November 22nd, 2010
Nobody is safe.
Velma Hart, who burst onto the media scene after telling President Obama she was scared about her financial future, has been laid off. Hart was let go as the chief financial officer for Am Vets, a nonprofit Maryland-based veteran services organization.
Hart has become another casualty of the tough economy in which so many people have lost their jobs.
"It's not anything she did," said Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets. "She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched."
King would not say whether the organization had had other layoffs.
"Velma was a good employee," he said. "It was just a matter of looking at the bottom line and where could we make the best cuts and survive."
King hadn't seen the irony in Hart being fired just two months after she emotionally told Obama about her fears for her own financial well-being during a town hall meeting in Washington.
"I hadn't thought about this in connection to the town hall meeting. She was at the town hall as a private citizen. Whatever she had to say were her own thoughts," he said.
Hart's comments to Obama became political fodder as proof that the president was losing his die-hard supporters - African American voters. Hart told me at the time that she still supported Obama but that she had expected more changes by now.
She said what really disappointed her is that the change and better economic conditions Obama promised haven't come fast enough.
"My husband and I joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot-dogs-and-beans era of our lives," she said during the CNBC town hall broadcast. "But quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again. And quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality?"
Well, unemployment has not just knocked on the door of the former Army reservist. It has busted through the door.
When contacted Monday, Hart would not discuss the matter.
In an interview with me two months ago, she said that although her personal finances were in pretty good shape, she was worried. She has two daughters in private school, and the oldest is looking at colleges. Although her husband is employed, she was concerned about higher consumer prices. She talked about her home value being down. She talked about feeling anxious.
"You don't have to be on the street to be struggling," Hart said in the earlier interview. There are different degrees of struggling."
Hart said telling Obama that her family might be forced to dine regularly on hot dogs and beans was just an attempt at levity.
"It was symbolic," she said. "I'm a lot more fortunate than others."
But in what is clearly a too-eerie situation, Hart foretold her future.
"We are all caught in the middle of the insanity," she said.
Other News From The Washington Post
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November 22nd, 2010
Jim Campbell / Conservative Examiner/ November 22, 2010
As scholars have recently begun to revisit the history of the United Nations, it has been noted the organization started largely by communist’s members of the Council of Foreign Relations, (CRF) and socialists had as their ultimate goal to overturn the U.S. Constitution and subjugate the U.S. to the whims of their group.
Why should the taxpayer support this corrupt organization when member states vote against United States interests 70-80% of the time? Why when their common goal was a socialist world government.
Sixteen key U.S. officials who shaped the policies leading to the creation of the UN were later exposed in sworn testimony as secret Communists.
These included communist spy, Alger Hiss, chief planner of the 1945 founding conference, and the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Harry Dexter White. The Soviet Union under Stalin and the entire Communist Party USA apparatus worked tirelessly to launch the U.N. Since it’s beginning in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has always worked for world government.
The key CFR founder, Edward Mandell House, in his book, Philip Dru: Administrator, called for “Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx,” The CFR was an early promoter of the U.N., and 43 members of the U.S. delegation at the U. N. founding conference were or would become CFR members.
The U.N. has always chosen socialist one-world-order for leaders since it’s inception.
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries, many communist and socialist countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
Has it been successful in maintaining peace? The answer is an emphatic no. What did they accomplish in the Korean War, Vietnam, and the U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan? That would be an absolute zero unless we count member nations selling their votes for oil to veto the United State’s attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq.
Perhaps a new Mission Statement for the U.N. would better clarify their actual purpose.
“When we get past infighting among member nations we will react but then as usual it will be too late.”
The U.N. is an outrageously expensive operation that does three things well, deliver “meals on wheels” when they aren’t stolen by the tin-pot dictators and tyrants before getting to the people and their inoculation and contraception programs.
The U.N Charter reads well, and sounds just great if it were true, however, the U.N. has never lived up to it’s stated objectives and represents an organization that subverts the interests of the United States, sadly with U.S. taxpayer money.
Thus Americans are becoming aware of this sham organization the, U.S. must withdraw from the group and move as quickly as possible to get them off of U.S. soil. Voters must demand that their representatives reprepresent them.
Removing the U.N. from U.S. soil, the strategy:
1. The site of UN Headquarters is owned by the United Nations. It is an international territory. No federal, state or local officer or official of the United States, whether administrative, judicial, military or police may enter UN Headquarters except with the consent of and under conditions agreed to by the Secretary-General of the Organization.
However, the United Nations is bound by an agreement with its host country to prevent its Headquarters from being used as a refuge for persons who are avoiding arrest under the federal, state or local laws of the United States or who are required by the Government of the United States for extradition to another country or who are trying to avoid the servicing of a legal process.
2. The reader may wonder how this story fits with the U.N.’s bound agreement: DIPLOMANIAC: Ex-Sri Lanka commander Shavendra Silva is suspected of war atrocities, but a current UN position gives him full U.N. immunity.
3. Does this means that the U.N. cannot be removed from the United States? If so where is such treaty or deed?
4. "Currently, the U.N. pays rent to the city of New York for office space in two nearby buildings on 1st Avenue for $25 dollars a square foot. The United Nations is in the midst of a $1.87 billion renovation project. Guess who is scheduled to pick up a major portion of the tab?
5. In fact, The United States is assessed at 22% of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27% for U.N. peacekeeping budget. Obama requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget for 2011.
6. The SMART thing to do is what we need to do with illegal aliens, stop enabling them.
7. As the United States resigns it’s membership from the U.N. that cuts the funding to keep it on our soil. Where will they get the money to pay New York City for the rent?
8. End diplomatic immunity to all member nations who support terrorism, are currently terrorist countries. Stop them at U.S. Customs, turn them around and send them back to their sponsoring countries.
9. The U.S. may then to develop an organization that would be involved with countries wanting to establish representative democracies, and forgoing the likes of the vast majority of human rights violating, terror supporting and out right terrorists countries currently among it's membership.
10. Not to sound conspiritorial, but on a somber note, since this organization has existed since 1945, where have our representatives from either party been, calling for it to be disbanded and certainly defunded by the U.S.
Has the United States been played by their leadership who may be a large part of the problem? This article was written, please take it viral, fax it to your members of congress. It's time for American leaders to lead if their goal is to restore the United States to it's once prominent position in the world.
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That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C.
November 22nd, 2010
by Elad Benari
(Israelnationalnews.com) As speculation in the United States is rampant on whether former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will take a shot at the President’s seat in the 2012 elections, a poll conducted by an American political website shows that Palin might have a good chance of winning should she run.
The poll, which was conducted by political journal Politico and published on its website, shows that 53 per cent of respondents believe that Palin would win a presidential match-up against President Barack Obama, while only 35 per cent of respondents believe that Obama would win. 4 per cent believe that it is better to wait and see what the 2012 landscape looks like, while 7 per cent responded that neither Palin nor Obama should win. The results are based on 58009 votes in the poll that was conducted online.
Politico conducted the poll after Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday during an interview with CNN’s Larry King, that he believes that Palin has “a good chance” of winning the GOP's presidential nod in 2012. At the same time, Biden added that he also believes that Obama “would be in good shape” for reelection.
“Were I a Republican senator or a Republican political leader, I would look and say, ‘Wait, she's got a good chance of getting the nomination,’” Biden told King. “My mom used to have an expression, ‘Be careful what you wish for, Joe, you may get it.’ So I never underestimate anyone. But I think, in that race, it would be a clear, clear choice for the country to make, and I believe President Obama would be in very good shape.”
Palin, meanwhile, has told ABC’s Barbara Walters as part of an interview that will air on December 9 that she is considering running for the Republican presidential nomination. Palin added that if she wins the Republican nomination she could defeat Obama.
In a short clip from the interview released by ABC News, Palin says: “I’m looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it’s a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing.”
When Walters asks Palin: “If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?” she responds with “I believe so.”
Palin is considered to be pro-Israel and as recently as last week told 85 GOP freshmen Congressmen in an open letter that “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement.”
“You can stand with allies like Israel, not criticize them,” wrote Palin. “You can let the President know what you believe… and stick to the principles that propelled your campaigns.”
Palin has also spoken out against the planned mosque on Ground Zero in New York and was one of the first public figures to do so.
November 22nd, 2010
By Robert J. Samuelson
Monday, November 22, 2010; The Washington Post
America's budget problem boils down to a simple question: How much will we let programs for the elderly displace other government functions - national defense, education, transportation and many others - and raise taxes to levels that would, almost certainly, reduce economic growth? What's depressing is that this question has been obvious for decades, but our political leaders have consistently evaded it. This includes and indicts Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals and every president since Jimmy Carter, particularly Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who clearly understood the problem.
Our political culture prefers delusion to candor. Liberals would solve the budget problem by taxing the rich and cutting defense. Think again. The richest 5 percent already pay about 45 percent of federal taxes; they may pay more but not enough to balance the budget. Defense spending constitutes a fifth of federal spending; projected deficits over the next decade are similar. We won't shut the Pentagon. Republicans and Tea Partyers think that eliminating "wasteful spending" would allow more tax cuts. Dream on. The major spending programs, Social Security and Medicare, are wildly popular with roughly 50 million beneficiaries.
Now come Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, with a plan. It would freeze government salaries for three years, increase the gasoline tax by 15 cents a gallon, and slowly raise Social Security's eligibility ages for early retirement and full benefits. These ages are now 62 and 66; they would go to 64 and 69 around 2075. Sensibly, changes wouldn't start until 2012 to avoid threatening the economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the plan has much wishful thinking. It would cap federal spending at 22 percent of the economy (gross domestic product) and taxes at 21 percent of GDP. These targets represent modest increases over averages for 1970 to 2009: 20.7 percent of GDP for spending; 18.1 percent for taxes. But maintaining the targets assumes that health-care costs - the largest factor expanding spending - slow significantly. Bowles-Simpson has few proposals to make that happen.
We need something more powerful: budget changes that redefine government to reflect today's social and economic realities. Longer life expectancies justify raising eligibility ages for Social Security faster than Bowles-Simpson suggests. Wealthier retirees should pay more for Medicare. Somehow we need to control health spending. We should eliminate programs that are ineffective or serve narrow interests: farm subsidies, Amtrak and others.
To understand our predicament, glance at the table below. It shows federal taxes and spending as a share of GDP for 2006 (the last "normal" year before the slump) and projections for 2020 and 2035. The Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid forecasts - reflecting current benefits - come from the Congressional Budget Office. Other spending categories are held constant as a share of GDP. There's no room for big emergencies or new programs. Though crude, the resulting numbers capture the mounting pressures.
The federal budget as share of GDP
|Social Security Medicare,Medicaid||8.3||12.4||17.1|
It's scary. From 2006 to 2035, federal spending goes from 20 percent of GDP to almost 29 percent. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (including Obamacare) account for all the increase. The reasons: More elderly people and climbing health costs. In 2035, the 65-plus population will be 93 percent larger than in 2010. Paying for bigger government would require a tax increase of about 50 percent. If we want to avoid a tax increase - while honoring existing Social Security and health-care benefits - we'd have to cut all other programs by about 80 percent. (And these figures are probably optimistic, because interest on government debt is assumed to remain low.)
The problem is not reducing the deficit. It is controlling spending in a way that seems socially just, economically sensible and politically tolerable. If we are honest - neither party has been - it means asking how much we allow benefits for the old to burden the young through higher taxes, lower public services, slower economic growth and weakened national security.
Any genuine debate must be wrenching because government has promised more than it can realistically deliver, and lower benefits or higher taxes will leave many feeling (justifiably) mistreated. No one would be happy. Liberals would have to accept sizable benefit cuts; conservatives, tax increases.
Recognizing this logic, America's leaders have averted their eyes and held their tongues. President Obama continues this inglorious avoidance. His Obamacare actually made matters worse by increasing the least controllable spending. The initial reception to Bowles-Simpson has been predictably tepid. But even if it passed Congress, it would be only a first step.
November 22nd, 2010