soldiers’ knowledge. There is Swenson, helping Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook into the rescue helicopter, two hours into a firefight against heavily armed Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley and after Westbrook was shot through the mouth and shoulder. Wearing wrap-around sunglasses but no helmet, Swenson kisses the top of Westbrook’s head and pats him on the shoulder before returning to the battle.

Swenson, 34, of Seattle, is credited with risking his life to help save his comrades and Afghan allies and retrieve the bodies of four Americans who were killed during the seven-hour battle on Sept. 8, 2009. He will accept the Medal of Honor from President Obama before 250 guests at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, the first Army officer to receive the U.S. military’s highest valor award since the Vietnam war.

“You could have told me it happened, and I wouldn’t have believed you,” Swenson said in one of his first extended interviews since the battle. “But it did, and it was captured on film. And it offered a glimpse of the humanity that does occur on battlefields.”

Swenson’s path to the White House ceremony has been a rocky one, as The Washington Post reported Sunday. After he criticized his Army superiors for failing to provide enough air and artillery support, his award nomination was delayed for years. At times, it seemed like he would never receive it.

During the interview with the Post, Swenson said he would accept the medal in honor of the fellow soldiers and Marines with whom he fought, many of whom will be at the ceremony, along with family members of those who died.

“It does not really belong to me, it belongs to that event and the people I stood with,” he said of the medal. “I’ll be thinking of everyone in that valley who gave more than could be expected of anybody.”

Westbrook, a married father of three, survived for a month after leaving the battlefield on the helicopter, but he died at a U.S. hospital of complications from a blood transfusion. His widow, Charlene Westbrook, will be at the White House on Tuesday.

‘Alright, buddy, hang on’

Swenson and Westbrook had been working for a year as trainers with the Afghan Border Police in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. They were trying to help prepare the Afghan forces to oversee remote tribal areas that were often teeming with insurgents and not aligned with the Afghanistan national government.

On the day of the battle, a group of about 11 U.S. trainers and 80 Afghan troops set out to meet with the town elders. As soon as they reached the valley, they were ambushed by Taliban fighters who had hidden in the higher mountain terrain that ringed the valley on three sides. In all, five Americans and 10 Afghan troops, along with an Afghan translator, were slain.

Swenson never saw Kenneth Westbrook again after helping him into the helicopter. He said Westbrook, who had served 22 years in the Army and was planning to retire soon, was shot in the neck while attempting to return fire on Taliban targets as a group of U.S. and Afghan troops was trying to retreat to safety.

“He called out and said, ‘Will, I’m hit.’ It was very matter-of-fact,” Swenson recalled. “I yelled back to him, ‘Alright, buddy, hang on, I can’t get to you.’ I was pinned down. He continued fighting and some time passed until it was getting serious, and we did not know how much longer he could hold on.”

When the rescue helicopter arrived, Swenson said, Westbrook “was beginning to lose consciousness. He had made a hundreds of meters dash. He was bleeding, and the wounds were significant. He had made a heroic effort but was finally giving out.”

At the final rock terrace, as Swenson and others tried to assist him into the helicopter, Westbrook “realizes he needs one more burst of energy, and he gets up on his feet and walks onto the helicopter — on his own two feet.”

Swenson received a copy of the video from the medevac crew, and he passed on a copy to Charlene Westbrook earlier this year. In an interview, she said Swenson had called her from Afghanistan while she was waiting in the hospital during her husband’s recovery.

Kenneth had just been taken from the surgical unit to the rehabilitation unit, she remembers telling Swenson, so he was not available to talk. Swenson asked how she was doing and then promised to call back. But Kenneth died unexpectedly soon after.

Looking back on their last moments together on that video, Swenson said: “To see him and to see me in that situation gives me comfort to see him walk off the battlefield. . . . I would trade anything for that not to be our last moment, but that was our last moment and I’ll always have that now.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/video/thefold/medal-of-honor-fighting-through-dire-situation/2013/10/15/d567d934-3572-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_video.html

MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER ASKS TO RETURN TO DUTY

By LOLITA BALDOR
Associated Press
WASHINGTON
The former Army captain who received the Medal of Honor on Tuesday has asked to return to active duty in the Army, a rare move by an officer who has lived to wear the military’s highest award.

Two U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that William D. Swenson has submitted a formal request to the Army and officials are working with him to allow his return.

Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in the White House Tuesday afternoon for risking his life to recover bodies and save fellow troops during a lengthy battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border in 2009.

The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the request until a decision was made.

Swenson, 34, left the military in February 2011 as a captain, but he could rise to the rank of major once he rejoins. In order to successfully re-enlist, Swenson will have to pass a physical, a drug test and other routine reviews. But officials Tuesday were optimistic it would all fall into place.

In the aftermath of 9/11, when the Army was growing in size to meet the combat requirements of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it was not unusual for former soldiers to rejoin the service and go back on active duty. It is rare, if not unprecedented, for an officer holding the Medal of Honor, to do so. Officials were unsure if that had ever happened before.

Swenson also has a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal and lives in Seattle.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/10/15/Medal-of-Honor-winner-asks-to-return-to-duty

Related Posts On Pronk Pops

The Pronk Pops Show 150, October 16, 2013: Segment 0: Captain William D. Swenson  Awarded Medal of Honor At White House — Videos

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T.E. Lawrence and Lawrence of Arabia — Photos and Videos

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T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 1 of 7

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T. E. Lawrence – Wiki Article

Scott Anderson on Lawrence in Arabia

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T.E. Lawrence

Thomas Edward LawrenceCBDSO (16 August 1888[5] – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities.

Lawrence was born illegitimate in TremadogWales, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate. Chapman had left his wife and first family in Ireland to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where in 1907–10 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, working at various excavations with David George Hogarth and Leonard Woolley. In 1908 he joined the Oxford University Officer Training Corps, undergoing a two-year training course.[6] In January 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was co-opted by the British Army to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desertwhile doing archaeological research.

Lawrence’s public image resulted in part from the sensationalised reportage of the revolt by an American journalist, Lowell Thomas, as well as from Lawrence’s autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). In 1935, he was fatally injured in a motorbike crash in Dorset.

Early life

T. E. Lawrence’s birthplace, Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.[7]

Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in TremadogCaernarfonshire (nowGwynedd), Wales, in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.[8]His Anglo-Irish father, Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, who in 1914 inherited the title of Westmeath in Ireland as seventh Baronet, had left his wife Edith for his daughters’governess Sarah Junner. Junner’s mother, Elizabeth Junner, had named as Sarah’s father a “John Junner — shipwright journeyman”, though she had been living as an unmarried servant in the household of a John Lawrence, ship’s carpenter, just four months earlier.[9][10]

Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner did not marry, but were known as Mr and Mrs Lawrence. They had five sons, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. From Wales the family moved to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, then Dinard in Brittany, then to Jersey. In 1894–96 the family lived at Langley Lodge (now demolished), set in private woods between the eastern borders of the New Forest and Southampton Water in Hampshire. Mr Lawrence sailed and took the boys to watch yacht racing in the Solent off Lepe beach. By the time they left, the eight-year-old Ned (as Lawrence became known) had developed a taste for the countryside and outdoor activities.

Lawrence memorial plaque atOxford Boys’ High School

In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to 2 Polstead Road in Oxford, where, until 1921, they lived under the names of Mr and Mrs Lawrence. Lawrence attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys, where one of the four houses was later named “Lawrence” in his honour; the school closed in 1966.[11] As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbings. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads’ Brigade at St Aldate’s Church.

Lawrence claimed that in about 1905, he ran away from home and served for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, from which he was bought out. No evidence of this can be found in army records.[12]

Middle East archaeology

At the age of 15 Lawrence and his schoolfriend Cyril Beeson bicycled around BerkshireBuckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, visited almost every village’s parish church, studied their monuments and antiquities and made rubbings of their monumental brasses.[13] Lawrence and Beeson monitored building sites in Oxford and presented their finds to the Ashmolean Museum.[13] The Ashmolean’s Annual Report for 1906 said that the two teenage boys “by incessant watchfulness secured everything of antiquarian value which has been found”.[13] In the summers of 1906 and 1907 Lawrence and Beeson toured France by bicycle, collecting photographs, drawings and measurements of medieval castles.[13]

From 1907 to 1910 Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, Oxford.[14] In the summer of 1909 Lawrence set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader castles inOttoman Syria, in which he travelled 1,000 mi (1,600 km) on foot. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture—to the end of the 12th century based on his field research with Beeson in France,[13] notably in Châlus, and his solo research in the Middle East.[15]

Leonard Woolley (left) and T. E. Lawrence at Carchemish, ca. 1912

On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in medieval pottery with a Senior Demy, a form of scholarship, at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. Lawrence was a polyglot whose published work demonstrates competence in French, Ancient Greek, and Arabic.

T. E. Lawrence and Leonard Woolley(right) at Carchemish, spring 1913

In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos), where he studiedArabic. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D. G. Hogarth and R. Campbell Thompson of the British Museum. He would later state that everything that he had accomplished, he owed to Hogarth.[16] As the site lay near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance to the military. While excavating ancientMesopotamian sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell, who was to influence him during his time in the Middle East.

In late 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut for a second season at Carchemish, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley. Before resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar inEgypt.

Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of the First World War. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the “Wilderness of Zin“; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition’s archaeological findings,[17] but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. Lawrence also visited Aqaba and Petra.

From March to May 1914, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Lawrence did not immediately enlist in the British Army; on the advice of S.F. Newcombe he held back until October, when he was commissioned on the General List; and immediately posted to the intelligence staff in Cairo.

Arab revolt

Lawrence at Rabigh, north of Jeddah, 1917

Main article: Arab Revolt

At the outbreak of the First World War Lawrence was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire provinces of the Levant (Transjordan and Palestine) and Mesopotamia (Syria and Iraq) under his own name. As such he had become known to the Ottoman Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisers, travelling on the German-designed, built, and financed railways during the course of his research.[18]

The Arab Bureau of Britain’s Foreign Office conceived a campaign of internal insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The Arab Bureau had long felt it likely that a campaign instigated and financed by outside powers, supporting the breakaway-minded tribes and regional challengers to the Turkish government’s centralised rule of their empire, would pay great dividends in the diversion of effort that would be needed to meet such a challenge. The Arab Bureau had recognised the strategic value of what is today called the “asymmetry” of such conflict. The Ottoman authorities would have to devote from a hundred to a thousand times the resources to contain the threat of such an internal rebellion compared to the Allies’ cost of sponsoring it.

With his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia (not to mention having already worked as a part-time civilian army intelligence officer), on his formal enlistment in 1914 Lawrence was posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC Middle East.[19]The British government in Egypt sent Lawrence to work with the Hashemite forces in the Arabian Hejaz in October 1916.[20]

During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops under the command of Emir Faisal, a son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, in extended guerrilla operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence obtained assistance from the Royal Navy to turn back an Ottoman attack on Yenbu in December 1916.[20] Lawrence’s major contribution to the revolt was convincing the Arab leaders (Faisal and Abdullah) to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy. He persuaded the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in Medina but allow the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct most of their attention to the Turks’ weak point, the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage. Lawrence developed a close relationship with Faisal, whose Arab Northern Army was to become the main beneficiary of British aid.[21]

Capture of Aqaba

Lawrence at Aqaba, 1917

Main article: Battle of Aqaba

In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces including Auda Abu Tayi (until then in the employ of the Ottomans) against the strategically located but lightly defended[22][23][24] town of Aqaba. On 6 July, after a surprise overland attack, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces. After Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted to major, and the new commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary ForceGeneral Sir Edmund Allenby, agreed to his strategy for the revolt, stating after the war:

“I gave him a free hand. His cooperation was marked by the utmost loyalty, and I never had anything but praise for his work, which, indeed, was invaluable throughout the campaign. He was the mainspring of the Arab movement and knew their language, their manners and their mentality.”[25]

Lawrence now held a powerful position, as an adviser to Faisal and a person who had Allenby’s confidence.

Battle of Tafileh

In January 1918, the battle of Tafileh, an important region southeast of the Dead Sea, was fought using Arab regulars under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askari.[26] The battle was a defensive engagement that turned into an offensive rout, and was described in the official history of the war as a “brilliant feat of arms”.[26]Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.[26]

By the summer of 1918, the Turks were offering a substantial reward for Lawrence’s capture, with one officer writing in his notes; “Though a price of £15,000 has been put on his head by the Turks, no Arab has, as yet, attempted to betray him. The Sharif of Mecca [King of the Hedjaz] has given him the status of one of his sons, and he is just the finely tempered steel that supports the whole structure of our influence in Arabia. He is a very inspiring gentleman adventurer.”[26]

Fall of Damascus

Lawrence was involved in the build-up to the capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war. Much to his disappointment, and contrary to instructions he had issued, he was not present at the city’s formal surrender, arriving several hours after the city had fallen. Lawrence entered Damascus around 9am on 1 October 1918, but was only the third arrival of the day, the first being the 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade, led by Major A.C.N. ‘Harry’ Olden who formally accepted the surrender of the city from acting Governor Emir Said.[27] In newly liberated Damascus—which he had envisaged as the capital of an Arab state—Lawrence was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal’s rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud, under the command of General Mariano Goybet, entered Damascus, destroying Lawrence’s dream of an independent Arabia.

Portrait of T. E. Lawrence by Lowell Thomas

During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests. The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain contradicted the promises of independence he had made to the Arabs and frustrated his work.[28]

In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent Lowell Thomas for a short period. During this time Thomas and his cameraman Harry Chase shot a great deal of film and many photographs, which Thomas used in a highly lucrative film that toured the world after the war.

[Lowell Thomas] went to Jerusalem where he met Lawrence, whose enigmatic figure in Arab uniform fired his imagination. With Allenby’s permission he linked up with Lawrence for a brief couple of weeks … Returning to America, Thomas, early in 1919, started his lectures, supported by moving pictures of veiled women, Arabs in their picturesque robes, camels and dashing Bedouin cavalry, which took the nation by storm, after running at Madison Square Gardens in New York. On being asked to come to England, he made the condition he would do so if asked by the King and given Drury Lane or Covent Garden … He opened at Covent Garden on 14 August 1919 … And so followed a series of some hundreds of lecture–film shows, attended by the highest in the land …”[29]

Postwar years

Map presented by TE Lawrence to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet in November 1918[30]

Emir Faisal’s party at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Left to right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-SaidPrince Faisal (front), Captain Pisani (rear), T. E. Lawrence, Faisal’s slave (name unknown), Captain Hassan Khadri.

Lawrence returned to the United Kingdom a full Colonel.[31] Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, attending the Paris Peace Conference between January and May as a member of Faisal’s delegation. He served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office.

On 17 May 1919 the Handley Page Type O carrying Lawrence on a flight to Egypt crashed at the airport of Roma-Centocelle. The pilot and co-pilot were killed; Lawrence survived with a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs.[32] During his brief hospitalisation, he was visited by King Victor Emanuel III.[33]

In August 1919 Lowell Thomas launched a colourful photo show in London entitled With Allenby in Palestine which included a lecture, dancing, and music.[34] Initially, Lawrence played only a supporting role in the show, but when Thomas realised that it was the photos of Lawrence dressed as a Bedouin that had captured the public’s imagination, he photographed him again, in London, in Arab dress.[34]With the new photos, Thomas re-launched his show as With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia in early 1920; it was extremely popular.[34] Thomas’ shows made the previously-obscure Lawrence into a household name.[34]

T. E. Lawrence, Emir Abdullah, Air Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond, Sir Herbert Samuel H.B.M. high commissioner and SirWyndham Deedes and others in Jerusalem.

In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. At the RAF recruiting centre in Covent Garden, London, he was interviewed by a recruiting officer – Flying Officer W. E. Johns, later to be well known as the author of the Biggles series of novels.[35] Johns rejected Lawrence’s application as he correctly believed “Ross” was a false name. Lawence admitted this was so and the documents he provided were false and left. But he returned some time later with an RAF Messenger, carrying a written order for Johns to accept Lawrence.[36]

However, Lawrence was forced out of the RAF in February 1923 after being exposed. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925.[37] A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to Britain after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.

He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford Urban District Councilacquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation, but re-erected the hut in the grounds of The Warren, Loughton, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence’s tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill.

He continued serving in the RAF based at BridlingtonEast Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.

Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles.[38] His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns isThomas Malory‘s Morte D’Arthur. Accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver—a Malory scholar—by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery inThe Times.[39]

Death

Lawrence’s last Brough Superior,Imperial War Museum, London

At the age of 46, two months after leaving military service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100motorcycle in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control, and was thrown over the handlebars.[40] He died six days later on 19 May 1935.[40] The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.

Roadside Memorial tree and stone with engraving at Clouds HillWarehamDorset

Lawrence on a Brough Superior SS100

One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns, who consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists.[41]

Moreton estate, which borders Bovington Camp, was owned by Lawrence’s cousins, the Frampton family. Lawrence had rented and later bought Clouds Hill from the Framptons. He had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House, and had for years corresponded with Louisa Frampton. With his body wrapped in the Union Flag, Lawrence’s mother arranged with the Framptons for him to be buried in their family plot at Moreton.[42][43] His coffin was transported on the Frampton estate’s bier. Mourners included Winston and Clementine ChurchillE. M. Forster and Lawrence’s youngest brother, Arnold.[44]

A bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and a stone effigy by Eric Kennington remains in the Anglo-Saxon church of St Martin, Wareham in Dorset.[45]

Writings

Throughout his life, Lawrence was a prolific writer. A large portion of his output was epistolary; he often sent several letters a day. Several collections of his letters have been published. He corresponded with many notable figures, including George Bernard ShawEdward Elgar,Winston ChurchillRobert GravesNoël CowardE. M. ForsterSiegfried SassoonJohn BuchanAugustus John and Henry Williamson. He met Joseph Conrad and commented perceptively on his works. The many letters that he sent to Shaw’s wife, Charlotte, are revealing as to his character.[46]

In his lifetime, Lawrence published three major texts. The most significant was his account of the Arab Revolt, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Two were translationsHomer‘s Odyssey, and The Forest Giant — the latter an otherwise forgotten work of French fiction. He received a flat fee for the second translation, and negotiated a generous fee plus royalties for the first.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

14 Barton Street, London S.W.1, where Lawrence lived while writing Seven Pillars.

Lawrence’s major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences. In 1919 he had been elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, providing him with support while he worked on the book. In addition to being a memoir of his experiences during the war, certain parts also serve as essays on military strategy, Arabian culture and geography, and other topics. Lawrence re-wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom three times; once “blind” after he lost the manuscript while changing trains at Reading railway station.

The list of his alleged “embellishments” in Seven Pillars is long, though many such allegations have been disproved with time, most definitively in Jeremy Wilson‘s authorised biography. However Lawrence’s own notebooks refute his claim to have crossed the Sinai Peninsula from Aqaba to the Suez Canal in just 49 hours without any sleep. In reality this famous camel ride lasted for more than 70 hours and was interrupted by two long breaks for sleeping which Lawrence omitted when he wrote his book.[47]

Lawrence acknowledged having been helped in the editing of the book by George Bernard Shaw. In the preface to Seven Pillars, Lawrence offered his “thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Shaw for countless suggestions of great value and diversity: and for all the presentsemicolons.”

The first public edition was published in 1926 as a high-priced private subscription edition, printed in London by Herbert John Hodgsonand Roy Manning Pike, with illustrations by Eric KenningtonAugustus JohnPaul NashBlair Hughes-Stanton and his wife Gertrude Hermes. Lawrence was afraid that the public would think that he would make a substantial income from the book, and he stated that it was written as a result of his war service. He vowed not to take any money from it, and indeed he did not, as the sale price was one third of the production costs.[48] This, along with his “saintlike” generosity, left Lawrence in substantial debt.[49]

Revolt in the Desert

Portrait of T. E. Lawrence byAugustus John, 1919

Revolt in the Desert was an abridged version of Seven Pillars, which he began in 1926 and was published in March 1927 in both limited and trade editions. He undertook a needed but reluctant publicity exercise, which resulted in a best-seller. Again he vowed not to take any fees from the publication, partly to appease the subscribers to Seven Pillars who had paid dearly for their editions. By the fourth reprint in 1927, the debt from Seven Pillars was paid off. As Lawrence left for military service in India at the end of 1926, he set up the “Seven Pillars Trust” with his friend D. G. Hogarth as a trustee, in which he made over the copyright and any surplus income of Revolt in the Desert. He later told Hogarth that he had “made the Trust final, to save myself the temptation of reviewing it, if Revolt turned out a best seller.”

The resultant trust paid off the debt, and Lawrence then invoked a clause in his publishing contract to halt publication of the abridgment in the United Kingdom. However, he allowed both American editions and translations, which resulted in a substantial flow of income. The trust paid income either into an educational fund for children of RAF officers who lost their lives or were invalided as a result of service, or more substantially into the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Posthumous

Lawrence left unpublished The Mint,[50] a memoir of his experiences as an enlisted man in the Royal Air Force (RAF). For this, he worked from a notebook that he kept while enlisted, writing of the daily lives of enlisted men and his desire to be a part of something larger than himself: the Royal Air Force. The book is stylistically very different from Seven Pillars of Wisdom, using sparse prose as opposed to the complicated syntax found in Seven Pillars. It was published posthumously, edited by his brother, Professor A. W. Lawrence.

After Lawrence’s death, A. W. Lawrence inherited Lawrence’s estate and his copyrights as the sole beneficiary. To pay the inheritance tax, he sold the U.S. copyright of Seven Pillars of Wisdom (subscribers’ text) outright to Doubleday Doran in 1935. Doubleday still controls publication rights of this version of the text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the USA. In 1936 Prof. Lawrence split the remaining assets of the estate, giving Clouds Hill and many copies of less substantial or historical letters to the nation via the National Trust, and then set up two trusts to control interests in T. E. Lawrence’s residual copyrights. To the original Seven Pillars Trust, Prof. Lawrence assigned the copyright in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as a result of which it was given its first general publication. To the Letters and Symposium Trust, he assigned the copyright in The Mint and all Lawrence’s letters, which were subsequently edited and published in the book T. E. Lawrence by his Friends (edited by A. W. Lawrence, London, Jonathan Cape, 1937).

A substantial amount of income went directly to the RAF Benevolent Fund or for archaeological, environmental, or academic projects. The two trusts were amalgamated in 1986 and, on the death of Prof. A. W. Lawrence in 1991, the unified trust also acquired all the remaining rights to Lawrence’s works that it had not owned, plus rights to all of Prof. Lawrence’s works.

Bibliography

Sexuality

Lawrence’s biographers have discussed his sexuality at considerable length, and this discussion has spilled into the popular press.[52]

There is no reliable evidence for consensual sexual intimacy between Lawrence and any person. His friends have expressed the opinion that he was asexual,[53][54] and Lawrence himself specifically denied, in multiple private letters, any personal experience of sex.[55] While there were suggestions that Lawrence had been intimate with Dahoum, who worked with Lawrence at a pre-war archaeological dig in Carchemish,[56] and fellow-serviceman R.A.M. Guy,[57] his biographers and contemporaries have found them unconvincing.[56][57][58]

The dedication to his book Seven Pillars is a poem titled “To S.A.” which opens:

I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When we came.

Lawrence was never specific about the identity of “S.A.” There are many theories which argue in favour of individual men, women, and the Arab nation.[59] The most popular is that S.A. represents (at least in part) his companion Selim Ahmed, “Dahoum”, who apparently died of typhus before 1918.

Although Lawrence lived in a period during which official opposition to homosexuality was strong, his writing on the subject was tolerant. In Seven Pillars, when discussing relationships between young male fighters in the war, he refers on one occasion to “the openness and honesty of perfect love”[60] and on another to “friends quivering together in the yielding sand with intimate hot limbs in supreme embrace”.[61] In a letter to Charlotte Shaw he wrote “I’ve seen lots of man-and-man loves: very lovely and fortunate some of them were.”[62]

In both Seven Pillars and a 1919 letter to a military colleague,[63] Lawrence describes an episode on 20 November 1917 in which, while reconnoitring Dera’a in disguise, he was captured by the Ottoman military, heavily beaten, and sexually abused by the local Bey and his guardsmen. The precise nature of the sexual contact is not specified. There have been allegations that the episode was an invention of Lawrence’s and (with some evidence) that the injuries Lawrence claims to have suffered were exaggerated.[64] Although there is no independent testimony, the multiple consistent reports, and the absence of evidence for outright invention in Lawrence’s works, make the account believable to his biographers.[65] At least three of Lawrence’s biographers (Malcolm Brown, John E. Mack, and Jeremy Wilson) have argued this episode had strong psychological effects on Lawrence which may explain some of his unconventional behaviour in later life.

There is considerable evidence that Lawrence was a masochist. In his description of the Dera’a beating, Lawrence wrote “a delicious warmth, probably sexual, was swelling through me”, and also included a detailed description of the guards’ whip in a style typical of masochists’ writing.[66] In later life, Lawrence arranged to pay a military colleague to administer beatings to him,[52] and to be subjected to severe formal tests of fitness and stamina.[67] While John Bruce, who first wrote on this topic, included some other claims which were not credible, Lawrence’s biographers regard the beatings as established fact.[68]

John E. Mack sees a possible connection between T.E.’s masochism and the childhood beatings he had received from his mother[69] for routine misbehaviours.[70] His brother Arnold thought the beatings had been given for the purpose of breaking T.E.’s will.[70] Writing in 1997, Angus Calder noted that it is “astonishing” that earlier commentators discussing Lawrence’s apparent masochism and self-loathing failed to consider the impact on Lawrence of having lost his brothers Frank and Will on the Western front, along with many other school friends.[71]

Bust of T. E. Lawrence atSt Paul’s Cathedral

Awards and commemorations

Lawrence was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the French Légion d’Honneur, though in October 1918 he refused to be made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. A bronze bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral alongside the tombs of Britain’s greatest military leaders.[72] An English heritage blue plaque marks Lawrence’s childhood home at 2 Polstead Road, Oxford, OX2, and another appears on his London home at 14 Barton Street Westminster, SW1.[73][74] In 2002, Lawrence was named 53rd in the BBC‘s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.[75]

In popular culture

Film

Television

Theatre

  • Lawrence was the subject of Terence Rattigan‘s controversial play Ross, which explored Lawrence’s alleged homosexualityRoss ran in London in 1960–61, starring Alec Guinness, who was an admirer of Lawrence, and Gerald Harper as his blackmailer, Dickinson. The play had originally been written as a screenplay, but the planned film was never made. In January 1986 at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth on the opening night of the revival of RossMarc Sinden, who was playing Dickinson (the man who recognised and blackmailed Lawrence, played by Simon Ward), was introduced to the man that the character of ‘Dickinson’ was based on. Sinden asked him why he had blackmailed Ross, and he replied, “Oh, for the money. I was financially embarrassed at the time and needed to get up to London to see a girlfriend. It was never meant to be a big thing, but a good friend of mine was very close to Terence Rattigan and years later, the silly devil told him the story”.[79]
  • Alan Bennett‘s Forty Years On (1968) includes a satire on Lawrence; known as “Tee Hee Lawrence” because of his high-pitched, girlish giggle. “Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince … he hoped to pass unnoticed through London. Alas he was mistaken.” The section concludes with the headmaster confusing him with D. H. Lawrence.
  • The character of Private Napoleon Meek in George Bernard Shaw‘s 1931 play Too True to Be Good was inspired by Lawrence. Meek is depicted as thoroughly conversant with the language and lifestyle of tribals. He repeatedly enlists with the army, quitting whenever offered a promotion. Lawrence attended a performance of the play’s originalWorcestershire run, and reportedly signed autographs for patrons attending the show.[80]
  • T. E. Lawrence’s first year back at Oxford after the Great War to write his Seven Pillars of Wisdom was portrayed by Tom Rooney in a play, The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion, written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte (premiered Toronto 2006). The play explores Lawrence’s political, physical and psychological reactions to war, and his friendship with poet Robert Graves. Urban Stages presented the American premiere in New York City in October 2007; Lawrence was portrayed by actor Dylan Chalfy.
  • Lawrence’s final years are portrayed in a one-man show by Raymond SargentThe Warrior and the Poet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence

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The Dangers of Collectivist Government Dependency vs. Joys and Happiness of Individual Independence — Videos

Posted on October 14, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, Babies, Blogroll, Communications | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Personal responsibility, Government taking over, dependency, & mediocrity

Government should not exist for the purpose of taking over the personal responsibility which we citizens refuse to take. Recall the times which built our countryーwhen citizens served regardless of individual limitations, instead of claiming privileges under the guise of a cornucopia of individual limitations.

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Fraud Food Thieves Using EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) Food Stamp Cards Showing No Limit Robbed Walmart in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana — Videos

Posted on October 14, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, Babies, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Food, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Links, media, Photos, Politics, Press, Public Sector, Security, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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Glenn Beck Unloads Over Food Stamp ‘Glitch’ That Led to Walmart Ransacking: ‘Thieves and Animals’

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Walmart Shelves Cleared During Food Stamp Panic – The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.

Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch.

Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”

Amateur video taken on shoppers’ cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.

Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana

The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.

Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch.

Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”

Amateur video taken on shoppers’ cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.

Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57607332/ebt-benefit-card-glitch-sparks-walmart-shopping-sprees-in-louisiana/

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Argumentative Essay — Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Computers, Education, Language, liberty, Life, People, Philosophy, Photos, Raves, Video, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

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Veterans March To Washington To Take Down Memorial Barricades Move Them To White House To Barricade Obama — H.I.M. Obama Calls Out Blue Shirts — Photos and Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

VETERANS REMOVE BARRICADES FROM MEMORIALS AND BRING THEM TO WH

On Sunday, protesting the barricades placed at memorials around Washington D.C. by the vindictive Obama administration, veterans removed the barricades and proceeded to take them to the White House. Multiple people tweeted photos of the barricades being removed and taken for presidential inspection:

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Kaylee Cantrell, Sherry Cantrell, Michael Cantrell,

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Law enforcement officers force protesters down from the fence in front of the White House gates in Washington

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Former Marine Thomas Sowell

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Barricades

Veterans remove barricades from World War II Memorial and carry them to the White House, October 13, 2013. Set to the music of “The Home of the Brave,” by Gregory Sidak.

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Washington Barricades

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Support the Million Veteran March on Memorials #T4VETS #1MVetMa

Members of the so-called “Million Vet March” descended on Washington, D.C., Sunday to protest the Obama administration’s decision to close the city’s public memorials.

Thousands of demonstrators arrived early in the morning and tore down barricades that had been set up to block people from visiting the popular attractions, WTOP reports.

The group said military personnel and veterans are “being used a political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis,” according to a statement on its website.

The group also said it has no political leaning, but believes that the closing of memorials is “a despicable act of cowardice.”

Mark Levin To Obama: “We’ll March on Washington” if “You Lay One Hand” on those WWII Vets

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SNAP Breaksdown: EBT Food Stamp Debit Card System Down Due To System Failure — System Now Backup — Just A Test — No Riots Yet — Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Computers, Economics, Federal Government, government spending, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Raves, Resources, Systems, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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EBT card system down statewide

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Link EBT) STOPPED FULL CARTS ALL OVER STORES ALL OVER AMERICA, Government SHUT DOWN NWO on the WAY,

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Eat Your Last Meal!!! EBT, WIC,& FOOD STAMPS TO END in exchange for MICROCHIPPING TO BEGIN!!

People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.

At about 9 a.m. Saturday, reports from across the country began pouring in that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores.

At 2 p.m., an EBT customer service representative told CBS Boston that the system was currently down for a computer system upgrade.

Xerox spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer released further details later in the afternoon in an emailed statement.

“While the electronic benefits system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon,”  Wasmer said. “Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available. We appreciate our clients’ patience while we work through this outage as quickly as possible.”

 

Wasmer said the affected states also included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe said the outage is not related to the government shutdown.

Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said fellow shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the EBT system was down due to maintenance, she said.

“That’s a problem. There are a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced,” Colman said. She planned to reach out to local officials. “You don’t want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity,” she said.

Colman said the store manager promised her that he would honor the day’s store flyer discounts next week.

Ohio’s cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio’s cash system has been fixed, but he said that its electronic benefits transfer card system is still down. Johnson said Xerox is notifying retailers to revert to the manual system, meaning customers can spend up to $50 until the system is back online. Recipients of the state’s supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, should call the 800 number on the back of their card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process.

Illinois residents began reporting problems with their cards — known as LINK in that state — on Saturday morning, said Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Smith said that typically when the cards aren’t working retailers can call a backup phone number to find out how much money customers have available in their account. But that information also was unavailable because of the outage, so customers weren’t able to use their cards.

“It really is a bad situation but they are working to get it fixed as soon as possible,” Smith said. “We hope it will be back up later today.”

In Clarksdale, Miss. — one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation — cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn’t afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem.

“It’s been terrible,” Shook said in a phone interview. “It’s just been some angry folks. That’s what a lot of folks depend on.”

Mississippi Department of Human Services director Rickey Berry confirmed that Xerox, the state’s EBT vendor, had computer problems. He said he had been told by midafternoon that the problems were being fixed.

“I know there are a lot of mad people,” Berry said.

Sheree Powell, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, started receiving calls around 11:30 a.m. about problems with the state’s card systems. More than 600,000 Oklahomans receive SNAP benefits, and money is dispersed to the cards on the first, fifth and 10th days of every month, so the disruption came at what is typically a high-use time for the cards.

Oklahoma also runs a separate debit card system for other state benefits like unemployment payments. Those cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash. Powell said Xerox administers both the EBT and debit card systems, and they both were down initially.

Like Ohio’s Johnson, Powell said that Oklahoma’s cash debit card system has since been restored, but the EBT cards for the SNAP program were still down. Powell said Oklahoma’s Xerox representative told them that the problems stemmed from a power failure at adata center, and power had been restored quickly.

“It just takes a while to reboot these systems,” she said, adding that she did not know where the data center was located.

The federal EBT website was unavailable due to the government shutdown.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/10/12/computer-upgrade-blamed-for-nationwide-ebt-system-shutdown-on-saturday/

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Obama Clueless About Redskins — Time for Blacks To Get Off The White Liberal Democratic PC Plantation — Washington Redskins — Videos

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Football, government, government spending, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Raves, Sports, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Obama Rejects Republican Offer To Reopen the Federal Government For 6 Months and Suspend and Raise The Debt Ceiling For 6 Weeks– Videos

Posted on October 12, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

Government shutdown, debt ceiling: Who will blink first?

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President Obama used his weekly radio address to reject the latest offer from House Republicans to end the fiscal stalemate. The outline of their proposal was released Friday and would have reopened government through December and lifted the debt ceiling for six weeks.

“It wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season,” Obama said in his address.

“Because damage to America’s sterling credit rating wouldn’t just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money,” Obama continued. “Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home,”

On Friday, Senate Republicans floated the outlines of their own plan to end the standoff. Their proposal would lift the debt ceiling through the end of January and reopen the government for six months. The dueling proposals put Obama in the enviable position of choosing between his opponents. He can reject one proposal and still look Presidential by negotiating on a competing offer. Obama said Friday he would look for the “best deal.”

On Saturday, the House Republicans are meeting to finalize the details of the plan they released Friday. Obama’s rejection of even the outlines of that plan make the next moves by the House uncertain. The Senate, meanwhile, moves back to center-stage of the debate with a vote Saturday afternoon on a one-year increase in the debt ceiling.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/12/Obama-Rejects-Latest-House-GOP-Offer

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The Authoritarians vs. Libertarians — Videos

Posted on October 12, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Psychology, Raves, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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IRS Scandal — Sarah Hall Ingram — Gave Confidential Information To White House? — Videos

Posted on October 11, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Inflation, Language, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Security, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

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IRS Sarah Hall Ingram chats with Rep Issa before Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington

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Polls Say Throw All The BIGS — Big Interventionist Government Statists — Out Including Obama, Democrats and Republican BIGS — 60% of Americans Say Third Party Is Needed in Gallup Poll! — Videos

Posted on October 11, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, People, Photos, Politics, Regulations, Security, Tax Policy, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Cartoon - Tea Party

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“The AP-GfK poll finds few people approve of the way the president is handling most major issues and most people say he’s not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.”

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JOB FOCUS, OBAMACARTOON

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Gallup: 60% of Americans say third party needed

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In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High

Twenty-six percent believe Democratic and Republican parties do adequate job

by Jeffrey M. Jones

This article is part of an ongoing series analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans’ views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general.

PRINCETON, NJ — Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.

gallup_poll_chart

The results are consistent with Gallup’s finding of more negative opinions of both parties since the shutdown began, including a new low favorable rating for the Republican Party, and Americans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the way the nation is being governed.

The prior highs in perceived need for a third party came in August 2010, shortly before that year’s midterm elections, when Americans were dissatisfied with government and the Tea Party movement was emerging as a political force; and in 2007, when the newly elected Democratic congressional majority was clashing with then-President George W. Bush.

A majority of Americans have typically favored a third party in response to this question. Notably, support has dropped below the majority level in the last two presidential election years in which Gallup asked the question,2012 and 2008. Support for a third party was lowest in 2003, the first year Gallup asked the question. That year, 40% thought the U.S. needed a third party, while 56% believed the Republicans and Democrats were doing an adequate job.

Republicans, Democrats Equally Likely to See Need for Third Party

Republicans (52%) and Democrats (49%) are similar in their perceptions that a third party is needed. In fact, this marks the first time that a majority of either party’s supporters have said a third party is needed.

support_third_party

As would be expected, a majority of independents — those who profess no initial allegiance to either party — have always said the U.S. needs a third party. Seventy-one percent currently hold that view, which has been exceeded twice before, in 2007 and 2010.

Implications

Given the inability of the Republican and Democratic parties to agree on the most basic of government functions — passing an annual budget to pay for federal programs — it is perhaps not surprising that the percentage of Americans who believe a third party is needed has never been higher.

However, the desire for a third party is not sufficient to ensure there will be one. Structural factors in the U.S. election system and the parties’ own abilities to adapt to changing public preferences have helped the Republican and Democratic parties to remain the dominant parties in U.S. government for more than 150 years. Third parties that have emerged to challenge their dominance have not been able to sustain any degree of electoral success.

Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 3-6, 2013, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline and cell telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/165392/perceived-need-third-party-reaches-new-high.aspx

Poll: Americans find little to like in Washington

By NEDRA PICKLER and JENNIFER AGIESTA

Americans are finding little they like about President Barack Obama or either political party, according to a new poll that suggests the possibility of a “throw the bums out” mentality in next year’s midterm elections.

The AP-GfK poll finds few people approve of the way the president is handling most major issues and most people say he’s not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.

In the midst of the government shutdown and Washington gridlock, the president is faring much better than his party, with large majorities of those surveyed finding little positive to say about Democrats. The negatives are even higher for the Republicans across the board, with 4 out of 5 people describing the GOP as unlikeable and dishonest and not compassionate, refreshing, inspiring or innovative.

Negativity historically hurts the party in power – particularly when it occurs in the second term of a presidency – but this round seems to be hitting everyone. More people now say they see bigger differences between the two parties than before Obama was elected, yet few like what either side is offering. A big unknown: possible fallout from the unresolved budget battle in Washington.

The numbers offer warning signs for every incumbent lawmaker, and if these angry sentiments stretch into next year, the 2014 elections could feel much like the 2006 and 2010 midterms when being affiliated with Washington was considered toxic by many voters. In 2006, voters booted Republicans from power in the House and Senate, and in 2010, they fired Democrats who had been controlling the House.

“There needs to be a major change,” said Pam Morrison, 56, of Lincoln, Neb., among those who were surveyed. “I’m anxious for the next election to see what kind of new blood we can get.”

Morrison describes herself as a conservative Republican and said she is very concerned about how her adult children are going to afford insurance under Obama’s health care law. She places most of the blame for the shutdown on the president, but she also disapproves of the job Congress is doing. “I don’t think they’re working together,” Morrison said.

“Congress needs to take a look at their salaries, they need to take a cut to their salaries and they need to feel some of the pain the American people are feeling,” said Morrison, who is married to a government worker who she said has been deemed essential and is still on the job.

People across the political spectrum voiced disappointment.

Suzanne Orme, a 74-year-old retiree and self-described liberal who lives in California’s Silicon Valley, says the shutdown is more the Republican Party’s fault. “The Republicans seem to be a bunch of morons who aren’t going to give in for anything. I just don’t get it with them. They are just crazy,” she said.

But she also said she strongly disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job, and doesn’t find him likable, decisive, strong, honest, compassionate, refreshing, ethical, inspiring or reasonable. The only positive attribute she gave him was innovative.

“It sounds like he’s kind of weak. He says one thing and does another,” Orme said after taking the survey. For example, she said Obama hasn’t made good on his promise to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and changed his position on whether people should be penalized for failing to get health insurance.

“I voted for him, and he’s turned out to be a big disappointment,” she said. “I mean, what’s the alternative?” Orme said it just seems to her that Washington is run by lobbyists and consumed by financial greed.

A bad sign for Democrats is that Obama has bled support among independents – 60 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, while only 16 percent approve. As he began his second term in January, independents tilted positive, 48 percent approved and 39 percent disapproved.

Neither party can win without the support of independents, with only about a third of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as Democrats and about a quarter as Republicans.

Obama has held onto support from Carol Cox, a 59-year-old independent from Hartville, Ohio, who says she feels the president helps people in need. She is happy to see his health care law that offers coverage to the uninsured and to people with pre-existing conditions, although she thinks the rollout could have been better. “I think he’s doing an OK job,” she said of the president.

But she is not happy with either party in Congress. She said the shutdown is affecting her family’s investments and she’s concerned about the future of Social Security. “I’m really angry and frustrated. I can’t believe how mad I am about this.”

As for next year’s congressional election, she said, “I would love to see just a total turnover.”

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Oct. 3-7, 2013, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based online panel. It involved online interviews with 1,227 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

The survey was designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. Those who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to get online at no cost.

News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20131011/DA9BQJ1G0.html

 

NBC/WSJ poll: 60 percent say fire every member of Congress

By Domenico Montanaro, Deputy Political Editor, NBC News

Throw the bums out.

That’s the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.

The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll, registered in the wake of the government shutdown and threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time in history. If the nation’s debt limit is not increased one week from now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns that the entire global economy could be in peril.

“We continue to use this number as a way to sort of understand how much revulsion there is,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the poll with Republican Bill McInturff. “We now have a new high-water mark.”

Read the full poll here (.pdf)

The numbers reflect a broader trend over the last few years. Americans have traditionally said that while they might not like Congress, they usually like their own representatives. But that sentiment appears to have shifted.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks in the White House driveway following a meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama.

The throw-them-all-out attitude has slowly taken hold over the last three years, coinciding with two things – the rise of the Tea Party caucus in the House and the debt ceiling fight of 2011.

In October 2010, a majority of Americans – 50 percent to 47 percent – said they would not fire all congressional members. But by August 2011, 54 percent said they would toss every lawmaker from office; in January 2012, 56 percent said that; and just three months ago, in July, it was 57 percent.

Frustration was evident among poll respondents across the ideological spectrum.

“You look at 800,000 people being out of work merely because Congress can’t come to an agreement to do their job, which we sent them there to do,” said a respondent from Mississippi, a strong Democrat. “I am prayerful for a revolution.”

The sentiment isn’t limited to Democrats. One Ohio woman, who considers herself a strong Republican, said her husband is a federal worker and they are worried about paying the bills.

“We will not get a paycheck,” she said. “It is federal pay and mortgage is due. Who is going to pay that — Obama or Congress who is still getting paid?”

Hart points out that the seeds are there to give rise to independent or third-party candidates.

According to Hart, “Somewhere, someone’s going to pick up and run with the ‘throw them all out’” banner.

The number of Americans who say they want to fire everyone is fairly consistent among most groups – at around 60 percent – but it spikes among rural voters (70 percent), white independents (70 percent) and those in Republican-held congressional districts (67 percent). Just 52 percent of respondents in Democratic-held districts would vote to fire every lawmaker on Capitol Hill.

In another sign of dissatisfaction with the state of politics, 47 percent of Americans said they do not strongly identify with either party.

The numbers in this poll also reflect a broader anger and pessimism among Americans, especially when it comes to the economy.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sat down with Tina Brown at The Daily Beat Annual Hero Summit to talk debt ceiling, shut down, and what’s going on in Washington D.C.

A record-low 14 percent think the country is headed in the right direction, down from 30 percent last month. That’s the biggest single-month drop in the poll since the shutdown of 1990. And a whopping 78 percent think the country is on the wrong track. Just 17 percent think the economy will improve in the next year, while 42 percent think it will worsen.

Americans’ confidence in the economy has nose-dived, they say, because of President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans’ negotiations – or lack thereof – on the budget. Almost two in three – 63 percent – say it makes them less confident that the economy will get better.

“What these numbers tell us is that the already-shaken public – this kicked the stool out from under them,” Bill McInturff said. “We’re seeing numbers that are associated with historic lows in public confidence.”

Almost two-thirds – 65 percent – also say the government shutdown is having quite a bit or a great deal of harm on the U.S. economy.

“That linkage between these actions in Washington and economic confidence and what that means for trying to stabilize our economy, I think at a big-picture level [shows] how destabilizing” the standoff has been for the economy.

Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who helped conduct the poll with Hart, added that Americans are paying attention to this fight and want it resolved before the debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17.

“This isn’t the calm before the storm,” Yang said. “This is the storm before the storm.”

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/10/20903531-nbcwsj-poll-60-percent-say-fire-every-member-of-congress?lite

 

Republicans Should Fight or Give Up

There is nothing in the middle.

By Jay Cost Staff Writer

The findings of the newly released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll are simply brutal for congressional Republicans. Not only are they getting the lion’s share of the blame for the government shutdown, but President Obama’s numbers have actually improved. Worse, Obamacare’s numbers are improving, as well.

That poll caused quite a sensation on Twitter last night, and while it is worse for Republicans than recent readings from the Associated Press’s poll, NBC News/Wall Street Journal has a long track record of solid readings. This is not a result to be taken lightly.

Moreover, it makes empirical sense considering the message coming from congressional Republicans in the last week—or perhaps better put the lack of a message. Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post aptly labeled this the “Seinfeld Shutdown,” a shutdown about nothing. That is not how it was supposed to be, of course. It was supposed to be a shutdown about Obamacare, but Republican leaders were quickly sidetracked by low-hanging fruit like the closure of the National Mall, Harry Reid’s gaffes, and Obama’s refusal to negotiate. Tactically, this might have made sense, but strategically it was a terrible move. If the shutdown was supposed to be about Obamacare, then that should have been the only topic Republicans discussed.

Moreover, insofar as Republican leaders have discussed Obamacare, they have done so ineptly, and have repeated Mitt Romney’s grievous mistakes from 2012. Looking at the topline numbers on Obamacare, we can see it is very unpopular, but dig a little deeper and only about 30 to 40 percent of people believe that the law will make them worse off. This is a significant failure in political communication by the Republican party. Government agencies like the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have warned since 2010—in their dry, technocratic rhetoric—that Obamacare was going to harm middle class families. For weeks now stories have been trickling out about people receiving letters from their insurers notifying them that their rates are being doubled. For over a year we have similarly heard stories about hiring freezes or hours being cut because of Obamacare. And yet despite all this hard data, the public still has not connected the dots.

The blame belongs not to the Tea Party, not to the Republican grassroots, not to the back-benchers in the House, but to the party’s leaders, the ones who have the microphones stuck in their faces every day. They, and only they, have the power to make the case to the American people that Obamacare is such a danger to them that it needs to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. Mitt Romney should have, but did not, get on the television in late October 2012 to warn people that a vote for Obama was a vote to double their premiums, make it harder for grandma to get hospital care, and make it harder for you to make your ends meet because of job cutbacks. Similarly, Republicans should have, but did not, acknowledge that while the shutdown was harming certain sectors of the country, it was far less damaging then the havoc Obamacare is set to wreak on the people.

And so it is that people would rather have the government reopened (largely a symbolic gesture as this shutdown has left vast swaths of the country unaffected) than have Obamacare dismantled (something that will prevent material harm done to millions of middle class people).

Obamacare is not going to defeat itself. If it is going to be taken down, it is up to the Republican party to formulate a coalition of people who have been or will be made worse off because of it. Those people are out there, but Republicans have failed to unite and mobilize them under the party’s banner. So long as they continue to fail on this front, Obamacare will remain on the books. It has the benefit of our system’s status quo bias, and Democrats have an 80-year track record of capturing interests through the distribution of benefits, transforming them into party clients, and delivering them at the ballot box.

Republican leaders tend to come from one of two camps. The first is the go-along-to-get-along camp that is happy merely to manage the never-ending growth of government. The second wants to cut back on the size of government, but couches their rhetoric in the hazy, forgotten past of the country’s founding; their arguments against the growth of government are always framed in terms of the Constitution, the rights of man, or other abstract concepts that have little impact on the lives of average American.

Ronald Reagan was the only political leader since the New Deal to argue effectively that government should be reduced because it is bad for people in a concrete sense. Yes, he talked about the Founding, and yes he was willing to compromise where it counted. But in his Inaugural Address he said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” For the next quarter century, American liberalism was on the run, so effective was Reagan’s framing of the debate.

Republicans who wonder why they have generally failed to win national electoral victories since Reagan should ponder his statement, and how they have failed to expand upon it. Poll after poll indicates that today it is a popular position. People think government is harming them. If Republicans want to win, not just electoral victories, but policy victories, they need to follow the Gipper and explain in real terms how government is harming average Americans and how they will fix those harms. They have failed to do that in general over the last decade, and they have failed to do that in particular with Obamacare. It is a big reason why they only control the House and why Obamacare is still on the books.

And if congressional Republicans are not prepared to begin making that case loud and clear right now, the sooner they capitulate the better. Their only hope of victory in this fight is to convince the public that keeping Obamacare is worse than shutting down the government. If they are not prepared to make that case, then they have no hope of winning.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/republicans-should-fight-or-give_762423.html

 

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Glenn Beck Reveals Story of GOP Coup of Freedoms Works — Time For The Independent Party — Videos

Posted on October 10, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Demographics, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

 

My political philosophy has always been classical liberal or what is called in America libertarian.

I consider myself part of the conservative movement as well as the Tea Party movement.

Today to get elected libertarians must compete against the Democratic Party, the media and the Republican establishment. All three are controlled and lead by progressives or big government interventionist statists.

Stop wasting time trying to reform the Republican Party.

Forget about the progressive controlled Republican Party.

Time for another political party, call it the Independent Party!

 

 

Glenn Beck Reveals a Story He Hasn’t Been Able to Share for Over a Year – GOP ‘COUP’ STORY

Published on Oct 9, 2013

10/9/13 – Glenn Beck shared a story with viewers on Wednesday that he’s been keeping close to the vest since before the 2012 election, explaining that he’s been waiting for the right time to say what exactly happened, and what it means for the country. It all began, Beck said, in what he believes was late August when he was getting ready to do a number of events with FreedomWorks.

“It’s about 4:00 in the afternoon and I get a call from the president of FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe, and I can hear the distress in his voice,” Beck said. “[Kibbe said], ‘Glenn, I’ve just been escorted out of my office by armed guards and told not to come back.'”

Kibbe added that he wasn’t the only one forcefully escorted out, and that they had been hijacked, so to speak, by the “old guard” GOP establishment.

“There was a coup during the election, and it was powerful,” Beck said. “They were trying to get rid of the libertarian, Tea Party-minded power players, and first and foremost on that hit list was Matt Kibbe and his allies. They didn’t like the fact that FreedomWorks was cleaning house in the GOP…that they were targeting people like Orrin Hatch. It didn’t sit well with the Karl Roves of the GOP world…” Beck said that shortly thereafter he got a call from the man inside FreedomWorks who had “ordered the hit,” who explained how the whole situation was “really good” because now he was the face of FreedomWorks and people trust him.

“His face never saw the light of day on my program,” Beck said. “I hung up the phone with him, the next day I called board members of FreedomWorks…and we said we support the libertarian voice, and if you allow this coup to sit, we’re done and we’ll expose it.” “It wasn’t even a week later the board took a vote and decided to reinstate Matt Kibbe as president,” Beck said. “Put in the half of the staff — all the libertarians that had been escorted out — reinstated all of them, and then escorted the leader of this coup and his cronies out the door for good.”

Beck spoke about the ramifications of the “coup” for the 2012 election, and said now is the right time to share the story because “the exact same thing — the same people really — are doing this now in the GOP.”

“Anyone in Congress or the Senate who associates with FreedomWorks, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Tea Party, anybody, anybody is being targeted by the same class of establishment Republican progressives,” Beck said. “They do not like it when you organize. They do not like it when you choose the candidates that you actually want.”

Beck said it’s the same reason why lawmakers are not truly pursuing the IRS’ targeting of small government groups, because progressives on both sides “want that tool in place…to come after people like you.”

“This has never been about left and right,” Beck said. “This is about freedom, freedom, and tyranny.”

Beck has said multiple times that he has no desire to see a third party, and reminded how the Republican Party began.

“Before the GOP was in existence, it was a two party system — the Democrats and the Whigs,” Beck said, noting that many Whigs and a fair number of Democrats were frustrated that both parties were offering much of the same.

“Charles Sumner was one of the most hated people by the Whigs and the Democrats…so much that he was literally beaten within an inch of his life on the House floor because no one stepped in to stop it,” Beck continued. “Within four years, Sumner wasn’t the most hated anymore — he was the most beloved man in the Republican Party, and the Whigs were extinct. I’m telling you that’s what’s coming if we stand.” Beck said men like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul may be the “Charles Sumner” of today, and he has no doubt that someday soon they will be “the most beloved members of the new Republican Party…”

 

Milton Friedman: The Future of Freedom

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Jon Stewart’s 19 Tough Questions for Libertarians!

There Will Be No Economic Recovery. Prepare Yourself Accordingly

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Political Junkies With SAD (Spending Addiction Disorder) Overdose — Time To Balance The Budget! — Short-Term Suspension of the Debt Ceiling for Six Weeks Until Nov. 22, 2013 — Videos

Posted on October 10, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Political Junkies With SAD (Spending Addiction Disorder) Overdose

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Staff writer

US Debt2 revision

 

The ruling elite in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, are addicts with a bad habit.

The ruling elite share many of the common addictions of the American people to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, gambling, games, pornography, television, sex and surfing the Web.

Yet the ruling elite have a unique habit that the American people can no longer pay for or support. The name of this habit is SAD — Spending Addiction Disorder.

The primary symptoms of SAD are massive annual federal government budget deficits, raising the national debt ceiling and blaming others for their addiction problem.

Like most habits that turn into addictions, the ruling elite can no longer control themselves. They are hooked on spending other people’s money.

How bad is the SAD habit? For the past five fiscal years the federal government forced the American people to support their habit by collecting more than $12 trillion in taxes. However, the ruling elite’s habit is much worse. Besides the $12 trillion in taxes, the federal government spent in excess of $6 trillion by running annual budget deficits averaging more than $1.2 trillion per year.

This required the ruling elite to order the Department of the Treasury to issue more new Treasury debt securities in the form of Treasury bills, notes and bonds to finance these deficits that exceeded $6 trillion. As a result the total gross national debt now exceeds $17 trillion.

To put these amounts in perspective, the total U.S. real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2013 is estimated to be about $16 trillion.

President Barack Obama and Congress fear the American people will finally wake up and demand they kick their SAD habit and live within the means of the American people. This would require real cuts in the fiscal year 2014 federal budget spending with the aim of balancing the budget within three or four years.

The ruling elite SAD junkies are lashing out and demonizing American taxpayers who support their habit by calling them anarchists, arsonists, extremists, hostage-takers, kidnappers, terrorists or worse, Tea Party Republicans.

Obama held a press conference on Oct. 8 and warned that if the national debt ceiling is not raised by Oct. 17, the U.S. could default on its national debt and put the U.S. into another recession. Political junkies with the SAD habit have been known to lie in order to get another fix for their habit. On average the American people are currently paying the ruling elite about $225 billion each month in taxes which would more than cover the $35 billion monthly interest paid on Treasury debt, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) report. The last thing the U.S. government will do is default on the national debt by not paying the interest when due.

 

Mandatory spending makes up about 66 percent of all government spending and is required to be paid under existing authorization laws. Currently the federal government collects enough taxes to pay for mandatory spending including interest on the national debt, entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), and income support programs (unemployment compensation, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Supplemental Income for the blind and disabled, earned income and child tax credits).

Discretionary spending makes up about 33 percent of government spending and includes spending for all federal departments, agencies and programs. Discretionary spending must be authorized each fiscal year and funded through appropriation bills.

The reason the political junkies with the SAD habit are panicking is they need to raise the national debt ceiling imposed by Congress by an additional $1 trillion above the existing national debt of $17 trillion to pay for discretionary spending for fiscal year 2014.  In order to get another debt raising fix, Congress must raise the debt ceiling once again.

Cutting federal government spending to balance the budget over a period of three or four years is never an option for the ruling elite junkies hooked with SAD. More and more government spending and taxes is the default solution for SAD political junkies.

The time has come for the American people to put the political junkies hooked on SAD in a rehab job in the private sector. The American people need to elect representatives, senators and a president that are fiscally responsible stewards of the general welfare and insist that all federal government budgets be balanced.

Hatch Statement at Finance Committee Hearing with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

Hatch Questions Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at Finance Committee Hearing on the Debt Ceiling

Lew: US Economy Facing ‘Irrevocable Damage’

John Boehner Says GOP Will Require Obama to Cut Up the Credit Cards

Boehner offers Obama short-term debt extension, White House says “encouraging”

Obama, Boehner spar over shutdown

US shutdown: Boehner, Republicans offer debt ceiling increase (recorded live feed)

John Boehner Announces Short Term Debt Deal, Claims GOP Is Meeting Obama ‘Halfway’

John Boehner ‘I’m Not Drawing Any Lines in the Sand’ 10 8 13

 

GOP offers short-term debt-limit increase, but wants negotiations before ending shutdown

By  and ,

House Republican leaders said Thursday they will offer a temporary increase in the federal debt ceiling in exchange for negotiations with President Obama on longer-term “pressing problems,” but they stopped short of agreeing to end a government shutdown now in its 10th day.

In a news briefing following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to present a plan to raise the debt limit for six weeks, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move a temporary increase in the debt ceiling.” He described the offer, to be presented to Obama in a White House meeting with House Republicans on Thursday afternoon, as a “good-faith effort on our part to move halfway to what he’s demanded in order to have these conversations begin.”

Obama is “happy” that House Republicans agree a federal debt default is not an option, but he would prefer a longer extension of the debt limit, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Boehner did not immediately provide specifics of the plan. But the speaker made clear that House Republicans are not agreeing to Obama’s demand that they pass legislation to fund the government with no partisan strings attached, thereby ending the first government shutdown in 17 years.

[See the latest updates on the shutdown.]

Asked about the shutdown, Boehner said, “That’s a conversation we’re going to have with the president today.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), speaking to reporters after a White House meeting between Obama and Senate Democrats, said the shutdown must end and the debt ceiling must be raised ahead of negotiations with the Republicans, who he complained keep changing their demands.

“This is a situation where they do not know what they want,” Reid said. His message to the GOP: “Open the government. Pay our bills. We’ll negotiate with you about anything.” Reid also said that Senate Democrats would “look at anything [House Republicans] send us,” but when asked about negotiating with them before reopening the government, he replied: “Not going to happen.”

The GOP plan would suspend the debt limit until Nov. 22, the Friday before Thanksgiving, while also forbidding Treasury Secretary Jack Lew from using “extraordinary measures” that his department has used in recent years to extend his borrowing authority for weeks after the ceiling is reached, according to a senior GOP aide who was in the room. This creates a hard “X date,” as financial analysts call the issue, leaving no wiggle room beyond that day.

The House Republicans essentially are offering a “clean” debt-limit increase in exchange for negotiations over reopening the government, aides said. The government shutdown would not end until Obama agreed to “structural reforms” to the tax code and federal health programs.

The House GOP leadership would like to hold a vote Thursday night on the plan, provided that Obama accepts it in the meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. But such a vote is more likely Friday, aides said.

The Senate is currently on track to vote Saturday on a Democratic proposal for a clean debt-limit hike, but that might be moved up to Friday.

The Republican plan for a six-week increase in the debt limit, without conservative strings attached, was aimed chiefly at calming jittery financial markets, according to senior GOP advisers.

Financial markets soared earlier Thursday on the first sign of optimistic news out of Washington in almost a month, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 169 points in the first 15 minutes of trading. The rally continued when Boehner confirmed the plan at an 11 a.m. press briefing, and by 1:30 p.m. the Dow was up more than 225 points.

The plan was presented to the House GOP caucus Thursday morning after Lew warned lawmakers that he would be unable to guarantee payments to any group — whether Social Security recipients or U.S. bondholders — unless Congress raises the federal debt ceiling.

If the GOP plan goes over well with rank-and-file Republicans, Boehner could put the legislation on the floor for a vote late Thursday, aides said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) described the plan at the news briefing as “a temporary extension of the debt ceiling in exchange for a real commitment by the president and the Senate majority leader to sit down and talk about the pressing problems” facing the country. Rep. Kevin McCarty (R-Calif.), the House majority whip, characterized these problems as “drivers” of increasing federal debt.

Obama has indicated he could support a short-term debt-limit hike, but he has also demanded that Republicans allow the government to reopen before he would negotiate with the GOP.

If the Republicans want to negotiate, they should “reopen the government, extend the debt ceiling,” Obama said last week. “If they can’t do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place.”

Carney, the White House spokesman, told reporters Thursday afternoon: “The president is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House, that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option.” However, Obama “believes it would be far better . . . to raise the debt ceiling for an extended period of time,” as Senate Democrats are proposing.

“It would be far better for the economy if we stopped this episodic brinksmanship and . . . mothballed the nuclear weapon here, which is the threat of default, for a longer duration,” Carney said. “But it is certainly at least an encouraging sign that . . . they are not listening to the debt-limit and default deniers.” If Republicans now recognize that default cannot be permitted, he added, “why keep the nuclear weapon in your back pocket?”

[Members of Congress are collecting pay during the shutdown.]

The first reactions from Republican House members appeared generally positive. But several insisted they would back the measure only with a commitment from the president to open negotiations over the next debt-ceiling hike.

“All we’re doing is saying, if the president hasn’t come towards us, we’ll just move the deadline out and offer it again,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). “We haven’t changed our position. We’ve just changed the timeline.”

Fleming rejected the idea that the proposal represents a concession from Republicans. “Not really, if we get a concession from the president, to sit down and negotiate. If he doesn’t agree to that, I won’t agree to the debt ceiling.”

Meanwhile, several of the House’s most conservative members withheld comment about the proposal. “I’m not very enthusiastic,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said without elaborating.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was noncommittal when asked about the plan and said his support depends on what happens in the meeting with the president Thursday.

“Some of this involves a conversation with the president,” Scalise said. “There’s nothing unilateral that can be done. It’s going to involve having the president finally put some things on the table of his own.”

Heritage Action for America, a conservative advocacy group influential with tea party Republicans, said Thursday that while it remains committed to fighting Obama’s health-care law and opposes “clean debt ceiling increases,” it wants to give House GOP leaders “the flexibility they need to refocus the debate on Obamacare.” Therefore, the group said, it will not include votes in favor of the proposal in its rankings of lawmakers’ conservatism.

The plan would meet Obama’s demand for an increase in Treasury’s borrowing authority without any legislative riders. But it would set the stage for tough negotiations, possibly lasting until Thanksgiving, over bigger fiscal matters, since the tentative plan calls for only a six-week increase of the debt limit.

Advisers cautioned that Boehner’s often unruly caucus, which has repeatedly rejected leadership initiatives in the past, needs to sign off on the plan before it can advance.

Reacting to the GOP proposal, a White House official said: “It is better for economic certainty for Congress to take the threat of default off the table for as long as possible, which is why we support the Senate Democrats’ efforts to raise the debt limit for a year with no extraneous political strings attached.”

Obama also wants House Republicans to allow a vote on the “clean” government funding bill that has been passed by the Senate, the official said. “Once Republicans in Congress act to remove the threat of default and end this harmful government shutdown, the president will be willing to negotiate on a broader budget agreement,” the official added. “While we are willing to look at any proposal Congress puts forward to end these manufactured crises, we will not allow a faction of the Republicans in the House to hold the economy hostage to its extraneous and extreme political demands. Congress needs to pass a clean debt-limit increase and a funding bill to reopen the government.”

Financial experts much prefer a longer-term extension of the debt ceiling, but even a brief extension would ease some of the turmoil that has been brewing on Wall Street. By the time markets closed Monday afternoon, the Dow had dropped 900 points in 14 trading days, losing almost 6 percent of its value.

Just three weeks ago, Boehner’s leadership team presented a plan to lift the debt ceiling accompanied by a one-year delay of Obama’s health-care law and a litany of other conservative domestic policy demands.

With Washington in gridlock and a key deadline in the debt-limit debate just one week away, Lew told the Senate Finance Committee Thursday morning that he would do all he can to minimize the pain of breaching the $16.7 trillion debt limit. But Lew also told the senators that in an unprecedented situation in which he would be relying entirely on the erratic flow of incoming revenue, the economy would suffer and there would not even be certainty that the government could make all interest and principal payments.

“No credible economist or business leader thinks that defaulting is good for job creation or economic growth,” Lew said. “If Congress fails to meet its responsibility, it could be deeply damaging to the financial markets, the ongoing economic recovery, and the jobs and savings of millions of Americans.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a key conservative with ties to leadership and more junior tea party-backed colleagues, said Thursday morning that he and his colleagues “potentially” could support the new GOP debt-ceiling plan.

“We think there needs to be some movement in dealing with the overall problem,” he said. “It’d be nice to get some dollar-to-dollar cuts there.”

Asked whether he could support a short-term increase without related cuts, Jordan said he expected that question would be the primary topic of conversation among House Republicans on Thursday.

Amid growing anxiety about a debt default, Republicans in the House and the Senate floated ideas Wednesday for raising the debt limit — if only for a short time — in hopes of forcing Obama to the negotiating table.

One of the most significant ideas was brewing in the House, where Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) briefed conservatives on a plan to raise the debt limit for six weeks, which would give party leaders time to negotiate a broad agreement to overhaul the tax code and trim federal health-care and retirement spending.

The plan, which Ryan sketched in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece Wednesday, was short on details. And it called for spending cuts of roughly $200 billion to cover the cost of raising the debt limit even in the near term — although senior GOP advisers said late Wednesday that they were also considering an increase with no strings attached.

Lew’s appearance is the first public confrontation between a senior administration official and Republicans since the fiscal showdown began last month. The meeting comes as some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are questioning whether the administration has been too alarmist about the threat of going past an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans have cited reports by credit-rating firms saying that the United States would not technically default unless it fails to make interest payments on its debt — which they regard as unlikely.

Echoing points made by Republican presidents and officials in prior administrations, Lew is tried to counter that argument by highlighting the broad risks of leaving the government with no borrowing authority.

“Certain members of the House and Senate believe that it is possible to protect our economy by simply paying only the interest on our debts, while stopping or delaying payments on a number of our other legal commitments,” Lew said. “The United States should not be put in a position of making such perilous choices for our economy and our citizens. There is no way of knowing the irrevocable damage such an approach would have on our economy and financial markets.”

For example, officials say, Lew pointed out that the Treasury routinely refinances about $100 billion in debt every week, paying back principal and taking on new debt. He noted that should investors back away from Treasury debt, it could make refinancing difficult and throw the country’s financial markets into even greater chaos.

Lew said the administration will face a series of difficult decisions even if Treasury can avoid what the credit-rating firms consider a default. In a scenario where federal spending will far exceed revenue, he said, the administration would have only imperfect options in deciding whom to pay. Officials say Lew will try to push Republicans to decide whom they wouldn’t pay — Social Security recipients or veterans.

“We are relying on investors from all over the world to continue to hold U.S. bonds . . .,” Lew said. “If U.S. bondholders decided that they wanted to be repaid rather than continuing to roll-over their Treasury investments, we could unexpectedly dissipate our entire cash balance.”

A Treasury official said Wednesday night that Obama would have to make the final decision in such a scenario.

Lew confronted a Senate Finance Committee stocked with Republicans who have been skeptical about the administration’s claims that breaching the debt limit would be catastrophic.

Among the committee’s members is Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), who has championed the notion that the Treasury Department could avoid chaos in financial markets by continuing to make interest payments to investors.

The senior Republican on the panel, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), has also expressed doubts about the risk of a debt-ceiling breach. But on Wednesday, Hatch acknowledged that blowing the Oct. 17 deadline would “scare the hell out of people.” And while Treasury might be able to pay interest on the debt, Hatch said, “the real question is whether it’s going to tank the stock market.”

Obama, when he meets Thursday with House GOP leaders, is planning to emphasize his refusal to “pay ransom” to avoid default and reopen the government. Ryan, nonetheless, held out hope that the “meeting at the White House will allow us to work together and find common ground.”

Thursday’s meeting is the second in a series the White House announced Wednesday aimed at breaking the impasse, reopening the government and raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit. Obama met first with House Democrats late Wednesday and plans to meet with each party in the Senate in the coming days, starting with a meeting with the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday.

Obama invited the entire 233-member GOP House conference to join him at the White House, but Republicans decided to send only an 18-member group comprising top leaders and key committee chairmen, including Ryan, Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (Ky.) and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.).

“Nine days into a government shutdown and a week away from breaching the debt ceiling, a meeting is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, said in a statement. “That’s why the House Republican Conference will instead be represented by a smaller group of negotiators.”

The White House said Obama is “disappointed” by Boehner’s decision to limit Republican attendance and emphasized that Obama will not be negotiating.

“The president thought it was important to talk directly with the members who forced this economic crisis on the country about how the shutdown and a failure to pay the country’s bills could devastate the economy,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Obama “will talk to anyone anytime . . . but will not pay the Republicans ransom for doing their job,” Carney said. “If the Republicans want to have a real discussion, they should open the government and take the threat of default off the table.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, circulated a memo from one of the nation’s leading credit-rating agencies that seemed to play down the threat of default. In the memo, Moody’s Investors Service said the Treasury Department is likely to continue paying interest on the government’s debt even if Congress refuses to lift the limit on borrowing, preserving the nation’s sterling AAA credit rating.

“We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” said the Oct. 7 memo. “The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury’s extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default.”

The memo offered a starkly different view of the consequences of breaching the debt limit than is held by the White House, many policymakers and other financial analysts. Over the weekend, economists at Goldman Sachs said the economy would take a devastating hit even if Treasury kept making payments on the debt, because the pullback in federal spending would amount to roughly $175 billion, or 4.2 percentage points of gross domestic product.

Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond company, agreed that the administration could take steps to contain the worst damage. But, he said, there would still be severe consequences.

“It would avoid a series of major and cascading disruptions to the functioning of a financial market that is at the heart of the core of the global financial system,” he said. “Having said that, equities and other risk assets would still likely sell off hard.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) noted that Moody’s analysis is geared toward the well-being of its own investors, not average Americans. “When they say their clients will be okay, they’re not talking about people on Society Security, Medicare or our troops in the field. Moody’s doesn’t give a damn about any of those people.”

William Branigin, Rosalind S. Helderman and Scott Wilson contributed to this report.

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Jon Stewart Grills Secretary Kathleen Sebelius On Obamacare and Website — Videos

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His Imperial Majesty — HIM That Must Be Obeyed — The Monarch of Marxism, The Czar of Communism, The Shah of Socialism — HIM Obama! HIM Obama! HIM Obama! — Photos

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