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Budget deal foreshadows larger fight ahead
    The last-minute resolution on 2011 was a victory for Republicans, and helped President Obama preserve his standing.  But the wrangling offers little hope for an easy resolution to the next fight: lifting the U.S. debt ceiling.

By Paul West, Washington Bureau

 April 9, 2011

Reporting from Washington

     House Speaker John A. Boehner and congressional Republicans wrung a significant victory out of this weekend’s budget deal: They decisively shifted the focus in Washington away from spending and toward austerity, slashing government more steeply than expected and redeeming a pledge to voters in last year’s election..

      Democratic priorities were set back in the agreement to cut about $38 billion from this year’s budget, with many details yet to emerge. Obama, in his Saturday media address, hailed “the biggest annual spending cut in history” while acknowledging the cost: He had “to give ground” on important issues, he said, and accept “painful” cuts.

      The president likened the compromise to his centrist-minded deal with Republicans in December, which disappointed many on the left by preserving huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. That bargain was packed with additional stimulus, in the form of a payroll tax cut; this one symbolized the end of the Obama stimulus era.

        But the tortuous wrangling over funding the government for less than six months offered little hope for easy resolution to the next — and far more consequential — fight: lifting the debt ceiling to keep the U.S. government from eventually defaulting on its obligations.

    Boehner, who emerged as the biggest winner in the initial round, strengthened his hand by wresting ever-larger concessions from the administration.

    “Anytime you can get significant cuts in a Democratic budget, in a government two-thirds controlled by Democrats, it’s a pretty significant victory,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster.

    At the same time, Boehner faces continued unrest on his right flank. Leaders in both parties say the country faces financial disaster if Washington fails to raise the debt limit. But many Republican lawmakers say they won’t vote to increase it without major budget concessions.

      “Tea party”-backed conservatives decided not to shut down the government over abortion and environmental regulation this time.

     But they also indicated that they were giving ground on the skirmish over 2011 spending in order to push for much more drastic cuts in the upcoming 2012 budget and debt-limit battles. And some will renew their calls to alter government policies on abortion, the environment and healthcare.

     House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled an ambitious, and politically risky, spending blueprint last week that includes a sweeping overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid.   Republicans will use it to appeal to voters worried about the budget deficit, while Democrats are warning that it would severely damage the social safety net and fall disproportionately on poor and working-class Americans.

    Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a possible tea party presidential candidate, said she opposed this weekend’s budget deal because it failed to cut spending more deeply and allowed federal dollars to keep flowing for Planned Parenthood and implementation of the new healthcare law — two of the GOP policy riders that Republicans gave up in negotiations.

    More than two dozen Republican conservatives — and a larger number of liberal Democrats — also registered their opposition in a House roll-call vote early Saturday. The Senate approved the initial part of the deal in a voice vote, with at least one shout of “No!” clearly audible. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a tea party favorite, attacked the agreement for not doing more to reduce the budget deficit.

     Obama signed a stopgap bill Saturday that will allow time to work out the details of federal spending between now and Sept. 30, when the 2011 fiscal year ends. That measure will go before lawmakers midweek.

     Liberal Democrats weren’t mollified by Obama’s success in blocking Republicans from using the budget to push conservative social initiatives.

     Maya MacGuineas, a prominent deficit hawk and president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said Republicans had dramatically changed Washington’s budget debate over the last month and had improved the chances of putting longer-term fiscal restraints in place.

     “Now we’re talking about real spending cuts, and I give them a tremendous amount of credit for that,” MacGuineas said.

A White House aide called the agreement the “first real test” of the new, divided government in Washington. But MacGuineas was sharply critical of the way the deal was reached, after weeks of political posturing and a closing burst of deal-making and brinksmanship.

     A repeat in this spring’s fight over the debt ceiling could trigger drastic economic consequences, she said. Administration officials say the country will hit the $14.29-trillion debt limit next month. Unless the limit is lifted, the Treasury Department will be unable to borrow or perform other functions.

    “If we get even close to the last minute, we run a very serious risk of shaking up credit markets and doing severe damage to our economy,” she said.

    She and others hope the new atmosphere of austerity nudges Obama to more aggressively address deficits. Christina Romer, former head of his Council of Economic Advisors, said she had been “pushing a little from the sidelines” for the president to get more involved.

     “If he were out there talking about the long-term deficit problem and how it needs to be solved, he could convince the American people,” said Romer, who has returned to her post as an economics professor at UC Berkeley. “I’d like to see him out there more.”

Staff writer Peter Nicholas in Washington contributed to this report.




Boehner closes the deal
By: John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman
April 9, 2011 02:35 AM EDT

They gathered in HC-5 all week talking — sometimes complaining loudly — about where the party was headed in the budget crisis. Many said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) didn’t share enough information. Others were peeved he wasn’t pushing for deep enough cuts. Some were ready for a government shutdown.

And on Friday night, Boehner himself was unsure what would happen. Halfway through a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, an aide approached Boehner, slipped him a piece a paper, which he read and quickly pocketed.

He then stepped to the podium, and announced
what everyone had been waiting for.

“We have a deal,” the Ohio Republican said around 10:30 p.m.

And with that, Boehner had something more — a defining moment in his speakership and a chance to set aside questions about his ability to manage an unwieldy caucus of conservatives, at least for now.

The 61-year-old, swept into the speaker’s chair during last November’s GOP landslide, faced down two Democrats —
Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — and answered doubts from the conservative movement about whether he was a true believer.

His colleagues stood and cheered at his announcement of a deal, knowing Boehner secured more than $38.5 billion in cuts, a far higher figure than many of them expected just days before. Boehner still has to get the votes next week for the long-term budget deal, and he’s got a huge sales job ahead on raising the debt limit, not to mention debating the entire 2012 budget.

“It’s a big deal. It shows a great deal of leadership,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), a Boehner ally. “It’s a big win for the speaker.”

In a larger sense, Boehner has achieved more than just a short-term budget victory — in his first three months as speaker, he’s helped turn the entire Washington dialogue into a debate about the size and scope of government. He started the year by getting rid of earmarks, he’s pushing through some of the deepest spending cuts in American history, and he’ll now try to get most of the GOP Conference on board with Rep. Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2012 budget — one of the most audacious long-term spending plans in recent memory.

All this came together from a politician who was kicked out of leadership 12 years ago and came to the speaker’s job with serious question marks from the right about how he would go about dealmaking with a Democratic president while corralling the 87-strong group of GOP freshmen.

There were only a few wayward critics in the wee hours of Saturday morning — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) criticized the deal, as well as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee. One tea party leader, Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, tweeted Friday that Boehner is “selling us out” and he threatened to put up a primary candidate against Boehner.

But several lawmakers and aides noted that when things get heated, Boehner’s demeanor stayed unshakably even. Asked whether he was optimistic as the budget talks stretched into Friday night, Boehner said, “You know me, I was born with the glass half full.”

Boehner also benefited from continuity of message: he said all along that he didn’t want to shut down the government, and he didn’t. He said $33 billion in cuts was too little, despite Obama and Reid saying he had agreed to that number only to renege, and in the final deal he scored nearly $6 billion more in reductions than that. Boehner said policy riders would have to be a part of a final package, and indeed they were.


And Boehner avoided one major error made by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) during the 1995 budget fight with then President Bill Clinton — he didn’t turn it into a personal grudge match. Boehner said on several occasions this week that he “liked” Obama and Reid, describing their dispute as centered on policy, not based on personality.

All told, the budget deal was peppered with Boehner’s priorities.

The hard-fought agreement calls for $38.5 billion in spending cuts from the 2011 budget — the net cut could be several billion dollars higher — which House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) described as the biggest one-year reduction in federal outlays since the United States demobilized at the end of World War II.

Controversial policy riders covering Planned Parenthood and EPA climate change regulations had threatened to sink the whole, multi-tiered agreement, but Boehner was able to shift that battle over to the Senate. Planned Parenthood funding will be debated and voted on in the Senate, as will the repeal of the massive 2010 health care reform package passed by Reid and then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

In addition, “numerous studies” of the health care bill will be ordered, the results of which could provide the GOP with juicy political ammo heading into next year’s elections. The District of Columbia will be blocked from using federal funds to pay for abortions, while the IRS will be barred from hiring additional agents. Yearly audits will be conducted by the Government Accountability Office and private industry on the impact of last year’s financial services reform package as well, a major plus for Wall Street and the banking industry.

Boehner even took care of a pet project of his own — federal funding for vouchers for D.C. public school students.

In fact, when he was describing the provisions he helped ssecure in the bill, he ticked them off one by one, noting after each that ‘this isn’t all, this isn’t all.’

In the end, Boehner got far more than he gave up, and far more than Obama, Reid and the Democrats were initially willing to offer. It sets the stage for a stronger hand for Boehner as he enters politically perilous fights to raise the debt ceiling and pass 2012 spending bills.

“This is the best deal we could get out of them,” Boehner proudly told House Republicans as they gathered late Friday night to be briefed on the package. Boehner received several standing ovations for his efforts, as he has throughout an often hectic and confusing week.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Boehner secured more provisions than “most people could memorize.”

“We control one-half of one-third of the government,” Issa added. “I think that when you come as far as we’ve come, $79 billion less than it would have been had we not taken control of one-half of one-third of the government, that’s pretty darn good.” The $79 billion figure represents the full level of cuts for all of fiscal 2011.


“Whatever deal he brings back would be the best deal we could’ve gotten,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who Boehner forced out as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee at the start of 2009. Cole has now become a big Boehner booster. “I have zero doubt about that.”

The negotiations also served as somewhat of a trust-building exercise for the young freshmen who gave Boehner the majority. The takeaway message for them — give the speaker some room, and he’ll get a deal they can sell back home.

Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), chairman of the Defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, said Boehner had to deal with “shameful” manipulation of the shutdown threat by Obama and Senate Democrats. Young accused Democrats of being less than completely candid in their dealings with their GOP counterparts.

One of the keys for Boehner was to hold the line on defense spending, which Obama and Reid sought to cut.

“It’s shameful the way Harry Reid and Barack Obama threatened to use troops and their families” in the budget fight, Young said. “I think Speaker Boehner has handled this extremely well because he’s had to deal with people who don’t really understand the process.”

A top Senate Democratic aide said Boehner and his top aide Barry Jackson didn’t even share with Obama or Reid what they were looking for, until pressured. By Thursday, the Democratic aide thought “the chances we would get a deal done were probably at that time, 20 percent, maybe less.”

And other Republicans complained that the final spending cuts fell far short of the $61 billion total outlined in a February spending package, and thus was far short of the Republicans’ much touted “Pledge to America” from last year’s campaign.

“I appreciate the speaker’s effort. I just don’t like the final product,” said Jordan, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of 175 conservative House Republicans. “I’ll be voting no, heck yeah.”

But Boehner’s supporters in the House GOP Conference far outnumber his critics, and even Reid offered public praise on the Senate floor for Jackson.

“Obviously, some people have different views,” said Rep. Patrick Tiberi, a fellow Ohio Republican who is close to Boehner. “Some people are running for higher offices, some people don’t like the speaker, and they’ll have different views. But it was a big day.”

Marin Cogan and Meredith Shiner contributed to this story.

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Me gustaria saber en buena onda POR QUE LO LLAMAS OBAMA DEL PUEBLO si la reforma de salud se tardo mas de un año para un solo caso o acaso se tardo tanto por que tenia iregularidades como dejar a jente indocumentada a un lado pero clinicas y lideres comunitarios que pelean encontra de esto y abeficio de los VERDADEROS POBRES luchan para que estos logren obtener sus planes de salud y segun to OBAMA DEL PUEBLO beneficio a los latinos con sus promesas de radio y television prometiendo mejores vidas y hasta reformas migratorias y segun el dijo que no mandaria soldados a la frontera  pero los governadores lo pidieron el dice que no quiso soldados pero el governador de california fue el unico que no pidio soldados y ya sabemos de ARIZONA Y TEXAS llenas de soldados en donde los latinos llevaron a estados unidos una economia de mas de $200 mil millones de dolares en los ultimos dos años sercas de la economia mexicana y eso que mexico es un pais y no tiene inmigrantes que hacen estas cantidades pero como tenian miedo de que se apoderan de este pais pues los trataron como terroristas...A CASO TRABAJAS PARA OBAMA o ERES UN MEXICAN-AMERICAN que nacio con los ricos y sus beneficios e ignoras la realidad de los verdaderos activistas que si sirven de verdad y no estan tapando el sol con un dedo?

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Hay una rata en una CASA BLANCA y creo que se llama BARACK-landen Y es la ultima rata que te come con discursos que invitan a quitar el velo...hay que extinguirla....

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Top 20 Events Which Prove Obama Is A Marxist Communist
By Hal Licino

    At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

    - Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838

      How Obama’s Undeniably Marxist Communist Policies Threaten America and How To Nationalize GM, Ripoff Investors, Gift It To The Unions & Deny It’s Communism, I have been challenged by commenters on my classification of Barack Hussein Obama as a socialist, communist, and Marxist.

    Here are the top twenty points to prove my thesis (all readily verifiable), and please note that I am not including in this list any of the President’s policies such as the socialist nationalization of GM and Chrysler which at the stroke of a pen deprived private investors of billions of dollars of their legitimate property and turned it over to the state and the unions (the proletariat in Marxist parlance).

     Obama admits attending socialist conferences and reading Marxist literature. He stated that he “chose his friends carefully... the Marxist professors... we were resisting resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints.”




Comrades Barak Obama and Hugo Chavez


    Frank Marshall Davis to whom Obama refers to as “Frank” and with whom the young Obama “had a close relationship, almost like a son” is publicly identified as a prominent member of the Communist Party USA and an acknowledged Stalinist agent.
     Obama held receptions at the home of, and served on boards with, another mentor who has had an indelible influence on his world view: William Ayers along with his wife Bernardine Dohrn.


    The two were leaders of the terrorist group known as the Weathermen or the Weather Underground, notable for a campaign from 1969 through the middle 1970s of riots, bombings, murders, and a jailbreak. Under Ayers and Dohrn’s leadership, the terrorist organization bombed the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971, The Pentagon on May 19, 1972, and the United States Department of State Building on January 29, 1975. Their founding document calls for “the destruction of US imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism.”

     When recently asked about his terrorist activities, Ayers replied he had “no regrets” and that “we didn’t do enough”.


    At one Obama reception at the Ayers Dohrn home Alice Palmer, who was identified by the FBI as being on Soviet payroll in the Eighties and an enthusiastic attendee of the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, announced that she was stepping down from office as Obama was her chosen successor.
Mike Klonsky was funded to the tune of $1,968,718.00 by an organization headed by Obama and Ayers. His father, Robert Klonsky, was an American communist who was convicted for advocating the forcible overthrow of the United States government. Mike founded a precursor of the Weatherman terrorist group, formed the American Communist Party (Marxist/Leninist), was feted in China by Maoists, and spoke in front of Hugo Chavez for the need to bring the Marxist revolution into the classroom.
     Obama admits that one of his close friends was Rashid Khalidi, who was the President of Columbia University’s Communist Party and a former spokesperson for the PLO. They had frequent dinners together and the Obamas even babysat Khalidi’s children. Obama led organizations funded the Arab American Action League an organization calling for the demolition of Israel and chaired by Khalidi’s wife. Khalidi held successful fundraisers for Obama’s campaign.


     Che Guevara who advocated the “extermination” of the United States, and was involved in a foiled plot to bomb crowded department stores and New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, had his portraits hung on the precinct captain’ wall of Obama headquarters in Houston. The campaign formally only stated that it was “inappropriate.”
During the presidential election campaign, Hamas advisor Ahmed Yousef was quoted as saying, “We like Mr. Obama. We hope he will win the election.” Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and is on the US State Department list of leftist terrorist organizations.
The Communist Party USA actively supported Obama during the primary election and their leader Sam Webb recently stated: “Just look at the new lay of the land: a friend of labor and its allies sits in the White House.” He went on to enthusiastically discuss Obama’s agenda to nationalize the American financial system, the Federal Reserve Bank, and private industries such as energy and various other sectors. “All these – and many other things – are within OUR reach now... an opportunity of a lifetime,” Webb exclaimed.
Obama’s father wrote a thesis entitled “Problems With Our Socialism” that advocates 100% taxation of the rich, communal ownership of land and the forced confiscation of privately controlled land.
    Obama’s mother was a communist sympathizer from her youth. Obama has spoken of her beliefs: “The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics.”
     Obama’s parents met in a Russian language class, generally unusual in the USA of the Fifties, but a common activity for communists in that age.
Barack Obama’s older brother, Abongo “Roy” Obama is a militant Marxist Muslim who has made a pact with a hard-line Islamic group in Kenya to establish Shari’a law. Barack calls his brother “the person who made me proudest of all.”
    Obama’s grandparents moved 2,000 miles so Obama’s mother could attend a school where communism was openly advocated and whose chairman testified to being a member of the Communist Party. Obama’s grandparents also attended a church known as “The Little Red Church” due to its promotion of communism.
Obama received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America for an Illinois state senate seat in 1996.
Obama delivered an eulogy for Saul Mendelson, a lifelong communist activist.
Obama’s physican, close friend and supporter Dr. Quentin Young was a prominent member of the communist Bethune Club.
Obama’s church, the Trinity United Church of Christ, is a leading proponent of Liberation Theology which is an religious overlay onto Marxism.
   Obama admits that he
regularly attended communist conferences at Cooper Union College.
   Obama endorsed Bernie Sanders, who was the first self-described socialist to be elected to the U.S. Senate. The National Journal’s 27th annual vote ratings placed only one Senator who had voted a more socialistic agenda than Sanders: Obama.
     I leave you with the warning words of Russian Prime Minister and former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, who should certainly understand the essence of communism:



   Interference of the State, the belief in the omnipotence of the State: that is a reaction to market failures. There is a temptation to expand direct interference of state in economy. In the Soviet Union that became an aabsolute. We paid a very dear price for that.

     As a Canadian citizen I proudly state: God bless America... God save America... Before it is too late.

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Obama… America’s number one undocumented worker is exposed!!!
Posted on February 8, 2011 by Skip Barland

America’s number one undocumented worker is exposed!

The Obama records which have not been released include; Passport records, Obama kindergarten records, Punahou School records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, University of Chicago scholarly articles, Illinois State Bar Association records, Illinois State Senate records/schedules(said to be lost), Medical records, Obama/Dunham marriage license, Obama/Dunham divorce documents, Soetoro/Dunham marriage license, Adoption records and of course the long-form Certificate of Live Birth.

Write, Call, VISIT! Demand that Obama's records be released. The records he's now using tax dollars to keep concealed. Over 40 lawsuits fought and more being fought to keep all his records sealed.


By Matt C. Abbott
February 27, 2011


"If it turns out that Obama knew he was ineligible when he campaigned and when he took the oath as President, it could be the biggest political fraud in the history of the world."



    There’s been a lot of discussion in certain circles on the topic of President Obama’s “eligibility.” (Incidentally, Dr. William Oddie cogently argues in a recent commentary that Obama is an enemy of the Catholic Church. Click here to read it.)

    Charles E. Rice, professor emeritus at Notre Dame Law School — and author of the book What Happened to Notre Dame? — argues that it’s “time for a new approach” on the eligibility controversy. His essay is reprinted below (with very slight editing).



Obama Eligibility

By Charles E. Rice

   The speculation about President Obama’s eligibility goes on and on, with no reliable access to the truth and with no end in sight. It is time for a new approach.

    The Constitution provides: “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Art II, Sec. 1. Neither the Constitution nor any federal law defines the term “natural born citizen.” Nor has the Supreme Court provided a definition that covers the questions presented in the Obama case.

     In Minor v. Happersett, in 1875, the Supreme Court, made an incidental reference to the issue: “[N]ew citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.” 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875).

    The Obama “Fight the Smears” website has published a digital photograph of a short-form “Certification of Live Birth” issued by the Hawaiian Department of Health that lists his place and date of birth as Honolulu on August 4, 1961. At that time, Hawaii’s practice was to issue also a long-form Certificate of Live Birth which contains more information, including the name of the hospital, or address of the place, where the birth occurred; the identity of the physician or other “attendant” at the birth; and the signature of the parent or other ‘informant” certifying the accuracy of the information, etc. Obama has not given the permission required by Hawaiian law for release of that long-form certificate.

    Numerous lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility have been rejected by every court involved, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Some are still pending. The rejections have been based on various grounds, including the plaintiff’s lack of standing to sue and other specified and unspecified procedural grounds. No court has agreed to decide any of those suits on the merits.

      The lawsuits have presented a bewildering array of claims, including, among others, that: Obama was born, not in Hawaii, but Kenya; if he was born abroad, his mother, an American citizen, was legally too young to confer that citizenship on him at birth; the Hawaiian short-form certification of birth published on the Obama website is a forgery; that short-form certification could have been legally issued in 1961 to certify a birth occurring elsewhere than Hawaii; Obama is ineligible because, wherever he was born, he had dual-citizenship since his father was a British citizen and the British Nationality Act of 1948 made his son a British citizen at birth; Obama identified himself as a foreign student at Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School; when Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981, he did so on an Indonesian passport at a time when Indonesian law forbade dual citizenship, etc., etc.

    There is no reason to analyze those lawsuits here in detail. Their lack of success cannot be ascribed simply to a hyper-technical evasion of judicial responsibility. For example, the rule requiring a plaintiff in a federal court proceeding to have a sufficient personal interest, or standing, to bring the suit provides needed assurance that suits will be seriously contested and will seek more than merely advisory opinions. On the other hand, it is fair to say that the Obama controversy involves significant issues of fact and law that deserve some sort of official resolution.

    I suggest no conclusion as to whether Obama is eligible or not. But the citizens whom the media and political pundits dismiss as “birthers” have raised legitimate questions. That legitimacy is fueled by Obama’s curious, even bizarre, refusal to consent to the release of the relevant records.

    Perhaps there is nothing to the issues raised. Or perhaps there is. This is potentially serious business. If it turns out that Obama knew he was ineligible when he campaigned and when he took the oath as President, it could be the biggest political fraud in the history of the world. As long as Obama refuses to disclose the records, speculation will grow and grow without any necessary relation to the truth. The first step toward resolving the issue is full discovery and disclosure of the facts.

      The courts are not the only entities empowered to deal with such a question. A committee of the House of Representatives could be authorized to conduct an investigation into the eligibility issue. The classic formulation of the Congressional role is Woodrow Wilson’s, in his 1884 book Congressional Government:

   It is the proper duty of a representative body to look diligently into every affair of government and to talk much about what it sees. It is meant to be the eyes and the voice, and to embody the wisdom and will of its constituents. Unless Congress have and use every means of acquainting itself with the acts and the disposition of the administrative agents of the government, the country must be helpless to learn how it is being served; and unless Congress both scrutinize these things and sift them by every form of discussion, the country must remain in embarrassing, crippling ignorance of the very affairs which it is most important that it should understand and direct. The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function...[T]he only really self-governing people is that people which discusses and interrogates its administration. (p. 198)

    Wilson later retreated from his affirmation of Congressional supremacy. He said in 1900 that the President, rather than Congress, “is now at the front of affairs.” (Congressional Government, preface to 15th edition, 1900, p. 22.) In his 1908 book Constitutional Government in the United States, four years before he was elected to that office, he described the president as “the political leader of the nation.” (pp. 67ff.) Wilson’s second thoughts on congressional supremacy, however, do not negate Congress’ “informing function.” The investigatory power has remained as an essential role of Congress.

    The Constitution nowhere expressly grants to either House of Congress a general power to investigate in aid of legislation, or in aid of overseeing the Executive Branch. However, the Supreme Court has long recognized that such a power is implied as an essential concomitant to Congress’s legislative authority. John E. Nowak and Ronald D. Rotunda, Constitutional Law (2004), 280. See McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135 (1927).

    The investigative power of Congress has multiple purposes. “The ability to gather information has been regarded as a predicate to effective legislation and as important to providing a legislative check on executive actions. The Supreme Court has explained that Congress thus may conduct ‘inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It includes surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them.’ The power to investigate also includes ‘probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste’..... The authority to investigate necessarily requires the power to compel testimony.” Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law (2006), 310. (Internal citations omitted).

     It is difficult to imagine, to borrow Wilson’s phrase, a more pressing “affair of government” than the question of whether a sitting President obtained his office illegally, and perhaps even by fraud. An investigating body must not prejudge the case. Its concern must be, first, to put the facts on the record and then to consider whatever legislation or other remedy might be appropriate in light of those facts.

    The House of Representatives is an appropriate body to inquire into the facts and legal implications of a President’s disputed eligibility for the office. The House itself has a contingent but potentially decisive role in the election of a president. The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution governs the counting of the electoral votes as certified by the states:

    The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.

     The power to investigate can be exercised by a House committee provided that the investigation is within that committee’s authorization as determined by the House. An investigation into Obama’s eligibility by a committee or subcommittee of the House could have several legitimate objectives, including among others:

   1. To ascertain the facts, compelling by subpoena the production of all the available records relevant to Obama’s eligibility, including the complete Hawaiian records of his birth; his passport records to ascertain whether he traveled to Pakistan in 1981 on an American or other passport; the records from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School to determine whether Obama described himself as a foreign student; and such other records as may be relevant. The disclosure of such information to the public would be an appropriate exercise of Congress’ “informing function.”

    2. The consideration of legislation to require candidates for a federal elective office to produce, at an appropriate time, evidence of their eligibility for that office. There is now no federal law or regulation that requires such disclosure.

   3. The consideration of legislation to define the constitutional term, “a natural born Citizen.”

   The American people do not know whether the current President achieved election by misrepresenting, innocently or by fraud, his eligibility for that office. I neither know nor suggest the answer to that question. But it would be a public service for the House of Representatives to employ its authority to determine those facts and to recommend any indicated changes in the law or the Constitution.

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Dollar plunges to 2½-year low
By Peter Garnham

 April 21 2011

     The dollar dropped to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years on Thursday as buoyant risk appetite prompted investors to sell the currency to fund carry trades.

    Analysts said robust corporate earnings figures had boosted hopes over global growth, while the prospect that US interest rates would remain at ultra-low levels was fuelling demand for carry trades, in which low-yielding currencies such as the dollar are sold to finance the purchase of riskier, higher-yielding assets elsewhere.

    Market rumour that the People’s Bank of China was poised to implement of substantial, one-off revaluation of the renminbi also weighed on the US currency.

     The dollar index, which tracks its progress against a basket of six leading currencies, fell 0.8 per cent to 73.785, its weakest level since August 2008. Traders said the stage could now be set for the index to target the record low of 70.698 it hit in March 2008.

    The dollar also dropped 0.9 per cent to a 16-month low of $1.4641 against the euro, fell 1 per cent to a 16-month trough of $1.6560 against the pound, lost 0.8 per cent to a record low of SFr0.8817 against the Swiss franc and plunged 0.7 per cent lower to Y81.93 against the yen.

    The Australian dollar, which with its relatively high yield and commodity-linked status has been a favourite target for carry trade investors, surged to a fresh 29-year high against the dollar, rising 0.6 per cent to $1.0758.

   Lee Hardman at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said dollar weakness continued to be mainly driven by widening expectations of monetary policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and other major central banks.

    He said the downgrade of the outlook of US sovereign debt by rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Monday had reinforced this dynamic by increasing expectations that the Fed would have to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels for longer to offset the negative impact from the expected fiscal tightening.

    Mr Hardman added, however, that while near-term concerns over monetary policy divergence and heightened US fiscal concerns were genuine, he believed there was a strong case that current dollar weakness was overextending.

     “With market liquidity thinning heading into the Easter holidays, it provides the ideal conditions for a dollar undershoot relative to fundamentals,” he said.

     “Indeed, while there is a notable risk that the near-term dollar sell-off extends further, it appears only a matter before a correction takes place.”

BRICS Make Move to Shove Dollar Aside
by David Marsh
Monday, April 18, 2011

Commentary: Beijing won't push the renminbi too fast


      China and four other leading high-growth economies have taken landmark steps toward lowering the importance of the dollar in international financial transactions — part of a seminal shift in the move towards a multicurrency reserve and trading system.

    Mind you, you wouldn't get an idea of anything dramatic from reading the official Chinese press on the conclusion of a summit meeting of the so-called BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the southern resort twin of Sanya in southern China last week.

     "Leaders call for peace and prosperity" was the front-page headline in the China Daily. Stirring stiff. Even more striking was the prominent story the previous day that China's President Hu Jintao and visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had agreed to quicken trade procedures for "gelatin, corn, tobacco leaf, bovine embryos and semen." At least we know there's no holding back the Chinese rhetorical flourishes on these issues.

    Leave aside the whimsical acronyms. Addition of South Africa to the former BRICS format seems to have galvanized the grouping. The five countries agreed to expand use of their own currencies in trade with each other — an important step toward putting the dollar into a new downsized place. One key influence is the annual expansion of China's trade volume with other core countries by 40% in 2010 — and the buoyancy looks set to continue.

    The BRICS' state development banks, including the China Development Bank, agreed to use their own currencies instead of the dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other — and they will also phase out the dollar in overall settlements and lending among each other.

Chinese officials at the annual Boao Forum at the end of last week voiced cautious optimism about the possibilities for far-reaching international monetary reform proposals taking a step forward when the G-20 meet in Cannes in November at the behest of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Chief among these is for enhancing the special drawing right of the International Monetary Fund through the inclusion of emerging market currencies.

    Speaking in Boao, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, refused to get carried away by any of this. He gave a cautious welcome to bringing the renminbi in to the SDR but admitted it had to be part of a planned move to full convertibility of the Chinese currency as well a shift to a flexible exchange rate.

     Fresh signs of a disturbing lack of equilibrium in the Chinese economy, above all the latest annual rise in the consumer price index in March to 5.4% — have heightened speculation that China will speed up a rise in the renminbi to lower import prices. Governor Zhou, while not yet wishing to confirm any details, delivered a strong hint that he was prepared for such a course.

    If the renminbi were to become a fully fledged reserve currency, of course, it would have to go down as well as up — marking enormous risks along the journey for the renminbi to assume a greater international role. For all of these reasons, Beijing will proceed with utmost caution in relaxing its restrictions for the currency to circulate freely overseas.

     The last few days, make no mistake about it, mark an important step along this path — but there is a long way to go still.


David Marsh is co-chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions





Real Wages Fall For 5th Straight Month, Bad News For Obama
By Ed Carson
Fri., April 15, 2011

Tags: Economy - Income - Inflation - Obama - Elections

Real earnings fell for a fifth straight month as wages fail to keep up with soaring gasoline prices and other costs. Inflation-adjusted earnings for all private workers dropped 0.5% in March, the worst monthly drop since July 2008, according to Labor Department data. Nominal wages were flat while consumer prices climbed more than 0.5% for a second straight month.

    Year over year, inflation-adjusted weekly pay sank 0.4%. That’s the first drop in a year and down from a 2.2% gain in October.

    Since October, real weekly wages have dropped at a 3.8% annual rate — matching the decline set in July 2008, when oil prices peaked above $147 a barrel.

    (Meanwhile, real hourly wages fell 0.6% vs. Feb. and 1% vs. a year earlier.)

   The 2 percentage point temporary cut in payroll taxes has offset much of the recent decline in wages. But prices at the pump are taking their toll on consumers’ pocketbooks and psyche. Retail sales ex gasoline rose just 0.1% last month. The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index dived to a 33-month low in April, losing more than 20% in the last three months.

    Overall consumer inflation was 2.7% in March, the highest since the end of 2009. Core inflation was 1.2%, the highest since the start of 2010 but still moderate. However, overall and core inflation should continue to trend higher for the next few months, if only because of easy year-earlier comparisons.

   Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is betting that commodity prices will have only a temporary impact on U.S. inflation. We’ll see.

    It’s not just inflation. Nominal weekly wages were flat in March. The yearly gain slowed from 3.4% in October to 2.3% in March.

    Wage woes are bad news for President Obama’s re-election hopes. As James Pethokoukis has pointed out, income is the biggest variable on national elections.


Skunk picture

The skunk has replaced the Eagle as the new symbol

of the American Presidency.

It is half black, half white, and everything it does stinks!
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The Ryan Posse

Saddled up and ready to go

 John McCormack

April 22, 2011

In his column today, Charles Krauthammer sizes up the potential GOP presidential candidates and concludes by noting there's a chance Paul Ryan could end up running in 2012:  

     Even less likely to run — the 2016 bench

A remarkable class of young up-and-comers includes Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley. All impressive, all new to the national stage, all with bright futures.

     2012, however, is too early — except possibly for Ryan, who last week became de facto leader of the Republican Party. For months, he will be going head-to-head with President Obama on the budget, which is a surrogate for the central issue of 2012: the proper role of government. If Ryan acquits himself well, by summer’s end he could emerge as a formidable anti-Obama.

     One problem: Ryan has zero inclination to run. Wants to continue what he’s doing right now. Would have to be drafted. That would require persuasion. Can anyone rustle up a posse?

     Consider the posse already rustled up, Dr. Krauthammer. The bossWEEKLY STANDARD readers (and cruisers!), and Ryan's own constituents have been urging Ryan to run for some time now. The latest sign that the "Draft Ryan" movement is continuing apace may be found in Jeff Zeleny's New York Times report this week:

CLINTON, Wis. — Representative Paul D. Ryan was deep into an explanation of his deficit reduction plan, which sits at the heart of a contentious debate between Republicans and President Obama, when he called on a constituent raising her hand in the front row of a town meeting here.

     “We need a viable Republican candidate for president,” pleaded the woman, Nancy Champion, a retired schoolteacher. “Will you run against him?”

    Mr. Ryan grinned, blushed and promptly tried to change the subject, telling his audience: “She’s not related to me. She wouldn’t say that if she was.” But no, he added, he does not intend to join the Republican nominating contest and try to run against Mr. Obama.

He simply wants to debate him.

    But what good is it to debate Obama if no serious Republican presidential candidate is willing to fight for Ryan's proposed reforms? This week, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich distanced themselves from Ryan's Medicare reform, the essential part of Ryan's budget that eventually eliminates the deficit and the national debt.

    Pawlenty and Gingrich are leaving space on the right for someone to fully embrace the Ryan plan. Maybe that someone will be Mitch Daniels, whom Ryan has singled out in the past as capable and willing to defend the policies Ryan's been fighting for. (More recently, Ryan said he's keeping an open mind about the 2012 field.) But it's not entirely clear that Daniels will run. And if he does run, he may have a tough time winning the support of social conservatives and foreign policy hawks. Ryan is on good terms with pro-lifers and hawks

      So, really, who better than Ryan to defend the Ryan plan? The logic of his candidacy has been staring us in the face for over a year. As Matthew Continetti wrote in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in February of 2010: 

    Ryan’s political problem is that he’s a congressman with a presidential-level agenda. The Roadmap is a realistic way to clean up America’s fiscal mess, but there is no chance of it becoming law as long as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid run Congress and Barack Obama is president. Moreover, Bush’s failed Social Security reform and Obama’s doomed health bill show that a president has to have large congressional majorities as well as public approval to pass major changes to entitlement law.

       What the Roadmap needs is support from a Republican presidential aspirant. Ryan insists it won’t be him, however. He says he has no plans to run for president in 2012. His disavowal, he goes on, is “Shermanesque.” 

     That may disappoint conservatives and Republicans who have found Ryan to be an engaging television presence and a successful political entrepreneur. He’s young, charismatic, wonky, and well spoken. He’s already held his own against President Obama. His national profile is on the rise. He recently endorsed conservative favorite Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate Republican primary. He’s scheduled to speak at two fundraisers in New Hampshire later this month.

      [Congressman] Devin Nunes jokes that he’s the charter member of the “Draft Ryan” club. As the budget outlook grows darker, expect membership in the club to rise. Because sometimes you don’t pick the moment. Sometimes the moment picks you.

     Ryan's main (and sincere) objection to a presidential run is that he couldn't handle being away from his kids for two years while he would be on the campaign trail.

    Of course, it's possible that Ryan can continue to debate Obama and wait until the fall to see if any viable candidate takes up his budget. By that time, if no one has risen to the occasion, Ryan could jump in when the entire campaign season would last just over a year. And if he wins the presidency, he would get to work from home and see his kids almost every day.

Paul Ryan’s Express
 A congressman with a presidential-level agenda.
Matthew Continetti
February 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 21

    Representative Paul Ryan’s 40th birthday coincided with the House GOP retreat in Baltimore on January 29. Ryan’s wife and three children joined him for the event. President Obama was also there, at the invitation of the House Republican leadership, to deliver remarks and answer questions from selected members. And he had a surprise in store for the six-term Wisconsin Republican: a spur-of-the-moment, presidential-level debate over the federal budget.

    Hmm, Ryan thought. This is interesting. The two engaged in a back-and-forth over the president’s increase in discretionary spending during fiscal year 2010. Later, Obama said that Ryan, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, is “a pretty sincere guy” with “a beautiful family.” Later still, the two went at it once more, this time over the politics of Medicare. “I want to make sure that I’m not being unfair to your proposal,” Obama said.

        He was talking about Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future,” an ambitious plan to overhaul the welfare state and pay off the national debt (you can read the 95-page document at For Americans under 55, the Roadmap would fundamentally restructure Medicare and Medicaid through means-tested vouchers, while introducing opt-in personal accounts to Social Security. It would replace the corporate income tax with a business consumption tax; repeal the Alternative Minimum, dividend, capital gains, and estate taxes; and reduce the six current tax brackets to two—one at 10 percent, the other at 25 percent. And that’s not all. Other parts of the plan include job training programs, budgetary reforms, and a free-market health care proposal modeled on Ryan’s Patients Choice Act. “This works,” Ryan told me last week. “It solves our fiscal crisis. It turns it around.” The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office agrees with him.

     No question, the Roadmap is a big idea. But it isn’t a new one. Ryan initially released the proposal in 2008, when it fell flat. “First they laughed at us, then they ignored us,” says Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Ryan ally.

    What’s changed? America has fallen into a vat of red ink. The financial crisis and recession have darkened the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. Unemployment stands at 9.7 percent. The president’s fiscal year 2011 budget forecasts record deficits and debt long into the future. Inflation, punishing interest rates, high taxes, and economic stagnation are not far behind. Hence the Democrats, who can’t defend their own budgets, desperately want to change the subject. They’ve found one they like: what’s wrong with Ryan’s Roadmap.

    Obama, White House budget chief Peter Orszag, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen have all attacked Ryan’s proposal as hurting the elderly. So has the Democratic National Committee and the White House-friendly media. In his latest column, Time magazine’s Joe Klein writes that the Roadmap is “an all-out assault on the financial security of the nation’s most devout voters.” The Washington Post’s domestic policy blogger wrote last week that “Ryan’s budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent.”

    Not so. Ryan preserves the current entitlement system for everyone over the age of 55. Nor do the critics mention that the only way to avoid a fiscal crisis decades from now is by means-testing benefits, raising the retirement age, and otherwise reducing the government’s future obligations. The alternative is insolvency and “austerity plans” imposed by the IMF. 

   Liberals accuse Ryan of cutting future Medicare benefits. True enough—but they’re missing the point. “Any reform would do that,” he says. “They want to do it by a government monopoly and rationing. We attack the root cause of health care inflation by introducing free-market mechanisms into the system.”

    Ryan’s political problem is that he’s a congressman with a presidential-level agenda. The Roadmap is a realistic way to clean up America’s fiscal mess, but there is no chance of it becoming law as long as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid run Congress and Barack Obama is president. Moreover, Bush’s failed Social Security reform and Obama’s doomed health bill show that a president has to have large congressional majorities as well as public approval to pass major changes to entitlement law.

    What the Roadmap needs is support from a Republican presidential aspirant. Ryan insists it won’t be him, however. He says he has no plans to run for president in 2012. His disavowal, he goes on, is “Shermanesque.”

That may disappoint conservatives and Republicans who have found Ryan to be an engaging television presence and a successful political entrepreneur. He’s young, charismatic, wonky, and well spoken. He’s already held his own against President Obama. His national profile is on the rise. He recently endorsed conservative favorite Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate Republican primary. He’s scheduled to speak at two fundraisers in New Hampshire later this month.

   Devin Nunes jokes that he’s the charter member of the “Draft Ryan” club. As the budget outlook grows darker, expect membership in the club to rise. Because sometimes you don’t pick the moment. Sometimes the moment picks you.

    Matthew Continetti is associate editor of The Weekly Standard and author of The Persecution of Sarah Palin.

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                             John Doe Jr. 

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una primera dama medio naca....

por si alguien cree que en USA no hay nacos....