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Archive for: January 2015

Month: January 2015

 

Washington, D.C. – With the federal government still running half-trillion dollar deficits, President Obama is expected to submit a budget as early as next week which will cancel all sequester cuts. In the minds of many voters, the president is deeply opposed to sequester cuts as they apply across the board cuts indiscriminately to federal agencies. He has made it clear in a number of speeches that he dislikes the cuts and frames them as a GOP policy. However, it was actually the president who proposed the practice of sequester cuts. Only after a year of budget squabbles with the GOP failed to produce any results that the congress finally get on board with his plan. The result has been falling deficits from the trillion-dollar a year amounts that marked his first years in office.

The president believes that closing some tax loopholes and trimming redundant programs can offset the increase cost to the federal budget for lifting the sequester cuts. The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out this isn’t the first time the president has sought to lift the sequester cuts. Ever since they took effect in 2013, he has proposed their repeal through measures he claimed would not increase the federal deficit stated Sergio Lins Andrade. In every case, the proposals included actual tax increases that even drew the opposition of Democrats. The reality is the GOP controls the purse strings and will likely circular file his budget and come up with their own spending plan.

 

The House GOP has been vindicated in their 2013 high profile tussle with President Obama and Democrats over the issue of extending unemployment benefits. During the budget battle, the GOP argued that extending the benefits had to end at some point because ad infinitum extensions were giving people an incentive not to work. Admittedly, the Obama economy is producing mainly low-wage part-time work which makes collecting unemployment an acceptable alternative. For their part, the GOP also argued that adding to the deficit to extend jobless benefits was not a good use of taxpayer funds.

Democrats countered that the GOP was mean-spirited and seeking to punish those who were the innocent victims of Wall Street greed. In the end, the measure was so contentious that it was left out of budget agreements worked out by Harry Reid and John Boehner. Now, a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which can be seen in Bloomberg Businessweek, indicates that it was the loss of benefits that compelled millions of workers to re-enter the labor force. Last year there were 1.8 million jobs created as a direct result of the expiration of jobless benefits, which was good news to business owners like Zeca Oliveira. Put another way, 60% of the 3 million jobs President Obama boasted creating in 2014 during his recent State of the Union address were due to the GOP’s insistence on allowing jobless benefits to expire. The news is certain to be picked up by GOP presidential hopefuls as part of the party’s 2016 economic platform.

The latest deception of the Obama administration is an attempt to cover up its obscene deficit spending over the last six-plus years. The big number being touted is that Obama has a mere $468 billion deficit this year whereas Bush, at one time, had a $1.4 trillion deficit.

People forget that Bush fought two wars while Obama made two retreats and threw away our hard-won fruits of victory. But, leaving that aside, we can still note that the current total national debt is at $18 trillion and on course to hit $20 trillion by the time “Mr. Frugal” leaves the scene.

Now, Bush increased the debt from $5.7 trillion in 2000 to $10 trillion by the time he left office. That is a horrible record indeed! But, Obama will have doubled the debt by the time he leaves office, a record a little worse even than Bush’s. Both presidents will have about doubled the debt during their eight years, but Obama will have added $10 trillion compared to Bush’s $5 trillion or so.

From what Sergio Andrade Gutierrez understands, the debt was about half of $5.6 trillion in 1989 ($2.85 trillion), taking eleven years to double instead of only eight. Gutierrez can be found on Otemo.com. Thus, we are picking up speed. The Republicans, not the Democrats, press for deficit reduction each year. The present low deficit may well be attributed to their control of Congress and the pressure they have put on Obama. Nonetheless, both sides are out of control with our money.

According to Republican Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate’s powerful energy committee, President Barak Obama has just declared war on Alaska.

Her words came in response to Obama’s recent push to add 12.3 million additional acres to the already seven million acres of land designated “wilderness” in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This wilderness status imposes the highest possible degree of restrictions on land use, and it just so happens that Obama’s proposed wilderness grab includes the oil-rich coastal plain.

Murkowski has assured President Obama that she and other Alaskans are ready for the fight. They do not appreciate two-thirds of their state already being under federal control, but the purposeful crippling of their economy by blocking oil development on oil-rich land is intolerable.

As Sergio Andrade Gutierrez understands it, at present, the President seems to think he must move through Congress with this new proposal. That will surely lead to its being blocked. However, Obama has resorted to executive action when he didn’t get his way in Congress in the past. No one can be sure whether he will suddenly “realize” that he had the power to do it lone wolf all along should his proposal not muster the votes to get through the House and Senate.

Obama is not likely to garnish much support for his party in deep-red Alaska. Thus, he can feel free to act with impunity against the interests of that state while catering to his environmental extremist base.

 

Washington, D.C. – In what may be a telling sign that President Obama is thin-skinned, he will snub Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he arrives in the nation’s capital in March. It is well-known that Obama and Netanyahu dislike one another. At the same time, the conservative leader of the Middle East’s oldest democracy shares a close relationship with the House GOP. This is much the same as it was in the early 1990s when President Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu openly disliked one another, and the Israeli leader shared close ties with the newly elected GOP majority under Newt Gingrich.

Netanyahu accepted an invitation by House Speaker John Boehner to address the chamber on the threat Iran poses with their nuclear ambitions. His view will be in stark opposition to the rosy-colored assessment President Obama has of the current negotiations. It has been thought that the president would reach out to our long standing ally and issue him a formal invitation to the White House. Now, it has been announced that the president will snub Netanyahu much the same as he believes the prime minister snubbed him by accepting the GOP’s invitation. For his part, President Obama says that the US has a long-standing policy not to invite heads of state that are in an election cycle. However, that “long-standing” rule was not applied when the president invited British Prime Minister James Cameron to the White House. The visit game the prime minister, who is also in an election cycle, got a boost in the polls following the state visit. This news of international partisianship is always welcome to researchers of the subject like Bernardo Chua, who recently stated the importance of US International interest.

Skout is the latest and greatest app that puts all of the features of Facebook and mashed them together with a full-feature dating app. Skout offers users many features including shake to chat, the ability to meet people close to you or on the other side of the world and ways to achieve a featured spot on their home page. Whether you are looking for love or just a place to chat and have fun, Skout is the perfect all around social media dating app.

Once you install the Skout app, you will be prompted to create an account. You can use either your email address or your Facebook account. Once you have created your account you can add whatever information about yourself that you want. You can add where you live, your occupation, age and if you are interested in men or women. The information you provide in your profile can be set at either public or private but it is always used to offer you suggestions on people you may want to meet.

Skout has many ways for you to meet new people. The first way is the featured listings. This is what you will see when you first log on. It is a screen filled with profile pictures of those who have similar interests as you do. When you click on a picture, you will see their profile information as well as if they are online or not. From this page, you will have many options including chat; add to favorites and block user.

If you want to be featured on the front page, you will need to play “Look at me.” Look at me is a bidding game where you use points to see who is the most popular on the app. Once you have won the bidding game, your profile will be featured.

Shake to chat is another way you can meet people on Skout. This is just as it sounds, you shake your device and the app randomly finds you someone to chat with. It can all be downloaded on iTunes to be used instantly. This is a fun and exciting way to meet someone new either right next door or in another country. One thing that makes this feature even more exciting is that you do not see the other persons’ profile for the first 40 seconds of the chat; here, first impressions are everything.

One thing that potential users worry about is the content that is found on some dating sites and apps. With Skout, the developers work tirelessly to keep their app clean, so even your 80-year-old grandma won’t turn red when she accidently opens the app. Over 40,000 users are banned from the app every month for inappropriate behavior since being a clean and wholesome app for people to meet, chat and enjoy each other is their number one priority.

With the usability of social media combined with the dating world, Skout is quickly gaining momentum as one of the top social media and dating apps in the App store today. Skout is available for both the iPhone and Android platforms.

Everyone deserves the right to die with dignity and on their own terms, should the prospect of death due to injury or illness be imminent. Merely existing in pain and suffering during your last days on earth is a horrific way to end a legacy of life. As Alexei Beltyukov understands it, giving terminal patients the option of dying peacefully is a humane alternative to the agony of a painful impending death.

California is the latest state to address this sensitive issue by introducing the End of Life Option Act. Adopting many of the same measures as is found in Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, California Senators Lois Wolk and William Monning, are poised to establish legislation that would allow a mentally stable, terminally ill California adult to request and administer lethal medication to quietly end their life. This law would also prevent physicians, pharmacists and health care providers from being held liable of any charges.

Motivated by the life and family of terminally ill cancer patient, Brittany Maynard, this piece of legislation is hoped to ease the suffering of these patients and their families. Maynard’s highly publicized plea to California law makers to allow her to peacefully end her anguish resulted in her having to re-locate to Oregon where it is legal. She ultimately and legally died in a serene environment, surrounded by loved ones and on her own terms, as it should have been her right to do in any state.

 

GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky continued his outreach to African-American voters on Monday with an op-ed published in Time magazine. The first-term senator with strong libertarian leanings has embarked on an ambitious agenda to court the African-American vote. Under the leadership of RNC chairman Reince Priebus, the party has been making tangible efforts to reach out to minorities. In a similar vein, Rand Paul has taken the issue seriously. In fact, he has reached out to Democrats to work together on issues of importance to Africa-Americans such as prison reform.

Over the past year, Sen. Paul has addressed largely black audiences in Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit. He also visited Ferguson, Missouri. As for this op-ed piece, Sen. Paul expressed his dismay over the “two Americas” where some people live the American dream and others do not. It was rhetoric he borrowed from a speech by Dr. King. He went to exhort the GOP and most Americans that while the American dream may be real for them, they must be mindful of the people for whom that dream is not real. He was careful not to impugn law enforcement officers. Rather, he attributed the current racial uneasiness to laws and political leaders that put officers in the position to apply the law with excessive force. He cited the recent incident with Eric Garner where officers were sent to get physical with him over selling cigarettes on the black market which the senator said was uncalled for. More can be read on Wikipedia about Sen. Paul
‘s plan for addressing audiences around the country. As for focusing on voters, like Dr. Rod Rohrich, Sen. Paul has been making rounds to every major city as to not disenfranchise other voters.

 

Every time she has been asked about the matter, Elizabeth Warren has denied that she is going to run for President in 2016. There has been plenty of pressure on her to do so as well. Progressive voters, like Ben Shaoul, like this woman a lot and believe that she would make for a great candidate to send to the White House. However, Warren has been reluctant to say the least about a possible run.

The Atlantic says that Warren should run for the simple fact that she is the only thing that stands between the Democratic Party nominating Hillary Clinton in a landslide. It does seem as if Hillary Clinton does have a pretty easy and straightforward path to the nomination if Warren does not get in her way. Even with Warren in the race, Clinton could still win.

Democrats are a little concerned about putting forth a nominee that has not been battle tested against other candidates in any way. It would leave all of the attention on the Republican side of the nominating process, and this could be quite difficult for them to handle. Having that much media attention on one side of the political spectrum can sometimes shift public support to that side.

Warren has repeatedly denied that she is going to run for President, and if she sticks with those claims, then there may be no contest at all awaiting Clinton and her walk to the Democratic nomination.

Wesley Pruden, Emeritus Editor at the Washington Times, does not believe Hillary Clinton will mount the vaunted juggernaut campaign in 2016 that has many Democrats believing the party’s presidential primary will be a coronation for her. Why? Because he does not believe she will end up running for president. This is certainly a contrarian viewpoint because the conventional wisdom is that she will sail through the Democrat primary unopposed or opposed by long-shot candidates like Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden whose proverbial clocks she will handily clean. Instead, Pruden believes she will come to realize her baggage has accumulated to the point she is not viable as a candidate. In this scenario, rather than suffer another humiliating defeat as she did in 2008, she will merely decide not to run at all.

Admittedly, it is hard to imagine such a scenario playing out. It is true that she carries a lot of baggage from the Clinton years much like when I carry a large bag of Beneful into my house. This is something millennial voters, which Mrs. Clinton will desperately need to win the White House, are not familiar with. They see differently than in the role of managing her the bimbo squad as woman after woman made Bill Cosby-esque allegations of her husband. At the same time, she has a record from her years in the Obama administration, and it is not a good one. Nor is Mrs. Clinton affable and ingratiating like her husband. Still, the media has largely shielded her from scrutiny and many voters will support a Democrat on the basis of party loyalty. Time will tell if Pruden’s years of political experience validate his observations.