Sunday, February 28, 2010

Obama signs one-year extension of Patriot Act

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100228/D9E4T02G0.html

Feb 27, 9:08 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has signed a one-year extension of several provisions in the nation's main counterterrorism law, the Patriot Act.

Provisions in the measure would have expired on Sunday without Obama's signature Saturday.

The act, which was adopted in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, expands the government's ability to monitor Americans in the name of national security.

Three sections of the Patriot Act that stay in force will:

_Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones.

_Allow court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.

_Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.

Obama's signature comes after the House voted 315 to 97 Thursday to extend the measure.

The Senate also approved the measure, with privacy protections cast aside when Senate Democrats lacked the necessary 60-vote supermajority to pass them. Thrown away were restrictions and greater scrutiny on the government's authority to spy on Americans and seize their records.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NHS Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’

An independent inquiry found that the NHS Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

British Health System Nightmare: Hospital 'caused unimaginable suffering'...

Patients left 'unwashed in their own filth for month'...

Wards were left bloody, discarded needl...es; Sick drink water from flower vases...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article7039285.ece

David Rose, Health Correspondent Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.

An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

The inquiry report, published yesterday by Robert Francis, QC, included proposals for tough new regulations that could lead to managers at failing NHS trusts being struck off.

Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”.

The report, which follows reviews by the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health, said that “unimaginable” suffering had been caused. Regulators said last year that between 400 and 1,200 more patients than expected may have died at the hospital from 2005 to 2008.

Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, said there could be “no excuses” for the failures and added that the board that presided over the scandal had been replaced. An undisclosed number of doctors and at least one nurse are being investigated by the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Mr Burnham said it was a “longstanding anomaly” that the NHS did not have a robust way of regulating managers or banning them from working, as it does with doctors or nurses. “We must end the situation where a senior NHS manager who has failed in one job can simply move to another elsewhere,” he added. “This is not acceptable to the public and not conducive to promoting accountability and high professional standards.”

A system of professional accreditation for senior managers would be considered and the Mid Staffordshire trust might lose its foundation status.

Some NHS chief executives have received six-figure redundancy packages or moved to other trusts despite poor performance. Martin Yeates, the former chief executive at Mid Staffordshire, received pay rises that took his annual salary to £180,000, while standards at the trust deteriorated.

The Liberal Democrats claimed that he had also received a payoff of more than £400,000 after stepping down last March, though Mr Burnham said he had received “no more than his contractual entitlement”.

The Care Quality Commission, the NHS regulator, said that the trust under its new management was now “safe to provide services”. But it still had concerns about staffing, patient welfare, the availability and suitability of equipment at the trust, and how it monitored and dealt with complaints. The inquiry made 18 recommendations for the trust and the wider health service, which the Government accepted in full. They include a new review of how regulators and regional health authorities monitor NHS hospitals and a report on “early-warning systems” to identify failing trusts.

But the families of those who died or suffered poor care branded the inquiry a “whitewash” and repeated calls for a full public investigation. The Conservatives accused ministers of trying to blame managers rather than taking responsibility for problems with national targets.

Julie Bailey, who founded the victims’ campaign group Cure the NHS after her mother died at Stafford Hospital, said that the handling of the scandal was disgraceful and unacceptable.

“It is time that the public were told the truth about the very large number of excess deaths in NHS care and the very large number of avoidable but deadly errors that occur every day.”

The NHS Confederation, which represents health trusts, said: “The responsibility for the way this hospital was run rests with its board, management and staff but, as the report says, the framework of targets, regulatory systems and policy priorities it worked within are also very important.”

Poll: More than half of Hispanics identify as conservative

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/022410dntexhisppolitics.39fae92.html
February 24, 2010
By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – A bent to conservatism and family makes Hispanics a promising pool of votes for Republicans, but the party's targeting of illegal immigrants has withered its attraction.

Regardless, Gov. Rick Perry has fared relatively well, perhaps because of his anti-Washington rhetoric and his careful immigration stance, a recent poll indicates.

It shows more than half of Texas Hispanics call themselves conservative, and a surprising 23 percent say they might participate in Tuesday's GOP primary. Among those, Perry leads Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison by 2 to 1, according to the poll, commissioned by an Austin consultant for a national group of Hispanic legislative leaders.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said the poll hints at a little-noticed facet of Perry's political persona: He doesn't frighten Hispanics because he often visits their communities, and he distances himself from immigration hard-liners in the GOP.

"He thought the border wall was a little ridiculous and didn't think it was going to help," said Van de Putte, Democrats' leader in the Senate and a co-chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention in Denver two years ago. "What he wanted to keep out were those people that are smuggling drugs and people."

Van de Putte said Perry tilts more to the right than his predecessor, George W. Bush, and can't match Bush's high level of support among Hispanics. But she said many Hispanics remember that Perry signed a 2001 bill that let illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition at public colleges. He has defended the bill, saying affected students have studied hard in Texas schools and will be good citizens.

"That kind of inoculated him a little bit," she said. She added: "Rick Perry is a tremendous retail campaigner."

Some political demographers remain skeptical that more than a smattering of Hispanics will cast GOP ballots next week or that Perry will capture much beyond token support among Latinos in the primary or November's election.

Lydia Camarillo, vice president of the nonpartisan Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, said exit polls in recent governor's races show Perry captured far less of the Hispanic vote than the 39 percent that Bush grabbed in 1998 against Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, a Democrat.

Perry attracted only 13 percent of Hispanic votes cast in his 2002 general election showdown with Laredo banker Tony Sanchez, according to exit polls by the William C. Velasquez Institute, a think tank affiliated with Camarillo's group.

Four years ago, Perry won just 14 percent of Hispanic votes cast, compared with 40 percent for Democrat Chris Bell and 29 percent for independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn, exit polls showed.

With both Perry and Hutchison stressing a lean state government and low taxes, Camarillo said, it's hard to see many Hispanics breaking for the GOP nominee this year.


Differing definitions

The poll found that only 18 percent of Texas Hispanics say they're liberal or progressive, while 54 percent say they're conservative, moderate conservative or religiously conservative.

But Camarillo said many Hispanics who identify themselves as conservative aren't talking about "less taxes, less government," the way white conservatives would.

"When a Latino says that he or she is conservative, they're thinking about how they are raising the kids and ... the family," she said. "It's more about work ethic, and that when you give your word, you give your word. Those kinds of things are what they're thinking of. It's a different frame of mind, and pollsters have yet to define it."

Demographer Dan Weiser pointed to voter turnout in recent Dallas County elections and said that despite the poll's findings, Perry can hope for relatively little Hispanic support.

In the hotly contested 2008 presidential primary in Dallas County, 91 percent of Hispanics who participated cast a Democratic ballot, he said. Weiser, a longtime student of Dallas politics, projects countywide turnout among minorities by studying key precincts dominated by blacks or Hispanics.

He said that while almost 300,000 voters participated in Dallas County's presidential primary two years ago, only 12 percent were Hispanics. Of about 92,000 voters in the county's last GOP presidential primary, only 4 percent were Hispanics, Weiser said.

"Each time you think there will be a real increase in Hispanic votes, I don't find it," he said.

Frank Santos, the Austin lobbyist and consultant who commissioned the poll, conceded it's only a first attempt to grasp Hispanics' complex leanings.

The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs, a group of Hispanic legislative leaders from 32 states, paid for the poll. It was supervised by Cristina Garcia, a California-based researcher who studies Hispanic civic engagement. There were telephone interviews with 502 registered Hispanic voters, conducted Jan. 27-31, in either English or Spanish, at the choice of the voter surveyed. The poll has an error margin of 4.4 percent, meaning results can vary by that much in either direction.


A wakeup call

"It's really a wakeup call for both parties," said Santos, the group's executive director. "Either [Hispanics] are being taken for granted by the Democratic Party or they're being ignored by the Republican Party."

He said that of about 3 million new people added to Texas' population between 2000 and 2008, 63 percent were Hispanic.

A majority said they're conservative, but a bigger share, 63 percent, said they identify most with the Democratic Party. And 70 percent approve of the job that President Barack Obama is doing. Meanwhile, 54 percent approve of Perry's performance as governor; and 58 percent, of Hutchison's as senator.

"What does that say?" Santos said. "It says they're a growing, developing and evolving electorate."

Flashback: Obama & Dems in 2005 Oppose Reconciliation!

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Obama & Dems in 2005: 51 Vote 'Nuclear Option' Is 'Arrogant' Power Grab...(Any bets on if they change their tune for the healthcare vote?) Only this time it will be done against the wishes of the public!!!

Biden: "I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power gra...b you are doing."

http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-dems-in-2005-51-vote-nuclear-option-is-arrogant-power-grab-against-the-founders-intent/

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Canadian Premier on US health procedure: 'This was my heart, my choice and my health'

Canadian Premier on US health procedure: 'This was my heart, my choice and my health'... "I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h0QC7bditrEb3wYz_6_b-gsGGDxA

'My heart, my choice,' Williams says, defending decision for U.S. heart surgery
By Tara Brautigam (CP) – 19 hours ago

An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a "minimally invasive" surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.

"This was my heart, my choice and my health," Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.

"I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."

The 60-year-old Williams said doctors detected a heart murmur last spring and told him that one of his heart valves wasn't closing properly, creating a leakage.

He said he was told at the time that the problem was "moderate" and that he should come back for a checkup in six months.

Eight months later, in December, his doctors told him the problem had become severe and urged him to get his valve repaired immediately or risk heart failure, he said.

His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.

He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

That's where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.

Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.

"I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time," the premier said.

Williams said he didn't announce his departure south of the border because he didn't want to create "a media gong show," but added that criticism would've followed him had he chose to have surgery in Canada.

"I would've been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. ... I accept that. That's public life," he said.

"(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that."

Williams said his decision to go to the U.S. did not reflect any lack of faith in his own province's health care system.

"I have the utmost confidence in our own health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador, but we are just over half a million people," he said.

"We do whatever we can to provide the best possible health care that we can in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian health care system has a great reputation, but this is a very specialized piece of surgery that had to be done and I went to somebody who's doing this three or four times a day, five, six days a week."

He quipped that he had "a heart of a 40-year-old, so that gives me 20 years new life," and said he intends to run in the next provincial election in 2011.

"I'm probably going to be around for a long time, hopefully, if God willing," he said.

"God forbid for the Canadian public I won't be around longer than ever."

Williams also said he paid for the treatment, but added he would seek any refunds he would be eligible for in Canada.

"If I'm entitled to any reimbursement from any Canadian health care system or any provincial health care system, then obviously I will apply for that as anybody else would," he said.

"But I wrote out the cheque myself and paid for it myself and to this point, I haven't even looked into the possibility of any reimbursement. I don't know what I'm entitled to, if anything, and if it's nothing, then so be it."

He is expected back at work in early March.

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stimulus funds going to slashed programs

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-17-stimulus-funds_N.htm

By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — More than $3.5 billion in economic stimulus funds are going to programs that President Obama wants to eliminate or trim in his new budget.
The president's budget released this month recommends getting rid of Army Corps of Engineers' drinking-water projects, which got $200 million in stimulus funds, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture flood-prevention program, which received $290 million from the stimulus, a USA TODAY review of stimulus spending reports show.

The administration's budget plan says the corps and USDA programs are inefficient and duplicate similar, more effective work by other agencies. The proposed cuts indicate the programs shouldn't have gotten money from the $862 billion stimulus package, said Tom Schatz of the non-partisan budget watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste.

"It's certainly inconsistent, and it would have been better to have this realization a year ago," Schatz said. "But if inconsistency means they're going to cut the programs, it's OK. It's the other way around that bothers us."

White House budget office spokesman Thomas Gavin said the administration wasn't being inconsistent. Unlike the annual spending bills, the corps and USDA programs in the stimulus law didn't mandate funding for specific projects selected by members of Congress, Gavin said in an e-mail. That allowed agencies to "invest (stimulus) funds where they can do the greatest good," Gavin said.

The stimulus law, however, requires the corps' stimulus money to be spent only on projects that Congress had previously approved for funding.

Obama's proposed budget also includes $334 million in cuts to programs that got more than $3 billion in stimulus money. They include:

• A $100 million cut in funding for maintenance and construction in national forests. The Forest Service got $650 million for such projects in the stimulus package, of which $55.6 million has been spent, according to USDA reports. The White House budget says the Forest Service doesn't need as much money because it is building fewer roads.

• A $44 million decrease in funding for an Interior Department program to thin trees and brush on federal land to mitigate wildfires. The stimulus provided $15 million for the program. The administration says it is reorganizing the program, which has been less effective than it should be because it didn't focus on preventing the fires most likely to threaten homes.

Obama signed the stimulus package a year ago today, an occasion that the administration is marking with events at the White House today and across the country this week.

Stimulus spending: A year later

A year ago today, President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill, which the Congressional Budget Office now says will cost $862 billion. The law provides $626 billion in spending and $236 billion in tax cuts. USA TODAY's Matt Kelley looks at where the bulk of the money has gone so far in some of the largest spending programs.

Status
The largest share of education money spent so far, $19.6 billion, went to state governments as part of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. States can use that money to shore up budgets for schools and other essential services.

About half of the energy funding, $16.8 billion, is for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including $5 billion to make low-income housing more energy efficient. Only about $687 million of that money has been spent.

The Transportation Department has $23.9 billion in the pipeline for highway construction and has spent $6.1 billion so far. The administration in January announced $8 billion in grants for 13 high-speed rail projects.

The package increased federal payments to states for Medicaid and unemployment insurance and boosted spending on food stamps. Unemployment insurance payments were $10 billion higher in 2009 than originally estimated.

What's next
The Education Department plans to announce in early April the first round of grants under Race to the Top, a $4.4 billion program distributing money to states with innovative school improvement plans. Forty states and D.C. applied for a share of the money.

The Energy Department this year will fund carbon sequestration projects from among a dozen awarded preliminary investments. Carbon sequestration captures carbon dioxide produced by industry for reuse or permanent storage. There's $1.4 billion in available funding.

The Transportation Department plans next month to redistribute all stimulus funds for highway projects that didn't get spent or allocated by today. Mass transit funds must be awarded by March or the department will redistribute that money, too.

The increased federal Medicaid payments to states under the stimulus package are set to expire at the end of the year. However, the additional funds for food stamps and unemployment insurance payments would continue.


Sources: Congressional Budget Office; stimulus spending reports by the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor and Transportation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Obama Defeats FDR (in Spending Other People’s Money)

http://cnsnews.com/commentary/article/61454

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey
Listen to Commentary Podcasts

After he signed a law last week authorizing the U.S. Treasury to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion, President Barack Obama delivered a characteristically sanctimonious speech. It was about his deep commitment to frugality.

“After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility,” he said. “It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do. Like families across the country, we have to take responsibility for every dollar we spend.”

To put Obama’s Olympian hypocrisy in perspective, one need only examine the federal budget tables posted on the White House website by Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget.

They reveal these startling facts: When calculated by the average annual percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that he will spend during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the biggest-spending president since 1930, the earliest year reported on the OMB’s historical chart of spending as a percentage of GDP. When calculated by the average annual percentage of GDP he will borrow during his presidency, Obama is on track to become the greatest debter president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Obama will outspend and out-borrow the admittedly profligate George W. Bush, a man Obama and his lieutenants routinely malign for fiscal recklessness and who, when in office, was often hailed even by his allies as a Big Government Republican. Obama will even outspend—but not quite out-borrow—his fellow welfare-state liberal FDR, who had to contend with both the Depression and World War II.

In determining this was the case, I credited the presidents prior to Obama with the federal spending and borrowing that occurred during the fiscal years that started when they were in office. I credited Obama with the spending and borrowing that his own OMB estimates will occur during the fiscal years from 2010 to 2013, which are the four fiscal years starting during Obama’s four-year term. (Before fiscal 1977, fiscal years ran from July 1 to June 30. Since then, they have run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.)

FDR was inaugurated in March 1933 and died in April 1945. He is thus responsible for the 12 fiscal years from 1934 to 1945. During those years of depression and world war, according to OMB, federal spending averaged 19.35 percent of GDP. During Obama’s four fiscal years, OMB estimates spending will average 24.13 percent of GDP. That is about 25 percent more than under FDR.

In the first eight fiscal years of FDR’s presidency, before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, federal spending as a percentage of GDP never exceeded 12 (despite the Depression). During those years, it averaged only 9.85 percent. Under Obama, annual spending as a percentage of GDP will average almost two-and-a-half times that much.

In fiscal 1942, when the U.S. started dramatically ramping up expenditures to fight World War II, federal spending equaled 24.3 percent of GDP. In 2010, the first full fiscal year of the Obama era, spending will reach 25.4 percent of GDP.

Under current estimates, Obama will not beat FDR’s overall record for borrowing, although he will nearly double FDR’s pre-World War II rate of borrowing. From 1934-41, FDR ran annual deficits that averaged 3.56 percent of GDP. Obama, according to OMB, will run average annual deficits of 7.05 percent GDP. When you include the war years of 1942-45, FDR ran average annual deficits of 9.76 percent of GDP. Even without a world war, Obama’s overall prospective borrowing is at least competitive with FDR’s.

And Obama and FDR share one historic debt-accumulating distinction. By OMB’s calculation, they are the only two presidents since 1930 to run up annual deficits that reached double figures as a percentage of GDP. Obama will run up a deficit this year of 10.6 percent of GDP. The last time the deficit hit double digits as a percentage of GDP was 1945 -- when Germany and Japan surrendered.

The U.S. won the Cold War without ever running a double-digit deficit. President Reagan’s highest deficit was 6 percent of GDP in 1983 -- and he bankrupted the Soviet Union not the United States.

So how does Obama compare with the much-maligned George W. Bush? In Bush’s eight fiscal years, annual federal spending averaged 20.43 percent of GDP, significantly less than Obama’s estimated 24.13 percent of GDP.

Bush ran annual deficits that averaged 3.4 percent of GDP—and that includes fiscal 2009, when the deficit soared to 9.9 percent of GDP and Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus bill (some of which was spent in fiscal 2009) after Bush left office. Obama, according to OMB, will run deficits that average 7.05 percent of GDP—or more than twice the average deficits under Bush.

The bottom line on Obama: He puts our money where his mouth is.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hitler & America Today Comparisons!!!

After America , There is No Place to Go"

By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books. I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide - 98% of the vote.. I've never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.


Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.



Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.



Equal Rights Hits Home:
In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death.. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.



Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.



As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.



"Mercy Killing" Redefined:
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.



The Final Steps - Gun Laws:

Next came gun registration.. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria .. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.



After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria . Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.



This is an eye witness account. It's true..those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.



America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away

"After America , There is No Place to Go"

A different spin on the war in Iraq: This WAR is REAL

http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5000'

Muslim terrorists and the U.S.A.
A different spin on the war in Iraq: This WAR is REAL


Dr. Vernon Chong, Major General, USAF, Retired

To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII).

The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

First, let's examine a few basics:

1 When did the threat to us start?

Many will say September 11, 2001. The answer, as far as the United States is concerned, is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:

* Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;

* Beirut , Lebanon Embassy 1983;

* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983; * Lockerbie , Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;* Dhahran , Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military Complex 1996;* Nairobi , Kenya US Embassy 1998;* Dares Salaam , Tanzania US Embassy 1998;* Aden , Yemen USS Cole 2000; * New York World Trade Center 2001; * Pentagon 2001.

(Note: during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide.)

2 Why were we attacked?

Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats, as there were no provocations by any of the
presidents or their immediate predecessor, President Ford.

3 Who were the attackers?

In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.

4 What is the Muslim population of the World? 25%.

5 Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?

Hopefully, but that is really not
material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population
of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6
million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000
Polish priests).


(see http://www.Nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm



Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis as the six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom hear of anything other than the Jewish atrocities.
Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy in killing anyone who got in the way of his extermination of the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christian, or any others.



Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US , but kill all in the way -- their own people or the Spanish, British, French or anyone else. The point here is that,
just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the
Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no
protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are
fanatically bent on doing -- by their own pronouncements -- killing all of us 'infidels.' I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was to remain silent or be killed?



6 So who are we at war with?

There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.



So with that background, now to the two major questions:
1 Can we lose this war?

2 What does losing really mean?

If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions:



We can definitely lose this war and, as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question - What does losing mean?

It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home, and going on about our business, like post-Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get.

What losing really means is:



We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but, rather, will steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they
had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us over the past 18 years. The plan was, clearly, for terrorists to attack us until we were neutered and submissive to them.



We would, of course, have no future support from other nations, for fear of reprisals and for the reason that they would see; we are impotent and cannot help them.

They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them.
They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn't matter whether it was right
or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq . Spain did it
because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do will be done.
Spain is finished.



The next will probably be France. Our one hope with France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don't win, they are finished, too, in that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may already be too late for France.
France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast.



Without our support, Great Britain will go, also. Recently, I read that there are more mosques in England than churches.



If we lose the war, our production, income,exports, and way of life will all vanish as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us if they were threatened by the Muslims? If we can't stop the Muslim terrorists, how could anyone else?



The radical Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning, at any cost. We'd better know it, too, and be likewise committed to winning at any cost.



Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple… Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our thoughts and efforts into winning. And it is going to take that 100% effort to win.



So, how can we lose the war?



Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by 'imploding.' That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose and failing to dig in and lend full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided, there is no way that we can
win.



Let me give you a few examples of how we simplydon't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation:



President Bush selects Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation. Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war! For the duration, we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights to which we have become accustomed. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them

permanently.



And don't worry that it is a slippery
slope. We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII, and immediately restored them after the victory ... and, in fact, added many more since that time.



Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?



No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political Correctness and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them out of your head.



Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose.



I think some actually do. I hasten to add that this isn't because they are disloyal. It is because they just don't recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the
impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. It concerns our friends and it does great damage to our cause.



Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying. We have recently had an issue involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police. These are the type prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues, and otherwise murdering their own just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.



And, just a few years ago, these same type prisoners chemically killed 400,000 of their own people for the same reason. They are also the same type of enemy fighters who recently were burning Americans and dragging their charred corpses through the streets of Iraq . And, still more recently, the same type of enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally of the beheading of American prisoners they held.



Compare this with some of our press and politicians, who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the 'humiliating' of some Muslim prisoners -- not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them, but

'humiliating' them.



Can they be for real?

The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense. If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in, and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can.



To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his
fiddle as Rome burned -- totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife. Again, I say, this does not mean that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude of the situation we are in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us for many years.



These people are a serious and dangerous liability to the war effort. We must take note of who they are and get them out of office. Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels. That translates into ALL non-Muslims -- not just in the United States , but throughout the world. We are the last bastion of defense.

We have been criticized for many years as being 'arrogant.' That charge is valid. We are arrogant in that we believe that we are so good, powerful, and smart that we can win the hearts and minds of all those who attack us, and that, with both hands tied behind our back, we can defeat anything bad in the world. We can't!



If we don't recognize this, our nation, as we know it, will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.



And, finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone -- let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been
productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the world.



This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire . If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.



If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach, little by little, on the established French traditions.

The French will be fighting among themselves over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve. Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece.



And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide, that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power.



Muslims have universally shown that when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who the few will be controlling the masses.



What is happening in Iraq is a good
example. Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct about
the 'peaceful Muslims?'



I close on a hopeful note by repeating what I said before: If we are united, there is no way that we can lose.
I hope now, after the election, the factions in our country will begin to
focus on the critical situation we are in, and will unite to save our
country. It is your future we are talking about. Do whatever you
can to preserve it. I reiterate: our national election is under way.

After reading the above, we all must do this, not only for ourselves, but for our children, our grandchildren, our country, and our world. Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal... and that includes the Politicians and media of our country and the free world.

Please forward this to any you feel may want, or NEED to read it. Our 'leaders' in Congress ought to read it,too. There are those who find fault with our country, but it is obvious to anyone who truly thinks through this, that we must UNITE!

Lastly, I wish to add: at the risk of
offending, I sincerely think that anyone who rejects this as just another political rant, or doubts the seriousness of this issue, or just deletes it without sending it on, is part of the problem. Let's quit laughing at and forwarding the jokes and cartoons which denigrate and ridicule our leaders in this war against terror. They are trying to protect the interests and well being of the US and its citizens. Best we support them.

GOD BLESS AMERICA



About Dr. Chong. If you
wish to read more about him, click the highlighted reference above.

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Chief flight surgeon
Flight hours: More than 1,600

Aircraft flown: C-141, KC-135,
C-130, T-29, C-5, T-39, C-21, C-12, C-9A, T-33, T-38, H-53, H-3, UH-1

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit with oak leaf
cluster

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Vietnam Service Medal

Order of Merit-Brazil

Gold Cross of Honor-Germany

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS

Order of the Sword - bestowed by
enlisted personnel of Air Training Command

Clinical Professor of Surgery,
University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio

Ira C. Eaker fellow - Air Force
Association, Aerospace Education Foundation

Board of Governors, American
College of Surgeons

Board of Regents, National
Library of Medicine

Board of Regents, adviser,
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Board of Trustees, Air Force
Village Foundation

Board of Directors, Alamo
Chapter, American Red Cross, San Antonio

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Secession: A Solution to the Washington Debt Threat

http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com/secession-as-a-solution-to-the-washington-debt-threat/

Feb 12th, 2010 By Ron Holland

Frédéric Bastiat must have been looking toward the future of the United States today when he said, “When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.”

I fear the federal government will plunder much of our private wealth, retirement plans and personal savings through hyperinflation, financial controls and confiscatory tax rates all in the name of protecting the public from a future debt crisis unless the states can secede from the Union and the crushing Washington debt load.

The first actual secession following several attempts by the New England states took place in the South and it ended with the defeat of the Confederate States of America. Now secession is again in the news and this time it may be the only solution to surviving the coming Washington national debt crisis.

We need to forget the causes of the earlier War Between the States, regional differences, slavery, tariffs and other related issues. The new secession effort will be state-based but a national movement all across the United States ranging from Vermont to Georgia, Texas to Alaska etc. Economic survival and prosperity rather than regional issues will be motivating factor.

The first secession was a product of anti-southern tariff taxes resulting in the Southern states paying the majority of the revenue to fund the distant federal government. A mistaken defense of the dying institution of slavery by slaveholding elites in the South also contributed to the failed secession effort. Third, the advancement of corporate manufacturing profits and railroad expansionism by the Northeastern establishment elites were a major contributor. Finally the promotion of a conflict by the European Rothschild banking interests funding both the Northern abolitionists and the Southern secessionists guaranteed a violent breakup of what should have been a peaceful parting of the states.

Still the right of democratic state-by-state secession did not die at the point of a bayonet at Appomattox Court House in 1865. The belief in peaceful devolution of government powers and services to regions and local jurisdictions to allow citizens to control the power of politicians and government is a positive advancement for the 21st century. In addition, the right of devolution of states, geographic regions and groups around the world promotes competition and freedom.

I believe legal state secession from the Washington Empire just might become the only way for American citizens to escape the disastrous consequences from the coming global run to liquidate holdings of Washington treasury obligations and the dollar. Breaking free of the false chains that threaten our economic future from the likely Washington debt/dollar collapse might be our last chance to safeguard our financial security and liberty from the hyperinflation and crushing new tax increases to be forced on this and future generations from the bailouts and national debt.

Imagine no Washington income tax, no interference in the internal affairs of individual states, no involvement in perpetual wars around the world without a declaration of war, no Washington tax-feeding bureaucrats telling individual citizens, state legislatures or state agencies what to do.

Consider the benefits of sovereign states voluntarily participating in a decentralized republic or confederation, maybe like America’s first central government created by our patriot founding fathers, the Articles of Confederation. A decentralized nation where marriage, religious views, history, symbols, culture, abortion, gay rights etc. are determined on a state basis, Where citizens can eat, drink, smoke or do whatever with regulations and conduct governed by the norms of a state or locality rather than a distant federal government.

Can you envision a healthy economy, with minimal government debts combined with a rising standard of living and job growth guaranteed by low taxes, minimal regulations and currency competition? All of this without the Federal Reserve and Wall Street creating excessive bubbles followed by contraction and collapse and then demanding bailouts.

Imagine for a moment a people and sovereign states with future generations free from the illegitimate Washington national debt which threatens to destroy the prosperity, savings, housing values and jobs for our children and grandchildren. Review the US National Debt Clock which tells the entire story and our future. Today the official US National Debt breaks down to $40,079 per individual. Look at the clock link to see the increase per second.

Finally, when you consider the total unfunded liabilities of Washington (see the link above), the liability per American citizen is $177,515. Remember, none of the citizens of the individual states or America in general have had the opportunity to vote on the bailout or approve these debts most of which have gone to international corporations, Wall Street and world banking cartels. We, our children and future generations should not have to fund or pay off an illegitimate debt created just to bail out a few global corporations and wealthy special interests.

The Washington Empire is now run for the benefit of New York financial and economic interests who own and control most of Congress. Due to the recent bailouts and added debt which the majority of Americans opposed, the United States is now sadly on the path toward economic, debt and currency destruction.

Why should my state, South Carolina or other states join the federal government in future poverty, loss of freedoms and lagging economic prosperity with a dismal future determined by their foreign creditors? I say, it is time to free the states and citizens from the dark economic future which Washington and Wall Street have created. Just maybe we can finally be free at last from Washington’s national debt.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, from his I have a Dream speech said, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” To quote another Southerner, Jefferson Davis was right when he stated, “I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it.”

I think it is time for Americans left and right to reconsider where our nation and the federal government have ended up. Few would question that the all-powerful Washington government living on borrowed debt and fake prosperity is a political model which has failed miserably.

Today the constitutional protections have become just another dead document through the actions of Bush and Obama. A recent, WSJ/NBC poll showed that only 3% of Americans believe the government is doing a good job. Given the margin of error in the poll, the real % could have been zero.

Let’s revisit the political wisdom of the original republic founded through the blood and sacrifice of our patriot founding fathers. Back to something like the original republic of sovereign state republics, the Articles of Confederation.

Today in 2010, join me in voting both for the dream of Dr. King and the vision of Jefferson Davis. It is time to replace the failed Washington leviathan with a new limited central government based on the original vision of sovereign states where we become again, “these United States” instead of “the United States.” I’m voting in 2010 and 2012 in support of the Tenth Amendment and for the right of nullification.

Finally, if necessary, I’ll support temporary secession efforts from the empire until we restore the original republic of our founding fathers. We must be free of an illegitimate national debt, an unconstitutional Federal Reserve and protected by currency competition and the choice of a currency based on the gold standard.

HALF OF IMMIGRANT HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN ON WELFARE!

http://www.numbersusa.com/content/node/5260?jid=351674&rid=3024&tid=540618

Yes, HALF of all immigrant families are using welfare, especially food and Medicaid welfare! This includes illegal AND legal immigrants. Amazing.

Half of all immigrant households with children are on welfare. HALF! These are supposed to be people doing "jobs Americans won't do." Sounds more like they're collecting government benefits U.S. citizens can't get!

President Obama, Senate Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi, we call on you to SUSPEND all future non-essential immigration.

The federal budget deficit$1.4 Trillion and risingcan't afford to pay out Medicaid and food stamp benefits to more poor immigrants that America obviously does not need.

And yet, all of you are calling for INCREASED immigration and even an AMNESTY for illegal aliens! Your judgment is badly flawed! Higher immigration and amnesty will cause taxes and deficits to rise.

It's time for you to admit that your ideas about immigration are out-of-date and destructive. Suspend non-essential immigration now!

http://www.cis.org/immigrants_profile_2007

By Roy Beck, Monday, February 8, 2010

For those of you whose primary political interest is stopping the growth of government or even shrinking it, you have to contend with national leaders who say they agree with you but who refuse to deal with immigration. They say immigration is a "social" issue that isn't related to government spending and deficit issues. They couldn't be more wrong. . . .

Let's start with this tidbit from government data provided by the Center for Immigration Studies (Table 13: "Immigrant Households with Children Under 18"):

Roughly ONE-HALF of all immigrant households with kids are accessing the welfare system, especially food and Medicaid welfare.
In this case, "immigrant" includes both authorized and illegal foreign citizens allowed by the federal government to settle in our country. Since 2000, that number each year has averaged around 1.3 million a year -- plus another 1 million births to those immigrant households.

With one-half of those households being poor enough to use the federal, state and local welfare systems, is there anybody blind enough to think that adding 2.3 million people a year to immigrant households is not driving huge increases in government?

That is 23 million disproportionately poor and welfare-using people a decade!

NumbersUSA doesn't take a specific stand on whether government should be bigger or smaller. But we do think it is strange that our government has this humongous program that imports massive amounts of poverty into the country each year. And the welfare use is just the tip of the iceberg. If about half of these households are poor enough to qualify for some form of welfare, that means they can't come close to paying the taxes required to provide for all the extra physical and social infrastructure to take care of the presence of these 23 million new residents each decade.

Even stranger is that this gargantuan driver of bigger and bigger government was promoted and continues to be supported by the Republican National Committee and by the Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Republican leaders every day castigate Pres. Obama for trying to bloat government, but Republican leaders resolutely refuse to even suggest that the government reduce its importation of welfare-using immigrants.

Why?

The reason should be clear: Republican leaders may say they want to shrink Big Government, but not if it gets in the way of pleasing their cheap-labor corporate donors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Two key drivers of the growth in welfare usage and bigger government are the chain migration and visa lottery categories of our immigration system.

Those two categories would be eliminated by the Gingrey bill and the Goodlatte bill (a couple of Republicans who are sincere in their concerns about the size of government and the burden on taxpayers).

Click on their names above to see if your U.S. Representative has signed on.

Not a single U.S. Senator -- Republican or Democrat -- has cared enough to even introduce a bill in that chamber.

But Republican leaders in Washington will not allow these immigration reductions or any other to be pushed to the top of their agenda. The word from the leaders is that Republicans are to ignore immigration altogether this year. The intent of the Republican leaders is to ensure that 23 million people continue to be added to the heavily welfare-using immigrant households each decade. That is one form of bigger government that the Republican leaders love.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Monday, February 08, 2010

Recession chugs on, except in government

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Recession-chugs-on_-except-in-government-83765597.html

Examiner Editorial
February 8, 2010

White House apologists were quick to point to the unemployment rate decline from 10 percent to 9.7 percent as evidence that the recovery is gathering momentum and that President Obama's policies -- especially his $787 billion economic stimulus bill Congress approved last February -- are "working." But the back story behind the figures provides cold comfort.

First, the drop to 9.7 percent unemployment does not reflect the creation of new jobs that normally accompanies an economic recovery. The number of new jobs is actually declining. Total nonfarm payroll employment, for example, dipped by an additional 20,000 positions after a December decline of 150,000 positions. The unemployment rate the day Obama took office last year stood at 7.6 percent and 134.6 million people had jobs. When he signed the economic stimulus, Obama promised the bill would bolster the economy sufficiently to keep unemployment below 8.0 percent. But the unemployment rate has exceeded 8.0 percent since last fall, and total employment stands at only 129.5 million. The stimulus has been a bust.

Second, anybody who thinks the job situation is going to improve dramatically in coming months is not paying attention to what's going on behind the unemployment rate.The Hudson Institute's Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes that “This is a better employment report than last month’s report, yet the economy is still not creating jobs. The percent of the unemployed who are out of work for 27 weeks or more exceeded 41%, an all-time high. This is unacceptable and shows that Congress and the President need to focus on job creation, rather than on expanding government, because the tax increases and borrowing used to expand government reduce overall job creation and create uncertainty." Furchtgott-Roth further notes that "the labor force participation rate is the lowest since mid-1985." This means that fewer Americans are in the labor force.

Third, among the few sectors of the economy showing net employment growth over the past year is the federal government. The federal civil service is rapidly expanding as Obama increases the size of government, with 33,000 new positions being added in January alone. Only 9,000 of those new slots were for temporary census jobs. In other words, what we are seeing is good times for the public sector and the growing prospect of a continuing and perhaps even deepening recession for everybody else.



Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Recession-chugs-on_-except-in-government-83765597.html#ixzz0eyfRDWUQ

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Progressing Unemployment Map Of US By County '07 - Nov. '09

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9jBNyysbho

http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

This is really cool! It's a map that shows unemployment in the US by county and when you click play it progresses from 2007 up through Nov. 2009! Makes you glad to live in Nebraska huh?!

The crazy part is that it only goes to Nov.'09 when unemployment was at 9%. They should have gone another month where unemployment reached 10.1% and raising!!!

Canadian Premier COMES TO USA for surgery!

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700

N.L. Premier Williams set to have heart surgery in U.S.

Kenyon Wallace, National Post
Published: Tuesday, February 02, 2010

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States.

Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale confirmed the treatment at a news conference Tuesday, but would not reveal the location of the operation or how it would be paid for.

"He has gone to a renowned expert in the procedure that he needs to have done," said Ms. Dunderdale, who will become acting premier while Mr. Williams is away for three to 12 weeks.

"In consultation with his own doctors, he's decided to go that route."

Mr. Williams' decision to leave Canada for the surgery has raised eyebrows over his apparent shunning of Canada's health-care system.

"It was never an option offered to him to have this procedure done in this province," said Ms. Dunderdale, refusing to answer whether the procedure could be done elsewhere in Canada.

Mr. Williams, 59, has said nothing of his health in the media.

"The premier has made a commitment that once he's through this procedure and he's well enough, he's going to talk about the whole process and share as much detail with you as he's comfortable to do at that time," she said.

Ms. Dunderdale wouldn't say where in the U.S. Mr. Williams is seeking treatment.

A popular Progressive Conservative premier, Mr. Williams has also seen his share of controversy. During the 2008 federal election, Mr. Williams vehemently opposed the Conservative government, launching his "Anything But Conservative" -- which has been credited with keeping the Tories from winning any seats in the province.

He's also drawn criticism for his support of the seal hunt.


Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700#ixzz0ePXdwhG3
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Obama budget: Record spending, record deficit



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100201/ap_on_bi_ge/us_budget

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
Mon Feb 1, 6:12 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Spelling out painful priorities, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday to quickly approve a huge new shot of spending for recession relief and job creation, part of a record $3.8 trillion budget that would boost the deficit beyond any in the nation's history while only slowly beginning to put Americans back to work.

If Congress goes along with Obama's election-year plan, the nation would still end the year with unemployment pushing double digits at 9.8 percent and this year's pool of government red ink deepening to $1.56 trillion — by the administration's accounting.

The spending blueprint for next year calls for tax cuts for workers and business and more aid for cash-starved state governments as well as the unemployed. The jobs initiative largely mirrors last year's stimulus bill, but is about one-third its size. The president is asking for nearly $300 billion for recession relief and job stimulus.

The budget paints a remarkably dire picture of a federal government that will have to borrow one-third of what it spends next year as it runs a deficit that still would total some $1.3 trillion.

At the same time, Obama is acutely aware that persistent joblessness is the issue most likely to spell political trouble for Democrats in this year's midterm elections — and perhaps for his own re-election chances in 2012.

The president's budget plan sees the deficit coming down by nearly $300 billion next year, and he's offering more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction proposals over the coming decade.

While proposing increases for immediate needs, he urged lawmakers to follow his lead and make cuts, even painful ones in programs dear to them. "I'm asking Republicans and Democrats alike to take a fresh look at programs they've supported in the past to see what's working and what's not, and trim back accordingly," he said.

"What I reject is the same old grandstanding when the cameras are on, and the same irresponsible budget policies when the cameras are off," the president said. "It's time to save what we can, spend what we must, and live within our means once again."

Republicans weren't impressed with the proposals.

"They're not willing to do big ideas. They're doing ideas that create perception but don't do anything big," said New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, senior Republican on the Budget Committee. "The spending freeze for example. You're talking what, $10 billion on a $1.6 trillion deficit?"

Democrats, facing the prospect of major losses in November, are likely to join Republicans in balking at many of Obama's proposals. Moderate Democrats already are wary of another debt-financed economic stimulus program and may also choke on many of the recommended tax increases and spending cuts.

Obama's proposal to cut payments to wealthier farmers, for example is probably dead on arrival and his renewed push to end purchases of new C-17 cargo planes for the military is sure to incite a battle with lawmakers from California, where the planes are assembled.

Proposing a partial spending freeze, tax increases for wealthier people and a new fee on banks, the president's proposal still amounts to just tinkering at the edges of the larger budget problem.

Obama's budget presents a delicate balance between trying to cement the fragile recovery and pivoting to curb deficits that are on the rise not only in dollar figures but also as a political issue that is causing Democrats to lose popularity with independent voters.

So while pledging to tackle deficits, he also said that continuing them in the short term is necessary to help lower unemployment. We will "do what it takes to create jobs," he said. "It's essential."

His budget proposed a job creation tax credit of up to $5,000 for each new worker that businesses hire, another round of one-time $250 checks for senior citizen on Social Security and extended unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless. Obama also wants to extend a $400 "Making Work Pay" tax credit for most workers through 2011.

While White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spoke Sunday of a $100 billion jobs initiative, these "temporary recovery measures" in fact total $282 billion through the autumn of 2012, according to budget documents.

At the same time, Obama wants to hand off to a commission decisions on the tough steps needed to reduce deficits and slow the growth in the federal debt to levels economists deem prudent. The panel's recommendations wouldn't be due until after the midterm election.

Obama's proposal lays out a path to reduce annual deficits to about $700 billion in four years, but ideas for tax increases or cuts in popular benefit programs like Medicare or Social Security to reduce them an additional $200 million would have to come from the commission.

"We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money, as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation," Obama said.

Balancing the budget or producing surpluses of the kind from 1998 through 2001 is now seen as all but impossible. Instead, many policymakers are for a secondary goal of stabilizing the national debt in relation to the size of the economy. That generally requires keeping the deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Just three years ago, the deficit stood at 1.2 percent of GDP. This year it's 10.6 percent.

Obama dropped his plan into a poisonous election-year atmosphere. Republicans in Congress immediately labeled it as a toxic mix of higher taxes, big spending and debt, saying it would still produce deficits totaling $8.5 trillion over the coming decade.

Obama inherited a difficult deficit situation when taking office amid a severe recession and financial crisis that made tax revenues plummet and caused unemployment benefits and food stamp costs to spike.

"When I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion," Obama said, citing the estimates that greeted him a year ago.

Still, Obama now mostly owns the deficit as a political issue after passing last year's $862 billion economic stimulus bill and other major spending legislation that's earned mixed reviews with the public.

Obama would extend most of former President George W. Bush's tax cuts, as they apply to middle-income earners. Married couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,00 would see their marginal tax rates rise to as much as 39.6 percent and also lose some of the benefits they take on itemized deductions like charitable gifts and mortgage interest.

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Associated Press writers Martin Crutsinger, Stephen Ohlemacher and Jennifer Loven contributed to this report.