Bus Driver Shot, Child Taken Hostage in Midland City, AlabamaFrom WSFA 12:
The Dale County Sheriff's Department has established a command post location at the intersection of 231 North and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, Alabama following a shooting.Please bookmark!
Multiple agencies are present assisting with the incident where multiple reports are indicating that a bus driver was shot and a student on-board the bus was taken hostage. The incident started around 3:40pm Tuesday near Destiny Church.
Both north and southbound traffic on U.S. Hwy. 231 near the church have been rerouted to keep commuters away from the area.
The Sheriff's Department is confirming that one adult male was shot and the suspect is not in custody. They would not confirm a child hostage situation.
Authorities with the Dale County School System and the Ozark City School System have cancelled classes for Wednesday, January 30.
Caleb Moore Crashes at X Games, Aspen 2013 (Video)While competing in this year's X Games, Caleb Moore crashed his snowmobile. He is in critical condition with bleeding around his heart. Sadly, he is not expected to make it.
Report: A-Rod Took HGH from 2009-2012At this point, I seriously doubt that Alex Rodriguez will ever see inside the Hall of Fame unless he buys a ticket. From the Miami New Times:
Open the neat spreadsheet and scroll past the listing of local developers, prominent attorneys, and personal trainers. You'll find a lengthy list of nicknames: Mostro, Al Capone, El Cacique, Samurai, Yukon, Mohamad, Felix Cat, and D.R.Please bookmark!
Then check out the main column, where their real names flash like an all-star roster of professional athletes with Miami ties: San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A's hurler Bartolo Colón, pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz. There's even the New York Yankees' $275 million man himself, Alex Rodriguez, who has sworn he stopped juicing a decade ago.
Read further and you'll find more than a dozen other baseball pros, from former University of Miami ace Cesar Carrillo to Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal to Washington Nationals star Gio Gonzalez. Notable coaches are there too, including UM baseball conditioning guru Jimmy Goins.
The names are all included in an extraordinary batch of records from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic tucked into a two-story office building just a hard line drive's distance from the UM campus. They were given to New Times by an employee who worked at Biogenesis before it closed last month and its owner abruptly disappeared. The records are clear in describing the firm's real business: selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids.
Picture of Obama Skeet Shooting an Obvious Fake (With Original, Non-Shopped Image Included)For some reason The New Republic was desperate to show President Obama skeet shooting. Perhaps it was to back up Mr. Obama's quote that he goes skeet shooting "all the time," with little evidence. Perhaps it was to show the President as an outdoorsman. Whatever the reasoning, they ran with a "scoop" that was clearly fake.
Here's the tweet they ran:
Toure: Abortion is AWESOME!
Finding the Right Hotel SuppliesIn today's economy, you want to make sure that you can do everything you can to get your business into the shape it needs to be to succeed. There are so many ways to get ahead, especially if you have the business savvy to know what your competitors are doing. Make sure that you have the best distributors for what you need, like PeachSuite Hotel Supply, which can get you the resources you need all in one convenient location.
You will be able to find the right Hotel Supplies Online by using a company that you trust. A site that gives you all that you need can be a great way to buy supplies all together and quickly. The ease can be a great thing, especially when you are building up your inventory. Finding the right Hotel Amenities Supplier can be just what you were looking for.
Debt Relief and the LawLet's face it. The economy is not as strong as it should be and many people of all walks of life have been struggling. Taking on debt seems to be the normal thing to do as people are starting out, but that same debt can become the burden that drags you down. Thousands of dollars can certainly add up over time, especially when dealing with interest and collection agencies.
This is why a good attorney can be a great move for you. Do your research to find out what your options are and how you and your family can prepare for the next step. Finding a debt relief lawyer could be the step that you need to take. An attorney that will fight for you, like Sheila Cockburn, can be a great chance to set the record straight and clear your credit while also making amends with your creditors. Make sure that you have someone that you trust and that is there for you. It could be one of the best decisions of your life.
When Should You Take Someone to Court?
The court system was created to help the citizens of this country. Understanding when to use the system and when to work it out between the two of you could possibly save you hundreds of dollars and tons of time.
Work it Out Without Court
There are some occurrences that do not need court involvement. Immature citizens with a vendetta for someone may want to go, regardless of the frivolous reason. However, more often than not, an alternative dispute resolution of some sort will keep everybody happy.
A Simple Dispute
Going to court doesn’t automatically make unreasonable people reasonable. It doesn’t work that way. Simple arguments with family members, neighbors or friends do not need court involvement. Learn how to maturely come to an agreement, or simply agree to disagree.
A simple misunderstanding between you and someone you work for does not need court involvement. You thought you were getting paid $20 an hour, but it was actually $20 for the project? Talk to the client about it. See if you can come to a middle ground. If not, cut your losses and move on.
Anything Worth Less than $500
If you want to sue someone for anything less than $500, forget about it. The sheer stress, time and money that is involved in the court process will far surpass the cost of that it.
Take it to the Courts
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those that try to avoid the courts if at all possible. Unfortunately, there are times that coming to an agreement is impossible, or court involvement is the only way to feel safe.
A Fraudulent Employer
If you’re a contractor or a freelancer an your employer has scammed you out of thousands of dollars, you may want to get the courts involved. Losing a large sum of money that you were counting one can throw your entire world upside down. There’s nothing wrong with getting the court system involved in that.
To Protect Yourself or Your Child
If you or your child feels threatened or endangered by someone, the courts are a great way to keep you safe. You can get a restraining order as a measure to keep the threatening person away from you.
You may not need the courts involved in everything, but there are certainly times that it is beneficial to use. Make sure to use wisdom and common sense when making the decision to take someone to court. It will be a long, tiresome process and you need to know that what you’re doing is worth all the hassle.
New Year, New Health Care Policies?
For the past four years, national health care has been at the forefront of political debates with the election of Barack Obama as president and a Democratic Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act early in 2010.
Just under three years later, America is getting a chance to see what is in the bill.
It is a new year, and although the ACA remains controversial among the American electorate there are some revisions to health care that have met with approval from many people, regardless of party lines.
Policies already online that will get more attention in 2013 include the ability to permit care based on pre-existing condition or gender, and the ability for a child to stay on a parent’s medical insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
The biggest health care changes haven’t come in actual care as of yet. According to healthcare.gov, the government's health-care website, the big change will hit your pocketbook with the implementation of an increased Medicare tax from 1.45 to 2.35 percent for high-income earners ($200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples). Those same high earners will also be taxed 3.8 percent on unearned income (worker benefits, inheritance money, etc.)
This money will go toward funding some programs key to the Medicaid portion of care. The Children’s Health Insurance Program will get two more years of funding for states. CHIP gives insurance to lower-income children who do not qualify for Medicaid, and that increased funding will come with increased federal funding to state Medicaid programs that give preventive services.
The Consumer Operated and Oriented Program is a non-profit health insurer that is supposed to come online by January 2014, with the idea that small business owners band together to offer health insurance for their employers by becoming a bigger pool, rather than an individual company offering individual plans for individual customers. You may have heard about this in the news as an Affordable Insurance Exchange.
Sound confusing? As the year continues, things will start to fall into place. According to the federal government’s health care website, healthcare.gov, hospitals, doctors and care providers will earn a flat fee for services provided rather than a fee for each test or procedure performed. This has attracted some controversy in the fear that it will decrease payments to doctors and care providers for their services and maybe drive them away from the profession toward other jobs that would pay more money. After all, you have to make a living, true?
With so many changes coming to the health-care system in the next year, companies may be wise to use all avenues available to make things easier. Find ways to save money by comparing insurance policies. Utilize a healthcare financial services company that deals in this sort of business, to help companies find ways to save money and uncover unclaimed health funds.
The Affordable Care Act may or may not turn out to be affordable. Time will tell. What we do know in the next year is some of the questions will get answers. How you as a company approach the answers remains to be seen.
French, Malian Soldiers Enter TimbuktuHT: ABC News
The French-led intervention into the Malian conflict has yielded its greatest victory thus far: the successful entrance and Islamist evacuation of the ancient trade city of Timbuktu, grounded by Malian soldiers and backed by French helicopters and paratroopers.
Timbuktu's liberation (note: the city is still not entirely occupied by Malian and French soldiers right now, as the allied force is still clearing it of Islamist fighters, most of whom fled to the desert) spurred celebration among the thousands of Timbuktu refugees residing in Bamako, realizing at long last a hope of freedom returning to their besieged home.
Although still a long way from winning this conflict and beating down the Islamist threat, the joint French-Malian force, with supporting African soldiers, are moving in the right direction - pushing their adversaries deeper into Southern Mali and liberating more cities and villages that have been imprisoned by the Islamist-led Taureg rebellion for nearly a year.
What say you?
Facebook Group Calling for Assassination of Sarah Palin Surpasses 3,300 MembersThe Facebook group "I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive" has surpassed 3,300 "likes."
The founder explicitly says, "This is a page about venting dislike over Sarah Palin. This is no way advocates an assassination of Sarah Palin in any way, shape or form."
The fact that the group's name specifically wishes for her death is one thing that dispels that ludicrous statement. The second is its main picture, which clearly shows what the group advocates:
This post summarizes the majority of the members of the group:
Further, the group "liked" the Facebook page "I Hate it When I Wake Up and Michele Bachmann is Still Alive."
Pundit Press has reported on this hate group before. We had reported it at the time for its offensive use of images and calls for Sarah Palin's death. It's sad, but not surprising, to see that nothing has been done to end such foolishness.
Dutch Queen Beatrix Abdicates ThroneFrom Chron:
Dutch Queen Beatrix announced Monday that she will abdicate on April 30 after 33 years as head of state, clearing the way for her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to become the nation's first king in more than a century.
The announcement, in a nationally televised speech, signaled an end to the reign of one of Europe's longest-serving monarchs, whose time on the throne was marked by tumultuous shifts in Dutch society and, more recently, by personal tragedy.
The queen's abdication from the largely ceremonial role had been widely expected, but it is sure to bring an outpouring of sentimental and patriotic feelings among the Dutch, most of whom adore Beatrix. In everyday conversation, many of her subjects refer to her simply by the nickname "Bea."
"Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation," Beatrix said in the speech delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace just days before she was to turn 75.
Senators Announce Deal to Overhaul Immigration SystemFrom USA Today:
As President Obama prepares to lay out his immigration plan during a speech in Las Vegas on Tuesday, a group of bipartisan senators has reached agreement on a framework to overhaul the nation's immigration system.Please bookmark!
The deal was announced at a press conference Monday at the U.S. Capitol. The plan addresses border security, the ability of businesses to check immigration status and a streamlined process for future immigrants to enter the United States. It also opens a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country.
The next few months will feature heated disagreements in the divided Congress over the details of each of those proposals. But the senators' announcement is another indication that the elusive issue of immigration, which has not been significantly addressed since the Reagan administration, may finally be in line for an overhaul.
Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters by 71%-27%, according to surveys of 2012 voters as they left polling places. Hispanics are the fastest growing part of the electorate, and some Republicans worry about their future electoral prospects unless the party improves its standing with Latinos.
President Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech27 years ago today:
Berlusconi Praises Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial DayFrom the BBC:
Italy's gaffe-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi has stoked controversy by praising Benito Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day - despite Il Duce's anti-Jewish laws.Please bookmark!
Mussolini had been wrong to pass anti-Jewish laws but had otherwise been a good leader, said Mr Berlusconi.
He was speaking at a Milan ceremony commemorating victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
He has not ruled out another stint as PM if his party wins polls next month.
His People of Freedom (PDL) party is hoping to form a centre-right coalition government with another party after elections on 24-25 February, but have not named a candidate for prime minister.
At Least 245 Dead in Brazilian Nightclub Fire"Caused by indoor fireworks." From the Daily Mail:
At least 245 people have been killed in a Brazil nightclub after a fire ravaged through the building in the early hours of this morning.
Initial reports were that 90 people perished in the blaze, but the death toll has steadily been rising as more bodies have been found in the packed nightclub.
While the official cause of the blaze has not been stated, local reports claim it was sparked by a firework set off during a band's performance.
The total number of victims is still unknown and there may be hundreds injured, civil police and regional government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni told Radio Gaucha.
He told the radio a truck carrying 70 bodies had arrived at the Municipal Sports Centre, which was being used as an improvised morgue.
Video: Which News Anchor Mocked Bush for saying “God Bless America”?
"Anonymous" Takes Over Gov't Website to Avenge Reddit Co-FounderFrom CBS:
The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide.
The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago "a line was crossed."
The message read in part:
Citizens of the world,
Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the "discretion" or prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain."
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) Won’t Seek Re-electionFrom the New York Times:
Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa who championed landmark legislation banning discrimination against people with disabilities, said Saturday he would retire and not seek re-election to a sixth term.Please bookmark!
The announcement from Mr. Harkin, 73, sets the stage for one of the most competitive Senate races in the country next year. It will be a key battleground in the Republican Party’s quest to win control of the chamber from Democrats.
“To walk away from this position and this power is not an easy thing,” Mr. Harkin told The Des Moines Register on Saturday. “But I think it’s the right thing. And I have two years left. I’m not passing the torch sitting down, it’s a running relay. I intend to be very active over the next two years.”
In a career spanning four decades in Washington, Mr. Harkin pushed for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and was a leading voice in the overhauling of the nation’s health care system. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.
Four-Star General Mattis Fired Without even a Phone Call over Iran Questions
HT: The Weekly Standard
Just days after the news four-star U.S. Marine General James "mad dog" Mattis, a very outspoken Marine if there ever was any and Commander of the United States Central Command since 2010, was being replaced, we are starting to uncover a very disturbing story behind his removal.
It is being reported that neither the White House nor the Pentagon had the courtesy to even inform the four-star General of his pending removal, or notify him by telephone. Instead, an aide passed along a note to him with the announcement of his replacement while he was travelling on business.
And while that's one of the worse cases of civilian indifference and complete disrespect towards a leading officer I have ever heard of, the reason behind it is even worse - apparently the General made civilian officials uncomfortable with his questioning of Iran, of how we would deal with Iran if the nuclear threat is neutralized, how to deal with their exporting of terror, and nuclear info, etc.
Apparently he was too "hawkish" to tolerate in their opinion... Well, shit... A man who has seen war for decades has a right to be concerned about a nation of theological nutcases developing an nuclear weapon to destroy little Satan (Israel) and big Satan (Oh, the United States), but I guess that's just too sensitive a topic to discuss in Obama's second term.
I am disgusted. It's bad enough the administration is trying to confirm former Senator Hagel, who not only has offended our allies in Israel with his offensive comments and votes against them, but who is an ultimate dove on the issue of Iran, who favors doing nothing to prevent their program... But now removing a four-star General because he was too hawkish? What exactly are they going for here?
Something's fishy in the Potomac...
Author's note: I originally referred to General Mattis as a three-star General, when in fact he is a four star-general... I apologize for the typo and it has been corrected.
Bring the Monster OutWhen taxes become destructive they surpass the consent of the governed bending to the will of tyranny. When regulations strangle competition instead of securing it from evil combinations they become counterproductive and defeat the very purpose for which they were proposed. When foreign entanglements bleed the nation but do not secure the peace or defeat the enemy they become interventionist vehicles for vested interests. When spending becomes a hemorrhaging of assists leading to national bankruptcy those who continue to pile debt upon debt seek not the good of the nation but instead its destruction. When leaders selected to unite instead do all they can to divide they no longer advance the interest of the whole and are instead partisan leaders in a factional fight.
A social contract is one made between a people and their government. It is an agreement whereby the people surrender certain aspects of their independence for the guarantee of corporate security and the enjoyment of a general welfare. In the case of most countries this is an unwritten and unconscious arrangement built upon tradition and precedent as in the case of
. However in the England we have an actual
contract: the Constitution. This was
ratified by the original states, and the subsequent states were formed under it
and admitted as full partners to it. United States
All contracts may be legitimately changed over time as long as there are mechanisms either within the document or established by the document to do so. Within our Constitution there is an amendment process, and it has been amended twenty seven times so far. Whether we agree with those amendments or not they have been legally ratified and accepted becoming part of the document. However, over the years our government structure has been changed, and our manner of life transformed more by the informal changes of passing generations and subsequent precedent than by the formal amendment process.
Nowhere in the Constitution is the central government given the power to wage unending undeclared war. Nowhere is the central government given the right to ignore the requirement to protect the states from invasion. Nowhere is there found any basis for executive orders, signing statements, or bureaucratic regulations having the force of law without legislative action by Congress.
Well-connected rabble rousers now say equality will not be achieved until everything is equal in everybody’s house. Leveling the playing field has finally thrown off its cloak of deceit and exposed itself as from each according to their ability to each according to their need. The professional civil rights entrepreneurs who’ve extorted vast amounts of personal wealth with threats of boycotts and demonstrations have been unmasked as the true purveyors of prejudice seeking to keep race and gender differences alive for their own benefit. Union bosses build political empires using the legally forced dues of members with more money spent on political activity than on member service. The union bosses ride in limousine comfort from board meetings to political rallies while their members lose jobs. The pensions of the bosses are golden parachutes while the pensions of the members are underfunded.
The Land of the Free is held captive, locked in a two party system where both parties are merely two heads on the same bird of prey. Both parties are dedicated to more spending and bigger government. Both parties exploit gerrymandering of districts and overwhelming corporate donations to ensure a hierarchy of the perpetually re-elected using a seniority system to enhance their power. Legal barriers exist at every turn to stop any new parties from gaining access that might deflect the central government from its ever increasing growth towards totalitarianism.
When will enough be enough? When will citizens rise in their righteous indignation and demand not a New Deal, not a Great Society, a New Frontier or a Fundamentally Transformed America but instead their original deal. The one we wrested from the hands of the tyrant King George. The one we’ve fought to establish and defend from Yorktown to Kandahar, and the right of a free people to live as they choose, to work for their own benefits, and choose their own destiny. Free from the smothering governmental control which has been the lot of most people in most places since the beginning of time. When will the yoke of tyranny become too heavy to be borne? What will be the spark that lights the torches and brings the incensed villagers to the gate of the castle demanding, “Bring the monster out!” so that a stake can be driven through the heart of tyranny and freedom can return to the land?
When that day comes what will we the people do? Will we try to resurrect the government of old that ultimately brought us full circle, or will we be bold enough to forge anew the social contract and design better ways to ensure the beast of tyranny doesn’t once again break the chains of restraint?
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Thousands of Liberals Asked About Biggest "A-Ha" of Lives; Top Responses: "LSD," "Pot," and "Stealing"Yesterday, thousands of members of the site Reddit answered the question, "What was your biggest "holy **** why haven't I done this sooner" moment?" At the time this article was written, the question had an astounding 14,815 answers.
There were quite a few non-controversial answers. "Getting an iPhone" was an answer repeated dozens of times. Switching from Internet Explorer to a better browser was another. Hundreds of members wrote "losing weight."
User dogslike us responded to the question, in part:
Then at 22 I tried pot. Sooo much better than alcohol.At the time of publication, this comment had received more than 3,000 upvotes. User morganinhd went for harder drugs and was still met with great approval. She wrote:
LSD. Mother of god it's fantastic.The comment has received over 1,500 upvotes.
Almost as frequent an answer than the previous two, however, was "pirating," or the act of downloading either music, films, video games, or pictures without the consent or compensation of the artist. User crazycarl003 received a whooping 3,681 upvotes for his short answer of:
pirating textbooks.User dat_****_gray agreed, boasting:
Becoming a pirate. I've easily plundered 500 gigs worth of film, games and music over the last year.Sometimes it's not terribly difficult to see why President Obama was able to get the vote of under-informed liberals. This is one of those times.
Washington City Councilman Walks out of Meeting Because of Veteran with Concealed Weapon
The Price of Legal Representation
When you find yourself in a position where you need to seek out legal representation, you may not really understand how expensive it can be. While it will be fairly expensive to pay for a lawyer, the truth is that this cost is greatly outweighed by the cost of a conviction.
The sad truth about auto accidents is that they happen frequently, and you never know when you'll be the one suffering from one. You need to have an auto lawyer on hand to help quickly handle any liability issues before they become out of control. This way, you're protecting yourself from paying any more than you should for your accident.
Criminal Defense Lawyers
You never know when things may spiral out of control one night and lead you down a terrible path. Maybe you are being unjustly accused of a crime that you didn't commit. Whatever the reason may be, the fact is that a criminal conviction can follow you around for life.
Sadly, divorce is on the rise in this country and there's no sign of that trend lessening anytime soon. If you find that your marriage is coming to an end, it's important for you to find a good divorce lawyer. You stand to lose so much if you use an inexperienced, unskilled lawyer that it just doesn't make sense to not get one.
Drug Crime Lawyers
Drug possession charges are not uncommon around the country, and most of the time they aren't taken very seriously. However, there are always times where these infractions could be taken very seriously, making a drug crime lawyer essential. These lawyers will have a deep knowledge of how to argue this specific type of case, which is essential.
DUI lawyers focus on helping clients who are facing DUI charges. When you think about how much you can lose by having your license suspended, it quickly becomes apparent that hiring a good lawyer here is a cost-cutting measure.
No matter how respectfully or ethically you conduct yourself, you never know if you're going to need a lawyer. Instead of waiting until you're in the middle of a stressful situation to find a lawyer, do the smart thing and take some time to learn more about lawyers. There are many resources online you can use for this, including the expansive attorneys.com legal resources.
Video: Aleksey Vayner Video Resume "Impossible is Nothing"Huh.
Gawker Writer Takes to Twitter to Make Holocaust JokeHorrifyingly stupid. From Fox News:
Travis Okulski, the senior writer and second name on the masthead for Gawker Media’s car blog Jalopnik, compared the cold snap that has struck the East Coast with the Holocaust.Please bookmark!
“I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this cold weather is far worse than the Holocaust,” Okulski wrote on Twitter at 9:41 a.m. on Thursday.
After making light of the murder of millions, it was business as usual for the writer: At 10:39 a.m., less than an hour later, Okulski followed up with a self-promotional link to a video of himself discussing the recent multi-million dollar sale of the original Batmobile.
Such remarks are clearly offensive and inappropriate, said Deborah Lauter, Civil Rights Director, Anti-Defamation League.
Federal Appeals Court: Obama Recess Appointments UnconstitutionalSuck it. From the Washington Times:
A federal appeals court has overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, arguing he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess.
The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate.
But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intrasession” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks.
The judges signaled the power only applies after Congress has adjourned sine die, which is a legislative term of art that signals the end to a long work period. In modern times, it means the president could only use his powers when Congress quits business at the end of a year.
FBI Investigating Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for Sleeping with Underage Dominican ProstitutesI find it interesting how, when a stupid Republican said something ignorant about abortion (i.e, "legitimate rape") liberals painted the entire right as moronic neanderthals. Think they'd be upset if conservatives started saying Obama enjoys sleeping with minors because of this (alleged) scumbag?
Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. TheDC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties.Please bookmark!
The documents, which The Daily Caller had obtained hours earlier from an anonymous source, also indicate that Carrie Levine, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), was alerted on April 9, 2012 to Menendez’s habit of paying for sex while outside the United States.
ABC News senior investigative producer Rhonda Schwartz was aware as early as May 2, 2012, the documents show, when Levine wrote a source in the Dominican Republic to say that she had “shared your allegations, but not your identities, with a respected, trusted journalist with whom we have worked on other stories.”
Senator Paul Questions John Kerry on Cambodia vs. Libya
Just one day after destroying the outgoing Secretary of State on her Department's failure to protect American lives at our consulate in Benghazi, Senator Rand Paul was back on the warpath yesterday - this time against the incoming State Secretary, Senator John Kerry.
Senator Paul, in painting Kerry as a hypocrite, questioned the longtime foreign policy giant from Massachusetts on his opposition to the Vietnam era bombings of Cambodia which he so strongly came out against to his recent support of the brief U.S. led NATO war in Libya, and how one is right and the other wrong...
While I don't agree with either Senator, as Paul is wrong to characterize either conflict as anti-constitutional or against our national interests, while Kerry's justification that Libya was acceptable because it was an expansion of the War on Terror but Cambodia wasn't equally as important to U.S. interests in Vietnam is downright asinine, I do appreciate watching Paul make Democrats squirm.
What say you?
What's in Diane Feinstein's New Gun Law?A whole lot of crap:
Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by: Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test; eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans.
Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by: Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment; exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include: Background check of owner and any transferee; type and serial number of the firearm; positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint; certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.
After 1,460 Letters, Heart-Broken CNN Reporter to Stop Writing to President, Lamenting "He Never Called"This is not satire. How I wish it was considering what it implies about journalists in our nation.
Tom Foreman is a CNN "reporter" who few have heard of. Maybe no one's noticed him because he's been writing letters to President Barack Obama. Often. Every single day, in fact. For four years. That's 1,460 letters.
Mr. Foreman, however, has declared that he will no longer be sending Mr. Obama any letters, as he proclaimed in his aptly named article My last letter to the president. His article proudly explained:
CNN reporter and anchor Tom Foreman has been writing a letter each day, every day, to President Barack Obama since he was inaugurated four years ago. This is his last one.What precisely was in the letters, on top of the sheer number of them, is particularly disturbing. The joy that this exercise gave Foreman at times is all the more unnerving.
|"He never called"|
Mr. Foreman even talked about the President's daughter Malia in a shower.
To be certain, these were not your normal letters. They are much closer to the idolizing of the President that the Main Stream Media has hardly been able to contain over the last four plus years.
And to make the final letter ever the more creepy, Mr. Foreman notes near its end:
I don't know if he ever read a single line. All I know is that in almost every missive, I invited the president to give me a call. He never did.First class, Foreman. First class.
North Korea to Test Nukes "Aimed at US"From the Telegraph:
Following a UN Security Council meeting this week in which sanctions were tightened. the reclusive state hurled fresh invective at its US-led foes in a statement from its National Defense Commission, without specifying when the atomic test might be carried out.
But it said the test – which would follow detonations in 2006 and 2009 that were hotly condemned around the world – would be part of an "upcoming all-out action" that would mark a "new phase" of the country's anti-US struggle.
"We do not hide that the various satellites and long-range rockets we will continue to launch, as well as the high-level nuclear test we will proceed with, are aimed at our arch-enemy the United States," the commission said.
"Settling accounts with the US needs to be done with force, not with words," it added in the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
|He only smiles like this when he's either testing nukes or eating|
Ban on Women in Combat to be LiftedFrom Fox News:
Women in all branches of the military soon will have unprecedented opportunities to serve on the front lines of the nation's wars.Please bookmark!
Leon Panetta, in one of his last acts as President Obama's defense secretary, is preparing to announce the policy change, which would open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
"This policy change will initiate a process whereby the services will develop plans to implement this decision, which was made by the secretary of defense upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," a senior defense official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
Manti Te'o: I Lied About my Fake Girlfriend... But Just a LittleHow deep does the rabbit hole go?
Clinton: 'Hey, What Difference Does It Make How Four Americans Were Murdered?'Shockingly out of touch:
Senator Paul Destroys Secretary Clinton on Benghazi
Senator Rand Paul to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Had I been President at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it's inexcusable."
Senator Paul is not known for taking on foreign policy matters, but his hard questioning of Secretary Clinton definitely impresses me, and I suspect others.
U.S. Slowly Enters Mali ConflictHT: New York Times
The first of more to come?
That is the question casual observers and military analysts are asking as the United States Air Force is air-lifting hundreds of French soldiers from their home bases to the hostile grounds of Mali, while considering whether to supply refueling tankers to French warplanes.
It might not seem like much, but the United States is slowly entering the sub-Saharan theatre of the ongoing Western conflict to eradicate al-Qaeda and international Jihadism that is threatening to take over Mali, Algeria and neighboring North African nations and turn them into bases of terrorism.
These developments are coming as thousands of French and African soldiers enter the stage and the need for greater Western support grows every day, particularly with an eye towards the U.S. and other members of NATO, which has thus far remained unusually inactive in this conflict.
I personally believe the United States should take an active role in the Malian conflict, as this has the potential to not just determine North Africa's role in the War on Terror, but future security in both America and Europe, as the thought of thousands of jihadist warriors training just an ocean away is not reassuring.
What say you?
Creepy, Misogynistic Ad Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade"Happy 40th Anniversary, Baby:"
"Under God" Removed By Obama During Inauguration PledgeWhoops. I'm sure the President just made a mistake and the words "under God" just happened to be missing in the pledge of allegiance.
During the pledge of allegiance during the inauguration yesterday, the words "under God" were removed by the President.
Introducing the President, Myrlie Evers-Williams read a flowery version of the pledge:
“We now stand beneath the shadow of the nation’s capital, who’s golden dome reflects the unity and democracy of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”Here is the video:
As you probably know, the words "under God" were first added to the pledge in 1954 by Dwight Eisenhower.
Of course this isn't the first time that the Democratic party has removed God from their speeches. During the Democratic National Convention, the left bumbled when they removed all mentions of Jerusalem and God from their platform.
This led to this hilarious non-vote vote:
To be certain, this was not a mistake. This was planned.
Israeli Election Results, January 22, 2013From Fox News:
Exit polls show that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party and his hard-line allies have won a narrow majority in parliamentary elections.Please bookmark!
In an election on Tuesday far closer than polls forecast, Netanyahu's Likud Party captured just 31 seats, well below expectations. But with his hard-line and religious allies, he would still be able to form a narrow majority in the 120-seat parliament, according to the exit polls.
In the biggest surprise, the centrist "Yesh Atid," party headed by political newcomer Yair Lapid captured as many as 19 seats, well above the forecasts. That would position Lapid to become either opposition leader or seek a major Cabinet post if he decides to join Netanyahu's governing coalition.
Netanyahu's campaign manager, Gideon Saar, says he hopes to form a broad coalition.
Media Reports Lone Star College Shooter May be Wearing Atlanta Falcons JerseySounds like a joke, but apparently not.
Word is officers are looking for a man in an Atlanta Falcons shirt, last seen running through campus to the wooded area on the north side of campus.
Shooting at Lone Star College Campus, At Least Two InjuredFrom KENS5:
At least two people have been shot at Lone Star Community in North Harris County, according to Precinct 4 deputy constables.Please bookmark!
One person is in custody. Dozens of law enforcement officers are searching for a second suspect on the loose.
News stringer, Lloyd Overcash, said he saw one male being brought out of the library on a stretcher.
At least one other person was being treated by EMS crews outside the library when Air 11 flew over.
Finding the Right Hotel SuppliesWith the economy in the shape that it is today, you want to make sure that you have all of the resources at your fingertips to navigate it. This is especially true if you own a small business that is dependent on the overall shape and strength of the economy, like a hotel or a chain. This is why you should look at all of your options and do your research on how this can help you. For example, you can look at using PeachSuite Hotel Supply for your needs and see how their services can fit in with your existing model.
Finding Hotel Supplies Online isn't always the easiest task. You sometimes need to navigate through different websites with different reputations to find the one or ones that fit what you are looking for. It is useful to use a singe site for your different needs. When you find a good Hotel Amenities Supplier you can get what you need with the ease and professionalism that you have been looking for.
Beyonce Lipsynch of the National AnthemPhonies. Phonies everywhere.
Turns out that Beyonce couldn't even be brought to sing the national anthem at the inauguration of a president. Classy.
A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band said it was standard procedure to record a backing track and Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version rather than risk singing it live on the capitol.
|Pretty, but dumb|
Saudi Arabia's Top Qaeda KilledSaudi Arabia's most wanted member of al Qaeda was killed in Yemen. Saeed Shahri was killed fighting government forces as part of the uprising in that country, according to al Arabiya. Shahri also considered himself the second most wanted terrorist in Yemen.
According to an Al Arabiya correspondent, Shahri’s family said he was severely injured after a joint Yemeni-U.S. operation targeting al-Qaeda members in Yemen in the second week of December, 2012.
After falling into a coma, Shahri was later declared dead and was buried in Yemen.
Michelle Obama Has Officially Saved the EconomyPerhaps I'm the only one that can appreciate true culture. Perhaps I'm the only one that can appreciate the 'shovel ready' jobs being created by the thousands right as I type this. Maybe it's the time that the American economy has finally roared back to life with massive growth and tumbling unemployment.
Yes, I expect unemployment to be down near 3% by the end of the year with GDP growth near 20%. Why?
Well, Michelle Obama saved it all herself.
|Personal recession destroyer|
Don't believe me? Well, she has personally (well, I mean through taxpayer money) injected tens of thousands of dollars into the economy and has employed up to five people through her efforts at being the most fashionable person in the country.
At least, the NYT can call it:
All day, designers were glued to the television to see what Mrs. Obama was wearing, hoping it would be them, but she ultimately chose the same one who made the first inauguration a fashion success. The dress was persimmon-colored with cross-halter straps and a loose fit similar to the ivory one-shouldered gown she wore in 2009. Her shoes were from Jimmy Choo, and the dress design included a handmade diamond ring by Kimberly McDonald.Thank goodness. I thought that there was some sort of recession going on. Glad that's all over. Hell, the Today Show seems to think the same!
Five Foreigners Still Unaccounted for in Algeria
Five foreigners that had been working at the Amenas BP plant in Algeria have still not been found. With the Algerian military combing the facility, they have found dozens of dead jihadists and hostages, but are still missing these foreigners. The death toll has also increased:
On Monday, Mr Sellal said the dead came from eight nations, without specifying which ones. He said one Algerian hostage had been killed.
2012 In ReviewWith life as hectic as it has been in the last year, Pundit Press has neglected to do one of its favorite pastimes: statistics! This post will hopefully fix the dark void in your heart that called out for analysis of traffic on our site. Thought we're mid-way through January, I've decided to do all of 2012, and none of 2013. In other words, just to be clear, this is from January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2012. Enjoy:
Total traffic in 2012: 728,029 pageviews (an average of 1,989 a day, thanks to the extra leap day)
Highest pageviews in one day: 89,312 on December 14, 2012 (an average of 62 people a minute)
Most pageviews in a week: 178,310, the week of 11/8-11/14 (an average of 1,061 an hour)
Most pageviews in a month: 213,788, November (an average of 7,126 a day)
The top posts of 2012:
1. What Luck! Obama Won Dozens of Cleveland Districts with 100% of the Vote, by Aurelius, with 51,779 hits
2. BREAKING: St. Lucie County, Florida Had 141.1% Turnout; Obama Won County, by Aurelius, with 46,150 hits
3. Fraud in PA: Obama Got Over 99% of Vote at Polls Where GOP Inspectors were Removed; Turnout Somehow "30%" Above Gov't Numbers, by Aurelius, with 42,481
4. Ryan Lanza Pictures, by Matthew, with 31,376 hits
5. NAACP: "You Mad, Bro?" Meme is Racist, by Aurelius, with 28,164 hits
6. Ryan Lanza Facebook Profile Found, by Matthew, with 26,198 hits
7. Good News: Obama Won County in Ohio with 108% Voter Registration, by Aurelius, with 24,682 hits
8. Adam Lanza Facebook Profile Found? by Matthew with 23,199 hits
9. Jovan Belcher Girlfriend Picture, by Aurelius, with 19,646 hits
10. TJ Lane Picture, by Matthew, with 17,475 hits
Number of posts with over 1,000 hits: 81
Top posters of 2012:
1. Matthew with 673 articles
2. Aurelius with 552 articles
3. Mr. K with a hilariously low 195 articles
4. Just a Conservative Girl with 64 articles
5. J Brentlinger with 63 articles
6. Dr. Robert Owens with 50 articles
7. Kaptain Krude with 15 articles
8. Eric Dondero with 6 articles
9. Unlikely Hospitalist with 4 articles
9. MO Atty with 4 articles
11. Lawrence W. White MD with 3 articles
11. Fenway Nation with 3 articles
13. Last and probably least, Joe C with 2 articles
Mr. K's top article: Unions Busing in Voters to Wisconsin?, with 943 hits
Things of Interest:
- Pundit Press had its biggest month ever in November
- Pundit Press had its biggest day ever in December
- According to Alexa, Pundit Press is up to the 170,889th largest site on the internet
- We're very disappointed in Joe
- We're even more disappointed with Mr. K
- Ace of Spades, Weasel Zippers, Twitchy, and Instapundit were all nice enough to link to us
- We now have a history professor and history teacher as our main writers
- Seriously Mr. K, 195 articles?
Video: Michelle Obama Rolls her Eyes at John Boehner RepeatedlyWhat a classy woman. Thank goodness she's spending millions of dollars on trips and clothes, all on our dime:
Obama Promises "Peace in Our Time" In Inauguration SpeechIf you did not already know that the President has no grasp of history, no knowledge of what he is saying, this should help confirm it.
According to the transcript released by the White House, President Obama channeled Neville Chamberlain, using the phrase "peace in our time" to tout his reelection.
We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice. Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes.As you certainly remember, the short-sighted Prime Minister of Great Britain, Neville Chamberlain promised the very same thing, just a single year before the most destructive war in history ripped Europe to sunders.
Prime Minister Chamberlain explained, after giving much of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany (emphasis mine):
My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is "peace for our time."The parallels are plain for anyone to see. The President's often weak stance on Iran. The rise of Islamic-Fascism during the Arab Spring, which Mr. Obama has supported. His distancing from Israel.
Today Show: Isn't it Great that Michelle Obama Spent Tens of Thousands on Avant Fashion for Inauguration?Remember this? Sarah Palin dared to wear expensive clothing while on the 2008 campaign trail, she was excoriated:
This is not careless image management.Palin's choice of clothing was supposed to represent some barrier between her and the common person, unacceptable to the media.
This is ill-advised and ill-informed.
Or, to use this election cycle's phrase of choice: This is some seriously bad judgment.
One assumes that her campaign is populated by some of the brightest minds and they have spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing over mind-numbing details, right down to whether the candidate would stand or sit during the debate and who gets to hover behind her for photo ops. But Palin's handlers would do well to occasionally read a fashion magazine, skim a fashion blog or at least ask themselves why women are willing to spend upwards of $10,000 on a handbag known as the Birkin. It's not because that famous Hermes bag is so pretty. It's because of what it represents: exclusivity, success and classiness.
Well, what about Michelle Obama? Turns out, that her decision was one of the greatest in American history.
The first lady stepped out in a sophisticated blue Thom Browne coat and J. Crew shoes for a visit to St. John's Church on the morning of Inauguration Day, accessorizing with a Cathy Waterman necklace. Browne, an American designer better known for his menswear, designed the coat based on the style of a man's silk tie.And that exclusivity that dogged Sarah Palin's choice? Instead, it is a mark of high culture:
Experts said her style choices, particularly the fact that she sought out Thom Browne, show the first lady is a fan of fashion. "This is not a designer that you would wander into your local mall and find," fashion critic Robin Givhan said on TODAY Monday. "He's hard to find; he's very unique."Well, even though the outfits are outrageously expensive, at least they will be used for four full years, right? Maybe even passed down to the Obamas' children?
Let them eat Versace.
According to the White House, at the end of the inaugural events, the outfit and accessories will be donated to the National Archives.
Obama Inaugural Address TranscriptVice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
For more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.
For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.
You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.
You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.
Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.