April 3, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
In a joint press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the next round of talks between Iran and six major world powers will resume on April 13-14.
These talks, to be held between Iran and the so-called “P5+1,” meaning China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States plus Germany, will be in Turkey.
It will be interesting to see how the Israeli government reacts to this announcement, given that their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken quite a hard line on the issue, even going as far as to call renewed nuclear talks with Iran a “trap.”
Furthermore, he claimed that the only viable solution would be to completely remove any and all nuclear materials from Iran, which is hardly justified seeing as they are not even pursuing military applications for their nuclear technology.
Recently the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh stated in an interview with Fox News that Iran has “has not been pursuing a nuclear weapon” and that Iran “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” according to Press TV.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi first announced that these talks would occur on March 28, although at that time he only announced that they would happen on April 13. At the time, he would not confirm where the talks were to be held.
“Istanbul has expressed its readiness to host these talks… but making the decision on this matter is the responsibility of Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Mr. Saeed Jalili,” Salehi stated.
March 7, 2012
By The American Dream
“If you think America is heading in the right direction, think again.” –KTRN
Most Americans know that things used to be much better in the United States, but they don’t have the facts and the figures to back that belief up. Well, after reading the shocking statistics in this article nobody should be left with any doubt that things have gotten worse in America. There are less jobs, incomes are down, home values have plummeted, poverty is up, consumer debt is way up, dependence of the government has skyrocketed and government debt is totally out of control. Sadly, it hasn’t really mattered which political party has had control over the White House. Things have gotten worse under Obama, they got worse under Bush, and they got worse under Clinton. We are in the midst of a horrific long-term economic decline and the American people desperately need to wake up.
The following are 35 shocking statistics that prove that things have gotten worse in America….
#1 Median household income in the United States is down 7.8 percent since December 2007 after adjusting for inflation.
#2 There are 5.6 million less jobs than there were when the last recession began back in late 2007.
#3 The U.S. government says that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 17.9 million between 2000 and 2011. During the entire decade of the 1980s, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by only 1.7 million.
#4 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
#5 In 2007, 73.2 percent of all young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 that were not enrolled in school had jobs. Today, that number has declined to 65 percent.
#6 Back in the year 2000, more than 50 percent of all Americans teens had a job. This past summer, only 29.6% of all American teens had a job.
#7 When Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.
#8 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
#9 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.
#10 According to the Obama administration, about 20 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs back in the year 2000. Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
October 21, 2011
By Kurt Nimmo
Secretary of State Clinton was unable to keep her professional composure yesterday when told about the alleged murder of deposed Libyan leader Gaddafi at the hands of al-Qaeda. She had a good laugh over the gruesome act.
“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked in between formal interviews.
Clinton’s remark is a take on Julius Caesar, who reportedly said after his war with Pharnaces II of Pontus: “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered’).
Paraphrasing Caesar is appropriate – the dictator took Rome from a republic to an empire. Like Caesar, Clinton’s boss, Obama, took the nation to war without consulting Congress or gaining the consent of the American people.
Clinton’s gleeful if ghoulish comment also reveals the degree of her psychosis. Most people do not laugh when told about the murder of others, even rivals. Clinton is unable to contain herself and displays her joy at the news of Gaddafi’s violent death.
August 23rd, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Janell Ross
Sasha Mandel says she never imagined going on welfare. But her plans for a career and the independence she craved ran headlong into a pair of unforeseen developments — an unplanned pregnancy at 18, and the worst job market since the Great Depression.
In April 2009, freshly unemployed and devoid of savings, Mandel reluctantly walked into a state office in Phoenix to apply for welfare. Her caseworker was sympathetic, swiftly arranging emergency food aid along with cash assistance. But she was also clear on the limits of that relief: Under the terms of Arizona’s welfare program, Mandel could draw a welfare check for no more than three years.
That timeframe was about to get shorter. This April, cash-strapped Arizona tightened the limit on welfare payments to two years. Mandel learned about the change when she received a letter from the state in June. She was only a few weeks away from exhausting her benefits.
“That letter,” she said, “it just said to me that they decided to change the rules when the game for single mothers is already really, really hard.”
Fifteen years after President Clinton joined with congressional Republicans and affixed his signature to a law that “ended welfare as we know it” — imposing a five-year time limit on federal cash assistance for poor families, while allowing states to set shorter limits — the social safety net is failing to keep pace with the needs of struggling Americans, many experts say. Millions of single mothers are falling through the cracks, scrambling to support their families with neither paychecks nor government aid.
Welfare reform, one of the hallmark events of the Clinton presidency, was supposed to be a healthy tradeoff: Single mothers who had grown dependent on government checks would instead go out and work. The federal government gave the states lump sums of money, known as block grants, to create programs that would prepare, prompt and push poor single mothers accustomed to living on welfare into the workforce, providing job training, resume-writing tutorials and subsidized child care.
But the time limits on cash aid were enacted in the mid-1990s, in the midst of one of the most vibrant job markets in modern times. Today, with nearly 14 million people officially out of work and jobseekers outnumbering available positions by more than four-to-one, the logic of those reforms is being overwhelmed by the reality of a stark shortage of paychecks, experts say.
“Today, everybody is expected to work,” said Sheila Zedlewski, an economist at the Urban Institute and co-author of an institute study released last week that examines the consequences of welfare reform during the recession. “The problem is finding a job is incredibly hard.”
Since the beginning of the recession in late 2007, the nation’s unemployment rate has increased by 88 percent, while welfare caseloads have grown just 14 percent, according to the Urban Institute report.
Experts say this disparity reflects the inadequacy of remaining welfare programs in the face of a veritable epidemic of joblessness. During a period of national distress, fewer and fewer people have been able to secure help to meet their basic needs, according to the report.
Between 2007 and 2010 — just as the economy was contracting and joblessness was rising, generating greater demand for public assistance — welfare caseloads dropped in 13 states, according to the Urban Institute report. In Arizona, which faced a particularly powerful blow to its finances in the form of a sustained plunge in housing prices, the welfare caseload dropped by 48 percent during that timeframe.
Many of those who advocated for ending welfare as an unlimited entitlement say the change has been beneficial — the share of single, never married mothers in the workforce climbed from 62.9 percent in 1996 to 72.4 percent a decade later, according to federal data.
“Poverty rates are still lower and work rates still higher than before welfare reform,” said Ron Haskins, who played a key role in shaping the policy as a senior Republican congressional adviser, and who is now co-director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families. “In that sense, welfare reform has been a success.”
But as Haskins acknowledges, the reforms have never managed to address the barriers confronting a small subset of welfare recipients with very limited education, significant physical and mental health problems, or unhealthy children, preventing them from entering the workforce.
The share of people who both live in poverty with no reported income and lack welfare assistance has changed significantly since welfare reform. In 1996, 1 in 8 single mothers fit this profile, according to Zedlewski. By 2008, the most recent year for which this data is available, that figure had climbed to 1 in 5, she said.
In the early days after welfare reform, many states enacted stricter time limits, Arizona included, and beefed up programs offering subsidized child care — a crucial component for single mothers required to work. The budget crisis assailing states has prompted many states to effectively roll back these programs.
States around the country are slashing cash benefits, reducing time limits and, in some cases, imposing strict work requirements on welfare applicants, said LaDonna Pavetti, an expert on welfare who works at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The practices also make it very hard for parents already dealing with a job crisis, a disability or other complications to qualify for cash aid, she said.
In the 2000s, states also began shifting federal funds that could be used for cash benefits for single mothers to cover other costs. Some of the money went to cover the cost of child care or transportation assistance. But large shares were also used to fund state child welfare agencies, which frequently don’t get all the resources they need from states.
In 1997, the first year the reforms took effect in most states, Georgia used 73 percent of its federal welfare block grant to provide cash aid to poor families, according to data the state reported to the federal government. By 2009, the most recent year for which complete data is available, Georgia spent just 11 percent of its block grant on cash aid. Spending in Florida, Texas and Arizona plunged by similar margins.
The impact of these cuts is easy to discern: Far fewer poor families are being given cash assistance. In 2009, Georgia and Texas each provided cash aid to less than 10 percent of poor families, according to the Urban Institute report.
“You have so many people who were pushed off welfare who didn’t find work in the beginning, and today there are so many people who can’t get welfare at all,” said Peter Edelman, a Georgetown University law professor who resigned from a senior position in the Clinton administration to protest the President’s decision to sign welfare reform into law. “As an anti-recessionary tool, welfare as we know it today is useless.”
Edelman compares the paltry expansion of the nation’s welfare rolls during the recession — from about 3.9 million families in 2007 to about 4.4 million families in 2010 — to what happened to the food stamp program. During the same time period, food stamp program participation rose from about 30 million households to 44 million, reflecting real levels of economic need.
“What we’ve done is make things worse,” Edelman said. “There are now people who cannot find work, and who can not get welfare.”
October 22nd, 2010
No, it’s not the plot of a Tom Clancy book or a Steven Segal movie. Bill Clinton lost the card containing launch codes for a nuclear strike for “months” during his presidency, according to a top military leader’s memoir.
Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Clinton, makes the claim in his new book “Without Hesitation,” ABC News first reported Thursday.
“At one point during the Clinton administration, the codes were actually missing. That’s a big deal, a gargantuan deal,” Shelton writes in the book.
Shelton is the second military leader to make the startling claim. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Patterson released a memoir in 2003 in which he said that the launch codes went missing in 1998. Shelton’s book says the code card – known as “the biscuit” – disappeared for a period in 2000.
It is unclear whether they represent separate incidents or differing accounts of the same incident.
There are a few other accounts of “the biscuit” going missing. ABC says that President Jimmy Carty once left it in a suit that went to the dry cleaners.
The biscuit is replaced every four months and is not itself sufficient to launch a nuclear strike; in fact, it would likely be meaningless in the hands of anyone but the president and a few other top officials. The biscuit is used to open the briefcase – known as “the football” – that contains launching orders and communication equipment.
Clinton is on the road this week stumping for Democratic candidates ahead of the Nov. 2 elections.
September 21, 2010
By: Jeff Mason
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce on Tuesday a U.S. contribution of more than $50 million toward providing clean cooking stoves in developing countries to reduce deaths from smoke inhalation and fight climate change.
The U.S. funding, which will be spread over five years, is part of a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves being started to combat a problem officials equate with malaria and unclean water in terms of their health impact worldwide.
Some 1.9 million premature deaths, mostly among women and young children, occur every year due to smoke inhalation from rudimentary stoves, which in many cases consist of a few stones and an open fire inside or outside a shelter, officials said.
Smoke from such cooking methods can lead to childhood pneumonia, lung cancer, bronchitis and cardiovascular disease while contributing to climate change through emissions of carbon dioxide and methane — two major greenhouse gases — and black carbon.
The new alliance to combat the issue groups U.S. government agencies with the United Nations Foundation, Germany, Peru, Norway, the World Health Organization and corporate backers including Morgan Stanley and Shell, among others.
“This is something that touches on climate, on health, on women’s empowerment, on deforestation and on poverty,” Reid Detchon, vice president for energy and climate at the United Nations Foundation, said in an interview.
He said the group would seek to create a market for cleaner, less-polluting stoves and fuels to supply some 500 million households worldwide now using inefficient and dangerous cooking methods.
India, south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa were areas in which the problem was most acute.
“You’re not going to solve this problem with aid alone,” he said. “You’re going to have to create a thriving cookstove industry that can supply both stoves and fuels that people want and need.”
Better technology is available at affordable prices. More efficient stoves can be purchased for $10 to $100, according to one senior U.S. administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Clinton’s funding announcement.
Doing away with subsidies and focusing on a market-based approach was part of a focused development strategy the alliance hoped would prove more effective than previous attempts to address the problem in the past, he said.
June 18, 2010
By Amanda Lee Myers
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she’s angry over comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the Obama administration will sue the state over its new immigration law.
In a June 8 media interview in Ecuador that began circulating Thursday in the U.S., Clinton said President Barack Obama thinks the federal government should determine immigration policy and that the Justice Department “will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”
Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Thursday declined to say whether the department would sue and that “the department continues to review the law.”
The department has been looking at the law for weeks for possible civil rights violations, with an eye toward a possible court challenge.
It’s unclear why Clinton made the comment since it’s not her area. She couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Obama and Clinton have both made it clear that the administration opposes the law.
“I will defer to the Justice Department on the legal steps that are available and where they stand on the review of the law,” Crowley said. “The secretary believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a better course of action.”
Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement that “this is no way to treat the people of Arizona.”
“To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous,” she said. “If our own government intends to sue our state to prevent illegal immigration enforcement, the least it can do is inform us before it informs the citizens of another nation.”
Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said the governor was “outraged” and that Clinton’s comments make it appear that the Justice Department has decided to file suit.
“But she’s confident that in the end, the state of Arizona, the citizens, will prevail,” he said.
On April 23, Brewer signed what is considered the toughest legislation in the nation targeting illegal immigrants. It is set to go into effect July 29 pending multiple legal challenges and the Justice Department’s review.
June 4, 2010
In a letter to Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee Republican, Robert Bauer, counsel to Obama, implied the president may use executive privilege to hide some memos Elena Kagan wrote when she served in the Clinton White House.
“President Obama does not intend to assert executive privilege over any of the documents requested by the Committee,” Bauer writes.
May 28, 2010
The New York Times
By Helene Cooper
OAK BLUFFS, Mass. — Bill Clinton was famous for the creative way he kept score. Both George Bushes would speed-golf through 18 holes as if they had to beat the clock, not the course.
And President Obama?
Long, slow rounds. A lot of time hunting for balls in the woods. All dished up with a dollop of trash-talking.
The First Golfer brought his duffer’s game to Martha’s Vineyard this week. By Thursday, Mr. Obama had logged three golf games in four days, appearing at one island course after another. He spent five hours on Monday afternoon playing 18 holes at the Farm Neck Golf Club here, two and a half hours on Tuesday playing nine holes at Mink Meadows Golf Club in Vineyard Haven, and several hours playing Thursday afternoon at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown.
May 27, 2010
On Thursday, for the first time in 308 days, President Obama will confront the White House press corps in a full-blown news conference, taking the best shots that reporters have to offer on the topics of their choosing.
Obama’s lengthy absence from reporters’ crosshairs has exceeded President George W. Bush’s longest gap of 204 days.
As a candidate two years ago, Obama, then a senator, mused aloud about holding a news conference every month.
As president, Obama has held just four prime-time news conferences in the first 485 days of his term, but that is equal to the total number that his last three predecessors – combined – had held by the same point in their first terms. The Bushes had each held one; Bill Clinton, two.