Daily Archives: September 8, 2011

Obama’s Jobs Speech To Congress – Full Video

The American Jobs Act

President Obama tells a joint session of Congress that it is time to end the political circus and pass the “American Jobs Act”.

“Those of us here tonight can’t solve all of our nation’s woes. Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers. But we can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.

“I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.

“The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away. “

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U.S. Citizen Linked To Terror Plot on 9/11 Anniversary

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ABC News

U.S. authorities are scrambling to sort through information that the CIA developed in the past 24 hours indicating that at least three individuals entered the U.S. in August by air with the intent to launch a vehicle-borne attack against Washington, D.C. or New York around the anniversary of 9/11, according to intelligence officials.

One of the intelligence and law enforcement officials that ABC News spoke to said that one of the individuals may be a U.S. citizen and a second official said that possibly two of the individuals may have had U.S. documentation — whether green cards or passports was unclear.

As news of the information became public, authorities began weighing whether to raise the national threat level.

The suspected terrorists are believed to have embarked on their journey to the U.S. from Afghanistan or Pakistan, according to two senior officials. One official said the route may have taken them through at least one other country, possibly Iran. Another news organization reported that they embarked from “the Pakistan area.”

The information on the plot was “very specific ” said one official, adding ” It seems like the information has been worked for a while.” A second and third official confirmed the specifics of the possible plot added that a declassified bulletin is expected to be issued shortly.

Multiple sources say that federal authorities will send a bulletin to law enforcement tonight. The threat, one official told ABC News, is credible. Now authorities are making every effort to confirm it and to hunt down any plotters.

Initially, one of those officials added that at least two rental trucks — one from Penske and one from Budget — were being sought nationwide. Those trucks have since been recovered and appear to have had no connection to the plotters.

The threat information was obtained recently and originated from overseas sources — Pakistan, according to one official.

According to a White House official, “The President was briefed on this specific threat information this morning and has been updated on it throughout the day. The United States government has already significantly enhanced its security posture in advance of the 9/11 anniversary to protect the country against possible terrorist threats. Nevertheless, the President directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts in response to this credible but unconfirmed information.”

Earlier this evening, top Congressional leaders were briefed on the terror threat by White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan.

Continue reading here…

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MSNBC Republican Debate In 45 Seconds

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Tea party Rep. Joe Walsh wants ex-wife sanctioned in child support case

This guy probably thinks he is so important that even negative news like this is good because it’s publicity.

It seems like Walsh and his attorneys are getting back at the ex-Mrs. Walsh for revealing that he owed over $100,000 in back child support.

The Raw Story

A tea party Republican congressman who reportedly owes over $100,000 in child support has filed a motion to have the court sanction his ex-wife.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) is also asking the court to force former wife Laura Walsh to pay his legal bills.

In July, court documents showed that Laura Walsh was suing the congressman for more than $117,000 in unpaid child support.

The lawsuit pointed to a $35,000 loan he personally gave to his campaign, claiming that if he had enough for that, he had enough to help support their 9-year-old child.

In a possible effort to slow down the case, lawyers for the Illinois Republican asked his ex-wife to provide extensive documentation, including records of her employment, salary, bank statements, tax returns and expense reports. After she failed to provide the documents, Walsh sought to have her sanctioned by the court.

Jack Coladarci, Laura Walsh’s attorney, told The Sun Times that the move was “harassment.”

He added that Laura Walsh was under no obligation to produce the records and that the issue should be Walsh not paying his past-due child support.

Members of Congress earn $174,000-a-year (PDF), placing them in the top five percent of salaried U.S. workers. Combined with their full health benefits, members of the House are compensated at a rate about 3.5 times higher than the average American.

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell banned Walsh from his show in July, calling him a “deadbeat dad.”

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Michele Bachmann Used Same Language As James Hoffa

Bachmann actually raised money off of Mr. Hoffa’s remarks!

Alan Colmes

At an April 2010 Tea Party event, MicheleBachmann’s rhetoric was similar to James Hoffa’s, even though Bachmann is using Hoffa’s comments to raise money.

“We’re on to this gangster government,” she declared…

She appealed directly for tea partiers to swing behind “constitutional conservatives” in congressional campaigns, just as they contributed to Scott Brown’s upset in the Massachusetts Senate race in an early test of their potency.

“I am the No. 1 target for one more extremist group to defeat this November,” she said. “We need to have your help for candidates like me. We need you to take out some of these bad guys.”

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Reagan Library Crowd Goes Wild For Perry’s 234 Executions

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This is a sad commentary on the state of GOP politics…

TPM

The big Politico/MSNBC debate Wednesday was not a good night for death penalty opponents. Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who has overseen more executions than any other governor during his three terms in office — stood firmly behind his state’s vision of justice.

And the crowd was with him.

Here’s how it looked in the transcript:

[Moderator BRIAN] WILLIAMS: Governor Perry, a question about Texas. Your state has executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times. Have you…
(APPLAUSE)

 

It was probably the largest applause of the night, swelling in the Regan Library’s now-familiar pavilion featuring the Gipper’s Air Force One.

Texas’ death penalty may not have been an issue among the assembled crowd in the debate hall, but it has haunted Perry somewhat back in the Lone Star State. The case of Cameron Willingham, who was executed on Perry’s watch in 2004 and many experts believe was an innocent man, got Perry into trouble in 2009 after allegations mounted that Perry stifled a state government probe looking into Willingham’s conviction.

Asked in the debate tonight if the final say over 234 lives on death row had ever given him pause, Perry was unequivocal.

“No, sir. I’ve never struggled with that at all,” he said. “The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place of which — when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States, if that’s required.”

Texas justice is certainly popular among the GOP electorate, and the idea of the least squeamish governor of them all most likely turns on more Republicans than it turns off. Perry sure seems to think so.

“What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here?” Williams asked. “The mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?”

“I think Americans understand justice,” Perry replied.

I think Americans are clearly, in the vast majority of — of cases, supportive of capital punishment. When you have committed heinous crimes against our citizens — and it’s a state-by-state issue, but in the state of Texas, our citizens have made that decision, and they made it clear, and they don’t want you to commit those crimes against our citizens. And if you do, you will face the ultimate justice.

Watch the exchange:

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Who won the GOP debate? Does it matter?

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Plum Line

Winners? Losers? Well, the first thing to remember is that there’s more hype than importance to these debates, even a relatively high-profile one such as this. So the first thing I’d tell you is that no one is going to win or lose the nomination thanks to Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library…indeed, no one is going to remember much of it in a week or two.

What that means is that nothing could really happen in these debates to change the structure of the contest, which remains basically a two-person race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

What could have happened Wednesday night, but almost certainly didn’t, at least as I saw it, is that one of the six fringe candidates could have broken through and earned a few weeks of press and, therefore voter, attention. If that happened, I sure didn’t see it.

As far as the frontrunnrs, what the debate showed yet again is that practice usually matters in these things, and Mitt Romney has an awful lot more experience in presidential debating than does Rick Perry. My sense, and my sense of what my twitter feed was telling me, was that Perry had a lousy night, while Romney — as he has in each of these things — just outclassed the field. Again, practice helps.

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Attorney General Eric Holder Announces 91 Arrests In $300 Million Medicare Fraud Sting

Eric Holder, Attorney General

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That’s great to hear.  Now, I have one question, did they scoop up Florida governor Rick Scott in the process?

Roland S. Martin

Souce: CBS News

Federal authorities announced Wednesday what they described as the largest bust for Medicare fraud in U.S. history after conducting sweeps in eight cities for offenses totaling $300 million.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the arrests at an afternoon press conference. The arrests were carried out by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the Department of Health and Human Services.

“At various positions, nurses and physicians violated their professions as well as the public trust,” Holder told reporters, saying that charges included kickback schemes and money laundering.

The attorney general said the arrests numbered 91 in total. Suspects were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday in Baton Rouge, La., Brooklyn, N.Y., Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. Suspects were also arrested Sept. 1 in Detroit.

To follow this topic visit CBS News.

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10 Things Conservatives Don’t Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan

Think Progress

[...]

1. Reagan was a serial tax raiser. As governor of California, Reagan “signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of any state up till then.” Meanwhile,state spending nearly doubled. As president, Reagan “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan “a dear friend,” told NPR, “Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration — I was there.” “Reagan wasnever afraid to raise taxes,” said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is “false mythology,” Brinkley said.

2. Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit. During the Reagan years, the debt increased to nearly $3 trillion, “roughly three times as much as the first 80 years of the century had done altogether.” Reagan enacted a major tax cut his first year in office and government revenue dropped off precipitously. Despite the conservative myth that tax cuts somehow increase revenue, the government went deeper into debt and Reagan had to raise taxes just a year after he enacted his tax cut. Despite ten more tax hikes on everything from gasoline to corporate income, Reagan was never able to get the deficit under control.

3. Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. Unemployment jumped to 10.8 percent after Reagan enacted his much-touted tax cut, and it took years for the rate to get back down to its previous level. Meanwhile, income inequality exploded. Despite the myth that Reagan presided over an era of unmatched economic boom for all Americans, Reagan disproportionately taxedthe poor and middle class, but the economic growth of the 1980′s did little help them. “Since 1980, median household income has risen only 30 percent, adjusted for inflation, while average incomes at the top have tripled or quadrupled,” the New York Times’ David Leonhardt noted.

4. Reagan grew the size of the federal government tremendously. Reagan promised “to move boldly, decisively, and quickly to control the runaway growth of federal spending,” but federal spending “ballooned” under Reagan. He bailed out Social Security in 1983 after attempting to privatize it, and set up a progressive taxation system to keep it funded into the future. He promised to cut government agencies like the Department of Energy and Education but ended up adding one of the largest — the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which today has a budget of nearly $90 billion and close to 300,000 employees. He also hiked defense spending by over $100 billion a year to a level not seen since the height of the Vietnam war.

5. Reagan did little to fight a woman’s right to choose. As governor of California in 1967, Reagan signed a bill to liberalize the state’s abortion laws that “resulted in more than a million abortions.” When Reagan ran for president, he advocated a constitutional amendment that would have prohibited all abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, but once in office, he “never seriously pursued” curbing choice.

6. Reagan was a “bellicose peacenik.” He wrote in his memoirs that “[m]y dream…became a world free of nuclear weapons.” “This vision stemmed from the president’s belief that the biblical account of Armageddon prophesied nuclear war — and that apocalypse could be averted if everyone, especially the Soviets, eliminated nuclear weapons,” the Washington Monthly noted. And Reagan’s military buildup was meant to crush the Soviet Union, but “also to put the United States in a stronger position from which to establish effective arms control” for the the entire world — a vision acted out by Regean’s vice president, George H.W. Bush, when he became president.

7. Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants. Reagan signed into law a bill that made any immigrant who had entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty. The bill was sold as a crackdown, but its tough sanctions on employers who hired undocumented immigrants were removed before final passage. The bill helped 3 million people and millions more family members gain American residency. It has since become a source of major embarrassment for conservatives.

8. Reagan illegally funneled weapons to Iran. Reagan and other senior U.S. officials secretly sold arms to officials in Iran, which was subject to a an arms embargo at the time, in exchange for American hostages. Some funds from the illegal arms sales also went to fund anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua — something Congress had already prohibited the administration from doing. When the deals went public, the Iran-Contra Affair, as it came to be know, was an enormous political scandal that forced several senior administration officials to resign.

9. Reagan vetoed a comprehensive anti-Apartheid act. which placed sanctions on South Africa and cut off all American trade with the country. Reagan’s veto was overridden by the Republican-controlled Senate. Reagan responded by saying “I deeply regret that Congress has seen fit to override my veto,” saying that the law “will not solve the serious problems that plague that country.”

10. Reagan helped create the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. Reagan fought a proxy war with the Soviet Union by training, arming, equipping, and funding Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan. Reagan funneled billions of dollars, along with top-secret intelligence and sophisticated weaponry to these fighters through the Pakistani intelligence service. The Taliban and Osama Bin Laden — a prominent mujahidin commander — emerged from these mujahidin groups Reagan helped create, and U.S. policy towards Pakistan remains strained because of the intelligence services’ close relations to these fighters. In fact, Reagan’s decision to continue the proxy war after the Soviets were willing to retreat played a direct role in Bin Laden’s ascendancy.

[...]

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