Watch Chris Christie Speech at Reagan Library Live, September 27, 2011

Update- The speech has ended.

Watch live streaming video from reaganlibrary at livestream.com

Here's the text of the speech:

Mrs. Reagan, distinguished guests. It is an honor for me to be here at the Reagan Library to speak to you today. I want to thank Mrs. Reagan for her gracious invitation. I am thrilled to be here.

Ronald Reagan believed in this country. He embodied the strength, perseverance and faith that has propelled immigrants for centuries to embark on dangerous journeys to come here, to give up all that was familiar for all that was possible.

He judged that as good as things were and had been for many Americans, they could and would be better for more Americans in the future.

It is this vision for our country that guided his administration over the course of eight years. His commitment to making America stronger, better and more resilient is what allowed him the freedom to challenge conventional wisdom, reach across party lines and dare to put results ahead of political opportunism.

Everybody in this room and in countless other rooms across this great country has his or her favorite Reagan story. For me, that story happened thirty years ago, in August 1981. The air traffic controllers, in violation of their contracts, went on strike. President Reagan ordered them back to work, making clear that those who refused would be fired. In the end, thousands refused, and thousands were fired.

I cite this incident not as a parable of labor relations but as a parable of principle. Ronald Reagan was a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. Those who thought he was bluffing were sadly mistaken. Reagan’s demand was not an empty political play; it was leadership, pure and simple.

Reagan said it best himself, “I think it convinced people who might have thought otherwise that I meant what I said. Incidentally, I would have been just as forceful if I thought management had been wrong in the dispute.”

I recall this pivotal moment for another reason as well. Most Americans at the time and since no doubt viewed Reagan’s firm handling of the PATCO strike as a domestic matter, a confrontation between the president and a public sector union. But this misses a critical point.

To quote a phrase from another American moment, the whole world was watching. Thanks to newspapers and television – and increasingly the Internet and social media – what happens here doesn’t stay here.

Another way of saying what I have just described is that Americans do not have the luxury of thinking that what we have long viewed as purely domestic matters have no consequences beyond our borders. To the contrary. What we say and what we do here at home affects how others see us and in turn affects what it is they say and do.

America’s role and significance in the world is defined, first and foremost, by who we are at home. It is defined by how we conduct ourselves with each other. It is defined by how we deal with our own problems. It is determined in large measure by how we set an example for the world.

We tend to still understand foreign policy as something designed by officials in the State Department and carried out by ambassadors and others overseas. And to some extent it is. But one of the most powerful forms of foreign policy is the example we set.

This is where it is instructive to harken back to Ronald Reagan and the PATCO affair. President Reagan’s willingness to articulate a determined stand and then carry it out at home sent the signal that the occupant of the Oval Office was someone who could be predicted to stand by his friends and stand up to his adversaries.

If President Reagan would do that at home, leaders around the world realized that he would do it abroad as well. Principle would not stop at the water’s edge. The Reagan who challenged Soviet aggression, or who attacked a Libya that supported terror was the same Reagan who stood up years before to PATCO at home for what he believed was right.

All this should and does have meaning for us today. The image of the United States around the world is not what it was, it is not what it can be and it is not what it needs to be. This country pays a price whenever our economy fails to deliver rising living standards to our citizens–which is exactly what has been the case for years now.

We pay a price when our political system cannot come together and agree on the difficult but necessary steps to rein in entitlement spending or reform our tax system.

We pay a price when special interests win out over the collective national interest. We are seeing just this in the partisan divide that has so far made it impossible to reduce our staggering deficits and to create an environment in which there is more job creation than job destruction.

This is where the contrast between what has happened in New Jersey and what is happening in Washington, DC is the most clear.

In New Jersey over the last 20 months, you have actually seen divided government that is working. To be clear, it does not mean that we have no argument or acrimony. There are serious disagreements, sometimes expressed loudly—Jersey style.

Here is what we did. We identified the problems. We proposed specific means to fix them. We educated the public on the dire consequences of inaction. And we compromised, on a bi-partisan basis, to get results. We took action.

How so you ask? Leadership and compromise.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you can balance two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes while protecting core services.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you reform New Jersey’s pension and health benefits system that was collectively $121 billion underfunded.

Leadership and compromise is the only way you cap the highest property taxes in the nation and cap the interest arbitration awards of some of the most powerful public sector unions in the nation at no greater than a 2% increase.

In New Jersey we have done this, and more, because the Executive Branch has not sat by and waited for others to go first to suggest solutions to our state’s most difficult problems.

Being a mayor, being a governor, being a president means leading by taking risk on the most important issues of the day. It has happened in Trenton.

In New Jersey we have done this with a legislative branch, held by the opposite party, because it is led by two people who have more often put the interests of our state above the partisan politics of their caucuses.

Our bi-partisan accomplishments in New Jersey have helped to set a tone that has taken hold across many other states. It is a simple but powerful message–lead on the tough issues by telling your citizens the truth about the depth of our challenges. Tell them the truth about the difficulty of the solutions. This is the only effective way to lead in America during these times.

In Washington, on the other hand, we have watched as we drift from conflict to conflict, with little or no resolution.

We watch a president who once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet to find the courage to lead.

We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door. The result is a debt ceiling limitation debate that made our democracy appear as if we could no longer effectively govern ourselves.

And still we continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world community.

Yes, we hope. Because each and every time the president lets a moment to act pass him by, his failure is our failure too. The failure to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the Simpson Bowles Commission, a report the president asked for himself…the failure to act on the country’s crushing unemployment…the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs…the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment.

The rule for effective governance is simple. It is one Ronald Reagan knew by heart. And one that he successfully employed with Social Security and the Cold War. When there is a problem, you fix it. That is the job you have been sent to do and you cannot wait for someone else to do it for you.

We pay for this failure of leadership many times over. The domestic price is obvious: growth slows, high levels of unemployment persist, and we make ourselves even more vulnerable to the unpredictable behavior of skittish markets or the political decisions of lenders.

But, there is also a foreign policy price to pay. To begin with, we diminish our ability to influence the thinking and ultimately the behavior of others. There is no better way to persuade other societies around the world to become more democratic and more market-oriented than to show that our democracy and markets work better than any other system.

Why should we care?

We should care because we believe, as President Reagan did, that democracy is the best protector of human dignity and freedom. And we know this because history shows that mature democracies are less likely to resort to force against their own people or their neighbors.

We should care because we believe in free and open trade, as exports are the best creators of high-paying jobs here and imports are a means to increase consumer choice and keep prices down.

Around the world– in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa and Latin America—people are debating their own political and economic futures–right now.

We have a stake in the outcome of their debates. For example, a Middle East that is largely democratic and at peace will be a Middle East that accepts Israel, rejects terrorism, and is a dependable source of energy.

There is no better way to reinforce the likelihood that others in the world will opt for more open societies and economies than to demonstrate that our own system is working.

A lot is being said in this election season about American exceptionalism. Implicit in such statements is that we are different and, yes, better, in the sense that our democracy, our economy and our people have delivered. But for American exceptionalism to truly deliver hope and a sterling example to the rest of the world, it must be demonstrated, not just asserted. If it is demonstrated, it will be seen and appreciated and ultimately emulated by others. They will then be more likely to follow our example and our lead.

At one time in our history, our greatness was a reflection of our country’s innovation, our determination, our ingenuity and the strength of our democratic institutions. When there was a crisis in the world, America found a way to come together to help our allies and fight our enemies. When there was a crisis at home, we put aside parochialism and put the greater public interest first. And in our system, we did it through strong presidential leadership. We did it through Reagan-like leadership.

Unfortunately, through our own domestic political conduct of late, we have failed to live up to our own tradition of exceptionalism. Today, our role and ability to affect change has been diminished because of our own problems and our inability to effectively deal with them.

To understand this clearly, one need only look at comments from the recent meeting of the European finance ministers in Poland. Here is what the Finance Minister of Austria had to say:

“I found it peculiar that, even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the euro zone, that they tell us what we should do. I had expected that, when [Secretary Geithner] tells us how he sees the world, that he would listen to what we have to say.”

You see, without strong leadership at home—without our domestic house in order—we are taking ourselves out of the equation. Over and over, we are allowing the rest of the world to set the tone without American influence.

I understand full well that succeeding at home, setting an example, is not enough. The United States must be prepared to act. We must be prepared to lead. This takes resources—resources for defense, for intelligence, for homeland security, for diplomacy. The United States will only be able to sustain a leadership position around the world if the resources are there—but the necessary resources will only be there if the foundations of the American economy are healthy. So our economic health is a national security issue as well.

Without the authority that comes from that exceptionalism—earned American exceptionalism—we cannot do good for other countries, we cannot continue to be a beacon of hope for the world to aspire to for their future generations.

If Ronald Reagan faced today’s challenges we know what he would do. He would face our domestic problems directly, with leadership and without political calculation.

We would take an honest and tough approach to solving our long-term debt and deficit problem through reforming our entitlement programs and our tax code.

We would confront our unemployment crisis by giving certainty to business about our tax and regulatory future.

We would unleash American entrepreneurship through long-term tax reform, not short-term tax gimmickry.

And we would reform our K-12 education system by applying free market reform principles to education—rewarding outstanding teachers; demanding accountability from everyone in the system; increasing competition through choice and charters; and making the American free public education system once again the envy of the world.

The guiding principle should be simple and powerful—the educational interests of children must always be put ahead of the comfort of the status quo for adults.

The United States must also become more discriminating in what we try to accomplish abroad. We certainly cannot force others to adopt our principles through coercion. Local realities count; we cannot have forced makeovers of other societies in our image. We need to limit ourselves overseas to what is in our national interest so that we can rebuild the foundations of American power here at home – foundations that need to be rebuilt in part so that we can sustain a leadership role in the world for decades to come.

The argument for getting our own house in order is not an argument for turning our back on the world.

We cannot and should not do that. First of all, our economy is dependent on what we export and import. And as we learned the hard way a decade ago, we as a country and a people are vulnerable to terrorists armed with box cutters, bombs, and viruses, be they computer generated or man-made. We need to remain vigilant, and be prepared to act with our friends and allies, to discourage, deter or defend against traditional aggression; to stop the spread of nuclear materials and weapons and the means to deliver them; and to continue to deprive terrorists of the ways, means and opportunity to succeed.

I realize that what I am calling for requires a lot of our elected officials and a lot of our people. I plead guilty. But I also plead guilty to optimism.

Like Ronald Reagan, I believe in what this country and its citizens can accomplish if they understand what is being asked of them and how we all will benefit if they meet the challenge.

There is no doubt in my mind that we, as a country and as a people, are up for the challenge. Our democracy is strong; our economy is the world’s largest. Innovation and risk-taking is in our collective DNA. There is no better place for investment. Above all, we have a demonstrated record as a people and a nation of rising up to meet challenges.

Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other. We are a better people than that; and we must demand a better nation than that.

The America I speak of is the America Ronald Reagan challenged us to be every day. Frankly, it is the America his leadership helped us to be. Through our conduct, our deeds, our demonstrated principles and our sacrifice for each other and for the greater good of the nation, we became a country emulated throughout the world. Not just because of what we said, but because of what we did both at home and abroad.

If we are to reach real American exceptionalism, American exceptionalism that can set an example for freedom around the world, we must lead with purpose and unity.

In 2004, Illinois State Senator Barack Obama gave us a window into his vision for American leadership. He said, “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us — the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes.’ Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

Now, seven years later, President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election. This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy. Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others. Trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard. Insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the American Dream. That may turn out to be a good re-election strategy for President Obama, but is a demoralizing message for America. What happened to State Senator Obama? When did he decide to become one of the “dividers” he spoke of so eloquently in 2004? There is, of course, a different choice.

That choice is the way Ronald Reagan led America in the 1980’s. That approach to leadership is best embodied in the words he spoke to the nation during his farewell address in 1989. He made clear he was not there just marking time. That he was there to make a difference. Then he spoke of the city on the hill and how he had made it stronger. He said, “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.”

That is American exceptionalism. Not a punch line in a political speech, but a vision followed by a set of principled actions that made us the envy of the world. Not a re-election strategy, but an American revitalization strategy.

We will be that again, but not until we demand that our leaders stand tall by telling the truth, confronting our shortcomings, celebrating our successes and, once again leading the world because of what we have been able to actually accomplish.

Only when we do that will we finally ensure that our children and grandchildren will live in a second American century. We owe them, as well as ourselves and those who came before us, nothing less.

Thank you again for inviting me—God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.

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Democrat NC Gov.: Let's Suspend Congressional Elections

One of the dumbest things I have ever read:
"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."
Bev Perdue: Not Terribly Bright
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Reports of Gunman on Cal State Northridge Campus Leads to Evacuations

The library at Cal State Northridge was evacuated Tuesday after reports of a gunman on campus, KTLA.com reported.

At 10:27 a.m., university police received information about a white male, about 5-feet-8-inches tall, wearing a white T-shirt that read, "Human Rights Violation," according to the university's posting on its Facebook page.

University police are currently conducting a thorough search of the Oviatt library., according to the university. No arrests have been made and the individual's location is unclear.

The university remains open, but the school said any student, faculty member or staff who feels uncomfortable could leave the campus without notifying supervisors, according to a Facebook post.
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Christie Nixes $420,000 Tax Write off for 'Jersey Shore'

I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea. Good for Christie:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has killed a $420G tax credit for the producers of MTV’s hit reality show “Jersey Shore,” according to a report from MyFoxPhily.com.

Christie reportedly objected to an expansion of the New Jersey Film Tax Credit Transfer Program in a veto letter to the Economic Development Authority.

“We must ensure that our limited taxpayer dollars are spent on programs and projects that best benefit the State of New Jersey,” Christie said. “I have no interest in policing the content of such projects; however, as Chief Executive I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the State and its citizens.”

Christie also objected to the content of the show. He and several other politicians have decried the show’s “stereotypes” of New Jersey people who spend their days, partying, drinking and tanning.

Christie also slammed supporters of the expansion of the tax-credit program, MyFoxPhilly reported.
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Congressional Black Caucus Members: Allen West and Herman Cain "Should Go to Hell"

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ObamaCare off to the Supreme Court

Cue Jaws theme music:
The Obama administration chose not to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear a pivotal health reform case Monday, signaling that it’s going to ask the Supreme Court to decide whether President Barack Obama’s health reform law is constitutional.

The move puts the Supreme Court in the difficult position of having to decide whether to take the highly politically charged case in the middle of the presidential election.

The Justice Department is expected to ask the court to overturn an August decision by a panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the law’s requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional. The suit was brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and several individuals.

Since the ruling, the Justice Department had until Monday to ask the entire 11th Circuit to review the case. Administration lawyers didn’t file the paperwork by the 5 p.m. deadline, so the ruling would stand unless the Justice Department asks the Supreme Court to step in.

The petition isn’t due until November, and the administration could get an extension.
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Big Surprise: Senate Waits Until Last Minute, Passes Stopgap Measure

Nothing changes:
The Senate voted Monday night to send a temporary spending bill to the House to avoid a government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans appeared to have reached a final-hour resolution to an impasse over disaster aid.

The vote in the Senate was 79 to 12 to fund the government through Nov. 18, giving the two sides more time to haggle over long-term spending levels. The Senate also approved an even shorter-term spending bill -- funding the government into next week -- by a voice vote to give the House time to reconvene and approve the followup legislation.

The breakthrough came hours after the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicated it had enough money for disaster relief efforts through Friday. That disclosure allowed lawmakers to jettison a $1 billion replenishment that had been included in the measure -- and to crack the gridlock it had caused.

The events assured there would be no interruption in assistance in areas battered by disasters such as Hurricane Irene and last summer's tornados in Joplin, Mo., and also that the government would be able to run normally when the new budget year begins on Saturday.
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Did Vladimir Putin have Plastic Surgery?

You be the judge:
The 58-year-old Russian prime minister set the blogosphere alight at the weekend after accepting his party's presidential nomination at a glitzy Moscow event with his face looking suspiciously smooth.

The skin around his eyes was almost totally clear of bags and wrinkles, triggering a fresh wave of speculation that he has had a series of cosmetic procedures to keep his face looking youthful.

Set to turn 59 next month, Mr Putin prides himself on his image as a Judo-loving energetic action man who is in ideal shape to lead the world's largest country.

But his critics say he risks turning into a parody of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev who ruled the USSR from 1964 until his death in 1982. Mr Putin is well placed to serve two back-to-back presidential terms that would keep him in power until 2024 at which point he would be 71.

Speculation that he has cosmetically altered his face first surfaced in October 2010 after he appeared at a press conference in Ukraine wearing heavy make up with a dark patch that looked like severe bruising around his left eye. His spokesman said the incident was a misunderstanding, claiming the light had fallen awkwardly and that Mr Putin was simply tired because he had been "working a great deal."
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Taxpayers Paid for 'Fast and Furious'

Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel -- the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared.

This disclosure, revealed in documents obtained by Fox News, could undermine the Department of Justice's previous defense that Operation Fast and Furious was a "botched" operation where agents simply "lost track" of weapons as they were transferred from one illegal buyer to another. Instead, it heightens the culpability of the federal government as Mexico, according to sources, has opened two criminal investigations into the operation that flooded their country with illegal weapons.

Operation Fast and Furious began in October 2009. In it, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encouraged gun stores to sell weapons to an arms smuggling gang, then watched as the guns crossed the border and were used in crimes. Each month, the agency allowed hundreds of guns to go South, despite opposition from some agents.

All told, the gang spent more than $1.25 million for the illegal guns.

In June 2010, however, the ATF dramatically upped the ante, making the U.S. government the actual "seller" of guns.

According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols -- two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor.
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Iran "62 Days" Away from Nuclear Bomb

I see that President Obama's foreign policy is going swimmingly for Iran:
Two years after an underground installation in the city of Qmo was revealed in a joint press conference by US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown, Iran has significantly advanced its uranium enrichment program at the site.

The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concludes that Iran has not only boosted production but upgraded the level of enrichment from 3.5 per cent to almost 20 per cent and has installed more sophisticated centrifuges, which it is moving to the bunker in Qom, apparently to protect them from airstrikes.

Low-enriched uranium is used for nuclear power, which Iran insists is the purpose of its program. Weapons-grade uranium is about 90 per cent enriched.

"We believe if Iran broke out now they could have a bomb in six months," said David Albright, a former weapons inspector who runs the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. "They've done this right in front of our faces."

Iran has ignored four sets of UN Security Council resolutions since 2006 calling on it to cease enriching uranium. With the world's attention diverted by the Arab Spring, Tehran has pressed ahead, overcoming delays caused by Stuxnet, a mysterious computer worm that made centrifuges malfunction.

Greg Jones, a defence analyst at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Centre, calculates that Iran could now produce a bomb within 62 days.
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Video- Obama: "A Billionaire" Should Pay as much in Taxes as "A Jew... uh, Janitor"

This is decidedly a WTF moment that I'm struggling to understand.  Here's the video (the gaffe starts at 30 seconds in):

Here's a quick excerpt:

President Obama- That's bad crazy. When you start [stops, stares at teleprompter] saying, 'At a time when the top one tenth of one percent has seen their income go up four, five times over the last twenty years and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline. And your response is you want poor folks to pay more?!'

Give me a break! If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew...uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor.

Yeah... The only similarity the words "Jew" and "janitor" have in common is the first letter. That's like confusing "Arab" and "apples." This is a very odd mix up, assuming that it is one.

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IMF may need Billions in Extra Funding

Not good:
The head of the IMF has warned that its $384bn (£248bn) war chest designed as an emergency bail-out fund is inadequate to deliver the scale of the support required by troubled states.

In a document distributed to the IMF steering committee at the weekend, Ms Lagarde said: "The fund's credibility, and hence effectiveness, rests on its perceived capacity to cope with worst-casescenarios. Our lending capacity of almost $400bn looks comfortable today, but pales in comparison with the potential financing needs of vulnerable countries and crisis bystanders."

The suggestion came after European officials revealed they were working on a radical plan to boost their own bail-out fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), from €440bn (£384bn) to around €3 trillion.

The plan to increase the EFSF firepower is the crucial part of a three-pronged strategy being designed by German and French authorities to stop the eurozone's debt crisis spiralling out of control. It also includes a large-scale recapitalisation of European banks and a plan for an "orderly" Greek default.

Although Britain is not involved in the large-scale eurozone bail-out projects, it is liable for 4.5pc of IMF funding.
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A Letter from a Slave to an Illegal Alien, by Herman Cain

From the desk of Herman Cain (excerpt):
Dear Illegal Alien,

My ancestors were brought to this country in chains against their will, and sold and forced to work like common farm animals. They had to abide by the laws to stay alive.

My ancestors endured abuse and unlawful deaths for 250 years before the civilized hearts of this nation recognized that "all men are created equal," regardless of race or color. We went from slaves to free men and women, but without the freedom of equal rights, equal access to opportunity and equal protection under our nation's laws. That struggle took another 100 years, culminating with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Throughout my ancestors' 350-year struggle the objective was always "one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." When that liberty and justice finally became legally recognized as our civil rights, some of us ran through the doors of opportunity, some walked, and some chose to stay on the outside to criticize and complain. Still, our nation's history has always been defined by one set of laws, one language and one flag of unity. This is what defines the United States of America!

Therein lies your biggest problem. The public perception is that you want a different set of laws, and you want to ignore current laws. You even want an accommodation of your language in our national anthem, and some of your people are flaunting flags other than the flag of the USA.

As a reminder, USA stands for United States of America. It does not stand for "Under Special Assumptions."

There is no doubt that the USA is a nation of immigrants -- legal immigrants. No one faults you for desiring the opportunity for a better life in the greatest country in the world. Although we do not consider your demonstrations a civil rights movement, there are some lessons you could learn from our 350-year struggle that may help you in your quest to come out of our nation's shadows.
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Political Freedom in Saudi Arabia

In an annual speech before his Shura Council today, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah al-Saud granted women the full legal right to run and vote in municipal elections starting in 2015. He also announced that women will be appointed to his currently all-male Shura Council as well.

Who else didn't see this coming?

At the risk of sounding too gleeful, I think the Saudi Arabian Kingdom - or at least some in the royal family -are starting to realize the mistake of enslaving 50% of their populace for outright oppressive religious dogma. And if so - the expansion of franchisement is excellent news.

We are talking about Saudi Arabia, so we should only expect baby steps, but this was one giant step in the right direction.

What say you?

Gov't Paid $600 Million in Benefits to Dead People

Government at work:
The federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years, a watchdog report says.

Such payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general, Patrick McFarland.

In one case, the son of a beneficiary continued receiving payments for 37 years after his father's death in 1971. The payments - totaling more than $515,000 - were only discovered when the son died in 2008.

The government has been aware of the problem since a 2005 inspector general's report revealed defects in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Yet the improper payments have continued, despite more than a half dozen attempts to develop a system that can figure out which beneficiaries are still alive and which are dead, the report said.

"It is time to stop, once and for all, this waste of taxpayer money," it said.
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Liberals: Cain Victory in Straw Poll PROVES Republicans, Tea Partiers are Racist (With Pictures)

For the entirety of the Barack Obama Presidency, and stretching back into his candidacy, liberals have been using the race card even more than normal.  Indeed, with the rise of the Tea Party, instead of average folks tired of being over-taxed, the Left painted these people as dyed-in-the-wool racists.

Liberals use this talking point continually.  Most recently, with the debt debate, Democrats felt obliged to call those opposed to raising the debt ceiling "racists."  Ironically, Senator Barack Obama himself opposed raising the debt ceiling in 2006, but what are facts to people who blindly follow?

That brings us to yesterday, when Herman Cain, a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, won a surprise landslide victory in the Florida Republican Straw Poll. Mr. Cain happens to be African-American, but those voting did not care. He received 37% of the vote. He was chosen as the best candidate simply because people at the straw poll thought he was the best candidate. The second highest vote-getter was Rick Perry with only 15%.

Considering Mr. Cain's decisive victory and the massive support that he has received from the Tea Party, one may think that that would utterly disprove the talking point that Tea Partiers are racists.  Instead, liberals have decided to double down, exclaiming that Mr. Cain's landslide victory over his Caucasian counterparts somehow proves that Republicans, and the Tea Party, are a bevy of racists.

The reasoning for these liberals goes something like this:  "Herman Cain is black.  He won the Florida Republican Straw Poll.  Therefore, Republicans are voting for him just to say they're not racist, but they'd never actually nominate him, even though they are voting for his nomination."  It makes no sense to anyone that has a conscience, but then again, we must remember that liberals are making these arguments.

That is way impossibly stupid comments like these exist.  From Democratic Underground:
Click on picture for original resolution
Or these from the Huffington Post.  This first one is actually pretty scary:
Or this comment that ridicules "Teathugica­nts" for... being "non racist:"
And this one calling Tea Partiers racist by choosing Mr. Cain, yet using the racist phrase "oh lawd" to start it off:
And the stupidity just goes on:
And on:
And on:
And, of course, an obligatory one from Daily Kos (warning, f-word used):
An added bonus: notice the horrendous lack of "civility" in this comment
This much lying and racism from the Left truly makes me sick.

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Herman Cain on Morgan Freeman's Tea Party Comments: "Short-Sighted... Name Calling"

And this is before he won the straw poll in a landslide:
Herman Cain is hitting back at Morgan Freeman for calling the Tea Party racist.

The Republican presidential candidate called the Oscar-winning actor’s eyebrow-raising remarks “short-sighted” on Friday. "Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Partiers about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party," Cain told Fox News.

Freeman, who endorsed Obama in 2007, created a firestorm when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier this week that conservative opposition to the President has enflamed racism in America. He added the Tea Partiers have the mentality of "Screw the country, we're going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here…It is a racist thing."

Despite the criticism, Cain said he wasn’t offended by Freeman’s comments. "Name calling is something that is going to continue in this because they don’t know how to stop this movement and this movement is making a big difference in politics," said Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

At a GOP presidential debate on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said - if he could - he would pair Cain with ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to form his ideal running mate.

Cain was flattered.

"I’ve even seen some of the phrases that I used in the first debate being used in some of the later debates," said Cain. "I’m ok with that; imitation is the best form of flattery."
Herman A. Cain. The "A" stands for "Awesome"
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Gov't to Ban Asthma Inhalers

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products.

The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.

The FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008 and currently only Armstrong Pharmaceutical's Primatene mist is available in the U.S. Other manufacturers have switched to an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane. Both types of inhalers offer quick-relief to symptoms like shortness of breath and chest tightness, but the environmentally-friendly inhalers are only available via prescription.
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Video- Herman Cain Talks about Overcoming Colon Cancer

The most poignant part of the debate on Thursday and, what I believe to be, the reason why Mr. Cain won the poll tonight:

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Think Tank: Patients to Wait Longer for Care Under New Health Law

Nearly 700,000 Tennesseans will gain new coverage under health-care reform, but those already with insurance might have to wait longer to receive care and younger people overall may have to pay more.

Those are among findings from a report out from a think tank the state’s largest health insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, launched this year to study the interface between public policy and health care.

“It will be a little longer line, but everybody will be in the line,” said Dr. Steven L. Coulter, president of the insurer’s Tennessee Health Institute and co-author of the report with William T. Cecil, an independent health-care consultant.

The bulk of the new people obtaining coverage would be younger men who become eligible for Medicaid under new guidelines because of their low incomes, according to the report.

The rest will be people who qualify for subsidies to buy insurance policies through state health exchanges starting in 2014.
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Herman Cain Wins Florida GOP Straw Poll

Herman Cain was the clear winner in Thursday night's debate and now he's the undeniable victor of Florida's Presidency 5 straw poll with 37% of 2,657 Republican ballots cast going to his surging underdog campaign. No one else finished within 18% of the former Kansas City Federal Reserve Chairman.

1. Herman Cain - 37%.
2. Rick Perry - 15%.
3. Mitt Romney - 14%.
4. Rick Santorum - 11%.
5. Ron Paul - 10%.
6. Newt Gingrich - 8%.
7. Jon Huntsman - 2%.
8. Michele Bachmann - 1%.

Rick Perry's disappointing second-place finish will raise red flags, but what about Michele Bachmann's last-place finish just one month after winning the Iowa straw poll in Ames? There will be consequences to these results.

What say you?

Majority Rates Obama ‘Same’ as or ‘Worse’ Than George W. Bush

Well then:
A majority of Americans rates President Obama “about the same” or “worse” than his predecessor, George W. Bush, according to a new Gallup poll.

When a random sample of 1004 adults were asked to compare the 43rd and 44th presidents, 34 percent of respondents said Obama had been a worse president than Bush, while 22 percent said he was about the same.

Forty-three percent, a plurality, said they preferred Obama’s handling of the presidency.

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Poll Finds Obama Approval at Historic Low

That's gotta hurt:
President Barack Obama's approval ratings have fallen to a new low, with only 36 percent of Americans saying that they approve of the way he is handling his job overall, according to a new poll from the Economist/YouGov. A majority of Americans - 56 percent - disapprove of the president's performance.

Even more concerning for the president may be the news that top Republican candidates have moved within striking distance in head-to-head matchups. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney trails Obama by just a 44 percent to 43 percent margin, while Texas governor Rick Perry trails 46 percent to 42 percent.

As has been the case in previous polls showing the president's slipping approval, Americans seem frustrated primarily in a souring economy. Only 30 percent of Americans strongly or somewhat approve of the president's handling of the issue. 50 percent of Americans believe that the policies of the Obama Administration have hurt the economy, and 53 percent say that they have hurt the middle class.

Nor are they particularly convinced by the president's jobs bill push. More Americans believe that the bill would not create a substantial number of new jobs, and 64 percent of those polled say the president should be doing more to help create new jobs.

Furthermore, the poll shows that while the country was evenly divided in January on whether they would describe the president as "effective", today only 15 percent of Americans believe so, versus 40 percent who do not. 45 percent have no opinion on the matter.
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Putin 2012: It's A Reality

Current Russian Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin will seek the Presidency again in 2012 after being nominated by his United Russia party earlier today. He was barred from running for re-election in 2008 due to term limits, but the heavily pro-Putin parliament repealed them last year.

Does this surprise anyone?

Putin never really left the Kremlin with Dmitry Medvedev replacing him and selecting him as Prime Minister, but the two did have substantive differences at times, which usually benefited the west. However, in the end, the puppet never strayed too far from the former KGB officer.

There's now a strong chance that Putin could control/lead Russia for twenty-five uninterrupted years now. It cannot be overstated how much of a big step backwards it is for the Russian people, who only threw-off their evil Soviet overloads two decades ago, to once again be under the cusp of a authoritarian.

What say you?

Front Page Comparisons: Fox Covers Politics, CNN Covers "Crisis Apparitions," MSNBC Covers Gay Dance

Sometimes I like to go over to the main three cable news competitors' websites and compare their top stories/top pictures.  Of course, much of the time the articles are on the same topic.  Then there are the slower news days when nothing particularly grabs the spotlight.  Days like that are the best for comparing the front pages.

Going to Fox News this morning, they had this as their top story:
Despite who you support in the 2012 Republican field, this seems like a pretty legitimate story, even if everyone is already talking about it.  Perry performed poorly during Thursday's debate, and he's rightfully getting some vetting.

One down, two to go.  Next up is CNN.  Their top story and picture is Do loved ones bid farewell from beyond the grave?:
Crisis Apparitions?  I guess this could kind of be an interesting story.  News?  I don't think so.  You pretty much can't prove anything, but knowing our Main Stream Media, a lot of it is speculation anyway.  But still, this is the most important news in the world?

Now on to MSNBC.  Their top story is Glamorous gay dance scene a 'family affair:'
Seriously?  Palestinians asked for recognition from the UN yesterday, unemployment is 9.1%, and the US may go bankrupt in days and this is the top story?  I mean, it may be interesting to some, but top billing?

No wonder no one reads/watches MSNBC.

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School Assigns Children Reading About 'Benefits' of Sharia Law, Polygamy

Campbell Middle School, located in Georgia, has decided to slightly change its curriculum, after a concerned parent complained of the material his child was assigned to read.

In late-August, a class of seventh graders were given a project about class uniforms. Their teacher, who refuses to be named, handed out reading material that he or she thought was relevant: an excerpt from a letter entitled “My Name is Ahlima.”

The letter is about the differences between cultures and dressing. If it stopped there, there may not have been need for concern. However, the letter then talks about polygamy, Sharia Law, women not being allowed to drive, and "immodest" Westerners.

One excerpt reads:
“My name is Ahlima and I live in Saudi Arabia… Perhaps two differences Westerners would notice are that women here do not drive cars and they wear abuyah. An abuyah is a loose-fitting black cloth that covers a woman from head to toe. I like wearing the abuyah since it is very comfortable, and I am protected from blowing sand… I have seen pictures of women in the West and find their dress to be horribly immodest… Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for… I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia.”
Understandably, Hal Medlin, a parent of one of the children in the class, was upset. After filing a complaint, he stated, “I thought this was absurd... [The teacher] was trying to compare Islamic rules of dress and how they compared to school uniforms, which I thought was a stretch. The principal and the [superintendent] agreed with me... but they wouldn’t agree with my premise that it put Islam in a positive light because of the [statements].”
However, some people who published the letter in question seemed taken aback by the outrage. Sharon Coletti, the founder of Roswell-based InspirEd Educators and the creator of the material, stated:
“This particular sequence is a two-day social studies lesson. They read this letter and then examine stereotyping. The next lesson is a compare and contrast on the role of women in the Middle East. Yes, the Muslim girl stereotypes Western women, but are there ways we stereotype Muslims? I have no idea what the objection is."
The reading material has since been "adjusted."

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Gunshots fired near Papal Mass

A man with an airgun fired up to three times at a guard on the edge of the security zone, set up around the area of the open air mass, in Erfurt, eastern Germany.

Around 30,000 had been gathering from before dawn for the mass in the cobbled square beneath the soaring spires of Erfurt's medieval cathedral, when reports began to filter through of a shooting incident near a security checkpoint in the city centre.

Erfurt police spokesman Dirk Sauter said the shooting was "several kilometres" from the Cathedral Square and was not initially thought to be linked to the papal visit.

The gunman was said to have opened fire from within his own flat before being seized by police officers. The private security guard was only slightly injured.

Vatican spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi said there was "no worry" in the papal entourage over the incident.

Police say the shooting took place more than an hour before the Mass, on the periphery of the security zone that had been set up.
Following the mass the Pope was due to fly on to Freiburg for another open air service tomorrow.
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Where will the Satellite Fall?

The AP may have the answer:
NASA's dead six-ton satellite fell to Earth early Saturday morning, starting its fiery death plunge somewhere over the vast Pacific Ocean.

Details were still sketchy, but the U.S. Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center and NASA say that the bus-sized satellite first penetrated Earth's atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. That doesn't necessarily mean it all fell into the sea. NASA's calculations had predicted that the former climate research satellite would fall over a 500-mile swath.

The two government agencies say the 35-foot satellite fell sometime between 11:23 p.m. EDT and 1:09 a.m. EDT. NASA said it didn't know the precise time or location yet.

Some 26 pieces of the satellite - representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal - were expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the post-Apollo 75-ton Skylab space station and the more than 10-ton Pegasus 2 satellite, both in 1979.
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Video- Netanyahu: United Nations is "Theater of the Absurd"

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Video- Morgan Freeman: All Tea Partiers Are Racist

How could the person who played Red in Shawshank Redemption be so wrong about absolutely everything?! Sigh:

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Here's Hoping: Chris Christie Reconsidering 2012 Run, Will Decide in Days

If he runs, he's got my support:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race — and he says he will let top Republican donors know within days about his plans, Newsmax has learned.

During the past few weeks, several leading Republican donors and fundraisers have been urging the popular Republican governor to reconsider his decision not to run and to enter the GOP primary.

These Christie supporters note that significant GOP support has remained on the sidelines of the primary fight. Many leading fundraisers have yet to commit to any current primary contender, including frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Newsmax has learned that the effort to draft Christie culminated in a hush-hush powwow held in the past week with Christie and several notable Republican billionaires.

A source familiar with the meeting suggested that Christie seemed inclined to enter the race but said he needed more time.

Christie promised to make a final decision "within two weeks," the source said.
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Palestinians Submit UN Statehood Bid

This is after they told President Obama that they'd delay it. He was played like the fool he is:
Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of failed negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for an independent homeland.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles from the delegations in the General Assembly hall as outlined his people's hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations. Some members of the Israeli delegation, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, left the hall as Abbas approached the podium.

In a scathing denunciation of Israel's settlement policy, Abbas declared that negotiations with Israel "will be meaningless" as long as it continues building on lands the Palestinians claim for that state. Invoking what would be a nightmare for Israel, he went so far as to warn that his government could collapse if the construction persists.

"This policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process," said Abbas, who has refused to negotiate until the construction stops. "This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence."

To another round of applause, he held up a copy of the formal membership application and said he had asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to expedite deliberation of his request to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
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Where Did This Debt Come From Anyhow?

Have you ever wondered where the National Debt came from?  Do you wonder who started it?  Do you ask yourself is the National Debt constitutional? I believe that a lack of Historical knowledge and context is a major contributing factor in our current state of political deterioration.  Unless we know where we came from we cannot truly appreciate where we are and we have no point of reference to guide us to where we want to go.
The National Debt didn’t start under Barak Obama or George Bush.  It didn’t start under FDR or Wilson or Lincoln.  So where did it come from and when did it start?
The National Debt and the economic outlook inherent in its creation have not only been with us since the beginning it was one of the most powerful arguments for the ratification of the Constitution.  I may have just lost many of the recently awakened.  I most assuredly lost those who worship the Constitution as American Scripture and the Framers as demigods who brought the tablets down from on high.
Don’t misunderstand the intent of the following article.  It is not to malign the Constitution.  I believe it is the greatest political document to come from the hand of man.  I have spent a life time testifying to its importance and working to educate people as to its continued relevance.  However I also believe we need to know the History of its development, ratification and the continuing saga of its effectiveness.  If we don’t learn from History we will be forced to learn from our own mistakes.  It’s always less painful to learn from the mistakes of others.
At the turn of the twentieth century Historian Charles Beard published An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States and set off a debate that still rages around the idea that the Constitution was a the product of a conflict between competing economic interests.  The argument goes like this: the Founders, who supported a strong, centralized government and favored the Constitution during its drafting and ratification, were men whose primary economic interests were marked by extensive personal property. They consisted primarily of people involved in commerce such as merchants, shippers, bankers, speculators, private and public securities holders, southern planters and all they could influence. Those who opposed the ratification of the Constitution were supporters of a decentralized government such as already existed under the Articles of Confederation.  These were people whose economic interests were connected to real estate.  They consisted primarily of isolated, subsistence non-commercial farmers and laborers, people who were often also debtors, and the people they could influence.  This article fits into that debate.
Building within the above outlined framework, although James Madison is generally called the Father of the Constitution when it comes to economic concerns I believe the title should belong to Alexander Hamilton. 
When the Annapolis Convention which was called in September, 1786  to deal with economic concerns failed to attract enough state delegations for a quorum Hamilton requested permission from the Congress of the Confederation to call another convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation.  Once they closed the doors though they had no authority. The delegates from the twelve states attending wrote a new constitution. Then ignoring the provision of the Articles which required unanimous consent to alter the nature of the American government the Framers sent the Constitution out to be ratified by special ratification conventions by-passing the State legislatures.
Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies.  By the time he was fifteen his father was bankrupt.  At sixteen he moved to New York and went to work in an accountant’s office.  He was a self-made man who put himself through Columbia University and personally raised artillery regiments for the Revolution.  He spent most of the war as Washington’s top aide.  Hamilton had a desire to create a central government both politically and financially strong. 
Once the Constitution was ratified and Washington elected as the first president he chose Hamilton as his Secretary of the Treasury.  Hamilton hit the ground running.  He soon submitted three ground-breaking reports to Congress, one of which impacts the present discussion. 
His Report on Public Credit caused controversy because of its social and financial implications.  During the Revolution the Confederation and the individual States had run up large debts to both foreign and domestic individuals.  Hamilton proposed that the Federal Government assume all the war debt of the states which helped the measure gain approval in Congress.  These debts had devalued in worth due to the inflation.  As the debts lost their value they were bought up by speculators at a fraction of their face value.  Hamilton proposed to redeem them at their original value giving tremendous profits to the speculators, many of whom were prominent in Congress and State governments.  The new national government was short on cash, so Hamilton proposed to pay the war debt by issuing interest-bearing bonds, and thus the national debt was born at the dawn of the Republic.  It has existed ever since.  It has never been paid down to zero and it never will be.
Is the national debt constitutional?  Yes, in two ways.  Article VI among other things states, “All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”  And because the 14th Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”  So the Constitution both in its original form and as amended both validates the debt and takes the question of its legality off the table.
Over the hundreds of years since its inception our nation has continuously had a National Debt.  Every President has faced it when they took office and every president has left it for their successor.  Some have reduced it, most have increased it.  At times it has contributed to our strength and stability.  At first by helping to establish the credit of the United States and then by proving the trustworthiness of our government, no one ever doubted redemption.  Today the National Debt soars beyond the perceived ability to redeem.  It races ahead at an average rate of $3.93 billion per day which is $163,750,000 dollars per hour, $2,729,166,666 per minute and, $45,486 per second.  We all know from our personal finances debt in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.  We also know unsustainable debt is.  No one can afford to spend more than they make forever.  Unless of course they have their own printing press then they can do it until no one will accept the paper any more.  Then they will do something else. 
Stand by for something else.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

Fox News-Google GOP Debate Review

Here are my thoughts on last night's Fox News-Google Republican debate moderated by several Fox News anchors.

Gary Johnson - Why was he there? Besides for providing the biggest laugh of the night and repeatedly saying "balanced budget," he was basically Ron Paul's shadow in crazy far-right libertarianism.

Rick Santorum - Once again he proudly stood up for maintaining America's role in the world and our War on Terror, which he actually said we should win. He also hit Perry well on immigration.

Newt Gingrich - He answered the questions on foreign aid and unemployment benefits smartly, which is only Newt being Newt, and was a real class act by not selecting one of his co-debaters over the other for Vice-President.

Ron Paul - He actually had the gall to defend his remarks on Americans being kept in by a border fence and implied E-Verify would be used by the federal government to register, and track American citizens. Oy Vey!

Rick Perry - He had a terrible debate. His continuous pauses during answers were annoying and his attacks on Romney fell flat, as did his "no heart" comment on those who oppose in-state tuition for illegal aliens. We don't need liberal attacks within the GOP Primary.

Mitt Romney - He had another good debate, enough to win me over, especially on Israel and the question of leadership in America. His attacks on Perry were effective; Cain's consideration of him for VP could work to his advantage and his lets make it "former President Obama" line was pure gold.

Michele Bachmann - She really needed to win this debate, or else her campaign was all but over and she just didn't come through. Her attacks on Perry were petty and unbecoming, once again, although her answer on a question involving separation of church and state was dynamite.

Herman Cain - He won the debate: without question, hands down. His answer on Israel was solid in support of our relationship, his answer on ObamaCare was personal and well thought out and I am starting to like the idea of Federal Reserve Chairman Cain.

Jon Huntsman Jr. - He basically believes America should lead the world by leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan to the wolves and focusing on our central core (infrastructure? roads? what? what?). Isn't that Obama's plan?

What say you?

Vote in Our Poll: Who won the Republican Debate last night?

Last night was the FoxNews/Google debate. Gary Johnson killed with his neighbor's dog, while Hermain Cain received a touching standing ovation when he talked about surviving cancer. In the meantime, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry continued to butt heads.

With so much at stake, each candidate wanted to shine in what was being called the most "technological" debate of all time. So, in your opinion, who won the FoxNews/Google debate last night in Florida?

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On The Mitt Bandwagon

I'll write my entire post-debate review in the morning, but I will say this - Mitt Romney has officially won me over to his campaign.

Consider this an open thread and discuss whatever you may.

Watch Republican Debate Video Live

Going on now:

Watch live video from The Republican Debate on GOOGLES on www.justin.tv

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Obligatory Video of US Diplomats Walking out on Ahmadinejad

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DOW Drops Nearly 500

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Watch Ahmadinejad (President of Iran) Speech at UN General Assembly Video Live

I know he's a douche, but here's the live video below:

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

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Romney 41; Perry 8 in New Hampshire

National polling for Texas Governor Rick Perry hasn't been good since last week's CNN-Tea Party Express debate and yesterday's latest poll numbers out of New Hampshire are likely to cause major headaches inside the campaign today.

Suffolk University/7NEWS survey of 400 likely Republican Primary voters:

1. Mitt Romney - 41%.
2. Ron Paul - 14%.
3. Jon Huntsman - 10%.
4. Rick Perry - 8%.
5. Sarah Palin - 6%.
6. Michele Bachmann - 5%.
7. Newt Gingrich - 4%.
8. Rick Santorum - 1%.
8. Buddy Roemer - 1%.


Trailing Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul (considering the state is known for its libertarian leanings) is one thing, but falling behind Jon Huntsman is just embarrassing. If there's anything we can learn from this - Mitt never has to worry about going through the New England states in next year's Primaries.

What say you?

P.S. - Where in the hell has Huntsman come from? 10% in New Hampshire: color me shocked.

Troy Davis Executed in Georgia

From CBS:
Georgia executed Troy Davis on Wednesday night for the murder of an off-duty police officer, a crime he denied committing right to the end as supporters around the world mourned and declared that an innocent man was put to death.

Defiant to the end, he told relatives of Mark MacPhail that his 1989 slaying was not his fault. "I did not have a gun," he insisted.

"For those about to take my life," he told prison officials, "may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls."

Davis was declared dead at 11:08 ET. The lethal injection began about 15 minutes earlier, after the Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour request for a stay.

The court did not comment on its order, which came about four hours after it received the request and more than three hours after the planned execution time.
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What the? Autism Linked to... Atheism

My friend Joe (who does believe in God) is going to be upset:
People with 'mild' forms of autism are more likely to be atheists, according to a controversial new study - and more likely to shun organised religion in general.

The study, which looked at posts on autism forums, focused on people with high-functioning autism such as Asperger's.

The study, from University of Boston, speculates that common autistic spectrum behaviours such as 'a preference for logical beliefs' and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible.

The study authors, Catherine Caldwell-Harris and Patrick MacNamara studied discussions by 192 different posters on an autism website. They also looked at a survey of 61 people with high-functioning autism, and graphed against results from the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) test.

The results appeared to show that those with high AQ scores were 'more likely' to be atheists.

In the group of high-functionining autistic individuals, 26 per cent were atheists, compared to 16 per cent of 'neurotypical' individuals.
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Secretary Kucinich?

As you might know by now, I do not like Texas Representative Ron Paul for many reasons - including his anti-national defense libertarianism, which drives my crazy. But the latest news out of Paulworld struck me even more so than other stories: He'd consider Dennis Kucinich for his Cabinet.

The man who faulted Rick Perry for being a Democrat in the 1980's (even though he joined the Libertarian Party in 1987 to run against the policies of Ronald Reagan) would consider a Congressman who attempted to impeach the last Republican President from office for a Cabinet level position.

That's all you need to know about Ron Paul - crazy as hell.

Republicans need a sane nominee to challenge Obama in 2012; not someone who's joined at hip to the far left base of Obama.

What say you?

CNN Columnist: Obama has "Transformed into Superman"

CNN, like the rest of the Main Stream Media, likes to pretend that they do not have a liberal bias.  Everyone knows they do, but they simply stick their fingers in their ears and mumble "no we don't" over and over again.

Gloria Borger, in an odd op-ed that doesn't particularly seem to make a point, now states that President Obama has somehow "transformed... from the mild-mannered Clark Kent into, well, Superman."  No liberal bias, huh?

The piece's main gist is this:  evil "Republicans" went against "liberals" and "the rest of us" by demanding spending cuts, while refusing to raise taxes.  President Obama's speech this week "transformed" him from an average person into Superman because he began to "play the game."  Or something like that.  Quite frankly, it's hard to say what Ms. Borger is really talking about, because at one moment she calls Mr. Obama Superman, and the next she says "the rest of us" (who "the rest of us" are, she never specifies) are waiting for the real Superman.

Either way, Ms. Borger says that Obama transformed or something, but his speech was "politics."  And yet, "the rest of us" (once again, undefined), cannot "really fault the White House for playing politics with Republicans who have refused to cut the big deals."

Well, I can and I bet a lot of "us" can.  I don't know who the "rest of us" are, but I bet most can find fault with a President politicking.  Even Ms. Borger says it's only "politics," that it's "not intellectually satisfying," and it may not get through Congress.  I can see three huge faults right there, Ms. Borger.  You may want to read your own piece.
President Obama?
Ms. Borger ends her piece, writing:
So he joined the game [again, what's with this game?]. Maybe it's the opening salvo, and maybe something will come of this kabuki. But there is a final calculation here: if nothing comes out of the supercommittee, the president would be less damaged than the Congress.

As for the rest of us, we're still Waiting for Superman. The real one.
But I thought Obama was Superman.  You said it yourself just a few paragraphs ago.

This is one of the worst pieces of garbage that I've ever read on CNN.  And I've been reading (occasional) articles on CNN for some time.

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Horrible: AT LEAST 200 Murders Result of Operation 'Fast and Furious'

If the Main Stream Media did its job, there would be hell to pay for things like this.  Instead it's a blip on most people's monitors:
In a conference call this morning with Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, reporters were told the Attorney General in Mexico has confirmed at least 200 murders south of the border happened as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, as the Attorney General in Mexico is so concerned, she’s made the point that at least 200 Mexicans have been killed with these weapons and probably countless more,” Issa said.

Eleven crimes in the United States have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious up to this point. Issa said he expects as the investigation in the operation continues, more crimes connected to Fast and Furious will come to light and be exposed. This is not surprising, considering out of 2500 weapons the Obama Justice Department allowed to “walk,” and that only 600 have been recovered, the rest are lost until they show up at violent crime scenes. The damage from Operation Fast and Furious has only started to be seen. Remember, the Mexican Government and ATF agents working in Mexico were left completely in the dark about the operation.
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Perry Unveils first Presidental Ad

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Ron Paul: I'd consider putting Dennis Kucinich in my Cabinet

Offered with no commentary:
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) says he would consider putting the liberal congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in his Cabinet if he were to win the presidency in 2012.

Paul said his libertarian political philosophy helps him connect with some on the far left — including Kucinich, who shares Paul’s general anti-war stance.

Paul joked that if he brought the Ohio congressman aboard in his administration, he might have to create a "Department of Peace."

"You've got to give credit to people who think," he said.

"Being pragmatic is about forming coalitions," Paul said at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. "I probably work with coalitions better than the other candidates. I don't think I've said anything negative here about the president."

Paul spokesmen Jesse Benton later said the remark was a joke, and said Kucinich is too ideologically different from Paul to be a candidate for a Cabinet spot.

"Ron works with Dennis on some coalition issues, and respects him as a thinker, but was joking and would not consider him for Cabinet position. He made clear he did not want to name Cabinet officials," Benton said.
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There Is No Peace With the Taliban

It is easy to forget about the ongoing War in Afghanistan with the 2012 Presidential election in full swing and our never ending economic woes, but the latest news out of the war-torn nation should send a message to all Americans that our mission is not complete and that victory is our only path to success.

The death of former Afghan President Rabbani, who has been allied with the United States for decades now against both the Soviets, and the Taliban, should remind us that you cannot negotiate with terrorists, because they have no intentions of ending this fight until they are victorious and they will murder anyone in their way.

Peace to the Taliban means murdering a former President in his house.

If President Obama was a real leader, he would immediately change course by ordering the troop withdrawal to be cancelled and flush the few remaining Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan, and yes Pakistan as well, once and for all. Peace in Afghanistan should only be obtained by the destruction of the Taliban by our forces and not the guaranteed survival of it by theirs.

America needs a President who will lead on Afghanistan by destroying the Taliban.

What say you?