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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

MURDER in Bengasi

In 911 TWO, The Killingof Chris Stevens, EYEONCITRUS.COM, MURDER in Bengasi on kp39 at 311214
Terrorists: MOSSAD CIA

By Avyd Grid Jorge click on the title MURDER in Bengasi to be taken to complete article!

Several sources have said that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, the two former Navy SEAL commandos working as diplomatic security officers (mercenaries) and Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in Bengasi, Libya, were betrayed by their Libyans bodyguards and the series of events leading up to this was carried out by a Psy-Ops of the Israel Mossad and CIA operatives in their continued efforts to drag the United States into the coming Iran conflict. It has all the flavor of the Iranian-Hostage episode that was orchestrated  back in 1979 to influence the Presidential election of 1980, by removing President Carter and to bring forward the election of Ronald Reagan, who’s Vice President George Bush, (former CIA Operative) was deemed to be more of a military adventurist than Carter. Under Reagan’s Presidency, he (Reagan) would take care of domestic issues, while his Vice President, would handle the foreign affairs. This was orchestrated by rogue CIA operatives who resented President Carter taking heed of President Eisenhower’s warning in his farewell address (beware of the Military-Industrial Complex) and fired 4000 CIA spies. The operatives succeeded, Carter lost the election and immediately after Reagan took office, the hostages were released and what followed were the years of the Iran-Contra Affair, where, the Reagan Administration in collusion with the Military-Industrial Complex, began to supply the Iranian terrorists (those who had held the American hostages) arms in order to get the release of another group of Americans who were held hostage in Lebanon. So much for the not dealing with Terrorists mantra!

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a chief aide to the National Security Council, was chosen to be in charge of this covert U.S. initiative. From the late summer of 1985 to mid-autumn of 1986 the Reagan administration sold arms to Iran, who was currently in a bloody war with Iraq. The intent of this was to persuade Iran to use its influence to arrange the release of the hostages in Lebanon. This tactic worked, facilitating the release of three American hostages. This was fruitless however, as those three were quickly replaced by the kidnapping of three other Americans and America began to supply Iraq with weapons also, thus obtaining the ultimately Military-Industrial complex dream, supplying both sides of a conflict with arms!

It’s called Iran-Contra Affair because Reagan’s administration wanted to continue to aid the Contras guerrillas who were fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Congress passed the Boland Act, which forbid this type of involvement. President Reagan, through the NSA keep it going which resulted in the formation of the Tower Commission to investigate what was going on. They spoke with Reagan, Bush and the rest of the Administration staff and then to the NSA. This episode in covert operations was whitewashed off by blaming a “rogue” group within the NSA! Although two select committees in Congress later did find culpability by individuals involved, yet, Reagan and others at the top were not indicted, even though there was a strong belief of their guilt.

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FACTS FICTION in Between First Debate 2012

In EOC EYEONCITRUS.COM, FACTS FICTION in Between First Debate 2012 on kp20 at 311204

Paul Davidson, Tim Mullaney, Gregory Korte and Susan Davis, USA TODAY

Complete story here

(Photo: Michael Reynolds, Getty Images)

(Photo: Michael Reynolds, Getty Images)

Story Highlights
Candidates spar over taxes on the wealthy and the middle class
North America’s energy independence and job creation debated
Also a hot topic: The federal health care law’s effects on Medicare

2:15AM EST October 4. 2012 -  In the first presidential debate Wednesday night, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney packed their responses with accusations about each other’s policies and defenses of their own.

Here are a few claims that deserve a deeper look:

Private-sector job gains

Claim: Obama said the U.S. economy has created 5 million private-sector jobs the past 30 months.

DEBATE: Battle of economic visions

Facts: After the economy plummeted in late 2007 and throughout 2009, the United States has gained 4.6 million private-sector jobs since the labor market bottomed in February 2010 — or 5.1 million under preliminary revisions released last week that are not part of the official tally by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

ANALYSIS: Romney plays strong offense

Still, that’s weak by historical standards. Under President George W. Bush, the private sector also added 5 million jobs in the 30 months after employment hit bottom following the 2001 downturn, and the pace of private-sector gains in the previous two recoveries was far stronger.

Tax cuts

Claim: Obama says Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes by $5 trillion over 10 years, inflating the deficit.

 

Facts: Romney has proposed cutting tax rates by 20% in each bracket, which, the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says would cost $4.9 trillion over 10 years. Romney said his plan will be paid for by curtailing tax deductions, so middle-class people pay less overall and upper-income people don’t see lower taxes. Last month in Ohio, Romney said middle-class people would see little change in their taxes under his plan.

Romney has declined to say what tax deductions he would end. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center has contended that middle-class families would see taxes rise about $2,000 a year under Romney’s plan if he keeps his promise to make the tax reform revenue-neutral, arguing that it can’t be done without ending popular middle-class deductions on mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank, has said that the gap can be closed by ending tax breaks targeting the wealthy, including tax exemptions for interest on municipal bonds.

Romney said he would not raise taxes and would not approve any tax cut that would expand the deficit. He argued that tax cuts will increase investment, putting more people to work and increasing the taxpaying population.

The middle class

Claim: Romney said middle-class families’ income is down $4,300 since Obama took office.

INTERACTIVE CHART: Who’s up, who’s down in the polls

Facts: According to a March 2012 analysis by Maryland-based economic consulting firm Sentier Research, Romney was correct. According to their analysis, based on February 2012 Current Population Data compiled by the U.S. Census, the median household income was $50,065 in February, compared to $54,481 in December 2007 — right before the recession started, and nearly 11 months before Obama was elected.

The current median household income is $50,678.

What Romney didn’t say is that the decline in real median household income has been occurring over the course of the past decade, well before Obama took office. The trend has continued under the Obama administration, but it did not start there.

Taxes for the wealthy

Claim: Romney says he wouldn’t cut taxes on the wealthy.

Facts: Romney wants to cut personal taxes by 20% for everyone, including the wealthy. He also wants to cut taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for Americans with adjusted gross income below $200,000.

Obama, however, wants to return taxes to Clinton-era rates for individuals who make more than $200,000 in annual taxable income and families who make more than $250,000 in taxable income. So Romney wants to maintain tax cuts for the wealthy that Obama would eliminate.

Energy independence

Claim: North America can become energy independent under Romney’s plan, creating 4 million jobs.

Facts: This is likely to happen anyway, possibly as soon as the end of the decade, Citigroup said in a book-length report earlier this year.

The key factor is not changes in policy, but changes in drilling technology that have let America increase oil production faster than any other nation in the world in the past four years, Citigroup said.

Declining crude oil imports, and more exports of natural gas and refined oil products, could reduce the trade deficit by as much as 40%, adding 1% a year to economic growth, Moody’s Analytics estimates. Citgroup estimated that the emergence of the United States and Canada as a "new Middle East" could add 3.6 million jobs.

Medicare cuts

Claim: Romney said Obama’s health care law cuts $716 billion from Medicare which will hurt current beneficiaries.

Facts: This has been one of Romney’s favorite lines of attack, but his claim that Obama’s health care law cuts $716 billion in benefits for current Medicare beneficiaries is not true. The health care law will limit payments to health care providers and insurers — not senior citizens’ benefits — as part of an effort to rein in costs over the course of the next decade. Romney and other opponents of the law, however, contend that the payment cuts would affect seniors’ benefits as an unintended consequence because they assert doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients and it could force some health care facilities to close.

The law has not yet been fully implemented, so the cuts’ effects on beneficiaries are uncertain. But the law as written does not cut benefits for senior citizens. It is also worth noting that Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., included the same spending cuts in his own 2012 budget blueprint that House Republicans supported with near unanimity.

Clean energy

Claim: Romney said clean energy interests got $90 billion in tax breaks under Obama, and that half of those companies receiving breaks went out of business.

Facts: The president’s 2009 stimulus bill included a combination of over $90 billion in spending, financing and tax breaks for clean energy investments, but it’s false that half of the companies went broke. Some of the Energy Department’s loans went to firms that failed, most notably the solar energy company Solyndra, which cost taxpayers $535 million, but Romney’s claim that half of the companies went broke is inaccurate. In a 2011 story, USA TODAY reported that the stocks of many of 45 publicly traded companies receiving stimulus funds had outperformed the stock market, despite Solyndra and other, smaller failures. The money, mostly in loans and loan guarantees, are helping build factories for companies such as Ford, Nissan and Tesla Motor. One beneficiary is health care technology company Athenahealth, whose shares have more than doubled. Its CEO, Jonathan Bush, is a first cousin of President George W. Bush. REST of story here

What is going to happen to Medicare Medicaid?

In EYE ON CITRUS, EYEONCITRUS.COM, What is going to happen to Medicare Medicaid? on kp45 at 311221

by LIZ HALLORAN

Medicare Medicaid   EYEONCITRUS.COM 

Original Article here image

Since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, seems all we’ve been hearing about is Medicare and its future.

No surprise, of course: Ryan is the author of the GOP budget plan that would dramatically remake how the health care insurance program for seniors is managed and funded. He also calls for big changes to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, including elderly Americans who have exhausted their means.

President Obama’s health care overhaul legislation also has significant changes in store for Medicare to secure estimated savings of $716 billion over the next decade. And the legislation calls for a broad expansion of Medicaid.

And Romney? He has sort of embraced Ryan’s plans, calling their proposals "the same, if not identical." He has, however, distanced himself from a part of Ryan’s plan: the part that finds Medicare savings over time equal to those embedded in Obama’s health care law — $716 billion.

Here’s a look at the programs the candidates are selling and their different paths toward reining in the massively expensive and rapidly expanding programs.

MEDICARE

What Is Medicare?

It’s the federal health insurance system for people age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant. The system has 47.6 million beneficiaries; in 2009, 9.3 million of those beneficiaries were also eligible for Medicaid.

In 2011, Medicare cost the federal government $551 billion. It has four parts:

Part A: Hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital care, as well as skilled nursing facility, hospice and home health care.

Part B: Medical insurance that helps cover the cost of health care provider services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health care and some preventive services.

Part C: Known as Medicare Advantage, it offers, along with coverage under Part A and Part B, additional health plan options provided by private insurance companies, as well as prescription drug coverage under Part D.

Part D: Coverage that helps pay for prescription drug costs, run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

Why do we keep hearing the amount $716 billion?

That number has become the focus of debate about whose Medicare plan would do what in terms of saving money and/or cutting services. It comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO has estimated that if Obama’s health care law is repealed, as advocated by Ryan and Romney, Medicare spending would increase by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.

What are the differences between what Ryan and Romney have proposed, and what’s in Obama’s health care law?

Obama: The president’s health care law preserves the current Medicare system of guaranteed benefits, and closes the prescription drug "doughnut hole" coverage gap that affects some senior citizens.

The Obama campaign characterizes the law’s $716 billion as savings largely realized by slowing the program’s growth with a decade of agreed-to reductions in hospital, private insurance and drug company reimbursement rates; and cutting reimbursements to private Medicare Advantage plans. The private-market Advantage plans were intended to manage or lower the cost of insuring senior citizens through market competition; they ultimately cost more on average than the standard Medicare plan.

Obama has asserted that projected savings embedded in the health care law plan would keep Medicare trust fund solvent until 2024; however the legislation uses savings to subsidize health insurance for younger people.

Romney: His campaign’s most recent statement on the issue read like this, as reported by NBC News: "A Romney-Ryan administration will restore the funding to Medicare, ensure that no changes are made to the program for those 55 or older, and implement the reforms that they have proposed to strengthen it for future generations." Romney has, in the past, supported Ryan’s plan.

Ryan: Ryan has proposed a system that would go into effect when people now age 55 and younger hit retirement age.

For those future senior citizens, Ryan has proposed to remake the current system that provides a guarantee of benefits. Under his plan, the government would issue credit vouchers to eligible recipients. They would purchase their own insurance, using the vouchers to defray the cost.

The CBO has estimated that changes proposed in the Ryan plan could push up out-of-pocket insurance costs for an average senior citizen by $6,400; advocates of the plan argue that market forces will drive down insurance costs. Rest of story here…

Welcome to Kandahar-Letter to Editor

In EOC EYEONCITRUS.COM, LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Welcome to Kandahar on kp00 at 311214

In the airport in Atlanta yesterday, I happened to be standing next to some American soldiers, wearing camouflage, on their way to Afghanistan. Welcome Sign at Kandahar Airfield EYEONCITRUS.COMThey knew the name of the province that they were going to, but they were arguing over what part of the country that province is in. One said the east. One said the south. One said the west. One of them thought that their destination was near Kandahar, but then they started arguing over where Kandahar is located. I hope that they get it all sorted out before the shooting starts. If they don’t know what part of the country that they’re going to, then what are the chances that they speak the local language? (There are 48 different native languages in Afghanistan.) What are the chances that they know anything about Islam? (Which is practiced by more than 99% of all Afghans, language differences notwithstanding.) To little fanfare, President Obama announced last week that he signed an agreement to extend the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan for twelve more years. No one noted the irony of this, since under our Constitution, President Obama can be President for no more than another 41/2 years. Also under our Constitution, a treaty requires the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate. (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2). No one in the Obama Administration even took a stab at explaining why this agreement with a foreign power was not being submitted to the Senate for concurrence. But the reason is obvious: the Senate would not concur. Also under our Constitution, you will search in vain for any provision that authorizes a lengthy military occupation of a foreign country. In fact, the Constitution does not authorize a standing army, much less an army standing in Kabul. In the Bizarro world in which we live, we have 27 Attorneys General challenging the constitutionality of 35 million Americans getting health coverage, but no one challenges the constitutionality of an undeclared war (see Article I, Section 8 on that) that has now entered its second decade. Presidential candidates Obama and Clinton obviously were separated by race and gender, but one of the few things that separated them on policy was Clinton’s vote in favor of the war in Iraq, contrasted with Obama’s 2002 statement that the war in Iraq was "dumb." This is what State Senator Barack Obama said, in October 2002, in the Federal Plaza in Chicago: I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Barack Obama was talking about the war in Iraq. But let’s be honest. At this point, after 11 years of pointless, fruitless, endless war, doesn’t all of that apply equally to the war in Afghanistan?

Courage, Alan Grayson

Gas Prices and the Big GOP Lie

In EYEONCITRUS.COM, GAS PRICES GOP Lies, private industry rips off the public on kp19 at 311220

This is one of many examples where private industry rips off the public. Companies have always taken advantage of the government when they sell their products to the government, the hundred dollar hammer, the five hundred dollar toilet seat and that list goes on. The idea that privatization is the answer is ludicrous, your giving the keys to the hen house to the people who want to sell you the hundred dollar egg. Not only is big oil making record profits but they are subsidized by the government. They use our tax dollars for grabbing up the world reserves of oil through military adventurism; sacrificing our sons and daughters in the process, while Wall Street speculators get more of our money by betting how high the prices will go. The obvious solution is to Nationalize BIG OIL. Of course, the propaganda machine which has been spewing forth the demonizing mantra of such words for decades would have to be overcome, don’t forget who owns these news organizations, the big Corporate Monolith, which includes Big Oil and the other industries associated with them. It is to the vital interest of the American people and the Nation to Nationalize Big Oil Now. Dave
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By BRYAN WALSH

To hear the Republican presidential candidates tell it, President Obama is doing all he can — shy of changing the price signs at your local Mobil station — to raise the cost of gasoline. Last week Mitt Romney told Fox News that Obama “has done everything in his power to make it harder for us to get oil and natural gas in this country, driving up the price of those commodities in the case of gasoline.” Rick Santorum last month warned that gas — now at $3.84 a gallon on average — would hit $5 a gallon under Obama, and that the President “has done everything possible to shut down energy production.” Newt Gingrich — he of the promised $2.50-a-gallon gas — has called on Obama to fire Energy Secretary Steven Chu over comments he made years ago about the need for American gas prices to be higher. “If he doesn’t,” Gingrich said, “then the American people will know the President is still committed to his radical ideology, which wants to artificially raise the cost of energy.”

I’m not positive, but I suspect that for Obama — like most Presidents — any ideology, radical or otherwise, takes a backseat come campaign season to the primary objective: getting re-elected. And no President who wants to remain President is going to be happy with gas prices that are scraping $4 a gallon, which is why over the past couple of weeks just about the only thing Obama seems to want to talk about is energy prices — and everything his government is doing to reduce them. Hence the unusual spectacle of seeing a Democratic President — and one who came into office on fire for clean energy — boasting that domestic oil production had risen for three straight years under his Administration. “When gas prices go up, it hurts everybody,” Obama said in a speech last month. “High gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.”

It’s that same de facto tax that explains why politicians rush to blame each other when gas starts getting expensive. But is Obama really “fully responsible for what the American public is paying for gasoline,” as the Republican Senator John Barrasso said last week?

The short answer is no — and pretty much so is the long answer. First things first: the price of gasoline is overwhelmingly dictated by the global price of crude oil. It’s true that local conditions in individual countries can make a difference. Some East Coast refineries have shut down operations, for example, because they are locked into long-term sales contracts with distributors, making it impossible for them to pass on the higher price they’re paying for oil, and thus cutting into their profit margins. This has further raised the price of gasoline, especially in big cities like Boston and Washington. (If you think you’ve got it bad, it costs $4.14 a gallon to fill up where I work in midtown Manhattan.) That’s a problem that comes from the oil industry and needs to be resolved by the oil industry, not the President, and it’s likely a temporary one anyway as refiners adjust to higher prices and reroute gasoline from the Gulf Coast.

No, gas is expensive because oil is expensive — and oil is expensive for reasons that the U.S. did not cause and can’t unilaterally fix. American oil consumption is actually down from its peak of 20.8 million barrels a day in 2005 to a little under 19 million barrels a day last year. A lot of that is the lingering economic malaise, which depresses business and consumption and therefore driving; unemployed people, in other words, don’t commute. Americans drove just under 8.1 billion miles in 2010, less than the 8.26 billion we drove in 2006.

Obama certainly doesn’t want to take responsibility for the recession, but he may well want to claim some credit for another factor behind declining oil demand: more efficient vehicles. Ten years ago, cars and trucks averaged 24.7 m.p.g. By 2011, that figure rose to 29.6 m.p.g. — and new deals brokered by the Obama Administration with the automakers to raise fuel-efficiency standards to as high as 55 m.p.g. by 2025 could take an even bigger bite out of demand while also giving American drivers more resilience against high gas prices. After all, doubling the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is equivalent to cutting the price of gas in half.

That would be smart to do because it’s quite possible that — barring another major global economic slowdown — oil will remain relatively expensive for the foreseeable future. Right now much of the recent price spike is due to tensions with Iran, a major oil producer. War with Iran is a real possibility, albeit an uncertain one, and if the missiles were to fly, we could easily see a price spike of $50 a barrel or more. So traders and major oil consumers are stockpiling crude now as a hedge against that very situation, which in turn drives the price up now by artificially inflating demand. I can’t see how that’s an incumbent President’s fault. What’s more, it’s the Republicans themselves who are leaning on Obama to take a harder line against Iran, a move that would likely only raise the possibility of war and the attendant crude catastrophe. Rest of story HERE…..

"Make or break" moment for middle class and Obama

In "make or break" moment for middle class, EYE ON CITRUS, EYEONCITRUS.COM, President Obama on kp22 at 311106

image As President Obama tries to get movement from the “do-nothing” Congress the observation is made, what a shame he didn’t put this side forward much earlier in his Presidency. At this point in time, with the Republican party turnstile of mediocre candidates and no one emerging other then the same version with a different suit, Obama would seem to be the only one voicing any concern for the middle class. Although Ron Paul would be a much needed kick to the system, the overall look of the Republican elite, who run the party, is that no matter how well Paul does, they will never give him any serious consideration for the nomination. With that being the case, Obama would be the only choice for the middle class. The middle class who suffer from the effects of a miserable economy and continued inflation. If the tax cut that has been in effect for the middle class is not renewed, the middle class will take another hit to the belt from an uncaring, rich, elitist ruling party at a point in time when it can ill be afforded.  With the Republicans in Congress showing no will to extent the payroll tax cut to the middle class while at the same time espousing continued tax cuts for the wealthy makes it all too clear that they have been bought and paid for by the Corporate Monolith of this Nation.

Channeling the progressivism of President Teddy Roosevelt, President Obama on Tuesday traveled to Osawatomie, Kansas to push his economic agenda and to strongly rebuke the Republicans’ laissez-faire policies.

“This is a make or break moment for the middle class, and all those who are fighting to get into the middle class,” Obama said from Osawatomie High School. “At stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement.”

The president pushed for more investments in education, research and science. He called on Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and for the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes. He railed against income inequality, which he said “runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder.”

Citing both the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, Mr. Obama called the restoration of the middle class “the defining issue of our time.”

“I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules,” he said. “Those aren’t Democratic or Republican values; these aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values, and we have to reclaim them.”

Just over a century earlier, Roosevelt made a similar pitch in Osawatomie, Kansas, calling for a “New Nationalism.”

In Roosevelt’s era, the president said today, “some people thought massive inequality and exploitation was just the price of progress… But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can.”

And for taking that stand, Roosevelt was called a radical and a socialist, Mr. Obama said, eliciting chuckles from the crowd.

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