TML> SIteTest1

It is such a shame Obama cannot receive the respect he RIGHTFULLY deserves. Oh, God, please [continue] to bless these divided states.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
  • Republican challenger David Rouzer has conceded to
    Democratic Representative Mike McIntyre in North
    Carolina's 7th District.

Monday, December 3, 2012
  • House Republicans have made a $2.2 trillion counter
    offer to the White House on the fiscal cliff negotiations
    that does not raise tax rates on upper income
    Americans but does include $800 billion in tax reform,
    $600 billion in health care cuts and $600 billion in other
    cuts in discretionary and mandatory spending.
  • Republican Missouri Representative Jo Ann Emerson
    plans to retire in February to become the president and
    CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative
  • "I am not leaving Congress because I have lost my
    heart for service - to the contrary - I see a new way
    to serve," Emerson said.  "I did not go seeking this
    opportunity, but I am excited about the new
    challenge it offers to find ways to promote strong
    rural policy."
  • Emerson won reelection to her tenth term in November
    as the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 8th
    congressional district, serving since 1996.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
  • It has been reported that Vermont Governor Peter
    Shumlin has been elected to lead the Democratic
    Governors Association for 2013.
  • Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will serve as the
    DGA's vice chair and Maryland Governor Martin
    O'Malley, the outgoing DGA head, will be finance
    chair.  The current DGA executive director, Colm
    O'Comartun, will remain on the job due to a successful
    2012 cycle that saw Democrats winning most
    competitive gubernatorial elections on the map.
  • Democratic sources have reported that Colorado
    Senator Michael Bennet will serve as chairman of the
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the
    2014 election cycle.  Guy Cecil will return for another
    two-year term as executive director for the committee
    after a successful 2012 election cycle in which
    Democrats gained seats in the Senate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
  • Saying goodbye to former Texas Representative Jack
    Brooks.  Brooks served 42 years in the House and was
    considered one of giants during his time.  He was 89.
  • Brooks was in the motorcade when President John F.
    Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and later lost his
    seat in the Republican wave in 1994.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
  • GOP aides confirm that Republican South Carolina
    Senator Jim DeMint is resigning his seat in January to
    become president of the Heritage Foundation.
  • Senator Jim DeMint reported to the Wall Street Journal,
    "This really gets my blood going again thinking
    about the possibilities.  This is the time to elevate the
    conservative cause".
  • Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is
    scheduled to appoint a replacement until a special
    election is held in 2014.
Friday, December 7, 2012
  • The Supreme Court announced today that it will accept the case of same-sex marriage.  Hearing both a case stemming
    from California's Proposition 8 voter-approved ban on gay marriage and a case from New York challenging the
    constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
  • According to two sources close to planning President Obama’s inauguration, President Obama will accept unlimited
    corporate donations for his inauguration in January.  This is contrary to his position from his first inauguration.
  • The legal maximum donation for an inauguration is $250,000, but four years ago, President Obama capped all
    contributions at $50,000 and barred companies from kicking in any money.  President Obama had also banned corporate
    money from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
  • The Labor Department reported that there has been 146,000 jobs added in November with unemployment falling to 7.7
    percent.  This is great news, as analysts had estimated the November jobs number would come in at around 85,000 to

Saturday, December 8, 2012
  • According to the Associated Press Republican Representative Charles Boustany defeated fellow GOP Rep. Jeff
    Landry in Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District.

Sunday, December 9, 2012
  • This is a very interesting report about false confessions.  Although I have heard that false confessions happen more
    often than most think and I knew that it is easy to get a false confession from a minor, I had no idea that is was so
    prevalent in Chicago!  Alternatively, was it not Illinois where a governor - prior to his departure - overturned mass
    convictions?  I suppose we should not be surprised, as evil lurks in many sizes, shapes and forms.  We need to pay close
    and vigilant attention to iniquities such as these.

Monday, December 10, 2012
  • Iran says it decoded data from CIA drone captured in 2011
    It has been reported that Iran says it decoded data from CIA drone
    captured in 2011.  Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it has decoded all of
    the data from an advanced CIA spy drone captured last year.
    The Guard's aerospace chief, Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, told state-run
    Press TV that that the RQ-170 Sentinel craft had not carried out
    missions over nuclear facilities before it went down in December 2011
    near the eastern border with Afghanistan.
    Tehran had previously said it recovered information from the top-secret
    stealth aircraft, but Monday's announcement suggests technicians may
    have broken encryptions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
  • Human Trafficking
  • This is a very sad article about a woman searching for her kidnapped daughter.

  • The article made me think of a story printed almost 18 years ago about the Boys Town in Nebraska.  Senator John
    DeCamp made a documentary about it and it was set to air on the Discovery Channel, but the powers that be
    (perverted criminals) put a stop to it and it has never been seen on television.  Some of those orphans were taken to the
    White House for midnight parties with powerful lawmakers.
  • The documentary was titled "Conspiracy Of Silence".

    Johnny Gosche, a young boy kidnapped for the perverts in power.  Some speculate he has a new name, Jeff Gannon, a
    male prostitute and ace reporter for the former president George W. Bush.  Now, if we can just figure out how a male
    prostitute repeatedly gets inside the White House without signing in, then perhaps the mystery will end.

Thursday, December 13, 2012
  • We thank God Congressman Alan Grayson is back and again, is taking a stand for The People.
    Following the Thanksgiving protests at Walmart, CNN invited Congressman Alan Grayson on the air to explain what
    they were all about.

  • Newark Mayor Cory Booker is on food stamps.
    Mayor Booker says he undertook the challenge, to destigmatize the SNAP user.  He states:
    "A simple conversation on Twitter drew me into the #SNAPChallenge I am beginning today. My goals for
    the #SNAPChallenge are to raise awareness and understanding of food insecurity; reduce the stigma of
    SNAP participation; elevate innovative local and national food justice initiatives and food policy; and
    amplify compassion for individuals and communities in need of assistance."  Booker wrote on his blog.  
    "Over the next seven days, I plan to highlight the voices of people involved in local food policy, the SNAP
    program and other related initiatives."
    The purpose, was to restrict himself for a week to see if he could survive on $29.78 worth of groceries, the same
    amount allowed a Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) recipient.
    Not even half of the way through the challenge, Booker began reconsidering some of the choices he made with his
    Booker wrote on his LinkedIn blog:
    "In hindsight, investing more of my SNAP budget in eggs and perhaps some coffee might have helped me
    later in the week.  I am growing concerned about running out of food before this is over — especially as
    I try to resist the urge now to have another sweet potato before I go to bed tonight."

  • Susan Rice no longer wants to be considered for the job of Secretary of State
    United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice is withdrawing her name from consideration to be appointed Secretary of State
    by President Barack Obama.
    Rice wrote in a letter to President Obama:
    "If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to
    you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.  That trade-off is simply not worth it to our
    country.  Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time."

Friday, December 14, 2012
  • Gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder suicide at Sandy
    Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.
    President Barack Obama delivered a statement about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
    While wiping his tears, President Obama said:  "We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,
    and each time I hear the news, I react not as a president but as everybody else would, as a parent.  And that is
    especially true today.  I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that
    I do.  Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little
    children and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors
    as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence
    has been torn away from them too early and there is no way to ease their pain."

Saturday, December 15, 2012
  • Having to cancel an overseas scheduled trip, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is recovering at home after she fainted
    and suffered a concussion.

  • President Barack Obama will visit Connecticut to attend a Sunday evening memorial service for the victims of the
    school shooting in Newtown.
    During his speech, Obama said he came with "the love and prayers of a nation."  He said the nation faces "hard
    questions" in the aftermath.  "Can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe
    from harm?"  Obama said.  "If we're honest with ourselves, the answer's no. We're not doing enough, and we will
    have to change."  Obama said that though there is no single law or set of laws that could prevent such tragedies, "that
    can't be an excuse for inaction," dismissing people who say the "politics are too hard.  "Are we prepared that such
    violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?"

  • President Obama and Speaker John Boehner Discuss Tax Increase
    Speaker John Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Barack Obama
    agrees to major entitlement cuts.
    It is the first time Boehner has offered any assistance in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent
    a major concession for the Ohio Republican.  Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners,
    including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning January 1st.
    On Thursday, President Obama and Boehner spoke via telephone Friday after a lengthy face-to-face session at the
    White House.  The quickening pace of private conversations between the two key players in the fiscal cliff standoff
    shows progress is being made in the negotiations, although they are not close to a deal.

Monday, December 17, 2012
  • Longtime Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye has died
    Senator Inouye was the second longest serving senator in U.S. history and a decorated World War II hero.  He was
    88.  According to his office, "His last words were, 'Aloha.'"
    A senator since 1963, Inouye was the most senior U.S. senator at the time of his death and the second-longest serving
    U.S. Senator in history after Robert Byrd.  Inouye continuously represented Hawaii in the U.S. Congress since it
    achieved statehood in 1959 until the time of his death, serving as Hawaii's first U.S. Representative and later a senator.  
    Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the first in the U.S.
    Senate. Before that time, he served in the Hawaii territorial house from 1954 to 1958 and the territorial senate from
    1958 to 1959.  He never lost an election in 58 years as an elected official.

  • Increased Taxes
    The White House has proposed raising tax rates on income above $400,000 - up from $250,000 - as part of a
    counteroffer to House Speaker John Boehner aimed at reaching a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
    The $2.4 trillion proposal offers an equal amount of revenue and spending cuts, meeting a dollar-for-dollar demand that
    Boehner has placed on the scope of a final package.
    President Barack Obama proposed $1.2 trillion in new revenue, down from his previous offer of $1.4 trillion.  He
    offered $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, including $400 billion in entitlement savings, which is an increase of $50 billion.

  • First Black African American Republican Senator
    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has selected freshman Republican Representative Tim Scott to fill the U.S. Senate
    seat that Jim DeMint is vacating.  Scott, 47, will become the first Black African American GOP senator in more than 30

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
  • John Boehner says he has a Plan B to stop the fiscal cliff
    According to his office, Speaker John Boehner plans to tell House Republicans Tuesday morning he is moving to a
    "Plan B" to avert the fiscal cliff.  He will put a bill on the floor that hikes taxes for income over $1 million.  Boehner is
    not pulling out of negotiations with President Barack Obama, but hope his plan will prompt the White House to continue

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
  • Robert Bork, a former solicitor general whose nomination for Supreme Court in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan
    was rejected by the Senate, has died at 84.

  • The Republicans insist we go over the fiscal cliff
    Because House Speaker John Boehner's decision to pursue a different strategy has made it even more difficult to reach
    a comprehensive deficit reduction deal, we are likely to go off the fiscal cliff.
    Agreeable talks between President Obama and Boehner have ceased due to Boehner's announcement that he is
    seeking a Plan B bill that would raise taxes on the income above $1 million.  However, his plan does not include across-
    the-board spending cuts, which will reduce funding for much needed programs.  His plan will hurt the majority of
    Americans, as it cuts entitlement spending, and a bunch of expiring provisions.
    Obama is willing to continue talks with Boehner, but the two have not spoken since Monday night, when the speaker
    informed him of the alternate strategy.
    Obama is scheduled to travel to Hawaii on Friday for a family vacation but will remain in Washington until Congress's
    schedule is convened.

  • President Barack Obama announced the first step on gun control following the Newtown school shootings.  From the
    White House, President Obama stated, "We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political
    divides.  But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing."
    It was announced that Vice President Joe Biden, will lead an committee task force, and the proposals from the task
    force are due in January.  Obama said he would act "without delay."

Thursday, December 20, 2012
  • In a 215-209 vote, House Republicans approve the first of two bills aimed at averting the looming fiscal crisis.  It
    approves a plan that would replace sweeping cuts to defense and other programs with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

  • Newark Mayor Cory Booker wrote in a blog post for
    "But there is still much work to do.  And so, let there be no doubt, I will complete my full second term as mayor.  As for
    my political future, I will explore the possibility of running for The United States Senate in 2014."
    Mayor Cory Booker's decision will delay a run against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

  • Congress has called a special meeting to discuss fiscal cliff
    House Republicans have called an unscheduled closed-party meeting to whip support for Speaker John Boehner's "Plan
    B" tax proposal amid flagging support from rank and file Republicans.  The House went into an unexpected recess
    shortly before Republicans had hoped to vote on Boehner's tax plan.

  • Here we go over the fiscal cliff
    In a setback for Speaker John Boehner, House Republicans have pulled their fiscal cliff bill known as "Plan B," because
    they did not have enough votes for it to pass.
    The bill would have raised taxes on people making more than $1 million a year.  The Senate would not have agreed on
    the House bill and faced a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

Friday, December 21, 2012
  • President Barack Obama talks about the fiscal cliff at the White House.
    "I just spoke to Speaker Boehner and I also met with Senator Reid,"
    he said.  "In the next few days, I've asked leaders of Congress to
    work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class
    Americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million
    Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both
    growth and deficit reduction.  That's an achievable goal.  That can
    be done in 10 days.  Once this legislation is agreed to, I expect
    Democrats and Republicans to get back to Washington and have it
    pass both chambers.  And I will immediately sign that legislation
    into law, before January 1st of next year. It’s that simple."
    President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass a basic agreement
    on the fiscal cliff that would preserve middle class tax-cuts, arguing that
    in a dangerous economic situation, "now is not the time for more self-
    inflicted wounds."
    Obama said he is "still ready and willing" to get a comprehensive package done after a break for Christmas, but that
    would require the bipartisan cooperation that has been lacking.
    "The American people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful than their elected representatives are,"
    Obama said at the White House. "That's a problem. There's a mismatch right now."

  • After he is confirmed by the Senate, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) President Barack Obama will nominate him as
    Hillary Clinton's successor as Secretary of State.

  • Former Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is seeking to preserve his viability for nomination as Secretary of
    In 1998 he made a slur against gays, but has since made a strong apology.  Some top Democratic activists are against
    his potential selection.
    With gay groups marshaling opposition, Hagel said in a statement provided by an aide: "My comments 14 years ago in
    1998 were insensitive.  They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador
    Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights."
    President Barack Obama has considered Hagel to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
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Keeba's Political Page Of Notes
Bible Stuff from Rob
Since the Word of God began
to be preached to the
gentiles, men have tried to
guide the ship or path that
Christians should take or
what laws they should obey.
No matter who they claim to
be, men have come and gone
from this world, many
claiming to be working in the
name of God and few
actually working for God.  
Love, Lyn Gourmet Bath &
Body Products
Created remarkably by Love
Lyn, but carefully designed
especially for you,
Love Lyn
s products are the spa-
therapy that you have been
Home  |  J Davis   |  Keeba  |  Photography  |  Commentary  |  Gourmet Bath & Body  |  Entrepreneurs  |  Bible Stuff  |  E-Mail  |  Site Map
Alternatively, I was wrong!
My experiences with the
police in Colorado is
somewhat memorable. From
what I can remember, there
was the time when I was
either driving to or coming
from work, and I was
driving near Curtis Park
when I noticed a policeman
giving this guy a ticket.
While I was watching
someone else get a ticket, I
rolled-stopped through a
stop sign, and before I knew
it, there were red and blue
lights coming up from
behind me. What made me
think that there would only
be one officer in that area, is
beyond me. The Curtis Park
area was known for some
type of criminal activity, so
I should have been aware.
For previous Political Notes, click HERE
Keeba's Health Care
Reform Plan
Just like most Politicians,
Community Leaders and
Activists, I am so egotistical,
that I felt I could write a
healthcare reform bill better
than any Democrat or
Here’s mine...
Poor Obama
I always deemed him to be
an intelligent man that
could see the forest before
the trees. But… hmmm.  I
feel differently.  He’s not
as smart as I thought he
When the Dems first began
pushing healthcare reform, I
kept watching the
opponents and I could not
help but to think that they
are a bunch of dumb
protesters. Now don’t get
me wrong, I could have
easily been one of them.
Yes, I could have. I say that
because 99% of them do not
have a clue what they’re
Bellow is just my political notes that where jotted down over the past few weeks.
Keeba's Politics Page, where everything is factual - containing the good, the bad and the ugly no matter the Party.
However, as Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify."
The Democrats Get A Swift
As for the People not
supporting their own rights
by voting, I need to kill off a
few of these people inside my
Our united states
government officials Will
Pass…On The american
I give no one a pass.  I do not
care the color of your skin or
the position you may have,
you will NEVER receive a
pass or any excuse for your
actions from me.  NEVER!  
Not now, not ever!
Among many talents,
Rhonda is trying her hand at
catering mass events, which
include, but not limited to
weddings, large parties,
corporate events, and social
functions.  Can she do it?  
Well, she has already proven
her talent when she
creatively designed a cake for
200 plus people.  Her
customers were in awe of the
flowers and various
Helen's Unique Designs
Helen Davis' creative and
unique art of knitting,
weaving blankets, bed
throws, adult and babies and
MORE!  Come and check it
Click Here to learn more!
Democrats Need To Get
Off Their Behinds!
As I listen to the news and
read the newspapers, I have
many complaints against the
Democrats. I’m tired of
them.  But make no mistake,
I will always vote. Yeah,
yeah, I’m tired of all of
them, but I keep casting my
ballot.  Yada, yada, yada!  
My complaints continue.  I
really dislike them for not
have the guts to stand up
against their opponents.  
Often times, they sicken me
and often wonder if it's time
to kick both them and the
Republicans out as neither
seem to do much to make
sure that happens. Ugh!
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TML> SIteTest1

Make sure you vote, as well as keep YOUR Congress informed on matters that concern YOU!

Disclaimer: All credit is given to each news source and is not purposefully ignored; in fact it is our hope to name ALL sources, as it not only gives them credit but to note creditability of posts.
Argentine mom rescues hundreds of sex slaves
By EMILY SCHMALL | Associated Press
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
LA PLATA, Argentina (AP) — Susana Trimarco was a housewife who fussed over her family and paid scant
attention to the news until her daughter left for a doctor's appointment and never came back.
After getting little help from police, Trimarco launched her own investigation into a tip that the 23-year-old was
abducted and forced into sex slavery. Soon, Trimarco was visiting brothels seeking clues about her daughter and the
search took an additional goal: rescuing sex slaves and helping them start new lives.
What began as a one-woman campaign a decade ago developed into a movement and Trimarco today is a hero to
hundreds of women she's rescued from Argentine prostitution rings. She's been honored with the "
Women of
Courage" award by the U.S. State Department and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on Nov. 28. Sunday
night, President Cristina Fernandez gave her a human rights award before hundreds of thousands of people in the
Plaza de Mayo.
But years of exploring the decadent criminal underground haven't led Trimarco to her daughter, Maria de los
Angeles "Marita" Veron, who was 23 in 2002 when she disappeared from their hometown in provincial Tucuman,
leaving behind her own 3-year-old daughter Micaela.
I live for this," the 58-year-old Trimarco told The Associated Press of her ongoing quest. "I have no other life,
and the truth is, it is a very sad, very grim life that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
Her painful journey has now reached a milestone.
Publicity over Trimarco's efforts prompted Argentine authorities to make a high-profile example of her daughter's
case by putting 13 people on trial for allegedly kidnapping Veron and holding her as a sex slave in a family-run
operation of illegal brothels. Prostitution is not illegal in Argentina, but the exploitation of women for sex is.
A verdict is expected Tuesday after a nearly yearlong trial.
The seven men and six women have pleaded innocent and their lawyers have said there's no physical proof
supporting the charges against them. The alleged ringleaders denied knowing Veron and said that women who work
in their brothels do so willingly. Prosecutors have asked for up to 25 years imprisonment for those convicted.
Trimarco was the primary witness during the trial, testifying for six straight days about her search for her daughter.
The road to trial was a long one.
Frustrated by seeming indifference to her daughter's disappearance, Trimarco began her own probe and found a
taxi driver who told of delivering Veron to a brothel where she was beaten and forced into prostitution. The driver is
among the defendants.
With her husband and granddaughter in tow, Trimarco disguised herself as a recruiter of prostitutes and entered
brothel after brothel searching for clues. She soon found herself immersed in the dangerous and grim world of
organized crime, gathering evidence against police, politicians and gangsters.
For the first time, I really understood what was happening to my daughter," she said. "I was with my
husband and with Micaela, asleep in the backseat of the car because she was still very small and I had no
one to leave her with.
The very first woman Trimarco rescued taught her to be strong, she said.
It stuck with me forever: She told me not to let them see me cry, because these shameless people who had
my daughter would laugh at me, and at my pain,
" Trimarco said. "Since then I don't cry anymore. I've made
myself strong, and when I feel that a tear might drop, I remember these words and I keep my composure.
Micaela, now 13, has been by her grandmother's side throughout, contributing to publicity campaigns against human
trafficking and keeping her mother's memory alive.
More than 150 witnesses testified in the trial, including a dozen former sex slaves who described brutal conditions in
the brothels.
Veron may have been kidnapped twice, with the complicity of the very authorities who should have protected her,
according to Julio Fernandez, who now runs a Tucuman police department devoted to investigating human
trafficking. He testified that witnesses reported seeing Veron at a bus station three days after she initially
disappeared, and that a police officer from La Rioja, Domingo Pascual Andrada, delivered her to a brothel there.
Andrada, now among the defendants, denied knowing any of the other defendants, let alone Veron.
Other Tucuman police testified that when they sought permission in 2002 to search La Rioja brothels, a judge made
them wait for hours, enabling Veron's captors to move her. That version was supported by a woman who had been
a prostitute at the brothel: She testified that Veron was moved just before police arrived. The judge, Daniel Moreno,
is not on trial. He denied delaying the raid or having anything to do with the defendants.
Some of the former prostitutes said they had seen Veron drugged and haggard. One testified Veron felt trapped and
missed her daughter. Another said she spotted Veron with dyed-blonde hair and an infant boy she was forced to
conceive in a rape by a ringleader. A third thought Veron had been sold to a brothel in Spain — a lead reported to
Trimarco's campaign to find her daughter led the State Department to provide seed money for a foundation in
Veron's name. To date, it has rescued more than 900 women and girls from sex trafficking. The foundation also
provides housing, medical and psychological aid, and it helps victims sue former captors.
Argentina outlawed human trafficking in 2008, thanks in large part to the foundation's work. A new force dedicated
to combating human trafficking has liberated nearly 3,000 more victims in two years, said Security Minister Nilda
Garre, who wrote a newspaper commentary saying the trial's verdict should set an example.
Whatever the verdict, Trimarco's lawyer, Carlos Garmendia, says the case has already made a difference.
Human trafficking was an invisible problem until the Marita (Veron) case," Garmendia said. "The case has
put it on the national agenda.
But Trimarco wants more. "
I had hoped they would break down and say what they'd done with Marita," she
I feel here in my breast that she is alive and I'm not going to stop until I find her," Trimarco said. "If she's
no longer in this world, I want her body.
Jack Brooks in 1974. As a ranking member of the
House judiciary committee, he helped draft the
articles of impeachment that prompted President
Nixon to resign.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
  • Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Continue
    In an overpowering 89-8 vote, the Senate approved a plan to raise tax
    rates on families earning more than $450,000 and postpone the so-called
    sequester cuts for two months, among other provisions.  The deal now
    heads to the House for a vote as early as New Year's Day.
    However, it should be noted that the Nation has actually already gone
    over the so-called fiscal cliff, though President Barack Obama and
    lawmakers hope to contain any damage with quick congressional action.
    House Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the Senate's bill to
    avert the fiscal cliff, making it nearly certain that Speaker John
    Boehner's chamber will amend the legislation and send it back to the
    Senate - a potentially serious blow to a package that appeared well on
    its way to becoming law.
    Virginia Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (also known as the second in command of House Republicans),
    told GOP lawmakers that he was opposed to the legislation in its current form.  Republicans are chiefly concerned with
    the lack of spending cuts in the tax bill.
    The House plans to vote tonight on the Senate-passed bill to avert the fiscal cliff. Passage in the House, which is
    expected, would clear the bill for law since President Barack Obama has said he will sign the legislation.
    The decision to move to an up-or-down vote comes after House Republicans internally rejected a plan to amend the bill
    with a package of spending cuts.  That move would have likely killed the bill, allowing taxes to go up on all Americans.

  • GOP backs down as House passes bill to avoid fiscal cliff
    House passes Senate bill halting massive tax hikes and delaying spending cuts, sending bill to President Obama to sign.  
    The votes were approved by a 257-167 vote and will end a dramatic New Year's Day showdown over income taxes
    and deep federal spending cuts.
    The bill consists of the following:
  • Increase tax rates for upper income Americans
  • Permanent middle class tax cuts
  • Extend unemployment benefits
  • Repair a variety of other tax and spending measures

  • President Barack Obama said that he hoped the fiscal cliff agreement he plans to sign will be part of an eventual larger
    agreement on new revenue and budget cuts.
    "Under this law, more than 98 percent of Americans and 97
    percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up,"
    he said.  "Millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to
    help raise their kids and send them to college. Companies will
    continue to receive tax credits for the research that they do, the
    investments they make, and the clean energy jobs that they create.
    And 2 million Americans who are out of work but out there
    looking, pounding the pavement every day, are going to continue
    to receive unemployment benefits as long as they’re actively
    looking for a job.  We all recognize that this law is just one step in
    the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden
    opportunity for everybody. Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough
    support for that kind of large agreement in a lame duck session of
    However, he warned Congress that there could be "catastrophic" consequences for the global economy if there was not
    an agreement reached on the debt ceiling.
    "While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether they
    should pay the bills for what they've racked up," Obama said.  "We can't not pay bills that we've already

  • Victims of Hurricane Sandy Facing Another Hurricane
    House Republicans abruptly pulled the plug on their promise to listen to and vote on an emergency supplemental disaster
    aid bill for Northeast states damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
    The decision is a stunning reversal since just hours before New Jersey lawmakers were preparing for a floor debate as
    an outlined strategy promoted by no less than Virginia Republican Majority Leader, Eric Cantor.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
  • Discussion of Disaster Bill Continued
    After much criticism over his decision to do away with a previous vote
    on a disaster aid bill, Ohio Republican House Speaker John Boehner,
    said that the House will vote in two phases to provide billions in relief to
    Hurricane Sandy victims.
    On Friday they will vote on a measure "to direct resources to the
    National Flood Insurance Program."  Then on Tuesday, January 15th,
    they will vote on "the remaining supplemental request" for Sandy
    victims.  However, Boehner did not detail the dollar amounts of the
    In a joint statement with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Boehner
    stated, "Getting critical aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy
    should be the first priority in the new Congress, and that was
    reaffirmed today with members of the New York and New Jersey

  • Hillary Gets To Go Home
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical
    "Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will
    make a full recovery," spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement.  "She's eager to get back to the office, and
    we will keep you updated on her schedule as it becomes clearer in the coming days."

Thursday, January 3, 2013
  • The FTC and Google
    The Federal Trade Commission settled a long-running investigation of Google by allowing the company to voluntarily
    change some search and ad practices while legally requiring the company to stop using key smart-phone patents to
    block products from rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.
    Critics say this penalty amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for what they argue have been unfair practices by
    the largest Internet search company in the world.

  • Boehner Reelected
    Ohio Republican John Boehner was elected to a second term as Speaker of the House with 220 votes.  Unlike his first
    term, where all Republicans voted for him, 12 GOP lawmakers either opposed him, voted present or abstained.  They
  • Georgia Rep. Paul Broun
  • Michigan Rep. Justin Amash
  • Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert
    Democrat California Representative Nancy Pelosi received 192 votes for speaker.
    Boehner begins his 12th term in Congress today.

  • Timothy Geithner Resigns
    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to leave the administration at the end of January.  Geithner had previously
    stated that he planned to leave the administration early in President Barack Obama's second term.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to return to work next week.
    Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a briefing that Clinton is "sounding really, really well.  She is talking to
    staff…taking paper at home.  She sounds terrific."
    Clinton is not allowed international travel as she continues to recover.

Friday, January 4, 2013
  • Jobs Report
    The Labor Department reported that the economy added 155,000 jobs in December while unemployment rose slightly to
    7.8 percent.  It should be noted that analysts had previously estimated that the December jobs number would come in at
    around 150,000.

  • Senator Mike Crapo Arrested For Drunk Driving
    Republican Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has pled guilty to a drunken driving
    charge.  His license will be suspended for one year, he will have to complete
    an alcohol rehabilitation program and be fined $250.  A 180-day jail sentence
    has been suspended on the condition of good behavior.
    Senator Mike Crapo apologized for breaking his Mormon faith's prohibition
    against alcohol and asked for public forgiveness.
    Crapo, had previously said that due to his faith, he does not consume alcohol.  
    He was stopped on December 23rd for running a red traffic signal in
    Alexandria, Virginia, a Washington suburb.  The three-term Senator was
    arrested after he failed field sobriety tests.  Police said his blood alcohol
    content was 0.11 percent, above the 0.08 percent limit at which Virginia
    considers a driver intoxicated.
    In a drawn-out statement after his court appearance, Crapo stated, "In recent
    months, and for less than a year, I have on occasion had alcoholic drinks
    in my apartment in Washington, DC.  It was a poor choice to use alcohol
    to relieve stress and one at odds with my personally held religious beliefs."
    Crapo, a lawyer and married father of five, faces reelection in 2016.
    It reminds me of Bill Janklow and Ted Kennedy.  What is it with these politicians?  They can damage and cause pain
    and even kill innocent citizens yet get away with murder as they are protected by Federal Tort Claims Act.  I guess the
    question SHOULD have been, what is wrong with the law and why aren't the average citizen protected by the same
    law - while on "official business"?

Sunday, January 6, 2013
  • President Barack Obama has chosen former Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to succeed Defense
    Secretary Leon Panetta.  The choice of Hagel, who opposed his party on the Iraq war as a Senator, is likely to ignite a
    raucous confirmation battle, since several Democratic interest groups and prominent Republicans have voiced strong
    opposition since Hagel's vetting for the job was reported five weeks ago.
    It was reported that the idea to pick Hagel, is because "he is a decorated war hero who would be the first enlisted
    soldier and Vietnam veteran to go on to serve as Secretary of Defense.  He had the courage to break with his
    party during the Iraq War, and would help bring the war in Afghanistan to an end while building the military
    we need for the future."

Monday, January 7, 2013
  • President Barack Obama has chosen John Brennan, the White House Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism
    Adviser, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
  • President Barack Obama will nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew for Treasury secretary, replacing
    Timothy Geithner who plans to leave the Treasury Department at the end of the month.

  • AIG and Shareholder Will Not Sue The People
    American International Group's board of directors has decided against
    participating in a shareholders lawsuit against the government that
    contests the terms of the bailout that saved the insurance giant during
    the financial crisis, the company has announced.
    The firm held a board meeting today and has come under intense
    criticism in recent days for considering joining the lawsuit.
    "In considering and ultimately refusing the demand before us, the
    Board of Directors properly and fully executed our fiduciary and
    legal obligations to AIG and its shareholders," said Robert Miller,
    chairman of the AIG board of directors.
    "America invested in 62,000 AIG employees, and we kept our promise to rebuild this great company, repay
    every dollar America invested in us, and deliver a profit to those who put their trust in us.  To date, AIG has
    returned $205 billion to America, including a profit of $22.7 billion. We continue to thank America for its
    It is almost comical, but definitely surprising that they would consider suing after our government gave them our money
    to bail them out.

  • Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Resigns
    "Over her long career in public service - as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, member
    of Congress and Secretary of Labor - Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families," President Barack
    Obama said in a statement.  "Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team
    as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the
    economy for the middle class."

Thursday, January 10, 2013
  • Vice President Joe Biden announced that his panel on combating gun violence will deliver recommendations to
    President Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 15th.
    Obama had originally launched the panel in December to make recommendations after the mass shooting in Newtown,
    "I have a real very tight window to do this," Biden said at the start of his meeting with sporting groups.  "The public
    wants us to act."

Friday, January 11, 2013
  • Rockefeller Not Seeking Reelection
    Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller will not run for a sixth term in 2014.  His vacated seat in deep-red West Virginia
    will be up for grabs, leadign some to think that the very red State may be hard to win.
    Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  He was first elected to the
    Senate in 1984, and is one of the most senior Senate Democrats.

  • State of the Union and John Boehner
    The White House announced that President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday,
    February 12, 2013.
    In a formal letter to the President, Republican House Speaker John Boehner writes:
    "Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the
    New Year to find meaningful solutions.  This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as
    presidential leadership.  For that reason, the Congress and the Nation would welcome an opportunity to hear
    your plan and specific solutions for addressing America's great challenges."

  • Joint News Conference With President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai
    President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai hold a joint
    news conference in the East Room of the White House to talk about the
    alliance of our two Nations and the expectations of our U.S. Soldiers.
    President Obama talked about the role and responsibility that Afghan
    forces will take in securing their Country.
    "This progress is only possible because of the incredible sacrifices
    of our troops and our diplomats, the forces of our many coalition
    partners, and the Afghan people who’ve endured extraordinary
    hardship," Obama said.  "In this war, more than 2,000 of America’s
    sons and daughters have given their lives.  These are patriots that
    we honor today, tomorrow, and forever."
    In his statement, President Karzai echoed that message.  "During our conversations...I thanked the President for
    the help that the United States has given to the Afghan people.  For all that we have gained in the past 10 years,
    and that those gains will be kept by any standard while we are working for peace and stability in Afghanistan,
    including the respect for Afghan constitution."

Saturday, January 12, 2013
  • No To The Trillion Dollar Coin
    The Treasury Department will not consider the thought of minting a $1 trillion coin as a way to get around a debt ceiling
    "Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to
    facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit," Treasury
    spokesman Anthony Coley
    The idea became an Internet and Twitter sensation in recent days and has been endorsed by some congressional

  • Just when Governor Rick Scott thought his past had passed:
    Discussions continue about Florida Governor Rick Scott and Medicare fraud when the Florida Governor has repeatedly
    turned down the offer of federal funds that would allow parents to care for their disabled children at home.  His idea
    will ultimately separate disabled children from their families and force them into nursing homes.
    Some critics have implied that the governor is mean, twisted and coldhearted.  Stating that his actions prove he is an
    uncaring person when his company was forced to pay $1.7 billion in fines, penalties and damages for Medicare fraud.  
    It has been reported that it was the biggest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history.  (Additional info found on PolitiFact.

Monday, January 14, 2013
  • President Obama's Final 1st Term Press Conference

  • Former President George H. W. Bush Released From Hospital
    Following a lengthy stay during which time he was treated for bronchitis, a bacterial infection, and a persistent cough,
    the President has been allowed to go home.
    His doctor, Dr. Amy Mynderse reports: "Mr. Bush has improved to the point that he will not need any special
    medication when he goes home, but he will continue physical therapy."
    Bush, 88, said, "I am deeply grateful for the wonderful doctors and nurses at Methodist who took such good care of
    me.  Let me add just how touched we were by the many get-well messages we received from our friends and fellow
    Americans.  Your prayers and good wishes helped more than you know, and as I head home, my only concern is that I
    will not be able to thank each of you for your kind words."

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress today that the U.S. government will run out of borrowing authority
    "between mid-February and early March of this year" if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.
    Wanting to avoid default, Geithner sent a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Geithner stating, "We will
    provide a more narrow range with a more targeted estimate at a later date."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
  • Northeast lawmakers won a crucial 228-192 House vote, adding tens of billions to a Hurricane Sandy aid package and
    bringing it closer to the White House's request last month.
    The amendment by Republican New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen effectively triples the underlying $17 billion bill
    and together with prior flood insurance funding would provide close to $60.4 billion in aid.

  • The White House told gun-control advocates that President Barack Obama's wide-ranging gun control proposals would
    include a new federal gun trafficking law.  This is something that larger City mayors have wanted in order to keep out
    guns from other States.
    Obama has originally called for universal background checks for all new gun purchases and new bans on assault
    weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
    Bruce Reed, chief of staff to guns task force leader, Vice President Joe Biden, said that the proposals to be unveiled
    will come with three prongs:
  • Legislation to reduce gun availability
  • Executive actions to address education and mental health
  • Actions to anti-bullying measures and additional training for school counselors and mental health professionals.
    The White House is expecting legislation to be introduced by members of Congress as early as next week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has resigned and will leave at the end of March and will return to his family ranch in
    Mr. Salazar He has notified President Barack Obama of his decision, which was first reported in The Denver Post.

  • A New Low
    White House press secretary Jay Carney says that the new National
    Rifle Association ad is repulsive and cowardly for contrasting the armed
    protection that President Barack Obama's two daughters are given to
    the president's opposition to putting armed guards in schools.
    "Most Americans agree that a President's children should not be
    used as pawns in a political fight," Carney said.  "But to go so far as
    to make the safety of the President's children the subject of an
    attack ad is repugnant and cowardly."
    The ad calls President Obama an "elitist hypocrite" because his
    daughters have Secret Service protection at their school, but the
    President has not embraced the NRA's proposal for armed security at
    all schools.
    Although the ad, does not show photos of Obama girls, a narrator says, "Are the president's kids more important than
    yours?  Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed
    guards at their school?  Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist
    hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids and gun-free zones for ours.'

  • President Barack Obama announced what he called a "common sense measures" plan to reduce gun violence, including
    legislation for a universal background check and new bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  He also
    mentioned 23 executive actions covering changes to education and mental health that he announced would sign
    "I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality," Obama said.  "If there's even one thing
    that we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to
    try.  And I'm going to do my part."
    Obama also called for Congress to confirm his new nominee, Todd Jones, to be the director of the Bureau of Alcohol,
    Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    Obama warned that the effort to pass the new guns legislation would be difficult, but called on people across the
    country to join him in pressuring Congress and pundits to support the efforts.
    "We have to examine ourselves and our hearts and ask ourselves what is important," Obama said.  "This will not
    happen unless the American people demand it."

  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that American citizens are among the hostages taken by an Al Qaeda-
    linked group that seized a gas field in Algeria, calling the action a "terrorist attack."
    Traveling in Italy, Panetta condemned the action.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already spoken to the Algerian
    Prime Minister.
    "We are obviously closely monitoring the situation," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said

  • President Barack Obama plans to name Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough as his next chief of
    staff.  McDonough will replace Jack Lew, who has been nominated as Treasury Secretary.

Thursday, January 17, 2013
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's chief of staff, John Lawrence is retiring after 38 years on Capitol Hill.  
    Lawrence will be replaced as Pelosi's top aide by Nadeam Elshami, currently the communications director and senior
    adviser.  Elshami worked for Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin before moving to Pelosi's office in 2007.  Other
    senior staffers either will be promoted or have broadened responsibilities.

  • Obama's 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina will be the national chair of a new tax-exempt group to support his
    second term agenda.

Friday, January 18, 2013
  • House Republicans will vote next week on a plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling for three months.  It will include a
    provision that would stop pay for members of Congress if the Senate fails to pass a budget.

Sunday, January 20, 2013
  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden has been sworn in for a second term.
    Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Oath of Office for Obama and Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the
    Oath of Office for Biden.  A public ceremony will be held tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2013
  • "On January 21, 2013, at 11:55 AM Eastern Time, President Obama delivered his Second Inaugural Address from the
    steps of the U.S. Capitol.  The speech was 2,137 words long and took 15 minutes to deliver.  In the address, President
    Obama called on all of us to seize the moment, together."
    In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama used a "We, the people" refrain in hopes to call for a
    "collective action" on the nation's problems from education, health care and climate change.
    "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it - so long as we seize it together," Obama said.  "That is our
    generation's task - to make these words, these rights, these values - of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -
    real for every American."

    President Barack Obama used two bibles for his 2013 swearing in ceremony: one used by President Abraham
    Lincoln at his inauguration, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “traveling” bible.

  • Useless facts:
  1. George Washington’s second inaugural address in 1793 is the shortest on record, a mere 135 words.
  2. With more than one million in attendance, Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009 drew the largest gathering of
    people to any event in the history of Washington.
  3. Ronald Reagan’s inaugural events recorded both the warmest (55 degrees in 1981) and coldest (7 degrees in
    1985) temperatures for a swearing in ceremony.
  4. William McKinley’s 1897 inauguration was the first filmed inaugural event in Presidential history.
  5. Harry Truman’s 1949 inaugural address was the first to be shown on television, reaching an audience of millions.
  6. William Jefferson Clinton was the first president to broadcast an inaugural address online, in 1997.
  7. Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration was the most widely streamed internet event in Presidential history.
  8. Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the same bible for each of his four inaugural ceremonies.
  9. The first inaugural ball was held in 1809, in honor of James Madison (tickets cost $4 each). Presidents Wilson,
    Pierce, and Harding skipped that tradition entirely, while Presidents Coolidge, Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt
    celebrated with charity balls.
  10. William Jefferson Clinton set a record in 1997, attending 14 inaugural balls on the night of his swearing in.
  11. William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia in 1841, one month after giving the longest inaugural address – lasting
    two hours – without coat, scarf, or gloves.

    President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address at the U.S.
    Capitol in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2013.
    (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    In this composite panoramic image, President Barack Obama delivers
    his inaugural address from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during the
    inaugural swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2013.
    (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    President Barack Obama pauses to look back at the scene before
    leaving the platform following the inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the
    U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2013.  Standing behind
    the President is First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia, Sasha,
    and Marian Robinson.
    (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
  • The White House released a "statement of administration policy" indicating that it would not block H.R. 325 because it
    lifts "the immediate threat of default and indicates that congressional Republicans have backed off an insistence on
    holding the Nation's economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and other programs that middle-
    class families depend on."
    The statement went on to read: "For these reasons, the Administration would not oppose a short-term solution to the
    debt limit and looks forward to continuing to work with both the House and the Senate to increase certainty and stability
    for the economy."
    The White House is referring to a bill introduced on Monday, January 21st by House Republicans.  The House plans to
    vote on it on Wednesday and it will suspend the debt ceiling until May 18, allowing President to borrow the needed
    money until that time.
    H.R. 325 is an act to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until
    May 19, 2013, and for other purposes.  It reads: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
    United States of America in Congress assembled."

  • The Defense Department has cleared its top commander in Afghanistan of wrongdoing after investigating emails that
    General John Allen exchanged with a woman involved with the David Petraeus sex scandal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies and answers questions on Capitol Hill before Senate and House
    committees regarding the deadly September 11th terror attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
    As America's top diplomat, Clinton again took full responsibility for the
    department's missteps leading up to assault at the U.S. Consulate in
    Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other
    "I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-
    draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the
    mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters," she
    said.  "Nobody is more committed to getting this right.  I am
    determined to leave the State Department and our country safer,
    stronger, and more secure.  My faith in our country and our future
    is stronger than ever.
    Every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words "United States of America" touches down in some
    far-off capital, I feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation. And I am confident
    that, with your help, we will continue to keep the United States safe, strong, and exceptional."
    In somewhat of a final farewell, Clinton noted her robust itinerary in four years and her work, nearly 1 million miles and
    112 countries.

  • The House passed a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling until the middle of May.  The vote was 285-144.  In an
    attempt by GOP lawmakers to force Senate Democrats to take up a budget, the measure would also suspend pay for
    lawmakers if their chamber does not pass a budget by April 15th.
    Nevada Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the Senate will pass the House's bill; the White House
    has indicated it will not block the measure.

  • Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is lifting the ban on women serving in combat.  This will be "opening hundreds of
    thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war."  Panetta's order
    gives the military services until 2016 to "seek special exceptions" if commanders think some positions should remain
    closed to women.
    "One of my priorities as secretary of defense has been to remove as many barriers as possible for talented and
    qualified people to be able to serve this country in uniform," Panetta said.  "It's clear to all of us that women are
    already contributing in unprecedented ways to the mission ... the fact is they have become an integral part of
    our ability to perform our mission."

Thursday, January 24, 2013
  • President Barack Obama announced his plan to nominate former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White as the next chair of
    the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    Although Republicans threatened to block a vote on his nomination, he will re-nominate Richard Cordray to be director
    of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have agreed to limit the GOP's use
    of the filibuster but ensuring the minority party has the right to offer amendments on the floor.
    Their arrangement would prevent a partisan showdown known by critics as the "nuclear option" where Democrats were
    preparing a series of changes on a party-line basis.  It does not go as far as many reformers were seeking, but it would
    be designed to speed debate in a number of situations where a small minority would try to slow the legislative process.

Friday, January 25, 2013
  • Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss retires and saying that he will not seek reelection in 2014.

Saturday, January 26, 2013
  • Iowa Democrat Senator Tom Harkin will not seek reelection in 2014, making his seat more competitive with the GOP.

Sunday, January 27, 2013
  • President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton sat down with CBS
    News Steve Kroft, for an "60 Minutes" interview.  It has been noted
    that it was the first joint interview for Obama and Clinton, as well as the
    president's first sit-down television interview with anyone other than
    First Lady Michelle Obama.
    From previously bitter opponents to partners in the corridors of power,
    they have evolved and have proven to be great friends.
    President Obama stated his reason for the interview:
    "Well, the main thing is I just wanted to have a chance to publicly
    say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the
    finest secretary of states we've had. It has been a great
    collaboration over the last four years.
    I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can't begrudge her
    wanting to take it easy for a little bit. But I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she's
    played during the course of my administration and a lot of the successes we've had internationally have been
    because of her hard work."
    Secretary Clinton responded in kind: "…you know, this has been just the most extraordinary honor. And, yes, I
    mean, a few years ago it would have been seen as improbable because we had that very long, hard primary
    campaign. But, you know, I've gone around the world on behalf of the president and our country. And one of
    the things that I say to people, because I think it helps them understand, I say, "Look, in politics and in
    democracy, sometimes you win elections, sometimes you lose elections. And I worked very hard, but I lost. And
    then President Obama asked me to be secretary of state and I said yes." And so this has been just an
    extraordinary opportunity to work with him as a partner and friend, to do our very best on behalf of this
    country we both love. And it's something I'm going to miss a great deal."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
  • The Senate confirms John Kerry as secretary of state.  It was noted that Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe as
    well as Texas Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted against the nomination.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
  • Governor Deval Patrick selects former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan as interim U.S. senator to fill seat left
    vacant by newly-confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry.

  • Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gave a brief statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control.  
    "This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans …speaking is
    difficult but I need to say something important," Giffords said.  "Violence… a big problem …too many children are
    dying, …too many children."
    The Arizona Democrat encouraged lawmakers to act.  "We must do something.  It will be hard but the time is now.  
    You must act.  Be bold, be courageous; Americans are counting on you."

Thursday, January 31, 2013
  • Chuck Hagel defended his 12-year record as a Nebraska GOP senator during his confirmation hearings for his
    nomination as secretary of defense before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  He vowed to maintain a muscular
    American military that would not hesitate in the face of the country's biggest threats overseas.
    In his prepared remarks, Hagel addressed the criticisms he has received from Republicans and Democrats over his
    positions on such things as U.S.-Israeli relations, attitudes toward gay Americans, Iran and the surge in Iraq.
    "But no one individual vote, quote, or statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record," Hagel said.  "My overall
    worldview has never changed.  That America has and must maintain the strongest military in the world.  That we
    must lead the international community to confront threats and challenges together; and that we must use all
    tools of American power to protect our citizens and our interests."
Wednesday, February 18, 2013
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela after 2 months of cancer treatment in Cuba.
    Despite of the way some Americans feel about Chavez, I still pray for his recovery.  I mean honestly how bad is the
    man who wants to help poor Americans?  I have heard news reports that state he is a tyrant a communist, but some of
    our own leaders have not behaved any better.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
  • Illinois Democrat Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has officially pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of misusing
    campaign funds.
    "Sir, for years I lived off my campaign," Jackson told the judge.  "I used money I shouldn't have used for personal
    purposes.  I did those things," he said more than once, referring to the information provided by the prosecutor.
    At 11:12 a.m. EST, the judge officially declared him guilty.

  • Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott has agreed to expand Medicaid coverage.
    Although he campaigned hard against ObamaCare, he is a former health care executive and a Medicare charlatan.  
    Nonetheless, thankfully, Scott has come to his senses, as 17% of Florida's population is 65 and older.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
  • House Republicans will listen to the Senate's version of the Violence Against Women Act and it is expected to pass
    without changes, according to top Republican sources.
    The GOP leadership has set up a process that will bring the bipartisan Senate measure to the floor.  First, there would
    be a vote on the House version as an amendment.  If that amendment fails - which Republican insiders expect - the
    House would then vote on the Senate's bill.

  • The Associated Press reports that Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly has won the Democratic
    nomination in the special election for Illinois's 2nd Congressional District.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
  • President Barack Obama is scheduled to have a meeting to discuss plans to avoid the sequester cuts with House
    Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch
    This will be Obama's first face-to-face meeting with Congressional leaders to discuss the sequester cuts, which by then
    will have already hit the March 1 deadline.

  • The Senate easily confirmed Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary in a 71-26 vote, just one day after his nomination was
    approved by the Finance Committee.

  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the Voting Rights Act is 'racial entitlement'
    Although the Fifteenth Amendment's guarantees of the vote for Black Americans, the
    Supreme Court is questioning its need and validity.  Justice Antonin Scalia called the
    law a "perpetuation of racial entitlement."
    Justice Anthony Kennedy acknowledged the measure's vital role in fighting
    discrimination and suggested that other important laws in U.S. history had run their
    course.  "Times change," Kennedy said during the fast-paced, 70-minute argument.  
    Chief Justice John Roberts cited a variety of statistics that showed racial disparities in
    some aspects of voting in Massachusetts than in Mississippi.
    Then he asked the government's top Supreme Court lawyer whether the Obama administration thinks, "the citizens in
    the South are more racist than citizens in the North?"
    During the session, it was discussed whether there was any end in sight for a provision that intrudes on States' rights to
    conduct elections.  They discussed the legal burden, wondering is the proposed changes would discriminate.  Another
    part of the voting rights law, not being challenged, allows for traditional, after-the-fact claims of discrimination in voting
    and applies across the country.
    President Obama appointees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor were in attendance.  Sotomayor acknowledged some
    parts of the South had changed, but she quickly stated that recent voting rights lawsuits in Alabama suggested that
    Shelby County, near Birmingham, has not made sufficient progress.  "Why would we vote in favor of a county whose
    record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?" Sotomayor asked.
    Kagan chimed in that any formula devised by Congress "would capture Alabama," where she said certain
    discriminatory voting practices have persisted.
    "I could tell you that in Alabama the number of legislators in the Alabama Legislature
    are proportionate to the number of black voters.  There's a very high registration and
    turnout of black voters in Alabama," said Bert Rein, a lawyer representing Shelby County,
    Debo Adegbile, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, argued on
    behalf of local Alabama elected officials and civil rights leaders.  His argument was to show
    the justices that there is a current need for the law, an effort to counter the court's notice
    four years ago that current conditions, not history alone, must justify the continuing
    application of the law.  In 2011, Adegbile said, a judge in Alabama cited State lawmakers'
    derogatory references to African Americans as a reason to continue to protect minority
    voters through the Voting Rights Act.
    Justice Roberts challenged him by asking, "Have there been episodes, egregious episodes of the kind you are
    talking about in states that are not covered?" the chief justice asked.  "Absolutely," Adegbile replied.  "Well, then it
    doesn't seem to help you make the point that the differential between covered and noncovered continues to be
    justified," Roberts said.
    The requirement currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South
    Carolina, Texas and Virginia.  It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South
    Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire.  Coverage has been triggered by past
    discrimination not only against Blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaska Natives and
    Hispanics.  Among the covered states, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas
    are siding with Shelby County, while California, Mississippi, New York and North Carolina argue that the law should be
    upheld.  A decision is expected by late June, when the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, 12-96, will be heard.

  • The Voting Rights Act
    Rachel Maddow reviews the history and necessity of the Voting Right Acts and shows the overwhelming political
    evidentiary support for the law when it came up for review, only for it to be held in low regard by some supreme
    court justices today.

  • Activist Rosa Parks' statue unveiled
    Rosa Parks is famously remembered as the Black woman who in 1955,
    refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a
    White man.  During the crucial moments during the Civil Rights
    Movement, she was arrested and later a bus boycott was started that
    stretched over a year.
    During the Clinton administration, Parks had been honored in
    Washington with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the
    Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.
    On what would have been her 100th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service
    issued a stamp in her honor on February 4, 2013.
    Rosa Parks and her husband Raymond Parks did not have any children, but were known to help fight racism while
    assisting nine young Black men, ages 12 to 19, who were accused of raping two White women in 1931.
    The nine were later convicted by an all-white jury in Scottsboro, Alabama.  They would be later become known as the
    Scottsboro Boys.
    Rosa Parks is the first Black woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Statuary Hall of the Capitol.

  • A young man DEMANDS and RECEIVES attention from Dallas City Council members
    Eleven-year old David Williams went to the City Council meeting to ask
    how they will propose in keeping kids safe in schools.
    As he spoke, young David Williams noted how members were walking
    around and not giving him the attention he rightfully deserved.  He then
    asked, "Do you feel it is acceptable for city council members to be
    up and walking around while constituents are addressing them?"
    David's Mother said.  "I was very proud because sometimes it's out
    of the mouth of a babe that you really get enlightened as an adult."

    "Let me first be apologetic to you because I do walk a lot around
    here but we had to keep things going at times but it is not so
    respectful to walk around when visitors are speaking so I will adhere to that as well," said council member
    Dwaine Caraway.
    Mr. Caraway went on to say he pays a little bit more attention when that kind of statement comes from a different
    level, as in a younger person.
    When asked if he wanted to be a city council member in the future, David Williams said yes, but is more interested in
    being President of the United States.

Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • Pope Benedict, is the first pope in six centuries to step down.  He will temporarily stay at the summer villa south of the
    The pope leaves behind the Roman Catholic Church at one of the most
    crisis-ridden periods in its 2,000-year history.
    The first pope in six centuries to step down, Benedict flew off in a white
    Italian air force helicopter for the papal summer villa south of the capital
    where he took up temporary residence.  The pope states: "As you
    know, today is different to previous ones."  Later he said, "I will
    only be the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church until 8 P.M.
    and then no longer.  I will simply be a pilgrim who is starting the
    last phase of his pilgrimage on this earth."
    He turned and went inside the villa, never to be seen again as pope.
    Some Church scholars worry that if the next pope undoes some of Benedict's policies while his predecessor is still alive,
    Benedict could act as a lightning rod for conservatives and polarize the 1.2 billion-member Church.
    "I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you are fully accepting of
    the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope," he said.  "May the Lord show you what He wants.  
    Among you there is the future pope, to whom I today declare my unconditional reverence and obedience."
    Bells rang out from St Peter's Basilica and churches all over Rome.
    He leaves his successor a top secret report of scandals within the Curia, prompted by leaks of internal files last year
    that documented the problems hidden behind the Vatican's thick walls and the Church's traditional secrecy.
    Some non-Catholics say we should not be concerned about the pope and the church, but I respectfully disagree.  Some
    of us are concerned because we are followers of Christ, and are concerned when any religious group fails their
    followers.  I believe all should be interested including those of us who pray and read our Bibles.  However, the ones
    who should be most interested are the victims.

  • The Senate discarded the Republican bill giving President Barack Obama broad discretion to implement $85.3 billion in
    spending cuts over the remainder of this fiscal year.  The proposal failed 38 to 62.  Because of this, it is more than likely
    that the sequester cuts will go into effect March 1.

  • President Barack Obama intends to designate FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez as the agency's next chairperson.  It is
    not known when Ramirez will officially be named chair, but she will replace Jon Leibowitz, who announced earlier this
    month that he would step down.

  • Private First Class Bradley Manning officially entered plead guilty to 10 of 22 charges he is facing for allegedly leaking
    hundreds of thousands of secret military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.
  • Manning could face up to 20 years in prison.

  • After the House passed the Violence Against Women Act, (286-138) it was sent to President Barack Obama's desk for
    his signature.
  • Before the final vote, the House rejected a Republican substitute version of the measure.  Democrats were united in
    their opposition to the substitute, arguing it stripped out important protections for LGBT and Native American women

  • Legendary journalist, Bob Woodward was on a news show and said that a senior White House official sent him a
    threatening email.  It has now become known that the senior official is none other than that of Gene Sperling, economic
    adviser to President Obama.
    In the email, Sperling tells Woodward that he would "regret" writing that President Barack Obama had moved the
    goalposts on sequestration.
  • The email exchange is as follows:

  • Bob Woodward may have felt that Gene Sperling was threatening his career as a journalist who has written over a
    dozen books on American politics.  Perhaps Woodward thought Sperling was implying that he would not have
    welcoming access to White House officials when writing more books for the future.
  • On the other hand, it seems as though Woodward is just making a whole lot of noise about nothing.  That it is merely an
    exchange of words in an email and Sperling was letting him know that he did not appreciate Woodward's comments
    about the actions of the President.
  • I do not know.  What I do know, is that it is obvious who is the writer and who is not.  In addition, at the end of his
    email, Sperling does apologize TWICE to Woodward, so I hardly see this as threatening.

  • President Obama Supports Same-Sax Marriage
    The Obama Administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional Proposition 8, California's
    voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.  The outline does not include endorsing a federal constitutional right to same-
    sex marriage.
    The Justice Department says:
    "Proposition 8's denial of marriage to same-sex couples, particularly where California at the same time grants
    same-sex partners all the substantive rights of marriage, violates equal protection.  "Prejudice may the
    basis for differential treatment under the law."

  • Racist?  Really?
    Bloomberg Businessweek is taking a beating from critics who say the
    magazine's recent cover featuring a cartoon illustration of what appears to be a
    Black family rolling in cash from a housing rebound, is racist.
    Whoever these critics are, I wonder if they are just seeking to cause a gripe
    over nothing!
    When looking at the picture, I see two Blacks, one White and one Latino.  I
    have to wonder if someone would have been upset if there were not any
    Blacks included in the picture.
    Often us Blacks are portrayed with oversized lips and noses, but I do not see
    that here.  To me, the picture is saying: "All Americans are receiving a piece
    of the pie."  As the 70's song stated, "Red, Yellow, Black, White and Brown."
    (I cannot remember, but I believe the Fourtops sang of the greats.)
    It is somewhat comical as I had first read the first few lines of the article, but
    then looked closely at the picture.  I went on to read the entire article and then
    realized it was much to do about nothing.
Friday, March 1, 2013
  • President Obama To Sign Order for Federal Spending Cuts
    Because the Republican-lead Congress would not agree with President
    Obama's budget plan, we are facing cuts that will effect every
    American - most notably, the poor.
    Today, President Obama will sign the order to commence the sequester
    spending cuts of $85 billion from this fiscal year's federal budget.
    The majority of Americans are hurting but no one could careless than
    Congress.  Although they support going to war with any and every
    Country, they did not care that the cuts would effect military spending.
    On countless occasions, President Obama had previously warned that a
    withdrawal of funds would hurt federal and private-sector workers.  In
    addition, he cautioned that programs reliant on federal money would feel
    the affects.
    However, the Republicans would not budge since President Obama's plan would include raising taxes on the rich.  
    Because there are more poor people than there are rich, the Republicans will face a massive public backlash.
    At the end of the March, both Parties will have to agree on how to continue funding the overall government, which may
    lead to a government shutdown.  (The last threat of a government shutdown was in April, July, September and
    December.  All in 2011.)  In the event of a government shutdown, it will only get worse and can be disruptive and
    economically painful to this Nation and may hurt some politicians careers.
    Another debt-ceiling debate will be scheduled sometime in May 2013
    Because of Congress' failure to protect the Nation, we remain just as dysfunctional as ever before.
    Click HERE to watch and listen to President Obama's speech.
    Today, the White House issued the following statement:

  • President Obama says: "Spending cuts not an ‘apocalypse,’ GOP should compromise"
    President Obama is facing some of the same difficulties as Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Roosevelt supported healthcare,
    education, unions, environmental improvements, government jobs, federal relief programs, social security, and
    regulations.  Some of the Conservatives gave him a hard time, yet he was able to improve the Nation; restoring
    prosperity to the nation's economy.  Like Obama, during Roosevelt's time, for the first 3 years unemployment lowered
    and the economy improved, but then was stagnant.
    When Bill Clinton was president, like Obama, he faced a Republican
    controlled Congress.  While Clinton supported Medicare, education and
    making improvements to the economy, the Republicans did not and thus
    a government shutdown started.
    Yep, it makes perfect sense to support the Republican Party, as they
    have certainly shown their support to the Nation that they claim to love.
    However, nothing will change unless The People stand up for
    themselves - and each other.
    Surprisingly, some people do not know that NONE of our presidents
    have power to change ANYTHING.  But the power, is in Congress,
    and Congress ONLY!

  • President Barack Obama blamed congressional Republicans for the failure to strike a deal on the sequestration and
    predicted a deep economic impact on majority of Americans.  Obama spoke at the White House following his first face-
    to-face meeting with congressional leaders about the cuts, but together, they did not reach any agreement.
    "It is absolutely true that this is not going to precipitate the crisis that would have been caused by not raising
    the debt ceiling or going over the fiscal cliff," Obama said.  "But people are going to be hurt.  The economy will
    not grow as quickly as it would have.  Unemployment will not go down as quickly as it would have.  And there
    are lives behind that. And it's real."
    Obama repeatedly referred to the support he claims for his position in public polls and knocked House Speaker John
    Boehner's inability to overcome the "politics within the Republican Party" or connect with what he referred to as a silent
    "caucus of common sense" on Capitol Hill.  "What I can't do is force Congress to do the right thing," he said.  "The
    American people may have the capacity to do that.  And in the absence of a decision on the part of the speaker
    of the House and others to put middle class families ahead of whatever political imperative he might have right
    now, we're going to have these cuts in place."

  • Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013
    Michigan Democrat Congressman John Conyers introduced a very simple and very easy Bill titled, "Cancel the
    Sequester Act of 2013."  In his Bill, it simply cancels the sequester.  Yep, simple as that!
    Because Congress originated the Bill, all it takes is for Congress to simply cancel it.
    This is the Bill:

    There is nothing spunky or fancy, nor is it hard to do - just one sentence and wham, it would be done finished and The
    People would not suffer.

  • Politico reports the following:

    Although I know absolutely nothing about how the Keystone oil pipeline
    would help or hurt the climate, I do feel as though some Republicans
    were pushing for it without concrete details on its production.  It seems
    as though Congress wanted President Obama to rush and approve the
    pipeline, but even he (Obama) said he did not have all the facts, and
    therefore would not approve.  Had Obama rushed into it, I thought we
    would be in danger of another deepwater oil spill.  Some have said that
    it would have created jobs, whereas some have said it would not have
    created as much as indicated.  So, who knows?  I say wait until
    professional research is provided with a detailed and reliable analysis.

Sunday, March 3, 2013
  • President Barack Obama nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell for the next director of the Office of Management and
    Burwell is currently president of the Walmart Foundation, served as deputy director of OMB during the Clinton
    administration, working with just-confirmed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.  She had previously spent a decade working
    for the Gates Foundation.

Monday, March 4, 2013
  • President Barack Obama will nominate Environmental Protection Agency air chief Gina McCarthy as the agency's next
    administrator and MIT physicist Ernest Moniz to take over the Energy Department.
    The announcements will fill two crucial holes in Obama's cabinet, especially important to fulfilling the president's
    promises to tackle climate change.
    As head of EPA's air office, McCarthy has been at the forefront of the agency's fight to enact greenhouse gas
    regulations on sources like vehicle tailpipes and power plants.
    Moniz served in the Clinton administration as undersecretary of energy.  At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
    Moniz is a physics professor and director of the university's Energy Initiative, which draws funding from industry oil and
    gas heavyweights like BP, Saudi Aramco and Shell.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died at 58.
    Hugo Chavez battled cancer over the years and his supporters - near
    and far - mourn his passing.
    Prior to his death, Chavez had repeatedly said that he wanted his Vice
    President Nicolas Maduro, to take over should he not survive previous
    battles with cancer.
    He was the first of a wave of leftist presidents to come to power in
    Latin America in the last dozen years.
    In spite of what some Americans felt about him, Chavez gave oil and
    money to several families living in New York and were suffering cold
    winter months.
    Additionally, he claimed his love and admiration of activist civil rights leader, Martin Luther King.  He said he felt that
    King was a prominent leader.  Chavez made no secret of his loathsomeness for former president George W. Bush.
    Chavez underwent a fourth surgery in December 11, 2012 in Cuba, and was not publicly seen again.

  • John Brennan has been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee
    The Senate Intelligence Committee approved John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director, 12-3.  Senate Majority
    Leader Harry Reid says he wants the full Senate to consider the nomination by the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
  • Dinner for 10
    President Obama has invited several Republican Senators to dine at the Jefferson Hotel.  Senators and their aides
    confirmed that Wednesday’s dinner list include the following Senators:
  • Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
  • Dan Coats (Indiana)
  • Tom Coburn (Oklahoma)
  • Bob Corker (Tennessee)
  • Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
  • John Hoeven (North Dakota)
  • Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
  • John McCain (Arizona)
  • Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)

  • To help the Army and Navy stave off automatic spending, the House quickly approved a six-month substitute-spending
    bill to keep the government funded past March 27; sending billions to military operations.
    After the House vote of 267-151, the Bill has been sent to the Senate, where it will be more developed.

  • Cut Voting Rights?
    The Republicans in the Senate have hinted that they would like to see
    cuts to the Voting Rights Act, in particular, Section 5, which prevents
    States with a history of racial discrimination from altering their voting
    laws without federal approval.
    It should be noted that in 2006, Section 5 was up for a vote and was re-
    approved by Senate Republicans in 2006, as some noted that Blacks in
    Southern States were still discriminated against. However, today, some
    Republicans feel as though the legacy and racial discrimination is a thing
    of the past.
    Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker claims that racism "all
    over the country," but not enough that States should be given special
    treatment for the right to vote.
    "I think that time is over," Wicker added.  "1965… far different era than 2013."
    It should be noted that not all Republicans feel the same way; most notably, Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley.
    What I find interesting, is that it does not say much  about us as a Country when we vehemently protest taking our guns
    but then attempt to restrict voting.  Voting is every bit as much of America as owning a gun.

  • Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes' biography states that President Obama is "lazy" and Newt Gingrich a 'prick.'
    Excerpt from the book: “Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t
    public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish
    I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.” He noticed my arched eyebrows and added, “I didn’
    t come up with that. Obama said that, to Barbara Walters.” (What Obama said was that he feels a laziness in himself
    that he attributes to his laid-back upbringing in Hawaii.)

  • Over 12 Hours Filibustering
    After more than 12 hours, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul ended his filibuster against the nomination of John
    Brennan as head of the CIA.
    Rand said the reason he prolonged his speech, was because the Obama
    administration would not give him a direct answer regarding the use of
    drones.  Rand wanted to know if President Obama unilaterally order the
    deaths of American citizens on American soil with “lethal force, such as
    a drone strike . . . and without trial.”
    Both Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan answered the
    Senator's inquiry.
    On March 4, Eric Holder Holder stated that "the U.S. government has
    not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of
    doing so." He then wrote:

    In addition, on March 5, Brennan responded with a brief letter.  He told Paul that the Department of Justice would
    respond to the presidential authority question, but that "the CIA ... does not conduct lethal operations inside the United
    States -- nor does it have any authority to do so."
    Although the Senate historian says that its list may not be extensive, some reports state that Rand's filibuster speech is
    the 9th-longest filibuster in recorded history.
    Paul ceased around 12:40 AM, clocking 12 hours and 52 minutes.
    A list of the longest filibuster:
    1. South Carolina Democrat Senator Strom Thurmond (1957): 24 hours, 18 minutes
    2. New York Republican Senator Alphonse D’Amato (1986): 23:30
    3. Oregon Independent Senator Wayne Morse (1953): 22:26
    4. Wisconsin Republican Senator Robert La Follette (1908): 18:23
    5. Wisconsin Democrat Senator William Proxmire (1981): 16:12
    6. Louisiana Democrat Senator Huey Long (1935): 15:30
    7. York Republican Senator Alphonse D’Amato (1992): 15:14
    8. West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd (1964): 14:13 (Filibustered against the Civil Rights Act)
    9. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul (2013): 12:52
    Usually, I do not agree with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, but I do agree when he said, “People
    from my own party.  I didn’t see anyone of you asking G.W. Bush, if he would use drones on American
    citizen…we are at war.
    For now, only God knows if Rand proved his point.

  • When a student reported to have found writing inside the school about a bomb, Front Range Community College was
    immediately evacuated.
    After a thorough search, no devices were found.
    Front Range Community College has four campuses located in Longmont, Fort Collins, Westminster and Brighton

Thursday, March 7, 2013
  • Dinner for 10?
    After listening to only highlights of the dinner President Obama had with Republicans Kelly Ayotte, Dan Coats, Tom
    Coburn, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, John Hoeven, Ron Johnson, John McCain and Pat Toomey, I get the feeling that
    the news reports are implying their Republican leaders have been hiding something.
    It seems as if the reports are hinting to the fact that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have not revealed all of
    Obama's plans on adverting a fiscal cliff or the sequester.  Did those Republicans that who dined with the President
    learn something new?  Was this - as Oprah says - their ah-ha moment?

  • The Senate confirmed John Brennan to be the director of the CIA by a 63-34 vote.
    Brennan boasts a 25-year intelligence career and an expertise in counter-terrorism, skills that aided President Obama
    while Brennan was deputy advisor national security for counter-terrorism.  However, his presence in the White House
    was also troubling to some who questioned his involvement in Bush-era interrogation tactics.

  • Kentucky Republican Senator claimed "victory" after his almost 13-hour filibuster.  He said that he would not object to
    the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director, but did not say if he would or would not vote for Brennan.
    Rand said that he was "quite happy" with a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder that said President Obama did not
    have the authority to use drones to attack noncombatant U.S. citizens on American soil.

  • Michigan Democrat Senator, Carl Levin said that he struggled with the idea with continuing his work amending the Tax
    Code and boosting manufacturing, or seeking reelection.
    In a written statement, the 78-year-old Senator said that he would focus his time on the job at hand and would not seek  
    reelection in 2014.

Friday, March 8, 2013
  • According to the Department of Labor, 236,000 jobs were added for the month of February, leaving the unemployment
    rate at 7.7 percent.

Monday, March 11, 2013
  • State judge halts New York City's ban on large sugary drinks, calling the ban 'arbitrary and capricious'.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
  • Sign The Petition For One Of My Favorite Congressman, Alan Grayson
    I signed it with my nice little comment:
    If all of our government officials needed and relied on Social Security and Medicare, we would not be having this
    discussion.  I am here to make three proposals: First, I propose that we get rid of ALL our government officials who
    propose cuts to life saving entitlements.  Secondly, I propose to end all health insurance and life-benefits for our officials
    and allow them to pay into Social Security and Medicare just like ordinary citizens.  Lastly, I propose a cut in pay for all
    officials who are paid more than $60,000 per year.  (Sixty thousand dollars annually is still a lot of money for some, so I
    am certain our officials will be able to survive.)  The government was put in place to serve The People, whereas it
    seems as though all they do is make a lifetime narcissistically serving themselves and padding their pockets with The
    People's money.

    There it is -- bold, principled, unequivocal and articulate. No dodging, dallying, dawdling, dithering, dancing,
    digressing or ducking. Two hundred pounds of truth, in a ten-pound bag.

  • While answering a reporter's question regarding balancing the budget, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan stated that it was not
    "important as to how the budget is balanced."  In his proposed budget cuts, his plan would cut Medicare by 70%, and
    food stamps and pell grants would be cut as well.

  • Senator Ginny Burdock had scheduled town hall meetings to discuss gun laws, but extremists have threatened her way
    of life by standing outside her home for hours at a time, filming her.  Previously, some extremists have attended other
    scheduled functions with guns, and as they walk around, their presence has been intimidating.

  • Former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist - now Independent - said that his former Party needs to embrace
    President Obama.  He went on to say that "Obama reaches out to people" - (the Republican Party) "he cares and he
    should be credited" for his actions.  "President Obama is a role model for this Country."

  • Eight hundred thousand jobs were lost and the stock market crashed during President Obama's his first four months in
    office.  Since his election, 1.4 million jobs were created and the rich have gotten richer.

  • Colorado Moves Ahead With Civil Unions
    On midnight, May 1st, gay couples will be able to enter into civil unions.  Colorado is the 18th State to grant gay couples
    civil unions.

    It has been reported that the website, designed to check your credit report rating has been hacked.  Celebrities as well
    as First Lady Michelle Obama's credit report has been hacked.  The news report says that ANYONE who has used
    ANY of the main credit report agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, is vulnerable.  They say that even
    if people have never been on the site, but has ordered a credit report from any of the above mentioned agencies, are at

    From Lindsay Siler, the White House's National Director of Issue Campaigns "Organizing for Action", tell your story as
    to how the sequester is effecting you and/or your community.

  • NASA scientist says essential chemical ingredients for life, including sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen, were found in Mars
    rock sample taken by Curiosity rover.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

  • Florida Lieutenant Governor Resigns
    State officials have reported that Florida Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carroll has resigned due to an Internet cafe
    company she once consulted, has been linked to illegal gambling.

  • Will House Democrats succeed?
    House Democrats are at it again saying that they will make Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan a ‘central focus’ in
    their 2014 campaigns.
    "This issue helped win President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in the House and Senate," said The
    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesperson Jesse Ferguson.  "But 2012 was about the
    presidential race.  In 2014, the election is about the tea party Congress and their budget will be a central focus."
    Democrats also want to bring The People's attention to the Republican's threat to Medicare and Republican's planned
    cuts to the much-needed program.  Previously, Republicans had proposed that people born after 1959 choose between
    the current program and an option to purchase health insurance on a private market with help from federal subsidies.  In
    addition, Democrats want The People to know that the Republicans have repeatedly said that they want to cut the
    Affordable Healthcare Act aka ObamaCare.
    During the 2012 campaign, Democrats continuously mentioned House Republicans support of Ryan's budget proposal,
    but we can only hope they agree to stick together - this time.
    Nonetheless, this video is interesting.

  • In Response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee proposed budget, the National Republican
    Congressional Committee said House Democrat's proposed budget with Obamacare in place, will not balance the
    federal budget in the coming years.
    If Democrats believe they are going to win Republican House districts on a platform of touting ObamaCare
    and a budget plan that never ever balances, then please, hit the campaign trail," said NRCC spokesperson Daniel
    He went on to say: "In 2012, Republicans won our second-largest House majority since World War II precisely
    because Democrats are in denial about our nation’s spending problem and ObamaCare’s job-destroying taxes.

  • Sign Here To Prompt Congress To Increase Minimum Wage
    The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is roughly $14,500 a year.  In today's economy, it is barely enough
    to provide the basic needs for a family of four; it is below the poverty line!
    The last time the federal minimum wage was raised was in 2007 and after six years, it is time for a much needed
    increase.  Everyone knows that the more one makes, the more one is prompted to spend.  Therefore, in raising the
    minimum wage, the more the economy will improve; thus a win-win for everyone.
    Petition Congress today!

  • In a recent company newsletter, right-wing billionaires, the Koch Brothers promised to do "everything we can to
    persuade politicians" to accept their far-right agenda by purchasing large chunks of the news media.  This would include
    newspapers such as the LA Times and Chicago Tribune.  The Koch Brothers are responsible for paying politicians to
    deny climate change, and funding efforts to restrict voting rights. Now they want to control the news too!
    It brings to mind George Orwell's book, "1984" - fulfilling the prophecy of this Nation.

  • With bipartisan support, both Colorado Democrats and Republicans came together to accomplish the following:
  • Successfully fought to extend the Wind Protection Tax Credit, creating jobs all over Colorado and decreasing
    dependence on foreign oil.
  • Passed immigration reform with an ASSET bill at the state level, which lowers college tuition for young
    immigrants who know no other home than the United States.
  • Reauthorize the Farm Bill in the U.S. Senate and fought to encourage the House of Representatives to do the
    same in order to support farmers who are facing one of the worst droughts Colorado has ever seen.
  • After years of hard work, the Violence Against Women Act was passed; which provides resources and support
    to victims of domestic violence and increases security on college campuses.

  • Although the 2012 presidential campaign is long over and gone, one thing that remains in the forefront, is Paul Ryan's
    conversation about protecting tax cuts for the wealthy and increasing them for the middleclass.  Another thing that has
    not changed in Ryan's dialogue is his strong desire to cut Medicare and gut Obamacare.
    Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman hates the idea of Medicare so much so, that his big Freudian slip told the
    truth about what he calls a "viable budget plan".

  • Although House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal has cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, the following
    eight Republican governors disagree with Mr. Ryan:
    1. Florida Governor Rick Scott
    2. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
    3. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
    4. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
    5. Ohio Governor John Kasich
    6. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
    7. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
    8. North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple
    As New York Times, Paul Krugman says, "Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Has Gotten Even Crueler."

  • Colorado governor John Hickenlooper is set to sign the long-debated legislation to ban high-capacity magazines of 15
    rounds or more.

  • California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed bans of 157 different models of assault weapons, as well as
    magazines containing more than 10 bullets. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10 to 8, with all Democrats
    supporting and all Republicans opposed.  The bill is likely to be defeated in the House and Senate.

Thursday, March 14, 2013
  • Judge Susan Illston of the District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled against an expansion of the
    Patriot Act.
    The judge's decision stems from a "National Security Letter" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued to an
    unnamed telecommunications company.  The provision would have allowed personal customer records from Internet
    service providers, financial institutions and credit companies without prior court approval.  Judge Illston has stated that it
    is unconstitutional, stating, "The government has a strong argument that allowing the government to prohibit
    recipients of NSL's from disclosing the specific information sought in NSL's to either the targets or the public is
    generally necessary to serve national security in ongoing investigations.  However, the government has not
    shown that it is generally necessary to prohibit recipients from disclosing the mere fact of their receipt of NSLs."

  • Colorado representative, Diana DeGette, dean of Colorado’s congressional delegation, has endorsed Andrew
    Romanoff's candidacy for the 6th District.

  • Finally, the 113th Congress has achieved the seemingly impossible by passing the Violence Against Women Act.
    It is not as if violence against women has ended, so it is only a wonder as to why it took so long for them to pass it.  
    Why do we, The People allow them to keep wasting our money on something that is reviewed after expiration; it should
    be permanent.

Friday, March 15, 2013
  • Mitt Romney at CPAC 2013
    During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 2012
    president contender and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney
    said, "I left the race disappointed that we didn't win. But I also left
    honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in,
    and to speak for so many good and decent people. ... It is up to us
    to make sure that we learn from my mistakes and from our
    mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this
    nation depend upon.  It’s fashionable in some circles to be
    pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the
    Republican Party.  I utterly reject that pessimism.  We may not have
    carried the day last November 7th, but we haven’t lost the country
    we love, and we haven't lost our way," he said.
    "I would urge us all to learn lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories, and that is 30
    Republican governors," continued Romney.  He went on to list a number of state executives—including New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who were not invited to speak at the conference.

  • At the Conservative Political Action Conference, former Florida governor Jeb Bush said that Republicans have a
    perception problem and urge the GOP to work against being labeled the Party of "No."
    "All too often we're associated with being anti-everything. Way too
    many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman,
    anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker and the list goes on and on and
    on. Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates
    even though they share our core beliefs because those voters feel
    unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party," Bush said.
    Although Bush did not say it aloud, he hinted to Mitt Romney's 2012
    presidential campaign and Romney's "47-percent" remark that would
    never vote for him because of entitlements.
    "Never again can the Republican Party simply write off an entire
    segments of our society because we assume our principles have
    limited appeal," Bush said.
    "They have broad appeal.  For exactly the same reason that millions of immigrants were drawn to our shores
    from every nation, we need to draw into our Party people from every corner of society because conservative
    principles - and not liberal dogma - best reflect the ideals that make this nation great.  There is no us or them.  
    The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American.  And we need to be the party of
    inclusion and acceptance."
    In order to be more in line with the majority of Americans and hope to gain votes, the RNC is set to offer a multi-
    fashionable project report titled "Growth and Opportunity."

Friday, March 15, 2013
  • For the 2014 fiscal year, which begins in October of this year, House Republicans and Senate Democrats have recently
    proposed two separate budgets.  However, there is still conflict due to Republicans unwillingness to compromise and
    will reflect stark differences in values and priorities; it will influence middle class families, students, and seniors.
    The Senate Budget is as follows:
  • A balanced approach of responsible spending cuts and new revenue by closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest
    Americans and biggest corporations
  • Protects and preserves Medicare for our seniors and future generations.
    The House budget developed by Paul Ryan is as follows:
  • Raises taxes on middle class families by as much as $2,000 per year
  • Restores $550 billion in defense spending from the sequester
  • Cutting $943 billion in non-defense spending
  • Allow the interest rate on need-based student loans to double this summer
  • Freezes the maximum Pell Grant for the next 10 years
  • Slashes Medicaid by $810 billion over the next 10 years
  • Repeals the Affordable Care Act leaving 27 million Americans uninsured
  • The House budget will dismantle and privatize Medicare.
    In Colorado, if the sequester is not reversed the following areas will be greatly affected:
    Education - Approximately $8.4 million in funding will be cut for primary and secondary education, putting around 120
    teacher and aide jobs at risk.  Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 700
    children in Colorado, reducing access to critical early education.
    Job Training - Colorado will lose about $331,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning
    around 14,810 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
    Public Safety - Colorado will lose about $213,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement,
    prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and
    enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
    Health - Around 2,240 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus,
    whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $153,000.  Protections for
    Clean Air and Clean Water
    Colorado would lose about $2 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent
    pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Colorado could lose another $1.2 million in grants for fish and
    wildlife protection.

Saturday, March 16, 2013
  • Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wins this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference presidential preference straw
    poll, as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finishes second.
    The runners-up were as follows:
  • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, 8 percent
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 7 percent
  • Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 6 percent
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 5 percent
  • Ben Carson, 4 percent
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 4 percent
  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, 3 percent
  • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 3 percent
  • (Other candidates received a combined 14 percent)

Monday, March 18, 2013

  • My opinion about some of their ideas:
  • Number one will not help Republicans, as they have proven repeatedly, that the only good minority is the one who
    is a registered Republican.  Also, Republicans need to remember that Blacks used to be devoted to their Party
    but when our interest changed, so did our Party affiliation.  The Republican Party has repeatedly refused us and
    we have not forgot that they continue to vote against our rights - namely voting rights.
  • After reading number three, I nearly fee out my chair as there are VERY FEW Republicans that have the
    courage to appear on the Daily Show and The Colbert Report!  The only people that have the confidence to go
    on those shows are people with the likes of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell.  The rest - NO WAY!  If Ronald
    Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower were alive, they stood a chance, but the rest, NO
    WAY!  …just too funny!
  • Number five is questionable if the Party believes it can make it easier to for voters to register online, as they
    have been doing everything in their power to keep people from voting; especially Blacks.
  • Number ten is almost laughable!  The Republicans want to keep the same message but change their tone,
    however they are still keeping their same polices in cutting Head start, Medicare, Social Security and other much
    NEEDED programs.  It is as if to say, 'I hate you and will take all the things you need, away from you.'  Then
    change the "tone" and say, 'I am taking all the things you need, away from you.'  The tone has indeed change, but
    as they said, the message remains the same.  HUMPH!

  • Colorado Has New Ammunition Limits
    New gun laws has passed both chambers of the Colorado State legislature including requirements to have gun buyers to
    pass universal background checks, as well as buyers pay for their own background checks and banning online
    certification for concealed-carry permits.
    It has been reported that Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper will sign legislation banning ammunition
    magazines with more than 15 rounds.
    Colorado has experienced two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history:
  • In 1999, two teenagers planned a massacre at Columbine High School.  It ended with two teenagers shot dead, a
    teacher and 12 other students before the two gunmen committed suicide.  Several of the guns used were bought
    at gun shows.
  • In 2012, a mass shooting ensued a gunman opened fire in a crowded premiere of the Batman movie "The Dark
    Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

  • Justices Weigh Arizona Voting Registration Law
    What does it say about us as a Country when we vehemently protest
    taking our guns but then attempt to restrict voting?
    Voting is every bit as much of America as owning a gun...!
    The Supreme Court seem unsure about the Arizona law that requires
    people registering to vote in federal elections to show proof of
    citizenship.  The proposed law, known as Proposition 200, is in question
    while the 1993 National Voter Registration Act requires prospective
    voters to provide one of several possible forms of identification, such as
    a driver's license number or passport.  However, it does not require
    proof of citizenship and voters simply sign a statement saying they are
    As of today, it is uncertain as to how they will rule with Justice Anthony Kennedy showing his concern of it being too
    difficult.  Both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan agreed, stating that the process should be simplified.
    In agreement, Justice Antonin Scalia repeatedly told Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne that the State should
    have filed a lawsuit saying the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), decision was unlawful, particularly in light
    of another case in which Louisiana was granted permission to require additional materials as proof of identification.
    "You should have challenged the commission's refusal to place that evidence in the federal form," Scalia said.
    A ruling is expected by the end of June.

  • Unrestricted, Hillary Clinton advocates gay marriage
    In a new video released by a gay rights advocacy group, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton showed
    support for gay marriage.
    In the video, Clinton shares her views on gay rights and gay marriage, saying, "LGBT Americans are our colleagues,
    our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones.  And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the
    rights of citizenship—that includes marriage.  That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples.  I
    support it personally and as a matter of policy and law."
    When Clinton ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, both she and Obama publicly backed civil unions for gay
    couples but stopped short of endorsing gay marriage.  However, Obama publicly endorsed gay marriage during his 2012
    election campaign, and the stance became a part of the Democratic Party's platform.
    The Republican Party continues to officially oppose gay marriage in its platform, though there are notable dissension.

  • President Barack Obama will nominate Tom Perez to be his next Labor secretary.  Perez is the assistant attorney
    general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights division.  If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Hilda Solis,
    who resigned in January.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
  • Disgraced former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has advanced to a runoff in the special Republican primary to
    fill the state's vacant 1st Congressional District seat.  Sanford, staging a comeback after his 2009 downfall stemming
    from an extramarital affair, needed a majority to win outright.  With almost three-quarters of precincts reporting, he had
    36 percent.
    State Senator Larry Grooms and former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic are in a tight race for the second
    spot in the April 2nd runoff.

  • Cyprus lawmakers vote down European Union-mandated seizure of bank deposits to fund a bailout of the country.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  • President Obama Talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    "I appreciate the fact that the president has reaffirmed, more than any other president, Israel's right and duty to
    defend itself, by itself, against any threat. We just heard those important words now. And I think that sums up
    our -- I would say, our common view," he said.
    Seeking to reassure the United States's primary ally in the Middle East, President Obama today told Israeli Prime
    Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his administration remains committed to doing "what is necessary" to prevent Iran
    from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

  • Broken Beast
    Although President Barack Obama had not arrived, the Beast would not start.
    While President Obama's aids were refilling the tank at an Israeli gas station, the presidential limousine, known as the
    “Beast” was accidentally filled with diesel fuel instead of gasoline and refused to start and had to be towed.  Luckily,
    president Obama had yet to arrive in the country.
    We experienced mechanical trouble with one of the cars,” said Edwin Donovan, a spokesperson for the Secret
    Service. “We don't know the cause.  This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips.  
    Situations like this are planned for extensively by our advance teams so that the president’s itinerary is
    unaffected by these types of issues.”
    A backup model of the limo was flown in by helicopter from Jordan, where it had been waiting just in case there was a

  • A mortar shell explosion killed seven Marines and injured several more during mountain warfare training in Nevada's
    high desert, prompting the Pentagon to immediately halt the use of the weapons until an investigation can determine their
    The explosion occurred Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot, a sprawling facility used by troops heading
    overseas, during an exercise involving the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C. Several Marines
    from the unit were injured in the blast.
    The Marines were practicing firing mortars in Reno, when one of the rounds exploded while still inside the tube.
    Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the malfunction.

  • North Korea Advertising Weapons
    Analysts say that North Korea's nuclear test last month was not just a show of defiance and national pride; it also is
    advertising.  "The target audience, is anyone in the world looking to buy nuclear material."
    The dangerous message North Korea is sending, according to Graham Allison, a nuclear expert at the Harvard
    Kennedy School: "Nukes are for sale."

  • Colorado's top state prison official was shot and killed when he answered the front door of his house, setting off a hunt
    for the gunman and raising questions about whether the attack had anything to do with his position.
    Tom Clements, 58, was appointed to serve as the head of the DOC by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2011.  
    Clements lived in a wooded neighborhood of large, two-story houses on expansive 2-acre lots dotted with evergreen
    trees in an area known as the Black Forest.  Long driveways connect the homes to narrow, winding roads that thread
    the hills.  Clements' home was out of view, behind a barricade of crime-scene tape in the road.  However, it would have
    been simple to find where Clements lived through a publicly available internet locator service.  The listing also included
    his previous home address in Missouri.
    Clements is the second state prisons chief killed in office.  Michael Francke, director of the Oregon Department of
    Corrections, was stabbed to death outside his office in 1989 in what prosecutors described as a bungled car burglary.

  • After allegations of abuse, U.S. military reaches agreement with President Hamid Karzai to remove American forces
    from Afghanistan's Wardak province
    The deal was reached on a gradual pullout of American special forces and their Afghan counterparts from a
    contentious eastern province.
    President Karzai has blamed the troops for egregious human rights abuses in Wardak province, allegations which U.S.
    military officials have steadfastly denied.

  • Although President Barack Obama was in Israel to promote peace in the turbulent Middle East, his mission was
    overshadowed by Syria's claim of chemical weapons.
    If Syria actually has weapons, the U.S. may become involved in the conflict.
    Although the claims could not be verified by definitive evidence, the Assad regime and Syrian rebels traded accusations
    that chemical weapons were used in the northern city of Aleppo.
    President Obama has declared that the use, deployment or transfer of the weapons "red line" would cause the U.S. and
    others to become more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict.
    In a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama declared, "We have been
    clear that the use of chemical weapons would be a serious and tragic mistake.  We intend to investigate
    thoroughly exactly what happened."  The Obama went on to say, "I am deeply skeptical of any claim that in fact it
    was the opposition who used chemical weapons."

  • Federal Communications Commission Resigns
    Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announced during the panel's open meeting that he would leave the
    commission without finishing out his term.
    McDowell has been serving a second term on the commission, having first been appointed in 2006. He was re-
    appointed in 2009.
    His resignation was expected and many think it will pave the way for the resignation of FCC chairman Julius
    Genachowski, as McDowell’s resignation leaves Ajit Pai as the only Republican on the commission.
    McDowell did not say what his future plans are.

  • The Senate approved and sent to the House a six-month stopgap-spending bill to keep the government operating through
    September 30 and avert any threat of a shutdown.
    The 73-26 vote followed agreement on final adjustments for the meat industry to forestall furloughs of food safety
    inspectors this summer in the wake of sequestration.

Thursday, March 21, 2013
  • Elementary Schools in Chicago Closing in Mass Amounts
    Chicago will close 54 schools and 61 school buildings by the beginning of the next academic year in the country's third-
    largest public school district, a move that education experts called the largest mass closing in the nation.  The district will
    shutter 53 elementary schools and 1 high school, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods.  The
    district, which has a $1 billion annual deficit, has said it needs to close underutilized schools to save money.

  • The House approved and sent to the White House a stopgap-spending bill to avert any threat of a government
    shutdown.  The bill would keep agencies funded through the end of September in the wake of automatic cuts ordered
    under sequestration.
    Final passage came on a 318-109 vote in the House, as top Republicans opted to embrace significant changes approved
    by the Senate rather than risk further delay.

  • The House passed Rep. Paul Ryan's 2014 budget, 221 to 207 on a mostly party-line vote.  Ryan's budget proposes to
    repeal "ObamaCare", reconstruct Medicare and cutback on government spending.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced a new gun control measure that includes language to expand
    background checks.  The plan would also expand sanctions on illegal transfers of firearms and beef up school safety.
    However, it does NOT include an assault weapons ban, but Reid said he would allow votes on amendments that would
    limit high-capacity magazines and assault weapons when the Senate hears it again in next month.

  • After a four-year tenure, that has reaped mixed reviews and tangible progress in the industries he oversees, FCC
    Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his resignation.  Genachowski took over as chairman in 2009 and pushed the
    agency to look at telecommunications differently with broadband supplanting old technologies like broadcasting and
    telephone service.
    Genachowski, 50, was appointed in 2009 and has formed a middle line between the desires of public-interest groups and
    the telecom industry.

Friday, March 22, 2013
  • Caitlin Halligan Revokes Nomination
    President Barack Obama said he was "deeply disappointed" in Caitlin Halligan's decision to withdraw her nomination to
    U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit.  For the second time, Senate Republicans filibustered her nomination to keep it from
    getting an up or down vote.
    "This unjustified filibuster obstructed the majority of Senators from expressing their support," Obama said in a
    statement. "I am confident that with Caitlin's impressive qualifications and reputation, she would have served
    with distinction.  The D.C. Circuit is considered the nation's second-highest court, but it now has more
    vacancies than any other circuit court. This is unacceptable."
    Halligan would have filled the spot that Chief Justice John Roberts left vacant after being nominated to the Supreme

  • Vice President, Joe Biden's series: "Being Biden" is posted HERE.

  • President Obama Cautions Regarding Syria
    Standing next to Jordan's King Abdullah II, President Obama stated his
    concerns of more problems in Syria and that if and when President
    Bashar Assad is removed from power, Syria will become another safe-
    haven for terrorists.
    Similar to former president Bill Clinton, Obama has proven that he is
    diligently working for peace in the Middle East, saying that the
    international community must work together to ensure there is a credible
    opposition in place.
    "Something has been broken in Syria, and it's not going to be put
    back together perfectly immediately — even after Assad leaves,"
    Obama said.  "But we can begin the process of moving it in a better
    direction, and having a cohesive opposition is critical to that.  I am
    very concerned about Syria becoming an enclave for extremism,"
    Obama said, adding that extremism thrives in chaos and failed states.
    He said the rest of the world has a huge stake in ensuring that a functioning Syria emerges.
    "The outcome is Syria is not going to be ideal," he acknowledged, adding that strengthening a credible opposition was
    crucial to minimizing the difficulties.
    In the mean time, President Obama said that he would "keep on plugging away" in hopes of getting the Israelis and
    Palestinians to reach a peace agreement.  "The window of opportunity still exists, but it's getting more and more
    difficult.  The mistrust is building instead of ebbing."

  • Jihadist jokes about U.S. bounty: How much for just one leg?
    An Alabama-born jihadist fighter thought to be in Somalia took to Twitter on Friday to mock the U.S. government’s $5
    million bounty on his head—jokingly offering to raise some cash for his cause by selling off one leg.
    Omar Hammami—who stars in his own YouTube videos, sometimes rapping his Islamist message, and has an
    aggressive Twitter presence—was reportedly added to the Rewards for Justice program that offers piles of cash for
    information leading to the capture or killing of high-profile extremists.  CNN first broke the news.
    Apparently unbowed, Hammami joked about the bounty on Twitter: abu m @abumamerican.  "As I'm a bit low on
    cash, how much is my left leg going for? I figure, shamil basayev did the one-leg jihad thing."
    That was a reference to a dead Islamist commander of a Chechen rebel movement, who lost a leg while fighting the
    Russian army, noted Agence France-Presse.
    U.S. officials say Hammami, initially a recruiter for al-Shabab in Somalia, which Washington has labeled a terrorist
    group, has fallen out with his former comrades.  He has criticized them publicly; they say they want him dead.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
  • Mark Sullivan, Director the Secret Service and headed the agency for close to seven years, announced his resignation
    last month, and thus, President Barack Obama has chosen Julia Pierson to take his place.
    Pierson will be the first female Secret Service director and does not have to be confirmed by the Senate.  Pierson, 53,
    began her career in the Secret Service as an agent in Miami three decades ago.
    Obama’s selection of Pierson comes after an extraordinarily difficult year at the service, and amid calls that the next
    director make internal changes at the agency whose masculine culture was exposed during an overseas trip last year.

  • South Dakota Democrat Senator Tim Johnson announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.  Johnson's retirement
    leaves Democrats with yet another open Senate seat to defend in 2014 - bringing the total to five so far. It also will
    create an opening atop the Banking Committee, where Johnson has served as chairperson since 2011.

  • Montana Senator Democrat Max Baucus is retiring
    Democrats are now defending open seats in Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.
    Other Senator retirees include:
  • Tom Harkin of Iowa
  • Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia
  • Carl Levin of Michigan
  • Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey
  • Tim Johnson of South Dakota
    Republicans need to pick up six seats to win a majority in the Senate.  (Nebraska Republican Senator Mike Johanns and
    Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, has also announced their intention not to seek re-election.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
  • Actress Ashley Judd has announced that she will not run for the Democratic Senate seat in Kentucky.

Thursday, March 28, 2013
  • Vice President, Joe Biden's series: "Being Biden" is posted HERE.
Make your voice heard! Contact Congress, today!!!!!!
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Antonin Scalia

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Pope Benedict XVI vacated the Vatican for the last time as pontiff and the first pontiff in 600 years to resign
ROSA PARKS STATUE: President Barack Obama and others attend the ceremony honoring the life of civil rights activist, Rosa Parks
From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013
    I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do
    understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel
    on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong
    perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.
    But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that
    Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe
    this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea
    that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand
    barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious
    disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.
    It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was
    assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed
    in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big
    disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by
    entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the
    discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked
    in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on
    entitlements and revenues.)
I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is diffferent. Not out
to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.
My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.

From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013
Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you
believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the
importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is
that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today. Best, Bob
Gene Sperling
Bob Woodward
David Williams, future President of the free world
Hugo Chavez
President of these divided states
Starting today, our government will need to grapple with a set of arbitrary budget cuts that will hurt the economy, make
life harder for middle-class families, and threaten our national security. That's what Washington means when it talks
about the sequester.
Not everyone will feel the consequences of these cuts immediately, but if sequestration is allowed to continue, it will
make life more difficult for Americans all across the country. That's a fact that no one disputes.
And the reason we are here is because some members of Congress have made a choice to prioritize these cuts over
closing tax loopholes for the wealthy. But there is still time for them to make a different choice and undo this
manufactured crisis.
Today, President Obama discussed this situation and answered questions from the press. "This is not a win for
anybody," he said. "This is a loss for the American people."
Help us make sure your friends and neighbors know what's at stake. Share this video of President Obama on Facebook
or Twitter -- or even just forward this email to your friends.

PS -- We put a page together that outlines President Obama's solution for resolving the sequester, explains what these
cuts will mean for communities across the country, and asks you to share your story. Check it out:
Call YOUR Congress TODAY! 202 224-3121
Call YOUR Congress!
President Obama holds a press conference to discuss the fiscal cliff
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
  • Announcement made about the limit of the debt ceiling
    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote Congress to say that the Nation will hit its statutory borrowing limit on
    December 31st and Treasury will have to begin "extraordinary measures" to fund the government until the debt ceiling is
    lifted by Congress.
    Treasury expects it can avoid default through such measures at least a few week into next year but notes that doing so
    could be made more difficult if no deal is made to avoid the fiscal cliff.

  • Toyota Motor Corp. reaches $1 billion settlement
    Worth more than $1 billion Toyota has agreed in a settlement involving hundreds of lawsuits over acceleration problems
    in its vehicles.
    The company said the deal will resolve hundreds of lawsuits from Toyota owners who said the value of their cars and
    trucks plummeted after a series of recalls stemming from claims that Toyota vehicles accelerated unintentionally.
    Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Toyota since 2009, when the Japanese auto maker started receiving
    numerous complaints that its cars accelerated on their own, causing crashes, injuries and even deaths.

  • Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team attempted to increase pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
    by saying the Senate must pass legislation to deal with the fiscal cliff before the House will act.
    House GOP leadership's statement comes after a holiday weekend in which there was no movement toward a deal on
    avoiding major tax increases and spending cuts that kick in around year's end.

Thursday, December 27, 2012
  • Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson says she is stepping down after four years in the position, ending a
    tenure marked by high-profile fights with business groups and Republicans.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered a grim prognosis for fiscal cliff talks just days before taxes rise and major
    spending cuts start to take effect.
    Blaming Republicans, the Nevada Democrat said there did not seem to be enough time to get a deal before the New
    Year.  "I don't know time wise how it can happen now," Reid said as he opened a rare holiday week session of the

  • President Obama and Congressional Leaders to meet regarding fiscal cliff
    President Barack Obama will meet with the top congressional leaders from both parties in a hopeful final effort to
    negotiate on the fiscal cliff before taxes go up and spending are slashed in the new year.

Friday, December 28, 2012
  • Congressional leaders emerged from Friday's high-stakes White House meeting with no deal in hand to avert the fiscal
    cliff.  Pressure is mounting on Senate leaders to find a final effort to avert $500 billion of tax hikes and spending cuts set
    to take effect in the New Year.
    President Barack Obama said he was "modestly optimistic" that a deal could be struck in the Senate to avert going over
    the fiscal cliff.  But he said if a deal is not reached, he has proposed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hold an up
    or down vote on a bill extending some income tax cuts, unemployment benefits and slow some of the looming deep
    budget cuts.
    "The hour for immediate action is here, it is now," Obama said, following what he called a "good and constructive"
    discussion with Congressional leaders.  He went on to say. "If members of the House or the Senate want to vote no,
    they can, but we should let everybody vote.  "The American people are watching what we do here.  Obviously, their
    patience is already thin.  It's déjà vu all over again.  "The American people are not going to have any patience for a
    politically self-inflicted wound to our economy."

Sunday, December 30, 2012
  • President Obama lands on a Sunday talk-show
    President Barack Obama used a rare appearance on a Sunday talk
    show one day before the nation hits the fiscal cliff to pin the blame on
    Republicans who "have had trouble saying yes."
    With hopes of a bipartisan agreement dim, Obama used the high-profile
    setting of NBC's "Meet the Press" to make his closing argument in the
    On a day of drama and uncertainty in Washington, he said he has
    negotiated in good faith, moved more than halfway to reach a grand
    bargain and angered Democrats with his concessions.  However, he
    said Republicans still refuse to strike a deal with him and hike rates on
    the richest taxpayers.
    Obama noted: "They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way.  
    But the way they are behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest
    Americans are protected.  That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme."
    Senate leaders announced that fiscal cliff negotiations have reached a standstill, , as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
    said he had called Vice President Joe Biden to "jump-start" the negotiations.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said
    Democrats were unable to make a counteroffer due to the sticking points.  As of today, Democrats say the talks had
    stalled over whether to include changes to how Social Security payments are calculated.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot
    stemming from a concussion she sustained when she fell.

Monday, December 31, 2012
  • Progress With Reid and Biden
    Kentucky Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden made major progress
    toward a year-end tax deal overnight, giving sudden hope to high-stakes talks that had been on the brink of collapse.
    McConnell and Biden, who served in the Senate together for 23 years, are closing in on an agreement that would hike
    tax rates for families who earn more than $450,000, and individuals who make more than $400,000.

  • President Barack Obama that a fiscal cliff deal "is within sight, but it is not finalized.  He said, "There are still issues to
    resolve, but we're hopeful that Congress can get it done."
    As Obama spoke, Congress was closing in on a deal that would raise taxes on households that make more than
    $450,000 a year and individuals who make more than $400,000.  The emerging deal would also permanently patch the
    Alternative Minimum Tax, raise the estate tax rates for high-value properties, extend unemployment benefits for a year
    and add a temporary fix to Medicare reimbursement rates.

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the floor that he had reached an agreement with Vice
    President Joe Biden on all the outstanding tax issues ahead of the fiscal cliff.  While there still is yet to be an agreement
    on delaying the automatic sequestration cuts, McConnell called on the Senate to immediately pass the tax portion of the
    package while the two sides continued to work on the outstanding spending issues.
    The timing of the vote is yet to be made clear, though it is almost certain the vote will not take place today.

  • The House is not scheduled to vote on any fiscal cliff package on New Year's Eve, so the United States is technically
    going over the fiscal cliff.  However, it is possible that for a day or two the White House and congressional leaders can
    win enough support for passage of a tax package already being negotiated between them.  Timing for House and
    Senate votes remained unclear with just a few hours to spare before 2012 ends.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will vote on a fiscal cliff deal tonight.
    Leaving a party caucus meeting, he said lawmakers are just waiting on a CBO score

  • It has been reported that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had developed a blood clot in the space between her brain
    and skull behind the right ear.  Her doctors added that she is "making excellent progress and we are confident she will
    make a full recovery.  She is in good spirits, engaging with her doctors, her family, and her staff."

  • Fiscal Cliff Agreement Has Been Made
    It has been reported that the White House and congressional leaders have reached a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
    The agreement includes a two-month delay of the sequester, which had been scheduled to begin on January 2, 2013.  
    President Barack Obama spoke with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
    about the agreement that both leaders have signed.
President Obama appears on Meet The Press
President Obama discusses fiscal cliff
Senator Mike Crapo

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Racist? I do not think so!
Monday, February 4, 2013
  • Colorado's fifth largest school district may be hiding millions while cutting services to students.
    Over the last three years, Adams 12 Five Star School District has cut its budget by more than $56 million, eliminated bus
    routes and cut more than 200 jobs and middle school sports.
    However, after an investigation by FOX31 Denver, there are some questions about the district's finances.
    Now, if we can just get someone - ANYONE - to investigate Denver Public Schools' budget and finances, then perhaps
    Denverites will feel comfortable when they continue to ask for money while they continue to cut programs for students,
    layoff teachers, work staff and custodians, but continue to hire managers to oversee other managers.  Also, while the
    money should be spent on books and safety on the playgrounds, they have decided to install new alarm systems that
    obviously do not need replacing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
  • President Barack Obama implored Congress to pass a temporary spending cuts package that would help close tax
    loopholes.  Hoping to avoid a sequester, President Obama alerted that grave economic consequences would occur if a
    package of automatic spending cuts takes effect in coming weeks.  However, the Republican led Congress is resistant
    to act.
    "If they can't get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe
    they should at least pass a smaller package," Obama said.  "There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of
    Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy-not to mention the growth of the entire
    economy-should be put in jeopardy."
    An official noted: "Given that the budget process in Congress won't likely be completed by March 1st," the
    proposal "will allow Congress more time to reach a solution that permanently avoids the sequester and
    significantly reduces the deficit in a balanced way."

  • According to a new report by the Open Society Foundations, more than 50 nations played a role in the extraordinary
    rendition of terrorism suspects in the years after 9/11.
    The program, started under President George W. Bush, involved shipping suspects off to foreign prisons and CIA "black
    sites," where they often faced torture.

  • The U.S. Accuses Ratings Agency Of Fraud In Lead Up To Financial Crisis
    The Obama administration accused Standard & Poor's of refusing to warn investors that the housing market was
    collapsing in 2006 because it would be bad for business.  The Justice Department is demanding $5 billion in penalties,
    saying that S&P knowingly inflated its ratings of risky mortgage investments and ultimately provoked the crisis.

  • The Violence Against Women Act was created in 1994, and due to its creations, incidents of domestic violence have
    fallen by more than 50 percent, but unfortunately, the ACT has expired and House Republicans refuse to reauthorize it.
    The ACT was put into place to protect women, and it cannot expand nor be improved unless Congress approves.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
  • Financially hemorrhaging, US Postal Service announces it will end Saturday mail delivery beginning in August.

Monday, February 11, 2013
  • North Korea Conducts Apparent Nuclear Test
    North Korea says it has tested a nuclear device and South Korea is confirming the test.
    South Korea said it suspects a nuclear test caused an earthquake Tuesday in North Korea just north of a site where the
    country conducted two previous atomic tests.  North Korea has yet to confirm whether the tremor resulted from a
    widely anticipated third nuclear test.

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2013
  • President Barack Obama is set to announce in his State of the Union address that within the year, 34,000 more
    American troops will return from Afghanistan.

  • In his State of the Union speech, President Obama outlined his plan for a thriving middle class and a strong America.

  • Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio presented the official response to the State of the Union and in it, he laid out
    the Republicans vision for economic prosperity for the middle class.  He criticized President Obama for embracing
    policies that Rubio says will ultimately hurt the middle class.

  • Senators continue to beg Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act in order to protect victims of domestic
    violence, enforce prosecute offenders and make sure that survivors have a safe place to go.
    Previously, Democrats and Republicans supported the ACT for nearly two decades however last year right wing
    Republicans in the House blocked its reauthorization.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
  • After Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio delivered his rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union speech,
    the net was a-buzz.  Numerous tweets, Facebook posts and other website comments were made about his profuse
    sweating, obvious signs of following his speech on the teleprompter and a bad case of cottonmouth.  Some say that it
    was hard to pay attention Senator Rubio's speech because he continued to gulp water as he spoke.
    Twitter says there were about 9,200 tweets per minute at 7:43 p.m. PST after he took the fateful sip of water.  "That
    was his Twitter peak," a representative said.

  • For sixteen consecutive years, Justice Antonin Scalia has not attended the State of the Union. "It has turned into a
    childish spectacle.  I don't want to be there to lend dignity to it," Scalia said, with a certain amount of mischief.
    The 76-year-old justice has previously made clear his contempt for the event. "The State of the Union is not something I
    mark on my calendar, like Easter or Yom Kippur."
    Scalia said the justices in attendance inevitably keep their eyes on the chief justice, who decides when it is appropriate
    to applaud.  If the President says the United States is a great country, clap away, he said.  However, no justice can clap
    "if it's anything anybody can disagree with."
    Because I had no idea that Scalia did not attend the State of the Union speeches, it made me wonder about its origin.  
    The practice arises from a command given to the president in the Constitution of the United States:
    He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their
    Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.  
    Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution
    Although the language of this constitution is not specific, by tradition, the President makes this report annually in late
    January or early February.  Between 1934 and 2013 the date has been as early as January 3, and as late as February 12.

  • North Korea's neighbors bolstered their military preparations and mobilized scientists to determine whether Pyongyang's
    third nuclear test, conducted in defiance of U.N. warnings, was as successful as the North claimed.
    "North Korea will want to send a message that its nuclear and missile issues cannot be resolved with sanctions
    and that high-level talks with the U.S. are necessary," said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong
    Institute in South Korea.  Despite tensions, he predicted U.S.-North Korea diplomatic talks could occur later this year.  
    "The biggest U.S. concern is whether the North has made progress in its uranium enrichment program. It's a
    matter of nuclear proliferation. To resolve this, the U.S. cannot help but talk with North Korea," he said.

  • Facing stiff Republican opposition to moving quickly on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of Defense, Senate
    Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture motion to cut off debate.
    Sixty votes will be required to cut off debate and then move to an up-or-down vote on the nomination; the vote is
    scheduled for Friday unless a deal can be reached to hold it earlier.
    "This is the first time in the history that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered.
    What a shame," Reid said.

Thursday, February 14, 2013
  • President Obama's State of the Union speech received the lowest rating in 13 years.
    State of The Union 2013 Ratings: 33.3 Million Tune In, Lowest-Rated Since 2000.  The 33.5 million people who saw
    President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union made it the smallest audience for the annual speech since Bill
    Clinton's last address in 2000.

  • During President Obama's State of The Union Speech, he proposed raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour due to
    However, Ohio Republican House Speaker John Boehner is against it stating "When you raise the price of employment,
    guess what happens?  You get less of it."  At a time when Americans are still asking the question, ‘Where are the
    jobs?’ why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?"
    Although Obama is proposing only $1.75 over the course of three years, the minimum wage only goes up in small
    increments and Republican President George W. Bush signed a similar idea in his second term.

  • Heinz Ketchup Has Been Sold
    Billionaire Warren Buffet and 3G Capital has purchased H.J. Heinz Co.
    for $23.3 billion, making it the richest deal ever made in the food
    Heinz, a Pittsburgh-based company, also makes baked beans, pickles,
    vinegar, Classico pasta sauces and Ore-Ida potatoes, as well as a
    growing stable of sauces suited to regional tastes around the world.
    Heinz has expanded over the years to include a much broader array of
    products across 200 countries, including ABC soy sauce in Indonesia,
    Quero tomato sauces and vegetables in Brazil and Complan nutritional
    drinks in India.
    In 2010, the company bought Foodstar, which makes Master brand soy sauce and fermented bean curd in China.
    The deal sent shares of Heinz soaring, closing at $72.50 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
    Although 3G Capital has a record of aggressively cutting costs at businesses it acquires, managing partner Alex Behring
    said Heinz is different because the business is healthy and sales are rising.  However, Buffett prefers to buy entire
    companies and then allow the businesses to continue operating much the way they did before, it do, but there was no
    guarantee that there would not be layoffs.

  • New Jersey Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg has decided not to seek re-election.  His decision could possibly
    implore Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker to replace him.
    "I am not announcing the end of anything.  I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new
    gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in
    New Jersey," Lautenberg told the Star-Ledger.  "While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to
    do before the end of this term and I'm going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the
    U.S. Senate."
"Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is repealed."
A new State Department draft report makes no clear recommendation on whether the U.S. should approve the Keystone
XL oil pipeline, but it also downplays some of the warnings from green activists who say it would pose a major threat to
the Earth's climate.
Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones told reporters it is "premature" to say whether the findings of the draft
report suggest an endorsement of the pipeline project.  Stressing that the report is a draft, Jones said the State
Department is "really looking for the public debate at this point."
Still, parts of the report seem to be a blow to environmental groups that have made defeat of the pipeline one of their top
demands of President Barack Obama. However, it is promising for backers of the project, who said the Canadian crude
oil could fuel dreams of energy independence.
BP Oil Spill
Only a biased person would want to stop people from voting
Senator Rand Paul
It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate
under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal
force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to
authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic
attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
Mitt Romney - CPAC 2013
Jeb Bush - CPAC 2013
1.) Sustain outreach to minority communities, even in years without elections
From the report:
    We need to do a better job connecting people to our policies. Our ideas can sound distant and removed from
    people’s lives. Instead of connecting with voters’ concerns, we too often sound like bookkeepers. ... If we
    believe our policies are the best ones to improve the lives of the American people, all the American people, our
    candidates and office holders need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms, and we need to
    go to communities where Republicans do not normally go to listen and make our case. We need to campaign
    among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate that we care about them, too.
2.) Recruit more minority Republican candidates
3.) Don't be afraid of going on 'The Daily Show'
From the report:
    Establish an RNC Celebrity Task Force of personalities in the entertainment industry to host events for the
    RNC and allow donors to participate in entertainment events as a way to attract younger voters. ... Republican
    leaders should participate in and actively prepare for interviews with The Daily Show, The Colbert Report,
    MTV and magazines such as People, UsWeekly, etc., as well as radio stations that are popular with the youth
4.) Give Democratic candidates hell, and dish it early
5.) Train new Republican activists with online and mobile campaign education programs
6.) Release the voter data
7.) Shrink the primary
8.) Hold fewer primary debates
9.) Adios, August convention
10.) Change the tone, but not the message
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
  • Politicians Arrested Due To Bribe
    New York State Democrat Senator
    Malcolm Smith and New York City
    Councilman Dan Halloran have been
    arrested as part of a plot to influence the
    New York City mayor's race.
    Both Smith and Halloran were arrested at
    their homes.
    Smith, 56, "tried to bribe his way to a shot
    at Gracie Mansion", said U.S. Attorney
    Preet Bharara.  Bharara said Smith "drew
    up the game plan and Councilman
    Halloran essentially quarterbacked that
    drive by finding party chairmen who were
    wide open to receiving bribes."
    During the FBI investigation into the plot, an
    undercover FBI agent posed as a wealthy
    real estate developer and attended meetings with Smith.  Smith allegedly tried to bribe leaders of Republican Party
    county committees around New York City in an attempt to run for mayor as a Republican.  Smith was a registered
    Others charged in the plot include the following:
  • Bronx County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Savino, 45
  • Queens County Republican Party Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, 46;
  • Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, 49;
  • Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, 55.

Thursday, April 4, 2013
  • Vice President, Joe Biden's series: "Being Biden" is posted HERE.

Monday, April 8, 2013
  • Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died after suffering a stroke at the age of 87.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
  • Nevada Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a "cloture motion" (quick end to a debate) to stop a GOP
    filibuster of a Democratic gun-control bill.  The Democrats believe they have the votes to beat it.
    The motion comes as West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said he was on the verge of a bipartisan deal with
    Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey on a compromise bill on expanded background checks for gun sales.
    "We're getting there. We're really getting there," Manchin said.  "Tomorrow we hope to be at the point where we
    can finalize everything."  A Manchin-Toomey agreement would be offered as an amendment to the Democratic bill.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
  • West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey will present their
    bipartisan deal to expand background checks for commercial gun sales.
    The deal would close the so-called gun show loophole, requiring that background checks be conducted on all
    commercial gun sales in the country.

  • President Barack Obama proposed a $3.77 trillion budget he called "a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle class
    jobs and growth" that he says will reduce the deficit.
    Although a disagreement with House Republicans is certain, Obama can only hope that his proposed $563 billion in tax
    increases aimed at the wealthy and $78 billion over 10 years from new cigarette taxes and deal to roll back the
    sequester cuts will be agreeable.
    Obama's proposed budget also includes the following:
  • Savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is recorded at $1.384 billion
  • A $452 million cuts to a program that provides funding for heating assistance for low-income households
  • Major cuts to farm subsidies
  • Cuts to the LIHEAP heating programs for the poor
  • Lowering the budget for detaining illegal immigrants
  • New embassy security as recommended by the Benghazi Review Board
  • A $222 million for gun control efforts
    "The American people deserve better than what we've been seeing, the short-sighted, crisis-driven spending cuts
    that are already hurting a lot of communities out there," Obama said.  "If we want to keep rebuilding our
    economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we've got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation."

Thursday, April 11, 2013
  • The Senate has voted, 68-31, to end a Republican filibuster blocking the start of debate on a new gun control bill.
    Sixteen Republicans crossed the aisle and voted with Democrats.Alaska Democrat Mark Begich and Arkansas
    Democrat Mark Pryor sided with the majority of Republicans. Sixty votes were needed for passage.

  • Although former vice president Dick Cheney denied this, PolitiFact has reported that former British Prime Minister
    Margaret Thatcher did in fact tell former president George Bush "not to go wobbly."
    Three weeks after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Thatcher told Bush, "Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly."

  • Denver Health Medical Center Locked Down
    Former employee, Matthew Mann, 38, was arrested after he made threats to hospital staff.  He is facing felony stalking
    and misdemeanor harassment.
    After an hour and a half, the lockdown was over, but it was a horrific terrifying hour for paramedics division and its
    command staff; noting that the threats were "real and credible threats.  It was noted that Mann should be considered
    armed and dangerous.

Friday, April 12, 2013
  • Vice President, Joe Biden's series: "Being Biden" is posted HERE.

Monday, April 15, 2013
  • Two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon this afternoon.  As of now, it has been reported that two
    people have died, and 23 are injured.
    Police and ambulance crews have been sent to the area.
    It has been reported that two more devices that are explosive have been found.

  • The Senate has reached an agreement to make substantive changes to immigration laws in nearly three decades.
    The bill creates what is certain to be a controversial pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented
    immigrants to become permanent legal residents a decade after they register with the government.
    The Bill states:
  • Immigrants would pay a $2,000 fine
  • Pass a background check
  • Have a job
  • Wait 10 years before applying for a green card; after three years, they are able to apply for U.S. citizenship
    In addition:
  • Affect visas for high-tech workers
  • Create a new "W-visa" program to attract low-skilled workers
  • Require businesses to implement new electronic-verification requirements
  • Call for billions of dollars to be spent on tightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, with a goal of
    apprehending 90 percent of those crossing the border in "high-risk" areas.
    Due to the deadly explosives in Boston, it is something that will certainly dominate Washington for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
  • Lawmakers have been informed that a letter addressed to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker, tested positive
    for Ricin.  The letter was intercepted and screened at an off-site facility.

  • According to Associated Press, Iran's state TV says at least 40 people killed after magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes
    near Iran-Pakistan border.

  • The Senate is set to vote on a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on firearm purchases and close the so-
    called gun show loophole.
    It will take 60 votes to pass, and Democrats are still shy of that number even with a full-court lobbying press by Vice
    President Joe Biden, as well as former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
  • The White House Secret Service said that a letter addressed to President "Barack Obama "contained a suspicious
    substance and was received at the remote White House mail screening facility.
    It was later noted that the letter contained a "granular substance" that ultimately tested positive for ricin
    The Secret Service said that the letter was received at a facility that routinely identifies letters or parcels that require
    secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery.
    Secret Service representative Ed Donovan said that "the Secret Service White House mail screening facility is a
    remote facility, not located near the White House complex, that all White House mail goes through.  The Secret
    Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation."
    This comes a day after a letter was sent to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker tested positive for the deadly
    poison ricin.

  • Capitol Police are responding to reports of suspicious packages in the Hart and Russell Senate office buildings and a
    bomb squad is on the scene.  The buildings have not been evacuated, but certain areas of the buildings have been closed.

  • It has been reported that the FBI has "clear" images of two suspects in the Boston Marathon terror attack and have
    distributed photos marked for “law enforcement eyes only.”
    Currently, the FBI is not sharing the photos with the public, however it should be noted that one of the men has a
    backpack that appears to match the bag believed to have been used in the attack.  The other man also appears to have
    a bag of some kind.
    The possible breakthrough came from an analysis of video from a Lord and Taylor department store near the site.

  • Major injuries reported after explosions rock a fertilizer plant on the outskirts of Waco, Texas.  Initial reports say people
    are trapped in a nearby nursing home and an apartment building.

  • National Republicans are pulling the plug on former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford's troubled
    congressional campaign.
    Perhaps Republicans decided not to spend more money when Sanford's ex-wife accused him of trespassing.  (A
    violation of the terms of their divorce agreement.)
    Sanford is campaigning against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a May 7 special election.
    "Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged
    in this special election," said Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman.

  • A bipartisan proposal to expand background checks to gun shows and Internet sales fail in the Senate in a 54-46 vote.  
    This is a major setback in the push for gun control.

  • President Barack Obama said that Senators caved in when it came to passing new gun control laws.
    Standing with families of Newtown shooting victims, former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Vice President Joe Biden,
    Obama stated: "This was a pretty shameful day for Washington, but this effort is not over."
    Obama pledged his administration would take further action wherever possible, but said that it was up to voters to show
    politicians the consequences of voting against the amendment.
    Obama said that failing to pass the bill was "just round one."  "I believe we are going to get this done," Obama said.
    "Sooner or later, we are going to get this right."

  • West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has been a friend and longtime ally of the National Rifle Association with
    an "A" rating, but he is frustrated with the far-right group.
    Senator Manchin is upset and disappointed that the NRA's new ad campaign that claims that 80% of police officers
    believe background checks will have no effect on violent crime.
    William Saletan explains why it is a "bald-faced lie."

    Saletan added, "The NRA's ad is a lie. It flunks a simple background check. Senators should ask themselves what
    else the NRA is lying about."

Thursday, April 18, 2013
  • President Barack Obama arrives in Boston as the city continues to grapple with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon

  • With a 288-127 vote, the House has passed Bill H.R. 3523 better known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and
    Protection Act or CISPA.
    Ninety-two Democrats supported the bill; more than the 42 Democrats who affirmed CISPA when it cleared the House
    floor last year.  CISPA was created by Michigan Republican Mike Rogers and Maryland Democrat Dutch

  • The FBI is making a public appeal for names after releasing surveillance pictures of the two suspects they believe are
    directly linked to the Boston bombings.

Friday, April 19, 2013
  • Police surround a house in Watertown, Massachusetts in a manhunt for remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect
    who was identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and believed to be brother of the other bombing suspect, who was
    killed late Thursday in a shootout with police.

  • Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis reported that one of two suspects in the killing of a MIT police officer is dead
    and that the other suspect who is tied to Boston Marathon bombing, is at large.
    A second suspect in the shooting was shot in a
    shootout with police during which explosive devices
    were thrown.
    Police referred to the suspect as a 'terrorist' and
    are warning residents to stay indoors.
    Cambridge police say the campus officer was
    responding to a report of a disturbance when he
    was shot multiple times.

  • Law enforcement officials say the "white hat"
    Boston bombing suspect at the center of a massive
    manhunt is Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of
    Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The second, "black
    hat" suspect who died earlier today after a shootout
    was his brother, officials said.  Both are from

  • Police in Westminster Colorado are investigating a possible explosive device at an apartment building and have put two
    schools on lockout as a precaution.
    The event stated when a woman called authorities around 8 AM to say a friend of hers (a man) was staying with her
    and she believed she saw a pipe bomb in his possession.
    The man was found by police driving a white Honda and was questioned by police.
    Westminster police evacuated the woman’s apartment building and called in the Adams County bomb squad.
    A robot examined the item and determined the evacuation should be expanded to surrounding areas.
    After a thorough investigation, it was later determined that the "items in the apartment were not a bomb."

  • After a massive manhunt, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is in custody after he was found hiding
    on a boat in a yard in a suburb of the Massachusetts capital.

  • At least 32 people killed and more than 600 injured after magnitude 6.6-earthquake strikes China's Sichuan province.

Monday, April 22, 2013
  • Two days after being pulled blooded and wounded from a tarp-covered boat, bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19,
    was in serious condition but alert and replying in writing to questions being asked by authorities.
    Tsarnaev's brother, 26 years old Tamerlan died during a gun battle with police.
    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains hospitalized under heavy guard. He is being treated at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess
    Medical Center, where 11 victims of the bombing were still hospitalized
    The two bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180.

  • Gunfire erupted at an apartment complex in a city south of Seattle and five people were shot to death, including a
    suspect who was shot by arriving officers.

  • The Taliban captures at least 9 nine people from a crashed helicopter in Afghanistan.  The Turkish civilian helicopter
    was forced to make an emergency landing in a Taliban-controlled area of eastern Afghanistan, and insurgents took all
    those aboard the aircraft hostage, including at least seven Turks.
    "The crew of the chopper was kidnapped by a group of Pakistanis and Afghan militants," said local tribal elder,
    Haji Khan Zaman.  "By chance, the Pakistani and Afghan militants were passing through the area to go to
    Wardak province when they saw the chopper landing and took all injured crew onboard with them hostage."

  • China needs to follow America's motto: Do as I say, not as I do.
    China is disappointed that the U.S. continues to condemn them on human rights.  While the U.S. wants China to
    improve their living conditions for its 1.3 billion people, China blasted back by noting our increasing gun violence, saying
    it was a serious threat to the lives and safety of America's citizens.  The report says that the U.S.' military involvement
    around the world infringed on rights abroad and that political donations at home have impaired the country's democracy
    and that political donations to election campaigns have undue influence on U.S. policy.
    It goes on to say that the U.S. continues to strengthen the monitoring of its people and that it was inhuman.
    "American citizens do not enjoy a genuinely equal right to vote," the report reads, citing a decreased turnout in the
    2012 presidential election and a voting rate of 57.5 percent.

  • President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to Waco, Texas, to attend a memorial service for
    the victims of last week's explosion in West, Texas.
    While there, they will attend the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas.

  • It has been reported that Canadian authorities thwarted a major terrorist attack on the U.S.  
    Canadian police say suspects were planning to attack passenger train in Toronto area, and although not confirmed New
    York City may have been another target.  An official says there is no current credible threat to New York City,
    however an arrest is expected this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
  • Army Sergeant John Russell pleads guilty to the 2009 killing of four colleague-soldiers and a Navy officer.
    The killings took place clinic in Baghdad during the Iraq War.  Russell
    described how he gunned down the men and saying he was in a "rage" when
    he began his rampage.  Russell will avoid a death sentence due to a plea
    agreement in a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, however, he is
    facing life in prison.
    Russell went on a shooting spree at the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center
    near Baghdad in May 2009. It was one of the worst instances of soldier-on-
    soldier violence in the Iraq war.
    Members in his squad testified that prior to the attack on his fellow solider, his
    behavior had changed, noting that he seemed paranoid that his unit was trying
    to end his career.  Russell was nearing the end of his third tour.
    Prior to the attacks, Russell had sought help and was taking prescription
    medications, but witnesses said that they saw him crying and hurting himself.  
    Later, he went to military police asking them to lock him up.  He then left the
    clinic and began his assault.
    In court, Russell said he was in a "rage" when he opened fire.  "I wanted the pain to stop," Russell testified in court at
    Joint Base Lewis-McChord, talking in a husky voice.  He read a written statement detailing his memories of the killings.

  • According to a senior Israeli military intelligence official, Syria has used chemical weapons, several times.
    It was the first time that Israel has accused the embattled Assad Syrian leader of using his stockpile of non-conventional
    weapons.  Although Syria and Israel are not even close to being friends, Israel would not make a false claim against
    them as the Assad family has kept the border with Israel peaceful for 40 years.  However, if what Israel said is true, it
    could pressure the U.S. and other Western countries to act.
    Alternatively, it should be noted that both France and Britain have recently said that they too had evidence that Assad's
    government had used chemical weapons.  Although we have not been able to verify these claims, President Obama has
    warned that the introduction of chemical weapons by Assad would be a "game changer."

  • A car bomb targeted the French Embassy in the Libyan capital that wounded two French guards and a Libyan
    teenager.  As of now, no one knows what the motive would be to attack the embassy in the Libyan capital.  The Libyan
    government condemned the attack and said in a statement posted on its official website that it "rejects such actions,
    which are directly targeting Libya's security and stability."
    In Paris, President Hollande denounced the attack, saying that the attack was not only against France but "all countries
    in the international community engaged in fighting terrorism."
    "France expects the Libyan authorities to shed the fullest light on this unacceptable act, so that the perpetrators
    are identified and brought to justice," Hollande added.
    Libyan Saqr al-Qarifi, whose house is adjacent to the French embassy, said the explosion woke him up around 7 AM.  
    "I heard a loud boom and immediately after that windows were shattered and parts of my house were damaged,"
    he said.  "It struck me over the past days that the guards had vanished from the vicinity of the embassy," he said.
    "I was wondering how come they leave the French embassy with no security."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
  • After a garment factory collapses in a Bangladesh factory, the lives of 161 people were taken.  So far, 2,000 people
    have been rescued.
    Less than five months ago, a fire in the factory killed 112 people and some thought it was unsafe to reenter.  A day
    before local news stations had reported it was unsafe and hours later, it collapsed.

Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • The Senate approved legislation that would ease the thousands of airport delays and cancellations inflicted by
    sequestration.  The bill, approved by unanimous consent, gives the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood "flexibility to
    transfer certain funds to prevent reduced operations and staffing of the Federal Aviation Administration."

  • It has been reported that authorities police believe the two men responsible for Boston Marathon bombing also were
    planning to detonate devices in New York City's Times Square.

  • The Senate approved legislation that would ease the thousands of airport delays and cancellations inflicted by
    The bill, approved by unanimous consent, gives the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood "flexibility to transfer certain
    funds to prevent reduced operations and staffing of the Federal Aviation Administration."

  • Although the U.S. has confirmed that Syria has used chemical weapons, the White House said they want more time to
    examine the evidence and confirm beyond doubt the Assad regime crossed the all-important "red line" by using chemical
    The accusation could have serious implications for U.S. policies toward Syria and lawmakers from both Parties argued
    that addition action must be taken against Syria.
    Thank God, they are not in a rush to commit our soldiers to war; risking their lives.

  • The White House released a letter sent to congressional leaders confirming that it has evidence Syrian President Bashar
    al-Assad used chemical weapons.
    In part, the letter reads: "Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the
    Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."
    Previously, President Obama said that use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" that could trigger a new phase of
    intervention in the two-year-old civil war.

  • Four explosions fire on fuel barges in the Alabama's Mobile River.  At first, there were just two explosions when a third
    explosion was setoff and the barge was engulfed into flames.  Ultimately, firefighters and U.S. Coast Guard crews
    responded to four explosions.

  • President Obama and former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter gather to
    the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

  • With all the terrible news coming from around the world, here is just a little less distressing and perhaps unimportant:
    Although Governor Chris Christie claims he was watching Scooby Doo when he was 4 years old, Politifact says that the
    Governor most likely was 7 years old when he was watching one of our all-time favorite cartoons.

Saturday, April 27, 2013
  • Everett Dutschke, 41, who was named by previous suspect investigated in sending ricin-laced letter to President
    Obama, is taken into custody in connection to the probe.

  • A plane crashes in southern Afghanistan, killing four members of the international military coalition.

  • White House Correspondence Dinner

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  • Despite the use of chemical weapons in Syria, President Obama refuses to commit our soldiers to action while he is
    weighing options on what to do.
    He would not say that the "red line" he had previously identified had been crossed.
    "What we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don't know how
    they were used, when they were used, who used them," Obama said.  "We don't have a chain of custody that
    establishes what exactly happened.  When I am making decisions about America's national security and the
    potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapon use, I've got to make sure I've got the
    Again, I thank God they are not in a rush to commit our soldiers to war; risking their lives.

  • California prisons are so overcrowded that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the conditions amount to cruel and
    unusual punishment.  The state is caught between a tight budget and its "three strikes" law, which imposes a life
    sentence after convictions.
    Last Fall, voters approved a plan to release some of those lifers.  Proposition 36 allows three-strikers to ask judges to let
    them out early.

  • President Barack Obama plans to nominate venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to chair the FCC.

  • California Republican Gabriel Gomez has won the Massachusetts primary in the special Senate race to succeed
    Secretary of State John Kerry.
    Gabriel Gomez is an executive, former Navy SEAL and political newcomer.  He will be the underdog against the
    winner of the Democratic primary between Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch.  (Markey has a substantial lead in
    the Democratic primary but it has not yet been called.)

  • Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ed Markey has defeated fellow Rep. Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary for the
    special Senate election to succeed Secretary of State John Kerry.
    Markey will be the frontrunner in the June 25 general election against Republican executive and former Navy Seal,
    Gabriel Gomez.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
  • Police have taken three additional suspects into custody in the investigation into the April 15 deadly Boston Marathon
    The three suspects appeared in court and is accused of dumping the prime suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's laptop and a
    backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks.

  • The Department of Justice has appealed a federal judge's decision directing the FDA to offer birth control over the
    counter to women and girls of all ages.
    The appeal comes a day after the FDA said it would allow Plan B to be available to women and girls age 15 and older
    without a prescription.

  • After a YouTube fiasco over an airmen escorting his sister to the prom, a Kansas high school principal apologized to
    him in an attempt to suppress the animosity.
    Currently, the district prohibits anyone 21 years old or older from participating in prom activities, however it is being
    propose to provide for exemptions so that older family members or others with prior permission could escort students.

  • At closing time on a cold winter December night in 1993, 19 year old Nathan Dunlap walked into an Aurora Colorado
    Chuck E. Cheese the restaurant and shot five people in the head, before taking $1,500 in cash and game tokens.  The
    fatal victims were the night manager, Margaret Kohlberg, 50, a mother of two; Colleen O'Connor, 17; Sylvia Crowell,
    19, and Benjamin Grant, 17.  Only 20-year-old Bobby Stephens survived.
    Dunlap was convicted of the four murders and is set to be executed the week of August 18-24, however he is making a
    plea of clemency from Governor John Hickenlooper.
    Dunlap is one of three people sitting on Colorado’s death row.

Thursday, May 2, 2013
  • Plan B/Morning After Pill
    In regards to Plan B, President Obama said, "I'm very comfortable with the decision they've made right now based
    on solid scientific evidence for girls 15 and older."

  • Rhode Island becomes 10th state to allow gay marriage
    Other states that allow gay marriage includes Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
    New York, Vermont, and Washington.  Three Native American tribes have legalized same-sex marriage.  (California
    briefly granted same-sex marriages in 2008 but is based on conditions.)

  • President Barack Obama has nominated Penny Pritzker as his new Commerce secretary and Michael Froman as the
    next U.S. trade representative.
    Obama noted that Pritzker is "one of our country's most distinguished business leaders" and "an extraordinary civic
    leader."  He went on to say that Froman is "one of the world's foremost experts on our global economy," and that he is
    confident that his decision will help lead trade negotiations that ensure a "level playing field" in the international market
    for American workers.

Friday, May 3, 2013
  • Vice President, Joe Biden's series: "Being Biden" is posted HERE.

  • Unemployment Drop
    The Labor Department has reported that 165,000 was added in the month of April and that unemployment has dropped
    to 7.5 percent.
    According to a Reuters survey of economists, analysts had only expected a job growth of 145,000 newly created jobs.

  • According to a new CBS poll, 69% of Americans say that they have not been hurt by the sequester. "But more than a
    quarter say they have been personally affected at least somewhat, though just 8 percent say it has affected them a
    great deal, with 19 percent saying it has affected them only somewhat."
    Based on the poll, it appears as though those who are in the higher income bracket will suffer less and "among those
    earning more than $100K, 12 percent believe the sequester will help the economy."

  • South Carolina Congressional Seat Special Election
    With only four days to go until the special election in South Carolina, a new poll shows that Elizabeth Colbert and Busch
    Mark Sanford are tied.

Monday, May 6, 2013
  • Cause of the Southern California wildfire appears to be accidental.
    Investigators say huge 44-square-mile fire was started by an undetermined ignition of grass and debris and spread by
    hot, windy weather.

  • Two unattended bags in an Arapahoe Country courtroom in Colorado lead to a bomb scare.  However, the two bags
    contained personal items and belonged to someone who did not want to bring them inside the courtroom.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
  • The most awesome -mist yet horrific story: A Miracle they are back with their love ones, but dismayed as to what they
    Frantic 911 calls end frightening order for three kidnapped women.  Kidnapped victim, Amanda Berry pleads for police
    to come quickly after a neighbor, Chuck Ramsey helped her get out of the Cleveland house.  Ms. Berry and two others
    had been missing for roughly a decade.  The women were held captive in the basement without access to the rest of the
    house apparently bound with ropes and chains.
    Ariel Castro, 52; a former school bus driver for Cleveland schools and owned the home, situated in a poor, rundown
    neighborhood dotted with boarded-up houses was arrested along with his brothers Onil Castro, 50, and Pedro Castro, 54.

  • For the first time in history, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 15,000.  The Dow rose 87 points yesterday
    to close at 15,056.
    The recent rise in the index comes amid strong economic and corporate reports, as well as continuing support from the
    Federal Reserve.

  • Secretary of State, John Kerry looks again for Russian support on Syria
    After 2 years of war, top U.S. diplomat in Moscow to play two new cards in attempt to convince Russians that Assad is
    a lost cause.

  • South Korean President, Park Geun-hye declared that North Korea will "pay" for any attack.
    In her first TV interview, South Korea's "Iron Lady" says she would not hesitate to strike back against North Korea.

  • Republican Mark Sanford has defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in South Carolina's 1st Congressional
    District special election.
    Some are surprised at Sanford's win due to his scandalous extramarital affair love affair when he was governor.  
    However, he is not the first politician to have an affair and keep his government job and I doubt he will be the last.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
  • Following the discovery of three women held captive for a decade, Cleveland police are under scrutiny about their
    handling of missing-person cases.
    Police facing questions in three women's Ohio rescue, but is it fair?  I mean, imagine how many photos police and
    detectives have viewed and how they feel when they are not able to solve a case.  Perhaps this will lead to new tactics
    in helping authorities locate missing people.  Perhaps now is the time for local news stations to re-show photos of
    missing people.  Additionally, do age-progression photos of those who are missing and put them on local news station's
    websites; perhaps we can bring more of our loved ones back home.

  • Mr. Charles "Chuck" Ramsey
    Neighbors are selling T-shirts in Mr. Chuck Ramsey's honor, but
    instead of him keeping the money from the T-shirt sales he is
    donating it to the women who were held captive.  It has been
    reported that Mr. Ramsey is "always doing stuff for others" -
    willing to help whenever needed.  It sounds as though Mr.
    Ramsey is a Saint!  God Bless him!
    Side Note: Just as the TJMS crew stated, it will be just a matter
    of time before the media tears Mr. Ramsey apart, because that is
    what they do: Build people up and quickly tear them down.  
    Nonetheless, I am grateful Mr. Ramsey was there to help free
    those women.  Oh, and I am so sure there was reward money
    for anyone who could provide evidence that lead to an arrest.

  • Whistle-blowers testify before House committee investigating deadly attack on US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

  • After a burning smell was reported in the cabin, an American Airlines flight carrying 110 passengers departed from
    Denver International Airport bound and was bound for Dallas.
    Flight number 880 was diverted to Pueblo, Colorado, with no injuries reported.

Thursday, May 9, 2012
  • Although not political news, I thought it was worth making note that just as I suspected, the media is doing trying to tear
    Mr. Charles Ramsey down after just a day or so building him up.
    It has been reported that Mr. Ramsey has a criminal record, where he was arrested 10 years ago, a domestic violence
    case and a drug conviction in the early 1990's.  It was also reported that both Mr. Ramsey and his ex-wife - with whom
    he had the domestic case with - are now "good friends."  The ex-wife noted that Mr. Ramsey is a changed man and
    that they keep in close contact.
    No one is perfect.  And by viewing these two videos, Mr. Ramsey seems like an OK guy to me; someone worthy
    having as a neighbor.

  • After the second in command in Libya, diplomat Gregory Hicks was summoned to Capitol Hill before the House
    Oversight and Government Reform Committee, it was clear that Congress did not receive the savory testimony they
    hoped to receive.  The Committee's "whistleblower", was very much-so candid in his response to lawmakers on the Hill.
    Instead of Hicks providing Republicans power to attack the Obama
    administration and "damage" to former secreatry of state, Hillary
    Clinton, he flawlessly explained the events of that terrifying night.
    As he spoke, both Parties were engrossed.
    Watching television at 9:45 PM in his resident in Tripoli, Hicks tells of a
    security officer “…ran into my villa yelling, ‘Greg! Greg!  
    The consulate’s under attack.’”
    Hicks went on to mention his brief and yet last telephone conversation
    he had with Ambassador Chris Stevens who was 600 miles away.  “He
    said, ‘Greg, we’re under attack.  And I said, ‘Okay,’ and the line cut.”  
    Hicks said that he noticed he had two missed calls on his telephone;
    mentioning the cell telephone connections was weak.
    He detailed the frantic effort to call in fighter jets from an U.S. base in
    Italy .  “It would take two to three hours for them to get on-site”
    and there “were no tankers available for them to refuel”, said Hicks.
    While recalling the most “saddest phone call I have ever had in my life” — learning from the Libyan Prime Minister that
    Stevens had been killed, Hicks took time to control his composure and somberly sipped water.  He said the response to
    withdraw from the U.S.' diplomatic compound in Tripoli was rapid and feared a similar attack.
    Hicks revealed that he did not approve how the attack in Benghazi was managed, but his animosity was towards
    management and was not a political scandal.
    Traditionally, testimony is permitted for five minutes, however Hicks continued for more than 30 minutes until California
    Republican Darrell Issa finally interrupted and lawmakers asked questions.  Hicks' testimony lasted four hours.
    Hicks said he thought a fly-over by U.S. jets could have deterred the second of the two attacks, but he declined to
    question the judgment of General Martin Dempsey, indicating there was not enough time.
    The Republicans tried to make a connection to the delayed response from former secretary of State Clinton and the
    Obama White House.  However, Hicks said that he spoke to Clinton at 2:00 AM.  Additionally, he rejected the rumor
    that Clinton failed to provide increased security when asked.  In fact, the failure to provide additional security was not
    Clinton's fault at all, but that the increased security had to be approved by the management on the ground.
    Sadly, the Republicans were expecting to hear Hicks testify that the White House and the former secretary of state
    failed to respond to the attack on an American consulate.  Unexpectedly for the Republicans, Hicks' testimony did not
    shed new light and it has been noted that the hearing was politically motivated, aimed at discrediting the former
    Secretary of State -a leading candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
    During the attack on September 11, 2012, Ambassador Chris Stevens died of smoke inhalation.  Agent Sean Smith, died
    while desperately trying to save Stevens.  Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were also killed in a
    mortar attack.

Friday, May 10, 2013
  • Over 1,000 people died when a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed.  However, after spending 17 days trapped in a
    dark basement under the rubble of thousands of tons of wreckage of the overheated collapsed factory, a woman is
    found alive!
    Seamstress Reshma Begum, banged a pipe to attract attention and was quickly losing hope of the thought of ever
    making it out alive.  . She was fast losing hope of ever making it out alive.
    "No one heard me," said Begum from her hospital bed.  "It was so bad for me. I never dreamed I'd see the daylight
    While workers sifted through the rubble, they turned from search and recovery to the grim search of decayed bodies,
    but the miraculous moment came when they heard Begum hitting the pipe and pulled noticed her to safety.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
  • The biggest news of the day is from the TJMS who said that they would give Mr. Charles Ramsey the award for "Real
    Fathers-Real Men."  When asked what he wanted to do with the money, Mr. Ramsey said, "I am already rich. …give
    the money" to the women who were held captive!

  • Although the IRS has denied that employees of the Tea Party were not targeted, the IRS admits that mistakes were
    made during the process of noting application spikes and that "insufficient sensitivity to the implications of some of the
    decisions made."
    "We believe the front-line career employees that made the decisions acted out of a desire for efficiency and not
    out of any political or partisan viewpoint," Joseph Grant, the acting commissioner for the tax-exempt division, wrote.
    Attorney General Eric Holder said he "ordered an investigation to be begun" into the IRS scrutiny of conservative
    political groups.  He went on to say that the behavior was "outrageous and unacceptable" but that "we're examining the
    facts to see if there were criminal violations."
    What is the difference between the conservative Tea Party being targets and investigated and the NAACP being
    targeted and investigated?  Congress knew about this in June 2012 - before Obama's reelction - yet they waited until
    now to make it public.  Is this a good  move on their part?

  • President Barack Obama said that the IRS probe on conservative groups "are intolerable and inexcusable."
    "The federal government must conduct itself in a way that's worthy of the public's trust, and that's especially true
    for the IRS."  Obama said.  "The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act
    with utmost integrity.  This report shows that some of its employees failed that test."
     Obama said that he has advised Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to hold those responsible and implement the Inspector
    General's recommendations "quickly, so that such conduct never happens again."

  • In regards to the Associated Press journalists' telephone records being seized, Politico has reported the following:
    The Justice Department said Tuesday that Attorney General Eric
    Holder recused himself last year from a national security leak probe in
    which prosecutors obtained the phone records of Associated Press
    The decision to seek the records was made by Deputy Attorney
    General Jim Cole who is leading the investigation, said a DOJ official
    who asked not to be named.
    "As the Attorney General testified in June 2012, he was interviewed
    by the FBI in connection with the investigation into the
    unauthorized disclosure of classified information," the official said.
    "To avoid any potential appearance of a conflict of interest, the
    Attorney General recused himself from this matter."

    The leak probe is exploring how the AP learned of a counter-terrorism investigation in Yemen last year that involved
    efforts to bomb an aircraft headed for the U.S.

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren is pushing a Bill saying that college students should get the same low rate as the big banks.  
    Currently the Federal Reserve loans money to big banks at 0.75% interest, but starting July 1, 2013, interest rates for
    college loans will be 9 times higher.
    In simpler terms, students will be paying 900 percent more than the biggest banks on Wall Street to borrow money!
    In less than a week, more than 385,000 Americans have signed a petition to Congress supporting Senator Warren's
    If you are a student or a professor at either a college or university, click HERE and join the fight.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
  • Following the controversy over the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, President Obama announced the
    resignation of the agency's top official, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.
    Miller became acting commissioner in November, after Commissioner Douglas Shulman completed his five-year term.  
    (President George W. Bush appointed Shulman.)
    Although Obama initially said that the accusations were “outrageous,” he also said he wanted to wait until the inspector
    general’s report was released before addressing what should be done to hold accountable those responsible.
    The report lays much of the blame on IRS supervisors in Washington who oversaw a group of specialists in Cincinnati
    who screened applications for tax exempt status.  It does not indicate that Washington initiated the targeting of
    conservative groups, but it does say a top supervisor in Washington did not adequately supervise agents in the field even
    after she learned the agents were acting improperly.
    The Justice Department is also investigating the IRS targeting, as are three congressional committees.
    Obama was not passive when he said, “I am angry about it” and said the American people had a right to be angry as

  • Cuts In Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aka SNAP
    The House bill would cut approximately $2.5 billion a year which is a
    little more than 3 percent.  It is been reported that 1 in 7 Americans are
    on the program.
    California Representative Democrat Juan Vargas quoted Biblical
    scripture, Matthew 25:35: “When I was hungry you gave me food.
    When I was thirsty, you gave me drink.”  Nonetheless, Republicans
    supported the cuts.
    Several Republicans talked about Christianity and said the Bible
    encourages people to help each other but does not dictate that the
    federal government should.
    California Republican Representative Doug LaMalfa said, “We should
    be doing this as individuals, helping the poor.”
    Massachusetts Democrat Representative Jim McGovern, offered the amendment to do away with the cuts, stating that
    taking the hunger assistance away from people would just make the poor “more vulnerable and more miserable.”  
    “Christians, Jews, Muslims, whatever — we’re failing our brothers and sisters here,” McGovern said.
    Last year more than 47 million people used the SNAP program with the cost more than doubling since 2008. The rolls
    rose rapidly because of the economic downturn, rising food prices and expanded eligibility under President Barack
    Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus law.
    Wait a minute! They will quote the Bible when it goes along with their agenda, but discount it when it does not! This is
    hypocrisy at its best. They should not share their Christian beliefs and quote Biblical scriptures, if they have no intention
    of following The Word to its fullest!

  • In regards to the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, the White House will release emails and documents indicating
    the process of the administration's talking points.  However, the documents include important inconsistencies in the
    process for drafting the document between the office of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and IA Deputy Director Mike

Thursday, May 16, 2013
  • Once more, President Obama is asking Congress to approve additional funding for security in embassies around the
    world.  This comes at a time when the controversy of the attack on the Benghazi consulate is currently active.
    In case Congress fails again to Obama's request, Obama is prepared to take his own necessary steps to insure safety of
    our American representatives on foreign soil.
    At a White House press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Obama stated, "I've directed
    the Defense Department to ensure that our military can respond lightning-quick in times of crisis.  But we're not
    going to be able to do this alone. We're going to need Congress as a partner."

  • Apple is prepared to talk to government officials regarding a proposal of a "reasonable" tax code.
    The full story is posted HERE.

  • Joseph Grant, the commissioner of the IRS tax exempt and government entities division, will retire on June 3.  Grant is
    the second s senior official to leave the agency.
    Grant oversees the division that gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.  His resignation
    follows that of acting commissioner Steven Miller, who is stepping down at the request of the Obama administration.

  • ObamaCare: Another Repeal Vote
    I cannot recall how many times Congress has tried to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act aka "ObamaCare".  Thirty-
    seven times?!
    While Democrats are hard at work fighting to reduce unemployment, encourage gun safety laws and marriage equality,
    House Republicans are steady trying to reverse ObamaCare!
    It is obvious the Republicans would rather work on destroying the President of these divided states than actually do the
    job we hired them to do.

Date Unknown:
  • Myths of 2013 - According to the Washington Post
June 2013
Reuters Report:
Enrollment in Chicago Public Schools has fallen 20 percent in the last decade, mainly because of population declines
in poor neighborhoods. The district said it can accommodate 511,000 students, but only about 403,000 are enrolled.
It said that nearly 140 of its schools are more than half empty.
The controversial decision to close dozens of schools follows a bitter strike by Chicago teachers last September,
fought partly over the Chicago Teachers Union's accusation that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was undermining community
schools in poor areas of the city.
The 61 closings account for about 10 percent of elementary school facilities, according to the school district.
"Consolidating schools is the best way to make sure all of our city's students get the resources they need to succeed
in the classroom," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.
The union objects to school closings, saying they destabilize minority neighborhoods and would not save money.
"They keep saying that closing schools is going to save money," said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.
"This will not save money. It's going to cost money and it's going to leave abandoned buildings, which is another
recipe for disaster."
During a news conference at Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, which is marked for closing, Lewis accused
Emanuel of being on a ski trip when the announcement was made.
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel should be ashamed of himself. Shanda!" Lewis said, using the Yiddish word for shame or
scandal. Both Lewis and Emanuel are Jewish.
The staff of the mayor, whose children attend private school, were not immediately available to comment on his
Several parents don't want to see the schools closed.
"It took three schools to find the right place for my grandchild," said Menjiwei Latham, a grandparent and guardian of
a student at the Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, which serves special-needs students.
Urban school districts around the country have been grappling with the issue of declining enrollment, according to a
2011 study on school closings by the Pew Charitable Trust.
Over the past decade, 70 large or mid-sized cities have closed schools, averaging 11 per district, according to the
National Education Association, a labor union for school teachers.
This includes Washington, D.C., which closed 23 schools in 2008 and plans to close 15 more over the next two
years. Philadelphia announced earlier this month that it would close 23 schools.
Education experts contacted by Reuters on Thursday said no other single district has closed as many schools as
Chicago would in the announcement.
At the heart of the dispute over school closings in Chicago is the expansion of charter schools, which are publicly
funded, but mostly non-unionized. The number of charter schools has risen even as neighborhood public schools are
The union said 88 percent of students affected by Chicago school closings or other actions in the past decade were
African-American and most closed schools have been in poor neighborhoods. The union said 86 Chicago public
schools have closed in the past decade. The district has not provided its own number.
Chicago has promised a five-year moratorium on school closings, following this year.
A commission appointed to hold public meetings and hearing community feedback on school closings over recent
months recommended that no high schools be closed to avoid making students cross gang boundaries to get to a new
Parents and school activists have complained that closing neighborhood schools endanger students because they are
exposed to greater gang violence if they cross neighborhood boundaries. Chicago recorded 506 murders due to gang
violence in 2012, and its homicide rate continues to draw national attention.
Congressman Alan Grayson joined former MSNBC anchor David Shuster on his current TV show, “Take Action
News.” The subject: our "No Cuts" campaign to protect Social Security and Medicare.
From Politico to the New York Times to the Huffington Post to Stars and Stripes, the media has been covering our
"" petition and letter. We've also been picking up supporters on Capitol Hill - 29 members of Congress
have signed, and we're just getting started.
So sign our petition at
If you've already signed it, forward this email to your friends, family, or anyone you know who has paid for Social
Security and Medicare.
You can forward it by clicking here.
Share it with your friends on Facebook.
Or put it on Twitter.
David Shuster: Welcome back to "Take Action News"... We're going to talk with Congressman Alan Grayson.
He has not exactly become a favorite of the Democratic Leadership in the House, because Congressman Grayson
has had the audacity to somehow say, "Wait a second. We're not going to allow any cuts to Social Security,
Medicare, or Medicaid benefits." He sent a letter to President Obama as such. It's gotten twenty signatories in the
House. Congressman Grayson, welcome to the program.
Congressman Alan Grayson: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
David: So what exactly has been the reaction from House [Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi and others? Do
they tell you to turn it down? What are they asking you to do?
Alan: No, they never tell me to tone anything down. They understand that sometimes we need people on our side
who are going to push and push and push, just to get anything done.
David: What's been the reaction from other Members? What -- are they intrigued? Are they -- I'm sort of
wondering, the twenty that have signed on, what have they said?
Alan: They understand the need for it. Look, the other side is constantly trying to pound Social Security, Medicare,
and Medicaid into oblivion. If you speak to them -- and you usually have to speak to them "off the record" to get an
honest answer -- but if you speak to them, many of the Republicans in the House will tell you that they regard
these programs as unconstitutional.
They think the government should be doing nothing but defending the
country, and anything beyond that is just -- in their view -- unconstitutional and deeply wrong. If you go all
the way back to the time of the creation of Social Security, you can find really horrible public statements by
Herbert Hoover, among other people, saying that Social Security will undermine the "moral fiber" of the
country, and so on and so forth. It's been that way for eighty years; it's not going to change anytime soon.
We have to stand up to them. There are some things you just can't compromise on. You have to stand for
something. And I think Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are three magnificent programs, created
by Democrats, which have done so much good in this country, to lift the poor, the sick, and the elderly, out
of poverty in this country. And to create a middle class that has some degree of safety, and can actually
enjoy life. These are programs worth defending against the other side's attacks. There's no compromise
between life and death. There's no compromise between right and wrong. These programs are about life
and death. They are about right and wrong
David: I want to ask you about a story our own Daniel Marans reported on earlier. That is that one of the
advocates for making changes to Social Security (which would essentially be cuts) is former Pennsylvania
Governor Ed Rendell... He's used his analyst platform on MSNBC to argue for these changes. At the same time,
neither he nor MSNBC (a place where I used to work), have disclosed that he works for "
Fix the Debt." He's
getting paid by that front group. Is that a problem?
Alan: Yes, but the deeper problem is that our people-the people who count on us -- our people, whom we
represent, who support us, who have knocked on doors for us, who make telephone calls for us, who contribute to
our campaigns-those people are starting to feel betrayed. It isn't expecting too much in expecting Democrats -- real
Democrats, people who are elected with a "DEM" next to their names, true-blue Democrats -- those people are
going to stand up and protect the things that we need. You see that the Republicans don't have any hesitation
defending multi-national corporations, defending millionaires and billionaires, and doing it right up to the hilt,
according to party line. Why can't we help and represent and be loyal to the people in need on our side, who are
depending on us for some scrap of dignity in their lives?
David: We're talking to Congressman Alan Grayson. He represents a district that includes portions of Orlando.
Congressman, I want to give my Executive Producer, Daniel Marans (he's been following this issue and other
issues on Social Security), the opportunity to jump in here.
Daniel Marans: Congressman, thanks for joining us, we really appreciate it. Congressman, if the President gets
what he wants and gets a grand bargain that includes "
chained CPI," something that would cut Social Security
when Social Security recipients are most vulnerable, in late old age or after years of disability -- what is the future?
How can Progressives stop it? What is the future of retirement security and where do we go from there?
Alan: The way that Progressives can help to stop it is to show their force-show their numbers-and have their
voices heard. We did a petition, this "No Cuts" petition, which says that we, the people who are signing this
position, are against any cuts in benefits to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The first time that we did this
petition, almost two years ago, we got a hundred thousand people to sign it. And now, having announced it again
only barely a week ago, we're already up over 30,000. People can go to the website if they want to
show that they're behind us. Show that there is strength in numbers. And the fact is that we now have 24 people in
the House -- all Democrats, by the way -- 24 Members of the House who have signed onto our letter: Saying that
we will vote against -- not just "oppose" or anything ambiguous or wishy-washy like that, but we will vote
AGAINST - [all] cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. That shows the way. You know, we
still live in a democracy. It's still a functioning democracy, particularly on our side of the aisle. If we hold our
Members accountable the same way the Tea Party holds the other side accountable, I think we can make a lot of
Daniel: Congressman, you know, I'm thinking about these petitions and maybe that's a good first step, but I think
we need to escalate this to the level that the environmentalists have escalated the Keystone Pipeline. And I think
that activists, not necessarily Members of Congress, but outside activists need to be willing to get arrested, in acts
of civil disobedience. We're talking about, as you said, life and death. Hundreds of thousands of seniors could be
driven into poverty, and obviously many other people. And of course, there's the slippery slope of what this means
for economic security in the country, more broadly down the line. I think that we need to take this eventually to
acts of civil disobedience -- getting arrested at the Capitol and the White House. And doing things just to stop this
at all costs. Would you eventually, if it came to that, would you support that?
Alan: Listen, it will come to that if they actually go through with cuts. If they go through with cuts, you'll see people
pouring into the streets. Pouring into the streets of Washington, D.C. and every other capitol, state capitol, and
every major city in the country. This is going to be intolerable for people. This is, in fact, a matter of life and death
in their own lives. And what's the point? T
he Social Security Administration has almost $2,000,000,000,000
in the bank.
Two trillion dollars. This is a program that has operated at a profit virtually every single year since it
started eighty years ago. Under current law, under current assumptions, under current projections, it's a system
that can pay out every single benefit required under current law for the next twenty-five years. Minor tweaks
would make that "forever." And Medicaid is not fundamentally different from that. And Medicare is not
fundamentally different from that. . . .
Daniel: One of the things I mentioned earlier when I was talking, when I was introducing you, was that you have a
background in capitalism. Is that fair to say? You're a successful businessperson. You opened up businesses in
China, if I'm not mistaken [
actually, that's not correct - ed.] , among other things, and had a very successful
career as a lawyer. What message do you have to people who think that somehow there's a conflict between being
a strong Democrat and believing that we need a strong Social Security and social insurance system in this country?
And strong checks on the Wall Street banks, and strong regulation of all of our industries? [Is] there a conflict with
that and free enterprise and entrepreneurship? What is your advice to the young entrepreneur who feels that liberal
values conflict with his own?
Alan: Well first of all, I am a successful businessman. I started a company that went public, and dramatically
reduced the cost of international calls for people here in the United States. My company was the largest provider
of international phone service to Hispanic-Americans in the country. In any case, what I find is that many of these
so-called-businessmen are, in fact, economic illiterates. We've known for eighty years, since John Maynard
Keynes wrote a book about it, that one of the primary functions of any national government is to make sure that
aggregate demand is equal to aggregate supply. And the fundamental problem we've had -- and by the way, I
worked as an economist for four years but you don't have to be an economist to be able to understand this basic
principle -- the fundamental problem that we've had for the past five years in this country is that we have a 14-
trillion-dollar economy with 13 trillion dollars of aggregate demand. And the government has had to make up the
difference. We need progressive taxation, because otherwise we end up with pools of capital that get larger and
larger, and literally spoil over time, draining aggregate demand. You need regulation. As an investor, I benefit from
this personally and so does everybody else who is an investor. You need regulation in securities markets in order to
see that people are not cheated. You obviously need banking regulation, something that's been understood since the
Italian Renaissance. You need banking regulation because otherwise the bad money drives out the good money --
Gresham's Law. And [without regulation], banks that end up teetering on the edge of insolvency and then finally
going under are the ones that beat out the banks that have adequate capital.
Daniel: Congressman, that's such a great point that it's just such basic business and good business practice to want
these regulations. But we're going to have to leave it there. Congressman Alan Grayson, thank you so much for
joining us on Take Action News, on behalf of the entire Take Action News Team.
Megan Allen is a fifth-grade teacher in Tampa, Florida. At her elementary school, 90 percent of the students qualify
for free or reduced lunch.
Many live in poverty, with unstable home lives -- some have parents in prison, others go hungry over the weekends.
But at school, they're winning science fairs, challenging themselves, and eating two hot meals a day.
For Megan's 36 fifth graders, school is a safe place. The budget cuts known as the sequester could change that.
In the county where Megan teaches, 142 schools stand to lose $3 million in funding. The sequester could also slash
as much as $2 million in federal funding for special education.
When those cuts kick in, Megan's students could lose teachers that help them every day -- for example, the folks who
coach them through tricky arithmetic, or give those who are having reading trouble the special attention they need.
The Head Start programs that got these students ready for kindergarten will be dramatically cut down. Their class
sizes could go up, leaving less time for individual attention.
The sequester isn't a list of numbers made up to scare you. It's a very real thing that will negatively impact real people
-- like Megan's 36 students and their families.
Congress needs to hear those stories. They need to know that their inaction has consequences -- that's the only way
we'll put an end to these cuts.
Share your story right now on how the sequester is affecting your community:
Thanks for speaking up.
Lindsay Siler
National Director of Issue Campaigns
Organizing for Action
Senator Malcolm Smith
Councilman Dan Halloran
If you read the methodology posted at the bottom, you'll see that it isn't really a poll, since it wasn't conducted by
random sampling. It was "promoted" to the site's members and was easy to flood with advocates of a particular
viewpoint. (To give you some idea of how biased the sample is, 62 percent of those who participated in the poll say, in
question 15, that if they were a sheriff or a chief of police, they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws.) But set
that problem aside. The bigger problem, in terms of the NRA's ad, is that the poll never asks whether background
checks will have an effect on violent crime.
Picture of terrorist bombing suspects
Mr. Charles Ramsey
Deputy chief of mission in Libya,  Gregory Hicks
testifies before the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee
  • MYTH: U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice gave a deliberately false account of the attack. “Rice did allow, in
    her comments on TV, that ‘extremist elements’ might have taken part in the attack,” writes Michael Hirsh in
    “Five myths about Benghazi.” “Even now, the FBI and other agencies are not certain who the culprits were.
    In that light, the administration’s efforts to remove references to specific groups look more judicious than
  • MYTH: More and more children are going missing. “Many state missing-children agencies show declining
    numbers of cases,” David Finkelhor writes in “Five myths about missing children.” “That trend is supported
    by FBI statistics showing fewer missing persons of all ages — down 31 percent between 1997 and 2011.
    The numbers of homicides, sexual assaults and almost all other crimes against children have been dropping,
  • MYTH: The Guantanamo Bay prison is open for business. “166 detainees remain at Guantanamo,” Karen
    Greenberg writes in “Five myths about Guantanamo Bay.” “Of those, 86 have been cleared to return to their
    home countries, but diplomatic impasses, the Obama administration’s aversion to returning individuals to
    Yemen and congressional opposition have halted transfers out of the prison. Much as in 2002, when
    Guantanamo Bay opened, the prison — and America’s indefinite detention policy — remain under a cloud of
    indecision and paralysis.
  • MYTH: The electric car is dead. “Today, almost all the major automakers, along with a cast of new players,
    are investing in and building plug-in cars,” writes Chris Paine, director of “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” in
    “Five myths about the electric car.” “’The electrification of the vehicle fleet is a foregone conclusion,’ says
    former GM vice chairman (and former electric-car-basher) Bob Lutz.”
  • MYTH: Until Roe v. Wade, back-alley procedures killed countless women, and that risk would return if
    abortion were outlawed. “There is little evidence that abortion caused high rates of morbidity or mortality
    before Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure in 1973,” Rickie Solinger writes in “Five myths about abortion.“
    “Abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women in 1930 — a relatively small
    number in a time before antibiotics, when estimates are that at least 1 million abortions were performed per
  • MYTH: Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no taxes. “Nearly two-thirds of households that paid no
    income tax did pay federal payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare,” writes Steven R. Weisman in
    “Five myths about taxes.” “In addition, more than half of those who paid neither income nor payroll taxes
    are elderly; more than a third have an income under $20,000; and everyone who drives, smokes or drinks
    pays federal taxes on gasoline, cigarettes or beer.”
  • MYTH: The minimum wage covers everyone. “There are minimum-wage exceptions for full-time students
    and the disabled,” writes Betsey Stevenson, former chief economist for the Labor Department. “Those
    younger than 20 can be paid a sub-minimum wage of $4.25 for up to 90 days while these inexperienced
    workers learn the ropes. And workers who receive more than $30 per month in tips are required to be paid
    only $2.13 per hour.”
  • MYTH: Stress makes people more vulnerable to illness. “When psychology professors analyzed more than
    300 studies on stress and immune system functioning, they didn’t find any evidence that stress makes
    otherwise healthy people susceptible to illness,” Dana Becker writes in “Five myths about stress.” “In fact,
    they concluded that the immune system is extremely flexible and can handle even fairly large amounts of
    stress without going out of whack.”
  • MYTH: We are in a cyber cold war with China. “Trying to cram Chinese hackers into antiquated cold war
    formulas doesn’t help,” James Andrew Lewis writes in “Five myths about Chinese hackers.” “America’s
    relationship with China is very different from the one it had with the Soviet Union, in which contacts were
    extremely limited and there was no economic interdependence. The idea of ‘containment’ for China is inane.
    How would you ‘contain’ a major economic partner?”
  • MYTH: Iraq is a democracy. “It is — on paper,” writes Washington Post associate editor Rajiv
    Chandrasekaran in “Five myths about Iraq.” “It has held successive national elections; it has a parliament
    and a modestly functional court system. In practice, however, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is exercising
    authority and centralizing power in ways that remind many Iraqis of Hussein.”
  • MYTH: The case of the Mississippi baby means we’re close to curing AIDS. “What happened with the baby
    girl in Mississippi was remarkable, but it’s not clear what lessons the case has for improving the health of
    other children or fighting the epidemic generally,” Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin write in “Five myths
    about AIDS.” “The infant never developed AIDS, the disease caused by HIV. And scientists are debating
    whether she was truly infected with the virus.”
  • MYTH: Blame Obama — the sequester was his White House’s idea. “The sequester’s origins can’t be
    blamed on one person — or one party,” Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein write in “Five myths
    about the sequester.” “Republicans insisted on a trigger for automatic cuts; Jack Lew, then the White House
    budget director, suggested the specifics.”
  • MYTH: U.S. manufacturing can’t compete with China. “The United States remains neck-and-neck with
    China in manufacturing output, and we still far outstrip such traditional powerhouses as Japan and
    Germany,” writes former deputy assistant secretary of commerce Ro Khanna. “China and the United States
    each produce about one-fifth of the world’s manufacturing, yet we do so with only about 10 percent of our
    economy devoted to that sector, compared with nearly 40 percent of the Chinese economy.”
  • MYTH: Drones are immoral. “No doubt, the distance between the human warfighter and the battlefield has
    never been longer, but the psychological proximity can be closer for drone pilots than for other military
    personnel,” writes Mark R. Jacobsen in “Five myths about Obama’s drone war.” “Intense surveillance
    makes these pilots so familiar with their targets — when they sleep, eat and see their families — that some
    have reported difficulty reconciling that intimacy after they’ve pulled the trigger.”
  • MYTH: There is one line. “The federal government has issued more than 1 million green cards per year, on
    average, for the past five years,” writes Daniel M. Kowalski in “Five myths about the immigration ‘line.’”
    “But there are several lines — which one immigrants end up in depends on whether they have a job or
    family in the United States.”
  • MYTH: Timothy Geithner is a creature of Wall Street. “Before taking over as Treasury secretary in 2009,
    Geithner spent 20 years in public service, save for a few months at the Council on Foreign Relations,”
    writes Noam Scheiber in “Five myths about Timothy Geithner, “but he’s never worked on Wall Street.”
  • MYTH: Drug companies deserve blame for vaccine shortages. "When producing vaccines each season,
    there’s no easy way for drug companies to know that they’ve made enough," writes Tevi Troy in "Five
    myths about this year’s flu" "Even though there have been some isolated shortages, particularly in the
    Northeast, drugmakers cannot easily adjust the number of doses once production is underway."
  • MYTH: Chuck Hagel is anti-Israel. "By congressional standards, Hagel is quite independent on Israel," writes
    Aaron David Miller in "Five myths about Chuck Hagel" "He believes in a special U.S.-Israel relationship but
    not one in which the United States accepts Israeli actions uncritically. And he isn’t as emotionally connected
    to Israel as some of his former colleagues in Congress."
  • MYTH: The 112th Congress was as bad as the 80th “do-nothing” Congress during the Truman era. "The
    comparison is completely unfair — to the 80th Congress," Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein write
    in "Five myths about the 112th Congress" "What was the 112th’s equivalent of the Marshall Plan? The debt-
    limit debacle, which led to the first-ever downgrade of the nation’s credit rating."
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