Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekly Address: Working Together in the New Year



Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Honolulu, HI
Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello, everybody. As 2011 comes to an end and we look ahead to 2012, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

The last year has been a time of great challenge and great progress for our country. We ended one war and began to wind down another. We dealt a crippling blow to al-Qaeda and made America more secure. We stood by our friends and allies around the world through natural disasters and revolutions. And we began to see signs of economic recovery here at home, even as too many Americans are still struggling to get ahead.

There’s no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change. And as we head into the New Year, I’m hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger – to grow our economy, create more jobs, and strengthen the middle class.

I’m hopeful because of what we saw right before Christmas, when Members of Congress came together to prevent a tax hike for 160 million Americans – saving a typical family about $40 in every paycheck. They also made sure Americans looking for work won’t see their unemployment insurance cut off. And I expect Congress to finish the job by extending these provisions through the end of 2012.

It was good to see Members of Congress do the right thing for millions of working Americans. But it was only possible because you added your voices to the debate. Through email and Twitter and over the phone, you let your representatives know what was at stake. Your lives. Your families. Your well-being. You had the courage to believe that your voices could make a difference. And at the end of the day, they made all the difference.

More than anything else, you are the ones who make me hopeful about 2012. Because we’ve got some difficult debates and some tough fights to come. As I’ve said before, we are at a make-or-break moment for the middle class. And in many ways, the actions we take in the months ahead will help determine what kind of country we want to be, and what kind of world we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in.

As President, I promise to do everything I can to make America a place where hard work and responsibility are rewarded – one where everyone has a fair shot and everyone does their fair share. That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America we’ve always known. And I’m confident that if we work together, and if you keep reminding folks in Washington what’s at stake, then we will move this country forward and guarantee every American the opportunities they deserve.

Thanks for watching, and from Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo and myself, Happy New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Campaign in Hot Water

Michele Bachmann's Campaign in Hot Water
Michele Bachmann's Campaign in Hot Water

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign chairman Sen. Kent Sorenson of Iowa suddenly jumped on Ron Paul's bandwagon.

Rep. Bachmann is only beating Former Governor Jon Huntsman in the polls, the man who hasn't campaign whatsoever in the Hawkeye state.

The tea-party darling is furious at all of this. She is vigorously campaigning in what has become a must-win state for her. She said Sorenson went to Ron Paul's campaign because he was offered a larger sum of money. This was flatly denied by Sorenson on Fox News yesterday. Well someone's lying, and we don't have time to find out who it is because the Iowa caucus is only four days away.

"I had a conversation with Kent Sorenson and in the direct conversation that I had with him, he told me he was offered money. He was offered a lot of money by the Ron Paul campaign to go and associate with the Ron Paul campaign," she said at a tour stop in Battle. "No one else knows about that conversation other than Kent Sorenson and myself and I know what he said to me about that."

Ron Paul is tied with Mitt Romeny for the first place in the recent polls. Newt Gingrich's surge has fades away as he's down from 33% to only 14%, while Rick Santorum has surged to 16%.

Although the caucus is only few days away, given rises and falls of candidates, we may see a lot in the coming days and beyond to New Hampshire primary. In all of this, bad news for the Bachmann Campaign is that she has to win the state of Iowa to convince the Republicans, Tea-Party and especially her donors to help keep her campaign rolling.

If Mitt Romeny wins in Iowa, he'd go on the win New Hampshire decisively, but the Republican establishment die-hard conservatives would be clearly outrage at his. If Ron Paul wins Iowa, we could see a long primary battle between Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romeny. If Gingrich wins the state, he would win most of other early primary states including South Carolina and Florida.

Rick Perry is not part of this equation - sad but true.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pres. Obama's Victory over Republicans on Payroll Tax cut

This week the White House got more than it could have hoped for in the payroll tax cut extension showdown.

Republicans handed President Barack Obama an opportunity to turn his jobs campaign narrative into a real-life drama.

Since September when the president delivered his jobs speech to a joint session of Congress, he's been trying to sell a twofold message:

One - as president he's fighting for "working Americans."

Or, as he said on September 22: "I'm a warrior for the middle class" and "I'm happy to fight for working Americans."

Two - Congress is in his words "dysfunctional," standing in the way of policy that could improve the economy.

That's the message but the reality looked different. From the outside it appeared as though the president has been locked in battle with Congress with all sides deserving blame.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Speaker John Boehner on Thursday accepted a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut

Speaker John Boehner on Thursday accepted a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

President Barack Obama immediately congratulated congressional leaders on the deal, while Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell -- who increased the pressure on Boehner earlier in the day with a call for such an agreement -- said it was a "sigh of relief" for American taxpayers.

Under the deal, the payroll tax assessed American workers will remain at the current 4.2% rate instead of reverting to the 6.2% rate before the cut enacted last year. Without congressional action, the higher rate would have returned on January 1, meaning an average $1,000 tax increase for 160 million Americans.

source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/22/politics/congress-payroll-tax-cut/index.html

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mitt Romney Admits Flip-Flops

During Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News questioned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on his history of flip-flops. Citing position switches on issues such as gay rights and abortion, Wallace asked Romney if they were a matter of "principle or politics."

Romney cast his history on gay rights thusly: he said he was "firmly in support" of protecting the LGBT community from discrimination, but he was never in favor of same-sex marriage. On the matter of abortion, he said he simply changed his mind on the matter, and that "every decision [he] made as governor was on the side of life."

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/mitt-romney-gay-marriage-abortion_n_1152738.html

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekly Address: Ensuring a Fair Shot for the Middle Class

President Obama calls on Congress to do what's right for the American people by extending the payroll tax cut and confirming Richard Cordray to lead a new consumer-watchdog agency that will protect families from dishonest business practices.



The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2011
WEEKLY ADDRESS: Ensuring a Fair Shot for the Middle Class

WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that the United States succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and engages in fair play. This is why the President nominated Richard Cordray to lead a new consumer-watchdog agency designed to protect families from being taken advantage of, but Republicans in Congress have blocked the nomination. They have also stood in the way of a balanced plan to extend the payroll tax cut for working families – and the President made clear he believes that elected officials should not go home for the holidays until they’ve done what is right for the American people and for the economy by extending this tax cut.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
The White House
Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today, America faces a make-or-break moment for the middle class.

After the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, some still want to return to the same policies that got us into this mess. They’re the same policies that have stacked the deck against working Americans for too long. They’re part of a philosophy that says we’re better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

But I have a different vision. I believe that we are greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone engages in fair play.

To ensure fair play, last year, we passed the toughest financial reform in generations.

See, for too long, the rules weren’t the same on Wall Street as they were on Main Street. Risky bets were made with other people’s money. Some folks made a lot of money taking advantage of consumers. It was wrong. And this irresponsible behavior on the part of some contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

So this financial reform refocuses the financial sector on what’s really important: getting capital to entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses, and financing to millions of families who want to buy a house or send their kids to college.

A key part of that was putting in place the first-ever consumer watchdog – someone whose job it is to protect American families from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and debt collectors.

Tens of millions of Americans use these services. Protecting them from unscrupulous practices is an important job. And that’s why I nominated Richard Cordray to serve as the head of this consumer watchdog agency.

As the former Attorney General of Ohio, Richard helped recover billions of dollars on behalf of retirees and stood up to dishonest lending practices. He has the support of most Attorneys General across the country, both Democrats and Republicans. Members of Congress from both parties say he’s more than qualified for the job. And yet on Thursday, Republicans blocked his nomination. They refused to even allow it to come up for a vote.

That doesn’t make any sense. Do Republicans in Congress think our financial crisis was caused by too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors? Of course not. And every day America has to wait for a new consumer protection watchdog is another day that dishonest businesses can target and take advantage of students, seniors, and service members.

So I refuse to take “no” for an answer. Financial institutions have plenty of high-powered lawyers and lobbyists looking out for them. It’s time consumers had someone on their side.

And while they’re at it, Republicans in Congress should stop the games and extend the payroll tax cut for working Americans. Because if they don’t, nearly 160 million Americans will see their taxes go up at the end of this month.

Congress can’t end the year by taking money out of the pockets of working Americans. Now is not the time for playing politics. Now is the time to do what’s right for the American people.

No one should go home for the holidays until we get this done. So tell your Members of Congress, don’t be a Grinch. Tell them to do the right thing for you and for our economy. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Obama Adviser Axelrod Slams Gingrich: "Godfather Of Gridlock"

Obama Adviser Axelrod Slams Gingrich: Godfather Of Gridlock
David Axelrod, senior campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, called former House Speaker Newt Gingrich the "godfather of gridlock."

"Jon Huntsman is attacking him in New Hampshire," Axelrod said. "I was amused by the Newt Gingrich ad because he talked about how he's going to bring the country together to solve problems. You talk about the godfather of gridlock here. The guy who two decades ago really invented the kind of tactics that have now become commonplace in Washington. So, this is a whole new Newt," he said.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Herman Cain Goes Off the Rail

Herman Cain has dropped out of the race. I correctly predicted this yesterday. Now that it's done, other Republican candidates can't wait to get Herminators ( Herman Cain supporters )on their side.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

"Herman Cain provided an important voice to this process. His ideas and energy generated tremendous enthusiasm for the conservative movement at a time it was so desperately needed to restore confidence in our country. I wish Herman, his wife Gloria, and his family all the best."
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman

"Herman Cain offered a unique and valuable voice to the debate over how to reform our country's uncompetitive tax code and turn around the economy. I understand his decision and wish him and his family the best."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

“Herman Cain’s 999 plan got our country talking about the critical issue of how to reform our tax code and he elevated the dialogue of the Republican presidential primary in the process. I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend. I know from having worked with him for more than a decade he will continue to be a powerful voice in the conservative movement for years to come.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry

"I know this was a difficult decision for Herman Cain, his family and his supporters. He helped invigorate conservative voters and our nation with a discussion of major tax reform. Anita and I wish him and his entire family all the best."

Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut

Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut
In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that although the United States has created private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row, that is not enough for struggling Americans. We must continue growing the economy by passing the payroll tax cut, which will give the middle class a tax cut of $1,500 and provide small businesses more money to hire workers by cutting their payroll taxes in half. The President urges all Americans to tell Congress not to raise taxes during the holidays and act in the best interests of middle class families and pass the tax cuts now.



Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
December 3, 2011

This week, we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. Despite some strong headwinds this year, America’s economy has now created private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row – almost three million new jobs in all, more than half a million of them in the past four months alone.

We need to keep this growth going and strengthen it. That’s why we’ve been fighting to pass a series of jobs bills through Congress – bills that independent economists say will create more jobs and grow the economy even faster. Because now is the time to step on the gas, not slam on the brakes.

Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Congress don’t seem to share that same sense of urgency. Over the last few months, they’ve said “no” to most of these jobs bills. “No” to putting teachers and firefighters back to work. “No” to putting construction workers back on the job. And this week, they actually said “no” to cutting taxes for middle-class families.

You see, last year, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical middle-class family by about $1,000. But that tax cut is set to expire at the end of this month. If that happens, that same family will see its taxes go up by $1,000. We can’t let that happen. In fact, I think we should cut taxes on working families and small business owners even more.

And we’re going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen. They shouldn’t go home for the holidays until they get this done. And if you agree with me, I could use your help.

We’ve set up a simple tax cut calculator on WhiteHouse.gov so that you can see exactly what the stakes are for your family. Try it out. Then let your members of Congress know where you stand.

Tell them not to vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays. Tell them to put country before party. Put money back in the pockets of working Americans. Pass these tax cuts.

We’re all in this together. The more Americans succeed, the more America succeeds. And if we remember that and do what it takes to keep this economy growing and opportunity rising, then I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger than before.

Republicans Admit Defeat on Wall Street

The Republican Governors Association met this week in Florida to give GOP state executives a chance to rejuvenate, strategize and team-build. But during a plenary session on Wednesday, one question kept coming up: How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street?

"I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death," said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation's foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. "They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism."

Luntz offered tips on how Republicans could discuss the grievances of the Occupiers, and help the governors better handle all these new questions from constituents about "income inequality" and "paying your fair share."

Yahoo News sat in on the session, and counted 10 do's and don'ts from Luntz covering how Republicans should fight back by changing the way they discuss the movement.

1. Don't say 'capitalism.'

"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."

2. Don't say that the government 'taxes the rich.' Instead, tell them that the government 'takes from the rich.'

"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes."

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the 'middle class.' Call them 'hardworking taxpayers.'

"They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the 'middle class' and the public will say, I'm not sure about that. But defending 'hardworking taxpayers' and Republicans have the advantage."

4. Don't talk about 'jobs.' Talk about 'careers.'

"Everyone in this room talks about 'jobs,'" Luntz said. "Watch this."

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a "job." Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a "career." Almost every hand was raised.

"So why are we talking about jobs?"

5. Don't say 'government spending.' Call it 'waste.'

"It's not about 'government spending.' It's about 'waste.' That's what makes people angry."

6. Don't ever say you're willing to 'compromise.'

"If you talk about 'compromise,' they'll say you're selling out. Your side doesn't want you to 'compromise.' What you use in that to replace it with is 'cooperation.' It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you're selling out those principles."

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: 'I get it.'

"First off, here are three words for you all: 'I get it.' . . . 'I get that you're angry. I get that you've seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system."

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

8. Out: 'Entrepreneur.' In: 'Job creator.'

Use the phrases "small business owners" and "job creators" instead of "entrepreneurs" and "innovators."

9. Don't ever ask anyone to 'sacrifice.'

"There isn't an American today in November of 2011 who doesn't think they've already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to 'sacrifice,' they're going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how 'we're all in this together.' We either succeed together or we fail together."

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, "You shouldn't be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it's the policies over the past few years that have created this problem."

BONUS:

Don't say 'bonus!'

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a "bonus."

"If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you're going to make people angry. It's 'pay for performance.'"


From Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/republicans-being-taught-talk-occupy-wall-street-133707949.html

Friday, December 2, 2011

Inflammatory Remarks Between Obama and Romney Camps Over New Unemployment Numbers

The Labor Department on Friday announced the nation's unemployment rate fell to 8.6% last month, the lowest level since March of 2009, with employers adding 120,000 jobs, marking a pick up in hiring from October.

President Obama's re-election campaign all of the sudden has bragging rights - not much, needless to say. But Mitt Romney swiftly attack all of that with this press release:
"Today’s unemployment figures bring to 34 the number of months that unemployment in the United States has been over 8 percent, the longest such spell since the Great Depression. The Obama administration may have come to accept such a high level of joblessness as the new normal. I will never accept it. To me, the fact that so many millions of Americans are unemployed only highlights the urgent need for a fundamental change in the direction of our country. We can’t afford another year of President Obama’s failed economic policies. And we certainly can’t afford five more years. This is not exactly the hope and change that the American people bargained for."

This statement has been on website for 2 days now, and there are 0 tweets and facebook shares of it. You can make up your mind on that however you want :-)

The White House applauded the new numbers, but said more work remains.
"Today's employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is still not fast enough given the large job losses from the recession that began in December 2007," said Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement.

Herman Cain Will End His Campaign Tomorrow - Prediction

I, David Thomson, can say, without fear of contradiction, tomorrow Herman Cain will in fact end his campaign to seek the presidency in 2012.

Latest on this whole "mess", as Herman calls it, is that many credible news outlets now report that Herman Cain and is wife had marriage problems dating way back.

"It never felt like a real marriage when I was around them," someone close to the family told the Daily Beast. "Mostly he was always gone and his wife seemed to be OK with it. Not being together seemed the norm for their marriage, and Gloria didn't seem to mind. His kids didn’t seem to mind either."

“He was king of his castle and no one questioned him," says the friend. “It was an uncomfortable set-up for an outsider like me to be around. He was so indifferent to everyone. But I liked Gloria. She was warm and kind.”

“This is a very arrogant man,’’ says the friend. “It probably never occurred to him that all these women would eventually come out. It’s funny to see him talk about the toll on his wife. He never thought of that before.’’

Ron Paul Goes After Gingrich, Says "Counterfeit Conservative."

Ron Paul Goes After Gingrich, Says Counterfeit Conservative.
"Most people realize that I keep saying the same thing over again, whereas in (Gingrich's) case, he tries to catch up and change his position to fit the particular time in which he's speaking," Paul said on CNN's "The Situation Rom."

I was more energized to do something when I found these things he had said. I thought they were more meaningful," Paul said.

"He made money off the bailout, you know, if you add up the numbers and put it all together," Paul charged. "So that to me was rather annoying because it was something I worked so hard to prevent."

He continued: "It's ironic that the American people are seriously considering that he's supposed to come in and straighten things out. That sort of is bewildering to me."

watch web ad:

Herman Cain Campaign Coming to Close?

Herman Cain Campaign Coming to Close?
Herman Cain while acting on Matrix Reloaded
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Friday he will address the future of his presidential campaign Saturday at the scheduled opening of a Georgia campaign headquarters.

"Tomorrow in Atlanta, I will be making an announcement," he said at a town hall meeting in Rock Hill, South Carolina. "But nobody's going to get me to make that prematurely, that's all there is to that."

He said the announcement will "clarify ... exactly what the next steps are" for the campaign.

Cain's once-surging bid for the Republican presidential nomination has become hobbled in recent weeks by allegations of sexual harassment and, most recently, an Atlanta woman's claim that they carried on a 13-year affair.

At Friday's town hall, Cain said he was reassessing his campaign "because of all this media firestorm stuff," adding, "my wife and family comes first."

But he gave no indication during the session that he planned to suspend his campaign, which he had said Thursday in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader's editorial board was an option.

source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/02/politics/cain-accusation-affair/index.html

Unemployment Rate Dropped to 8.6% In November

The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% in November, the lowest since March 2009 and a sharp improvement from 9.0% in October. All the Republican candidates running for presidency in 2012 can take this news and stick it right up in their big,fact corporate asses!

But President Obama, the White House and fellow Democrats should be reminded one thing: there are still millions of Americans seeking jobs, or underemployed. Simply put, improve from nine percent to 8.6 is not good enough. Just consider this stat: No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has won re-election with an unemployment rate over 7.2%.

It is certainly not good enough for Barack Obama to decisively win 2012 general election. Economy should be better than this. According to a CNN/ORC International poll released last week, only 15% say economic conditions are good, while six out of seven say conditions are poor, with a majority saying they are "very poor."

First step to building upon this improvement is to pass the American Jobs Act. This would put millions of teachers, construction works and police officers back to work.
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