Category Archives: Featured Political News

Obama threatens to go full-on dictator in 2014

Barack Obama

White House senior staff are hitting the talk show circuit this weekend to relay President Obama’s newest threat: if Congress won’t do exactly as the White House wishes, the White House will go around them.

Press Secretary Jay Carney and Senior White House Advisor Dan Pleiffer made the President’s position clear on ABC’s “This Week” and Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday.”

Carney spun the dictatorial threat by saying that President Obama would work with Congress where possible, but will “bypass Congress where necessary” – a thinly-veiled threat to Congress to get-in-line or be circumvented by Presidential proclamation.

Pleiffer took an even more vague approach to informing Congress that the President will either get his way or throw a tantrum: “The President has a pen, and he has a phone, and he’s going to use those” – the pen threat conceivably hinting that the President will issue Executive Order edicts for any initiative on which the President has been unable to lead a divided government.

Unlike effective Presidents like Clinton or Reagan, Obama has been unable to lead a divided Congress to pass much of anything. Obamacare was passed with both the House and Senate being held by Democrats and most everything else the President has done through Executive Order, administrative action or other non-legislative paths.

Obama started his first term leading a parade. Democrats had control of Congress, he had just won the majority of the American vote and held high approval numbers – all squandered trying to push a heavily-extremist liberal agenda.

After shoving the incredibly unpopular Affordable Care Act down the throats of Americans, Democrats lost the majority in the House and Obama had to either lead a divided government or flounder. His current approval ratings have pegged-out on the floundering side.

Threats, like those issued by Carney and Pleiffer, are not how a confident leader gets things done. Compromise is difficult and in a divided Congress, compromise is required – unless you are operating in a dictatorial regime.

Now, Obama is throwing down the gauntlet: Do what I want, the way I want it, or I’ll stretch the powers of the Executive branch to their breaking point to get my way.

Obama’s Religious Freedom Day 2014 Proclamation

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From The White House:

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2014

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

In 1786, the Virginia General Assembly affirmed an ideal that has long been central to the American journey. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, penned by Thomas Jefferson, declared religious liberty a natural right and any attempt to subvert it “a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either.” The Statute inspired religious liberty protections in the First Amendment, which has stood for almost two and a quarter centuries.

Today, America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics. Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what binds us as one is not the tenets of our faiths, the colors of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals — freedom, equality, justice, and our right as a people to set our own course.

America proudly stands with people of every nation who seek to think, believe, and practice their faiths as they choose. In the years to come, my Administration will remain committed to promoting religious freedom, both at home and across the globe. We urge every country to recognize religious freedom as both a universal right and a key to a stable, prosperous, and peaceful future.

As we observe this day, let us celebrate America’s legacy of religious liberty, embrace diversity in our own communities, and resolve once more to advance religious freedom in our time.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2014, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation’s liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations at home and around the world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

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BARACK OBAMA

Obama Administration Hostile to Religious Freedom at Home, Indifferent Abroad

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On National Religious Freedom Day, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins made the following comments, and also wrote an op-ed for the Christian Post, regarding the topic of religious liberty in the U.S. and worldwide:

“Our persecuted brothers and sisters should continually be in our prayers. But praying is not enough. We need to be financially supporting the vital ministries that are helping persecuted and imprisoned Christians around the globe. We must also call upon our governmental leaders to advocate for those who are being persecuted for their faith.

“Despite the president’s claim yesterday that ‘America proudly stands with people of every nation who seek to think, believe, and practice their faiths as they choose,’ the Obama administration’s record on defending Christians persecuted for their faith has been embarrassingly weak. Under Mr. Obama’s watch, the State Department’s international religious freedom department has ‘missed some of the biggest crises of our day,’ according to leading advocate for the persecuted Nina Shea.

“This international indifference to religious freedom should not surprise us when here at home we see hostility toward religious freedom from the Obama administration. As FRC has documented extensively, erosions of religious liberty in American public life and in our military are increasing.

“These policies flow from a truncated view of religious liberty. In his own words, President Obama has repeatedly expressed his support for the freedom of worship, not the freedom of religion. The freedom of worship is the ability to choose the church, if any, you want to attend on Sunday morning. The freedom of religion is the ability to live your life according to the religious teachings of your choice.

“On January 16, we will commemorate our annual ‘Religious Freedom Day.’ Let’s hope, work, and pray that our ‘first freedom,’ religious liberty, will not only remain our first freedom, but become a freedom that people around the world will experience,” Perkins concluded.

San Francisco Residents Demand Mayor Remove ‘Abortion Hurts Women’ Banners

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1389677021SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Saturday, January 25 marks the 10th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Walk for Life West Coast. Each year, the Walk for Life West Coast finds a new way to get its message across in the sometimes-hostile city of San Francisco. In 2009, organizers advertised the event with a billboard on US 80, which was seen by hundreds of thousands of drivers and was effective enough that opponents of the Walk defaced it with paintball guns. In 2010 organizers placed large ads on Golden Gate Transit buses, visible to hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents. In 2011 it was the “Walk for Life Navy” — a yacht cruising the bay alongside the Walk’s then-route, cheering pro-lifers as they marched.

This year, organizers opted for banners along Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, and the Walk’s new route. The banners proclaim the Walk’s message: “Abortion Hurts Women.” The banners went up on December 26, and have been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Media outlets covered the banners when the pro-abortion “Silver Ribbon” campaign demanded that San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee have them removed.

As reported by the December 31 San Francisco Chronicle “A group called Walk for Life West Coast, which is organizing its 10th annual antiabortion march in San Francisco on January 25, has placed 50 banners along Market Street reading ‘Abortion hurts women.’ They will be flying for about a month….The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women wrote a letter to Mayor Ed Lee this week saying the banners contain ‘a false and hateful statement’ and demanded they be removed. Ellen Shaffer, director of the Silver Ribbon Campaign, said she considers the banners hate speech against women….”

Mayor Lee rejected Ms. Shaffer demand, citing the first amendment. But the outrageous demand received coverage in outlets ranging from California Catholic Daily to the left-wing Daily Kos.

Eva Muntean, co-chair of the Walk for Life West Coast said “We are delighted with the publicity our banners have already generated. We urge all people of good will to join us on January 25 as we march in defense of the littlest among us. Our opponents seek to censor our message ‘Abortion Hurts Women,’ not because it is false but because it is true. We invite San Franciscans to attend the rally and Walk so that they may judge for themselves.”

The Walk for Life Rally begins at 12:30PM on January 25 in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, and the Walk for Life West Coast follows at 1:30PM.

Media Attack On Christie:A Distraction From Gates’ Book

Chris Christy was ahead of Hilary in the polls by two points and getting stronger. Former Sec. of Defense Robert Gates comes out with a book slamming Obama and Hillary and Biden saying their opposition to the war surge was purely for political reasons and Obama didn’t trust his own strategy by sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan while being against it.  So what’s a poor lib dem to do? The state controlled liberal left wing media attacks Christie with a small time incident and blows it up like an atom bomb to destroy him and turn the populace against him.

The U.S. attorney in New Jersey is opening an inquiry into claims that public officials orchestrated the massive traffic snarl on the busy George Washington Bridge to settle a political score — and has asked the FBI to help.

The probe announcement came Thursday as Gov. Chris Christie, a possible Republican White House contender, spent the day addressing the brewing scandal over his staff’s role in orchestrating the traffic jam after a local mayor declined to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose job Christie held before being elected governor, has opened a probe into the decision to close the bridge lanes, his spokeswoman said.

I believe Christie did the right thing. He immediately came out and took responsibility, fired the two people involved and stayed with the press conference as long as was needed answering questions. He did the same thing during  hurricane Sandy too. Compare that to Obama who should have  fired people like Eric Holder for sending thousands of guns to drug dealers, murderers and kidnappers in Fast and Furious and then covered it up or in Benghazi when Obama was nowhere to be found and sent Susan Rice out to five news shows to say the riots were cause by this little known film which it wasn’t and Obama had the director thrown in jail for a year. People died in Fast and Furious and Benghazi. Never forget these words ‘Obama lied and people died.” At least nobody died  under the Bridgegate fiasco and being from New Jersey myself, traffic is always horrible on that bridge daily during the morning and evening rush hours and sometimes worse than was reported now. Even if Christie did know about it which I think he didn’t, so what??? Former Bush PressSecretary Dana Perino recently said on The Five TV show on FOX that when she was  in office with Bush there are people underneath the leaders with massive egos who do things behind the president’s back. I believe that’s what happened here with Christie.

The media tried blaming the death of a 90 year old woman who died before paramedics could get  to  her on the traffic jam, but her daughter denied that was the cause. The mayor of Fort Lee accepted Christie’s apology and said nobody contacted him about supporting Christie much to the dismay of the liberal lamestream media.

Some people are taking to suing Christie now for various reasons. One woman said she suffered a panic attack from being stuck in that traffic and was late for work so she’s suing Christie. Notice she waits until now to sue. How rediculous. I have friends who work in the city and take that bridge everyday and are late often and their companies understand the traffic problem and are OK with them being late. I agree with the two comments below:

What a sorry commentary on society today. When anything happens let’s sue and see if we can hit the law suit lottery. What silliness. What’s next, suing the weatherman because it rained on our picnic?

So, I wonder how it will work out so that the taxpayer ends up paying for these “civil lawsuits”.

 Several republican senators are asking Christie to step down which is typical of republicans. The late, but great talk show host Bob Grant, the father of talk radio, once said ,”Republicans can take a lesson from their dem counterparts. No matter how lowdown, sleazy, dirty and dishonest their guy is they will always stick by him. Republicans are quick to turn against their guy.” And so it is here.

 

YES OBAMA LIED AND PEOPLE DIED!!!!!! Not so with Christie.

Ex-Defense Sec. Slams Biden, Reveals He Nearly Quit… *

GATES THROWS BOOK AT O *

Chris Christie slapped with a federal lawsuit

.’Allegations made in the suit

2013 was one big 404 error

clownWhat a year.

2013 was truly a terrible year for anyone who loves freedom, liberty, prosperity, limited government, low taxes, less spending, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms, just to name a few.

As a country we have taken a giant leap towards full blown Socialism. This administration has curbed our freedoms in a way that could take decades to get back. They have strained our closest allies and appeased our mortal enemies. They have given our money to causes and countries that hate us while snubbing those countries that share our values. They have targeted those that disagree with them and rewarded those that do. They have made America weaker in foreign policy while strengthening those that want to harm us.

Here is a rapid fire year in review.

The Department of Homeland Security buys up billions of ammunition for “target practice”, The Boston Marathon Bombing, The ongoing persecution of Christians in the military, The Benghazi scandal and cover up, The rise of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, The fall of Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan, The Internal Revenue Service scandal, targeting, and cover up, The Associated Press scandal, The NSA spying scandal, the Fast and Furious cover up, Eric Holder’s numerous scandals and the radicalization of the Department of Justice, The First Amendment and Second Amendment under constant threat, The war in Syria where we knowingly armed Al-Qaeda, A foreign policy run like a Laurel and Hardy skit, Marco Rubik’s Cube and the Senate Amnesty bill, The Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional, The removal of Barack Obama’s buddy and head of the Muslim Brotherhood Muhammad Morsi in Egypt, The hero Edward Snowden and the Zero Bradley Manning, Obama truth teams set out to propagandize the youth of America into thinking he is God, Holder challenging voter ID laws in order to guarantee the continuation of wide spread voter fraud, Al Jazeera comes to American television courtesy of hot air global warming pimp Al Gore, Multiple shootings all in gun free zones including The Sandy Hook Shooting and The Navy Shipyard Shooting, The Democratic Party Government Shutdown, The horrific treatment of our World War II Veterans, the slicing and dicing of our military veterans pay, the suspension of Phil Robertson, the GLAAD Nazis, and last but certainly not least, drum roll please….

The absolute ridiculous, amateur, disorganized, unprepared, roll out of the worst piece of leftist legislation this country has ever seen. The Non Affordable Non Patient Non Protection Act. This medical albatross that this administration has now firmly wrapped around our collective throats will be the death of us all. This administration had three years to get their website ready for the roll out and it is still inoperable.

Then the administration had the audacity like the Communist heathens they are to run glowing, smiling commercials showing people how easy it is to sign up. This is the same type of propaganda you would have found in Czarist Russia or in Nazi Germany.

The Obamacare rollout is just another example of how the government can never do anything as good as the private sector. The massive campaign to sell this more expensive, less coverage junk is not only pathetic, but it is down right scary.

I call on all Americans not to enroll in this despicable program. If you don’t enroll they can’t achieve their goal; and if you are not paying attention their goal is a one payer system. Anyone who enrolls in this healthcare program is either a moron or a traitor.

The biggest lie of 2013 was the fact that you can keep your doctor and your current plan. We know that is not true and never was. Keeping your doctor runs counter intuitive to their draconian scheme. It was designed that way.

So in 2014, please be involved, be active, and pay attention. Do your homework. Vote out any member of Congress who voted to fund Obamacare. Show our government who they answer too. I hope 2014 is a better year for all of us, especially America.

Minnesota DFL Hit with Huge fine, $100K, for Illegal Campaign Coordination

MN Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey

MN Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey

Too late to affect the outcome of local state campaigns, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board has fined the Minnesota DFL $100,000 for illegal campaign coordination, one of the largest civil penalty levied in state history.

On Tuesday the Board levied the fine against the DFL after it was discovered that 13 DFL candidates coordinated their campaigns illegally, since properly reclassifying the expenditures means that the candidates illegally exceeded their campaign contribution and/or spending limits. A total of over $300,000 in illegal contributions were not reported by the campaigns.. The board also plans to fine each individual campaign directly, according to a press release from the Minnesota Republican Party.

State Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey demonstrated his frustration at the DFL’s actions in the last campaign, as well as satisfaction with the boards’ ruling.

“Senate Democrats were so intent on winning at any cost and throwing huge money into the 2012 campaign that they played fast and loose in a big way,” said Downey. “Even though it is over a year too late for the voters in these thirteen districts, and the ruling says nothing about the truthfulness of their ads, today’s ruling does at least provide a much needed check on their campaign financing tactics.”

“Many of the Democratic Senators on this list won their elections by narrow margins. We will never know how this illegal coordination would have impacted the results in these races and ultimately control of the legislature. They cheated, they won, but at least they are being held accountable now.” Downey continued.

“They cheated, they won, but at least they are being held accountable now.” -Republican State Chairman Keith Downey.

“We look forward to the Campaign Finance Board’s continued investigation and expect them to thoroughly examine each of the thirteen campaigns to determine the full extent of this wrongdoing,” Downey concluded.

DFL lawmakers disagreed with the board’s ruling said that they are glad to put the matter to rest.

“Ultimately, it is best to set this distraction aside and allow our members to focus on governing,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the board has levied only two fines of equal or greater size in the past 11 years: former gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty was fined $100,000 for coordinating a 2002 television ad with the Republican Party, and the board also fined the national 21st Century Democrats a whopping $190K for failing to disclose the its spending to influence Minnesota’s 2004 election.

Read the full report from the Star Tribune here.

Crossposted from AmericanMillenniumOnline.com

Obama Sends Presidential Delegation to Celebrate With Kenya

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From The White House:

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President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Republic of Kenya to attend the 50th Anniversary of the Republic of Kenya on December 12, 2013.

The Honorable Robert F. Godec, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya, will lead the delegation.

Member of the Presidential Delegation:

The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

White House Responds To Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Lawsuit

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From The White House:

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Statement by the Press Secretary Regarding Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

The health care law puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge.  Earlier this year, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to consider a legal challenge to the health care law’s requirement that for-profit corporations include birth control coverage in insurance available to their employees.  We believe this requirement is lawful and essential to women’s health and are confident the Supreme Court will agree.

We do not comment on specifics of a case pending before the Court.  As a general matter, our policy is designed to ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor.  The President believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women.  The Administration has already acted to ensure no church or similar religious institution will be forced to provide contraception coverage and has made a commonsense accommodation for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds.  These steps protect both women’s health and religious beliefs, and seek to ensure that women and families–not their bosses or corporate CEOs–can make personal health decisions based on their needs and their budgets.

President Obama calls Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu

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From The White House:

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Readout of the President’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu:

President Obama called Prime Minister Netanyahu today to discuss the P5+1’s first step agreement with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program.  The two leaders reaffirmed their shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  The President noted that the P5+1 will use the months ahead to pursue a lasting, peaceful, and comprehensive solution that would resolve the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.  Consistent with our commitment to consult closely with our Israeli friends, the President told the Prime Minister that he wants the United States and Israel to begin consultations immediately regarding our efforts to negotiate a comprehensive solution.  The President underscored that the United States will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.  The President and Prime Minister agreed to stay in close contact on this issue as the P5+1 and Iran negotiate a long-term solution over the next six months.

Illinois Senate Passes Redefinition of Marriage Bill

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SPRINGFIELD, Nov. 5, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — The Thomas More Society, which has been at the forefront in defending traditional marriage in Illinois, issued the following statement on House passage of Senate Bill-10’s redefinition of marriage:

      “While we believe it regrettable that Illinois legislators have now purported to redefine marriage as something different from the union of one man and one woman, we are at least pleased and reassured to hear that legislators insisted during today’s floor debate in the House of Representatives that Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other constitutional and statutory guaranties of Illinois citizens’ religious liberties remain in full force and effect. We will do our part to insure that those fundamental religious liberties are given robust and unstinting protection. The free speech and free exercise clauses of our First Amendment remain at the core of our constitutional order, and no law nor any public official may lawfully coerce anyone to deny or disavow his or her religious beliefs, or refrain from professing those beliefs in the public square, or to go against those beliefs in practice. This is still a free country, and Thomas More Society stands ready to do its utmost to keep it free,” said Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society.

Senate to Hold Hearings on Controversial UN Treaty

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is on the move again as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has confirmed that it will hold hearings on the treaty starting today. The treaty was defeated on the Senate floor last year after it failed to receive the required two-thirds vote, largely because of strong opposition from parental rights and disability rights advocates.
President Obama signed the treaty in July 2009, but opponents were quick to point out the dangers this treaty presented to disabled persons in the United States.

“We all want to show our love and care for people with disabilities,” said Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “This treaty, however, is not the way to do it. This treaty will give United Nations and government agents, not parents, the authority to decide all educational and treatment issues for disabled children. All of the rights that parents have under traditional American law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be undermined by this treaty.”

Farris pointed out that, while supporters of the treaty say that it will not override American law, a recent decision in Hungary showed exactly how the treaty will look if ratified in the United States. The Hungarian constitution did not allow intellectually disabled persons to vote if they were under legal guardianship, but the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called this law unjust, citing Article 29 of the CRPD as reason to overrule the Hungarian constitution.

“Determining a policy for allowing those with profound intellectual disabilities to exercise the right to vote is a complex and sensitive issue,” Farris said, “but what we know for sure is this: America’s legislators — and not a UN committee — should make this kind of policy decision.

“Parents in the United States are finding that homeschooling benefits their children with disabilities in more ways than a one-size-fits-all approach can ever achieve. The CRPD puts those rights at risk,” he said.

“We know that the eyes of the nation will be on the Virginia and New Jersey elections, but we can’t ignore the imminent threat posed by today’s hearing on Capitol Hill. We are urging people to call their senators and voice their opposition to the treaty,” said William Estrada, the Director of Federal Relations at HSLDA. “This is especially important if your senator is on the Foreign Relations Committee.”

The following senators are on the Foreign Relations Committee: Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Edward Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Edward Shaheen (D-NH), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Bob Corker (R-TN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Risch (R-ID), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senators Paul and Rubio have already shown strong opposition to the treaty.

Obama is determined to pass Immigration Reform this year

Obama raises taxes - insanity

Remarks by the President on Immigration Reform on October 24, 2013
Released by The White House

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From The East Room

10:47 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Please have a seat, everybody.  Good morning, and welcome to the White House.  Today I’m here with leaders from business, from labor, from faith communities who are united around one goal — finishing the job of fixing a broken immigration system.

This is not just an idea whose time has come; this is an idea whose time has been around for years now.  Leaders like all of you have worked together with Republicans and Democrats in this town in good faith for years to try to get this done.  And this is the moment when we should be able to finally get the job done.

Now, it’s no secret that the American people haven’t seen much out of Washington that they like these days.  The shutdown and the threat of the first default in more than 200 years inflicted real pain on our businesses and on families across the country.  And it was a completely unnecessary, self-inflicted wound with real costs to real people, and it can never happen again.

Even with the shutdown over, and the threat of default eliminated, Democrats and Republicans still have some really big disagreements — there are some just fundamentally different views about how we should move forward on certain issues.  On the other hand, as I said the day after the shutdown ended, that’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to work together on the things that we do agree on.

We should be able to work together on a responsible budget that invests in the things that we need to grow our economy and create jobs even while we maintain fiscal discipline.  We should be able to pass a farm bill that helps rural communities grow and protects vulnerable Americans in hard times.

And we should pass immigration reform.  (Applause.)  We should pass immigration reform.  It’s good for our economy.  It’s good for our national security.  It’s good for our people.  And we should do it this year.

Everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken.  Across the political spectrum, people understand that.  We’ve known it for years.  It’s not smart to invite some of the brightest minds from around the world to study here and then not let them start businesses here — we send them back to their home countries to start businesses and create jobs and invent new products someplace else.

It’s not fair to businesses and middle-class families who play by the rules when we allow companies that are trying to undercut the rules work in the shadow economy, to hire folks at lower wages or no benefits, no overtime, so that somehow they get a competitive edge from breaking the rules.  That doesn’t make sense.

It doesn’t make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, meet their responsibilities and permit their families then to move ahead.  It’s not smart.  It’s not fair.  It doesn’t make sense.  We have kicked this particular can down the road for too long.

Now, the good news is, this year the Senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide, bipartisan majority that addressed all of these issues.  It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen our borders.  It would level the playing field by holding unscrupulous employers accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.

It would modernize our legal immigration system, so that even as we train American workers for the jobs of the future, we’re also attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs from beyond our borders to join with us to create jobs here in the United States.

It would make sure that everybody plays by the same rules by providing a pathway to earned citizenship for those who are here illegally — one that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes, paying a penalty, getting in line behind everyone who is trying to come here the right way.

So it had all the component parts.  It didn’t have everything that I wanted; it didn’t have everything that anybody wanted; but it addressed the core challenges of how we create a immigration system that is fair, that’s just, that is true to our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.  And that’s passed the Senate by a bipartisan majority.  (Applause.)

So here’s what we also know — that the bill would grow the economy and shrink our deficits.  Independent economists have shown that if the Senate bill became law, over the next two decades our economy would grow by $1.4 trillion more than it would if we don’t pass the law.  It would reduce our deficits by nearly a trillion dollars.

So this isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.  Securing our borders; modernizing our legal immigration system; providing a pathway to earned, legalized citizenship; growing our economy; strengthening our middle class; reducing our deficits — that’s what common-sense immigration reform will do.

Now, obviously, just because something is smart and fair, and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor — (laughter) — and the evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans, that does not mean that it will actually get done.  (Laughter.)  This is Washington, after all.

So everything tends to be viewed through a political prism and everybody has been looking at the politics of this.  And I know that there are some folks in this town who are primed to think, “Well, if Obama is for it, then I’m against it.”  But I’d remind everybody that my Republican predecessor was also for it when he proposed reforms like this almost a decade ago, and I joined with 23 Senate Republicans back then to support that reform.  I’d remind you that this reform won more than a dozen Republican votes in the Senate in June.

I’m not running for office again.  I just believe this is the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  I just believe this is the right thing to do.  And I also believe that good policy is good politics in this instance.  And if folks are really that consumed with the politics of fixing our broken immigration system, they should take a closer look at the polls because the American people support this.  It’s not something they reject — they support it.  Everybody wins here if we work together to get this done.  In fact, if there’s a good reason not to pass this common-sense reform, I haven’t heard it.

So anyone still standing in the way of this bipartisan reform should at least have to explain why.  A clear majority of the American people think it’s the right thing to do.

Now, how do we move forward?  Democratic leaders have introduced a bill in the House that is similar to the bipartisan Senate bill.  So now it’s up to Republicans in the House to decide whether reform becomes a reality or not.

I do know — and this is good news — that many of them agree that we need to fix our broken immigration system across these areas that we’ve just discussed.  And what I’ve said to them, and I’ll repeat today, is if House Republicans have new and different, additional ideas for how we should move forward, then we want to hear them.  I’ll be listening.  I know that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, those who voted for immigration reform already, are eager to hear those additional ideas.  But what we can’t do is just sweep the problem under the rug one more time, leave it for somebody else to solve sometime in the future.

Rather than create problems, let’s prove to the American people that Washington can actually solve some problems.  This reform comes as close to anything we’ve got to a law that will benefit everybody now and far into the future.  So let’s see if we can get this done.  And let’s see if we can get it done this year.  (Applause.)

We’ve got the time to do it.  Republicans in the House, including the Speaker, have said we should act.  So let’s not wait.  It doesn’t get easier to just put it off.  Let’s do it now.  Let’s not delay.  Let’s get this done, and let’s do it in a bipartisan fashion.

To those of you who are here today, I want to just say one last thing and that is — thank you.  I want to thank you for your persistence.  I want to thank you for your activism.  I want to thank you for your passion and your heart when it comes to this issue.  And I want to tell you, you’ve got to keep it up.  Keep putting the pressure on all of us to get this done.  There are going to be moments — and there are always moments like this in big efforts at reform — where you meet resistance, and the press will declare something dead, it’s not going to happen, but that can be overcome.

And I have to say, Joe, as I look out at this room, these don’t look like people who are easily deterred.  (Laughter.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think so.

THE PRESIDENT:  They don’t look like folks who are going to give up.  (Applause.)  You look fired up to make the next push.  And whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, I want you to keep working, and I’m going to be right next to you, to make sure we get immigration reform done.  It is time.  Let’s go get it done.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

END
10:59 A.M. EDT

Ex-Clinton WH Aide: Hillary’s Lessons From 2008 Put Her In The Driver’s Seat

hillary_what_difference
Bob Weiner

Bob Weiner

Nakia Gladden

Nakia Gladden

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hillary Clinton is in the driver’s seat for the 2016 Presidential race and in position to make history as America’s first woman president if she learns the lessons and corrects the mistakes of her 2008 run, including her Iraq War vote explanation and her failure to capitalize in caucuses on primary victories in those states, assert ex-Clinton White House aide Robert Weiner and policy analyst Nakia Gladden in a Michigan Chronicle article just out.  The Michigan Chronicle has been named the top African-American newspaper in America six times in the last twelve years by the National Newspaper Association.

Weiner, a Democratic and national issues strategist who was the spokesman for three congressional committee chairmen before joining the White House staff, along with co-author Gladden, say: “With the cognoscenti of both parties and the media ever more certain Hillary Clinton – who won the 2008 Michigan primary — will run in 2016, and Clinton herself taking steps to allow the choice, she needs to look back and learn some lessons from her failed 2008 campaign before her adrenalin rushes her forward.  Even Bill Clinton said recently, ‘You must learn the lessons of your mistakes … without becoming a general who fights the last war.'”

Weiner and Gladden write: “Most significantly, she was reluctant to acknowledge that her vote to authorize the Iraq War in 2001 was against the national grain that evolved.  She did not backtrack until September 18, 2006, when she said to Meredith Vieiraon the Today Show, ‘If we knew then what we know now… I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.’  It’s a point her close friendJames Carville had been saying for a year she should make.   On September 23, 2007, Tim Russert again dragged out of her on Meet the Press, ‘If I had known then what I know now…, I would not have voted the way that I did.’ Chris Matthews asserted that Russert ‘finally reeled the big marlin into the boat,’ not realizing she said it a year earlier. Both statements were too little too late. Gen. Wes Clark, one of her staunch supporters, told us that Hillary’s decision not to criticize the initial war action was a ‘general election decision.’  However, she never got to the general. Obama filled the anti-war vacuum.”

Weiner and Gladden continue: “Clinton recently narrowly avoided making a similar mistake on Syria which could have affected a 2016 run. President Obama planned missile attacks in Syria even though popular support was 3-1 against it.  At the last minute, just as the President was preparing an Oval office speech to announce the launch, a diplomatic solution materialized.  New Secretary of State Kerry made an off-the-cuff response to a reporter which became a Putin-Obama lifeline: ‘[Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.’  It also saved Hillary.  She had just met with Obama and was ready to support his launch.  Even Bill O’Reilly concedes that diplomacy is ‘now working.'”

Weiner and Gladden warn: “She will face repeated questions about Benghazi.  Democrats say it’s a ‘phony scandal,’ typical mid-level multi-agency bureaucrats harmonizing a talking points memo, combined with Congress denying State’s funding request for increased embassy security worldwide.  Indeed, just this September 29, the House finally passed a bill ‘fully funding the Administration’s request for embassy security,’ trumpeted in a press release by Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce(R-CA). Republicans know that funding denial was a legitimate counterpunch by Democrats.  Unanswered is why the Ambassador went to the unprotected outpost, but Hillary’s involvement was unlikely. As Obama’s heir, she will also be blamed for IRS disproportionately targeting conservative groups even though liberal groups were also peppered with questions.”

Weiner and Gladden recognize, “Bill is brilliant as ‘Secretary of Explaining,’ as President Obama called him, but he also speaks off the cuff.  Recently, Bill condemned Democrats for whining about ‘gridlock’ even though polling shows a majority blame it on Republican congressional obstructionism.  President Clinton will definitely be enormously helpful, but Hillary will sometimes have to keep the Big Dog on a leash.”

Weiner and Gladden assert, “The Ready for Hillary PAC is not just any ‘draft’ group.  Big names are signing onto their fundraising letters and working as advisors including Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Bill Clinton strategists James Carville and Harold Ickes, and Obama veterans. According to Communication Director Seth Bringman, the PAC now has impressive numbers: over 1,000,000 Facebook supporters, 10,000 donors, and 100,000 people with Ready for Hillary bumper stickers.  The staff’s enthusiasm is apparent.”

Weiner and Gladden add, “Her speaking tour is consolidating constituencies. She has recently supported gay marriage, a woman for President, and women’s health and birth control choice.  She forcefully opposed voter suppression of minorities and the recent government shutdown.  She just endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Virginia Governor, and she’s been lunching with President Obama and breakfasting with Vice President Biden. Congressional Black Caucus Dean John Conyers (D-Detroit) told us, ‘Opponents would hate to be against her for the nomination.’ Then he surveyed his staff who unanimously agreed, ‘It’s hers to lose.'”

Weiner and Gladden note, “Her resume, starting with Texas voter registration organizer, then US Congress committee staff, First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State, is unsurpassed.  Her 1995 ‘Women’s rights are human rights’ speech in Beijingas First Lady remains a standard for courage. Most recently at State, she helped topple Qaddafi, established elections inBurma including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, emphasized women’s rights throughout the world including standing up with and for rape victims, and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran – let alone being part of the Got-bin Laden Team.”

Weiner and Gladden suggest, “With Rasmussen showing her 63-12-4 over Vice President Biden and New York Governor Cuomo, Quinnipiac at 65-13-7, NBC at 60 to 11 over Biden and 7 for Elizabeth Warren, and a lead over Republicans Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz by at least eight points, it’s no wonder why Republicans are concerned about her as Democrats consolidate.”

The authors predict that “she will re-incorporate McAuliffe (former DNC Chair) and personal confidante Huma Abadin, widely respected inside Washington, back into her brain trust.  She will correct organizational errors of 2008 — including losing the delegates in the major Texas caucus after she won its primary, and trying to change the rules for counting her victoriousMichigan and Florida primaries after she won them when the states had violated the Party’s calendar.”

They point out that “the eternity between now and 2016 can change the field.  Past ‘inevitable’ candidacies disintegrated fromMario Cuomo and Howard Dean to Rick Perry and Ted Kennedy.  Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton came from nowhere a year in front to win.”

Weiner and Gladden conclude, “Right now, Clinton is in the driver’s seat – and if she wins, she will be a superbly competent and historic first woman American President.”

Robert Weiner, is a former Clinton White House spokesman, communications director for the House Government Operations Committee, senior staff for Congressmen John Conyers, Claude Pepper, Ed Koch, Charles Rangel, and Sen. Ted Kennedy, and wrote the epilogue for Michigan Chronicle Senior Editor Bankole Thompson’s groundbreaking book, “Obama and Christian Loyalty.”  Nakia Gladden is policy analyst at Robert Weiner Associates.

Published in the Michigan Chronicle Today

Obama’s Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People

President_Barack_Obama

From The White House:

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Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 19, 2013
 

Hi everybody. This week, because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the government was reopened, and the threat of default was removed from our economy.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But the truth is, there were no winners in this. At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth. And it’s understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher.

The way business is done in Washington has to change. Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do – grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.

It won’t be easy. But we can make progress. Specifically, there are three places where I believe that Democrats and Republicans can work together right away.

First, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, one that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further. There is no choice between growth and fiscal responsibility – we need both. So we’re making a serious mistake if a budget doesn’t focus on what you’re focused on: creating more good jobs that pay better wages. If we’re going to free up resources for the things that help us grow – education, infrastructure, research – we should cut what we don’t need, and close corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs. This shouldn’t be as difficult as it has been in past years. Remember, our deficits are shrinking – not growing.

Second, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. There’s already a broad coalition across America that’s behind this effort, from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement. It would grow our economy. It would secure our borders. The Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support. Now the House should, too. The majority of Americans thinks this is the right thing to do. It can and should get done by the end of this year.

Third, we should pass a farm bill – one that America’s farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need, and one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the longer-term certainty they deserve.

We won’t suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed. But we shouldn’t hold back on places where we do agree, just because we don’t think it’s good politics, or just because the extremes in our parties don’t like compromise. I’ll look for willing partners from either party to get important work done. There’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. Because that isn’t governing – it’s just hurting the people we were sent here to serve.

Those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job the best we can. We come from different parties, but we’re Americans first. And our obligations to you must compel all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of this country we love.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

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