Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Russian Meddling in U.S. Presidential Election: How Should Congress Proceed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 2, 2017

There is clear, unambiguous evidence that “Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.”

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment that has been provided to the President and to recipients approved by the President.”

A header appears upon EVERY page and states: “This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.”

Several “Key Judgments” are made in the report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which is dated 6 January 2017.

Among them:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President elect-Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

• We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

• Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.

• Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.

Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyber activity — with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.” Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin.

• Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.

• We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.

• Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards. DHS assess es that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.

• Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.

We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.

—//—

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking

 President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

President Obama in December. Some in his administration feared that intelligence about Russian interference in the 2016 election could be covered up or destroyed. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

MARCH 1, 2017

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.

Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks — a suspicion that American officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama.

 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Credit Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik


President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Credit Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik

Sean Spicer, the Trump White House spokesman, said, Read the rest of this entry »

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Flynn Lied To Pence, Pence Repeated Flynn’s Lie, Flynn Quit, Trump Loves Flynn

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency; official portrait

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, USA

Vice President Mike Pence, official portrait

Vice President Mike Pence, USA

Here’s how Trump rewards those who look out for our Nation’s Security.

REMEMBER:
Before Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Advisor…

Before the Inauguration, when Flynn was asked about his calls and texts with the Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, he lied to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

A former administration official said the Justice Department warned the White House in January that Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and because of that, the Justice Department feared that he could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., agreed with Acting Assistant Attorney General Sally Q. Yates that:

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States since 2008.

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the United States

Official portrait, John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, March 8, 2013 – January 20, 2017.

John O. Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency, USA 3/8/13 – 1/20/17

1.) “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position”;
2.) Could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail;
3.) That he had been deliberately misleading about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador;
4.) That VP-elect Pence had a right to know that he had been misled, and;
5.) Recommended that POTUS Trump be warned.

Trump then fired Yates.

Flynn publicly stated that when he was Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he traveled to Moscow in 2013, and there met Kislyak, who continued to communicate with Flynn during, and after the Presidential campaign.

When it became known that Read the rest of this entry »

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The Great Unknown… Or Not: Separating #Fact From #Fiction: @realDonaldTrump’s First 100 Days – Realistic, Or Idealistic?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 11, 2016
Day 3: Still thinking

Yesterday, President Obama met with Donald Trump at the White House. It was the first time either of them had met. According to brief remarks made to the Press afterward, their collegial meeting lasted about one and a half hours.

The erudite will recall that “the first 100 days” is taken from a radio address given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term in office, in which during his first 100 days , and modeled after his plan to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and agriculture back on their feet.

Having read Trump’s goals for his first 100 days in office, it seems to me that there are some ideas I can support. Yet, there’s some pure bluster and ignorance designed for purely emotional appeal. I’ll separate fact from fiction, and we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.
See: donald-trumps-contract-w-american-voter

Trump’s objectives are in bold, my comments follow.

—/—

First: Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits – I have long supported that idea. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R), however, opposes them – as, presumably, do some others. Whenever their income source or security is potentially challenged, they’ll fight. Which is probably all the more reason it ought to enacted. A Lifetime Limit of Eight terms in the House of Representatives (2 years x 8 terms=16 years), and a Lifetime Limit of Two terms in the Senate (2 terms x 6 years=12 years) for a combined total of 20 years Lifetime Total ought to be enough for anyone.

Second: Federal Hiring Freeze, to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health) – I can understand that, and could go along with that for a period of time. Realize also that whenever any public action is required to be taken – such as “extreme vetting,” it is done by Federal Employees. So if their numbers are reduced, as a natural result, expect slow-downs and delays in any actions undertaken.

Third: Require that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated – That’s unrealistic, and impracticable. It may be nice to think about, but as a blanket statement, it’s simply unrealistic.

Fourth: A 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

Sixth: Lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government – Totally in favor of, and the ban should extend to ALL former Federal Employees.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:

FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 – I have long advocated for changes to NAFTA, and other Free Trade deals to which the United States is a party.

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator – Some say “yes,” some say “no,” but there is no disagreement China has bought American currency on the FOREX (Foreign Currency Exchange Market), and has purchased American indebtedness (T-bills, and other bonds). Mr. C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, put it this way: “Currency manipulation occurs when Read the rest of this entry »

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Examining Right Wing Rhetoric in Memes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2015

How accurate, or true are Right Wing statements?

How accurate, or true are Right Wing memes?

Regardless of one’s political beliefs, party affiliation, or ideological inclination, it’s always good to consider the truth of statements in memes that – like flotsam and jetsam – are dispersed throughout the Internet… particularly upon Social Media sites such as FaceBook, and Twitter. And unfortunately, in many cases, they are the veritable garbage, the effluent detritus of communication.

So… let’s examine some of the argument in the meme seen here, and see if it still holds water.

Government has necessary services, and provides the same.

Consider road construction as one example.

To create & build roads (which themselves increase opportunity) government must purchase things – raw materials, and manpower, among them.

Now… exactly where is any “government factory” for that, eh?

That’s correct – there is NONE.

EVERYTHING “we the people” by and through our government – at ALL LEVELS, Federal, State, and Local – purchase comes from the Private Sector!

EVERYTHING!

Consider also what may be the greatest example of Read the rest of this entry »

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Remarks by President Barack Obama at Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Amazon Distribution Center on Jobs for the Middle Class, 07/30/13

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

July 30, 2013

Remarks by the President on Jobs for the Middle Class, 07/30/13

Amazon Chattanooga Fulfillment Center
Chattanooga, Tennessee

2:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Chattanooga!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Tennessee.  (Applause.)  It’s great to be here at Amazon.  (Applause.)

I want to thank Lydia for the introduction and sharing her story.  Give Lydia a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  So this is something here.  I just finished getting a tour of just one little corner of this massive facility — size of 28 football fields.  Last year, during the busiest day of the Christmas rush, customers around the world ordered more than 300 items from Amazon every second, and a lot of those traveled through this building.  So this is kind of like the North Pole of the south right here.  (Applause.)  Got a bunch of good-looking elves here.

Before we start, I want to recognize your general manager, Mike Thomas.  (Applause.)  My tour guide and your vice president, Dave Clark.  (Applause.)  You’ve got the Mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke.  (Applause.)  And you’ve got one of the finest gentlemen I know, your Congressman, Jim Cooper.  (Applause.)  So thank you all for being here.

So I’ve come here today to talk a little more about something I was discussing last week, and that’s what we need to do as a country to secure a better bargain for the middle class -– a national strategy to make sure that every single person who’s willing to work hard in this country has a chance to succeed in the 21st century economy.  (Applause.)

Now, you heard from Lydia, so you know — because many of you went through it — over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and it cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes and their savings.  And part of what it did is it laid bare the long-term erosion that’s been happening when it comes to middle-class security.

But because the American people are resilient, we bounced back.  Together, we’ve righted the ship.  We took on a broken health care system.  We invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil.  Changed a tax code that had become tilted too much in favor of the wealthy at the expense of working families.  Saved the auto industry, and thanks to GM and the UAW working together, we’re bringing jobs back here to America, including 1,800 autoworkers in Spring Hill.  (Applause.)  1,800 workers in Spring Hill are on the job today where a plant was once closed.

Today, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs over the last 40 months.  This year, we’re off to our best private-sector jobs growth since 1999.  We now sell more products made in America to the rest of the world than ever before.  (Applause.)  We produce more renewable energy than ever.  We produce more natural gas than anybody else in the world.  (Applause.)  Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.  Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.  (Applause.)

So thanks to hardworking folks like you, thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve been able to clear away some of the rubble from the financial crisis.  We’ve started to lay a new foundation for a stronger, more durable America — the kind of economic growth that’s broad-based, the foundation required to make this century another American century.

But as I said last week, and as any middle-class family will tell you, we’re not there yet.  Even before the financial crisis hit, we were going through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, but most families were working harder and harder just to get by.  And reversing that trend should be Washington’s highest priority.  (Applause.)  It’s my highest priority.

But so far, for most of this year, we’ve seen Read the rest of this entry »

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Exactly whose idea was this “Sequester” thing anyway?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whose idea was this “sequester” anyway?

Would you believe Mitch McConnell & John Boehner?

Yeah, but McConnell & the GOP are calling it “the president’s sequester”!

Yes, they are. And they want to deceive you.

In other words, they’re lying.

Kentucky’s senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who is the Senate Minority Leader, along with Speaker of the House of Representatives Ohio Congressman John Boehner have both called the impending drastic across-the-board budget cuts & tax increases as “the president’s sequester.”

However, the idea did NOT originate with President Obama.

For the benefit of those whose (choose any combination of the following):
1.) Memories are short, and/or;
2.) Weren’t paying attention in class and/or;
3.) Believe teevee’s talking heads, and/or;
4.) Believe the GOP.

Give particular attention to the last paragraph in the first story, which states in part that,

“McConnell, the chief Republican architect of the compromise, has been adamant that no tax increases will come out of the joint committee. And he and Boehner have effective control given that they will hand-pick six of the 12 members. That said, the defense lobby — a strong force still among Republicans —will most feel the impact of any sequester, and the industry is already being squeezed by the revised appropriations targets set for 2012 and 2013.”

Finally, I would remind the reader that because the GOP’s radical philosophical ideology of privatizing practically every government service (which places public tax dollars in private pockets – is that anything like “welfare”?) harsh across-the-board budget cuts are precisely what the GOP has begged for from Day One.

Debt ceiling disaster averted, but nobody’s really happy

By: David Rogers
August 2, 2011 11:30 PM EST

Running short of cash, Treasury won an immediate reprieve of $400 billion in new borrowing authority Tuesday with the enactment of a hotly contested debt and deficit-reduction agreement hammered out between Republicans and the White House on Sunday night.

President Barack Obama, not hiding his frustration, quickly signed the measure sent to him by Congress after a final 74-26 Senate roll call, capping an unprecedented hard-edged political struggle that had pushed the nation to the brink of default.

Indeed, the stakes were far larger than with the April shutdown fight, and more than any single event this year, the debt battle captured all the power — and critics would say extreme risk-taking — of the anti-government backlash that fueled the GOP’s gains in the 2010 elections.

The timing makes it a gamble too with the faltering recovery. Most of the promised $2.1 trillion in deficit reduction will take place in the out years, but discretionary spending will continue to fall in 2012 and the same Congressional Budget Office — which scored the cuts — will soon issue its August economic update, which could show slower growth.

House Speaker John Boehner has argued the opposite: More aggressively addressing deficits “will in fact provide more confidence for employers in America, the people we expect to reinvest in our economy and create jobs.” But a sell-off Tuesday on Wall Street sent the Dow down 265 points, reflecting growing pessimism about the economic outlook. And as lawmakers left for the summer recess, Democrats vowed to turn the agenda more toward job creation when they return.

“We crossed a bridge,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “Enough talk about the debt. We have to talk about jobs.”

Obama signaled as much in a Rose Garden appearance after the Senate vote. Extending his 2-percentage-point cut in payroll taxes remains a priority and the appropriations bargain, Read the rest of this entry »

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Scandal hits Obama administration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 12, 2013

Welcome to the idiocy of Alabama.

Obama’s Cabinet of yes men

By Dana Milbank, Published: JANUARY 11, 12:21 PM ET

President Obama hasn’t even begun his second term, yet already he has been ensnared by scandal.

Republicans have uncovered a shocking level of wrongdoing in the Oval Office, and I’m afraid what they say is true: The president is brazenly trying to fill his Cabinet with . . . people he likes.

Alas, the perfidy doesn’t end there. Not only is Obama naming agreeable people to his Cabinet, he is also — audaciously, flagrantly — nominating people who . . . agree with his policies.

Hello, operator? In Waco, Tex., I’d like the number for a Starr, Kenneth W.

Among the first to blow the whistle on the scandal was Sen. Jeff Sessions. The Alabamian, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, went on CNN on Thursday, immediately after Obama tapped Jack Lew to be Treasury secretary, to tell Wolf Blitzer why he would oppose confirmation.

“This is another person just very personally close to the president,” Sessions protested. Lew should not be confirmed, the senator said, because “the budget that he wrote was condemned by The Washington Post, virtually every major newspaper in the country.”

This was unorthodox — Sessions rarely admits to agreeing with anything he reads in The Post — but the truth of the statement was undeniable: Lew did write the budget. He was Obama’s budget director before becoming White House chief of staff; writing the budget was his job.

Sessions had Obama dead right. He is nominating like-minded people to serve in top jobs in his administration. And this scandal will continue until Obama finally accepts his constitutional obligation to name disagreeable detractors to his Cabinet.

There was a time — specifically, the entire history of the Republic until now — when nominating trusted advisers to key positions would not have been a scandal. Only three times in the 20th century (and six times before that) did the Senate reject proposed Cabinet officers, according to the Senate historical office. Lifelong judiciary appointments, particularly to the Supreme Court, are often contentious. But, the historical office notes, there is a Senate tradition that “presidents should be allowed a free hand in choosing their closest advisers.”

The last rejected Cabinet nominee, John Tower, was denied confirmation as defense secretary after accusations of Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitt Romney “never wanted to be president,” says son Tagg.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 27, 2012

The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama

It was two weeks before Election Day when Mitt Romney’s political director signed a memo that all but ridiculed the notion that the Republican presidential nominee, with his “better ground game,” could lose the key state of Ohio or the election. The race is “unmistakably moving in Mitt Romney’s direction,” the memo said.

But the claims proved wildly off the mark, a fact embarrassingly underscored when the high-tech voter turnout system that Romney himself called “state of the art” crashed at the worst moment, on Election Day.

To this day, Romney’s aides wonder how it all went so wrong.

They console each other with claims that the election was much closer than realized, saying that Romney would be president if roughly 370,000 people in swing states had voted differently. Romney himself blamed demographic shifts and Obama’s “gifts”: federal largesse targeted to Democratic constituencies.

But a reconstruction by the Globe of how the campaign unfolded shows that Romney’s problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate’s defeat, given the revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama’s operation.

One of the gravest errors, many say, was the Romney team’s failure, until too late in the campaign, to sell voters on the candidate’s personal qualities and leadership gifts. The effect was to open the way for Obama to define Romney through an early blitz of negative advertising. Election Day polls showed that the vast majority of voters concluded that Romney did not really care about average people.

These failures are now the subject of scrutiny by national GOP officials who say they plan to Read the rest of this entry »

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Mentally Sick Residents in 20 States Petition White House to Secede from Union

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 12, 2012

I can’t believe that I’m really reading this.

It’s unfathomable.

Genuinely.

That this could happen is stupefying.

It is unimaginable.

Literally.

If I were to continue, I would unleash a stream of less-than-wholesome language to characterize those who agree with such ludicrously asinine actions.

But, let us remember this, my friends – that is not only ANTI-AMERICAN, it is the actions of TRAITORS – TREASON.

Here’s hoping that only the truly mentally sick were the ones who filed, signed and endorsed such petitions.

Reckon Alabama Governor Dr. Robert Bentley signed it?

He’s promised to repay nearly $1/2 BILLION to the Alabama Trust Fund, saying “Trust me,” but never quite put it into writing that he’d repay.

The sad thing about that is, that the people of Alabama believed him.

Maybe it should be renamed theAlabama Mis-Trust Fund“?

Naah.

The majority of people trust him.

After all, he’s the governor, AND he’s a doctor.

Does that mean that the people can sue him for malpractice after he screws everything up?

Alabama joins states where residents petition White House to secede from U.S.

By George Talbot | gtalbot@al.com
on November 11, 2012 at 9:24 PM, updated November 12, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Secede signm, modern

(Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune)

Alabama is one of 20 states – and counting – where residents have petitioned the White House in the days after the Nov. 6 presidential election, seeking to withdraw from the United States and create their own governments.

The informal petitions are created by citizens on the White House web site under a “We the People” program created by the Obama administration.

President Barack Obama was re-elected Tuesday, defeating a challenge from Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

The Alabama petition was filed Friday by Derrick B. (no last name given) of Mobile. It was the third petition filed overall, following an initial petition filed Wednesday, the day after the election, on behalf of Louisiana. The second petition was filed Friday on behalf of Texas.

“We petition the Obama Administration to peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government,” the petition reads.

The Alabama petition had received 4,426 signatures as of Monday morning.

Other states making similar requests include Arkansas, Read the rest of this entry »

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POTUS Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election speech transcript & video

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 11, 2012

Transcript of President Obama’s Election Night Speech

Published: November 7, 2012

The following is the full text of President Obama’s victory speech on Wednesday (Transcript courtesy of the Federal News Service).

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Cheers, applause.)

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

(Cheers, applause.) I want to thank every American who participated in this election. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time — (cheers) — or waited in line for a very long time — (cheers) — by the way, we have to fix that. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone — (cheers, applause) — whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. (Cheers, applause.)

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Cheers, applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (Cheers, applause.) In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

(Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Cheers, applause.) Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s first lady. (Cheers, applause.)

Sasha and Malia — (cheers, applause) — before our very eyes, you’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. (Cheers, applause.) And I am so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now, one dog’s probably enough. (Laughter.)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics — (cheers, applause) — the best — the best ever — (cheers, applause) — some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.

(Cheers, applause.) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers, applause.) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way — (cheers, applause) — to every hill, to every valley. (Cheers, applause.) You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers, applause.)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe makes him 100% unsuitable to be president

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney‘s 47% gaffe makes him 100% unsuitable to be president

It is Romney’s only unerring quality that he constantly affirms his stereotype. And this could be the week that sinks his challenge

by
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 18 September 2012 12.20 EDT

If the Republican primaries and presidential campaign have taught us anything, it is that Mitt Romneyis not very good at politics. Incessant gaffes, strategic missteps, a paucity of policy prescriptions and a plethora of head-scratching tactical decisions have come to define his run for the White House. Quite simply, Mitt Romney is a bad politician.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney: “My job is not to worry about those people.” Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

But on Monday night, we learned something new – and profoundly unsettling – about him: he may very well also be a bad person.

I don’t use those words lightly, but I’m not sure how else to interpret the comments he made at a closed-door fundraiser that were posted online by Mother Jones. They are devastating. They suggest a level of meanness and divisiveness in Romney’s personal character that is disturbing – even disqualifying for the nation’s highest office.

Look at how Romney classifies the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes:

“[They] will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax …

“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

This is a breathtaking statement: a fundamental misunderstanding of Read the rest of this entry »

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Michelle Obama fires up America with Keynote Speech to Democratic faithful in Charlotte

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not only was her speech more well received than Republican Ann Romney‘s, but that one night of the DNC was more enthusiastic – i.e., FIRED UP – than was the entire RNC event in Tampa.

It was EXCITING to know that the Average American does NOT want to return to the “Bad Old Days” of bad policy as they experienced under the Bush II administration, which was responsible for the bail-out called TARP, starting wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, outsourcing American jobs, increasing the size of government, cutting taxes on the wealthy, the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription program (written by BIG PHARMA), and a whole lotta’ other genuinely bad things.

It was EXCITING to know that personal freedom – religious, private, healthcare – is an instrumental part of the Democratic Platform, as opposed to the RNC which supports… going back via the legislative time machine to the 1800’s, when child labor was common, women couldn’t vote, any non-white person was a second-class non-citizen & couldn’t vote, etc.

Transcript: Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech

September 4, 2012

Below is the full transcript, as prepared for delivery, of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.

Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family‘s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country. And everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.

I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.

I’ve seen it in people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way to save others…flying across the country to put out a fire…driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.

And I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families…in wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons…in the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, “…I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.”

Every day, the people I meet inspire me…every day, they make me proud…every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.

Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege…but back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun.

While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country…and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President…like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance.

How would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?

How would they Read the rest of this entry »

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How to End This Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 29, 2012

It’s been said that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

The distinguished Dr. Krugman – who accurately foretold in 2001 that the “Bush Tax Cuts” would create significant deficit (and they did) – understands the role of government in providing opportunity for entrepreneurs and private enterprise, and the equally important role that government has in responsibility to protect public health and safety.

The long and short of it is this: Government spending on economic infrastructure (including education) is a good investment because it yields significant immediate and long-term results.

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the aforementioned premise, and the numerous times about which I have written in detail about the same. This entry illustrates with three excellent examples of that principle.

Naysayers and critics miss one very important factor in their analogy, which is that the Federal government has the power and authority to print money. The way that factor relates to the issue at hand is this: While the government could – in theory, and in reality – print enough money to give $10,000 to every man, woman and child in this nation the net effect of so doing would be to devalue the money, which would be resulting from inflation.

How to correct, resolve or work within the guidelines of that factor is to understand that one very important role of government is to provide OPPORTUNITY for entrepreneurs and private enterprise. By providing opportunity, government is also encouraging private enterprise and entrepreneurship. And, for the strict Constitutionalists, courts have continued to uphold and acknowledge that such power is contained within the Preamble’s clause “to promote the general welfare.”

Further, for the “anti-Big Government” naysayers, it is preposterous (contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous) to imagine that, in this era, with every technological advance, invention and discovery which has been made since 1776, and with our population (now approaching 312,000,000), that we would have fewer laws, rules and regulations than when we first began.

And, for those who say we should balance our budget, I would agree. However, I hasten to point out, that the last time that was done was under Eisenhower and LBJ. That does not excuse us from an ongoing civil discussion and debate about how to effectively manage our nation’s budget. Perhaps a formula of some type which would take into account GDP, debt (outstanding Treasury notes), trade deficit, population growth, birth rate, and other factors – with an “escape” mechanism for times of civil emergency or war, of course.

For such, we need technocrats – experts in areas of operations – rather than bureaucrats. Perhaps in an advisory role. But then again, we have those.

So… why don’t we work together as we ought?

Politics.

It seems that “Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

The depression we’re in is essentially gratuitous: we don’t need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines—anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies.
Obama in Master Lock factory Milwaukee

President Obama on a tour of the Master Lockfactory in Milwaukee with the company’s senior vice-president, Bon Rice, February 2012; Susan Walsh/AP Images

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: Read the rest of this entry »

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“He doesn’t talk about the fact that he’s been governor of Massachusetts for four years very much.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 13, 2012

CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose sat down Thursday, July 12, 2012 with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in the blue room of the White House for a wide-ranging exclusive interview.

Q:
How do you take the measure of his business experience?

A:
I do not think at all it disqualifies him.
But I also think it’s important, if that’s his main calling card, if his basic premise is that ‘I’m Mr. Fix-It on the economy’ because I made a lot of money… Read the rest of this entry »

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Woodward & Bernstein on Watergate: Nixon was far wose than we imagined

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 8, 2012

And this surprises people?

Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought

By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Friday, June 8, 12:35 PM

As Sen. Sam Ervin completed his 20-year Senate career in 1974 and issued his final report as chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, he posed the question: “What was Watergate?”

Countless answers have been offered in the 40 years since June 17, 1972, when a team of burglars wearing business suits and rubber gloves was arrested at 2:30 a.m. at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office building. Four days afterward, the Nixon White House offered its answer: “Certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it was,” press secretary Ronald Ziegler scoffed, dismissing the incident as a “third-rate burglary.”

History proved that it was anything but. Two years later, Richard Nixon would become the first and only U.S. president to resign, his role in the criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice — the Watergate coverup — definitively established. Another answer has since persisted, often unchallenged: the notion that the coverup was worse than the crime. This idea minimizes the scale and reach of Nixon’s criminal actions.

Ervin’s answer to his own question hints at the magnitude of Watergate: “To destroy, insofar as the presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected.” Yet Watergate was far more than that. At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law.

Today, much more than when we first covered this story as young Washington Post reporters, an abundant record provides unambiguous answers and evidence about Watergate and its meaning. This record has Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to 13

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May the Almighty continue to bless the works of their hands.

Obama honours 13 with Medal of Freedom at White House

29 May 2012 Last updated at 17:36 ET

President Barack Obama has bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honour on political and cultural figures in a ceremony at the White House.

POTUS Obama Dylan Freedom

Describing himself as “a big fan”, a star-struck President Obama honours the ‘Tambourine Man’

Musician Bob Dylan, astronaut John Glenn, and Israeli President Shimon Peres were among the Medal of Freedom recipients.

The award is given to people from all walks of life who have made exceptional contributions to society.

It was established by former President John F Kennedy in 1963.

Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24 May 1941 and began his musical career in 1959, playing in Minnesota coffee houses.

He took his stage name from the poet Dylan Thomas and, not coincidentally, paid as much attention to his lyrics as his music.

Much of his best-known work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal historian of America’s troubles.

Songs such as Blowin’ In The Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’ became Read the rest of this entry »

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Watergate Criminal Made Good – Chuck Colson dead at 80

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 21, 2012

Skeptics abounded when it was announced that Mr. Colson had converted and become Christian.

Their skepticism was misplaced, for Mr. Colson’s conversion was genuine.

If anything, Mr. Colson’s life is a story of the redemptive and transformative power of the living Christ.

His life story is a familiar one. A man with significant talent and power goes terribly awry. When confronted with the error of his ways, he is genuinely repentant, and changes his ways. He become another man altogether… a man no one would recognize, were it not for his name to identify him.

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'”

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

– the words of Jesus Christ, Matthew 25:36-40

May he rest in peace, and may his memory be blessed.

1 Corinthians 13 >>
New International Version 1984

1If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Former Nixon aide Chuck Colson dies at 80

April 21, 2012 4:29 PM

By Leigh Ann Caldwell

(CBS News) Chuck Colson, a former aide to Richard Nixon, evangelical leader, author and nonprofit founder, died Saturday at the age of 80.

He passed away at a hospital in Northern Virginia, three weeks after surgery to ease intercerebral hemorrhage — a large pool of clotted blood in his brain.

Colson was Nixon’s special counsel and was part of the Watergate scandal which led to Nixon’s resignation. He was known as the president’s “hatchet man,” and also served on Nixon’s re-election committee, which plotted and attempted to steal information from the Democratic Party headquarters.

Colson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and served seven months of a one-to-three year prison sentence.

Prior to the start of his prison sentence, Colson became a born-again Christian. After his release from an Alabama prison, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that conducts outreach to prisoners to “seek the transformation of prisoners… through the power and truth of Jesus Christ.”

According to his bio for Prison Fellowship, Colson formed the idea of Prison Fellowship when a fellow inmate told him “there ain’t nobody cares about us. Nobody!” Colson started the organization and ran it for 33 years.

Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship, told CBS News that Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitt Romney’s American Business Plan

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The campaign for this year’s November general election is promising to be fairly nasty, particularly given that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that UNLIMITED MONEY can go to the candidates.

Further complicating matters is that the GOP‘s default candidate du jour – Mitt Romney – has flip-flopped so many times on so many issues that, were he to move into the White House, he’d turn it into the Waffle House.

Beware the man who can look you straight in the eye and tell you a lie, and continue telling it, and then, lie about telling a lie.

Mitt Romney’s business plan

by Richard Cohen, Aspen Daily News Columnist
Tuesday, April 16, 2012

Among the attributes I most envy in a public man (or woman) is the ability to lie. If that ability is coupled with no sense of humor, you have the sort of man who can be a successful football coach, a CEO or, when you come right down to it, a presidential candidate. Such a man is Mitt Romney.

Time and time again, Romney has been called a liar during this campaign. (The various fact-checking organizations have had to work overtime on him alone.) A significant moment, sure to surface in the general election campaign, came during a debate held in New Hampshire in January. David Gregory, the host of “Meet the Press,” turned to Newt Gingrich and said, “You have agreed with the characterization that Governor Romney is a liar. Look at him now. Do you stand by that claim?

Gingrich did not flinch. “Sure, governor,” he started off, and then accused Romney of running ads that were not true and, moreover, pretending he knew nothing about them. “It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC. And you know some of the ads aren’t true. Just say that straightforward.”

Me, I would have confessed and begged for forgiveness. Not Romney, though — and Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: 20% of all American suicides are new Veterans

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 15, 2012

UPDATE 19 April 2012:


The news you don’t hear…

Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it goes away.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, who is the Defense Department’s top enlisted leader, held a press conference in Washington, D.C. December 9, 2011 in response a report to Congress on suicide among America’s military veterans conducted by Center for a New American Security. Testimony was given December 2, 2011 before the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, and may be found here. The findings are that suicide by veterans constitutes a serious threat to the stability of an all-volunteer military force. About 1 percent of Americans have served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but 20 percent of suicides in the United States are former service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 18 veterans die by suicide each day.

Never before have our military service members been asked to do so much. Never before have our military service members been asked – or required – to attend numerous tour of combat duty consecutively. Those changes occurred under Read the rest of this entry »

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