Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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New BluePrint proposed by the Obama administration on Health Care

Monday, February 22, 2010

Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration raised the stakes in the health care debate Monday, releasing a new blueprint that seeks to bridge the gap between measures passed by the Senate and House of Representatives last year.If enacted, the president's sweeping compromise plan would constitute the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago. The White House said it would extend coverage to 31 million Americans.
Among other things, the White House said it would expand Medicare prescription drug coverage, increase federal subsidies to help people buy insurance and give the federal government new authority to block excessive rate hikes by health insurance companies.It increases the threshold -- relative to the Senate bill -- under which a tax on high-end health insurance plans would kick in.As with both the House and Senate plans, it includes significant reductions in Medicare spending in part through changes in payments made under the Medicare Advantage program.
President Obama's plan does not include a government-run public health insurance option, an idea strongly backed by liberal Democrats but fiercely opposed by both Republicans and key Democratic moderates.
It also eliminates a deeply unpopular provision in the Senate bill worked in by Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, that would exempt his Midwestern state from paying increased Medicaid expenses.
Administration officials said Obama's measure would cut the deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years. They estimate the total cost of the bill to be $950 billion in the next decade.The Senate bill would cost an estimated $871 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, while the more expansive House plan has been estimated to cost more than $1 trillion.
The release of Obama's plan sets the stage for a critical televised health care summit Thursday with top congressional Republicans. The White House is trying to pressure GOP leaders to present a detailed alternative proposal in advance of the meeting.
"We view this as the opening bid for the health meeting" on Thursday, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told reporters. "We took our best shot at bridging the differences" between the House and Senate bills. "It is our hope the Republicans will come together around [their] plan and post it online" before the meeting.
President's health care blueprint
Pfeiffer said Obama will come to Thursday's meeting "with an open mind." The president's willing to back decent Republican ideas if the two sides can have an "honest, open, substantive discussion" in which "both parties can get off their talking points," he said.
GOP leaders have indicated they will attend the meeting but have urged Democrats to scrap the Senate and House bills completely.They characterized Obama's proposal Monday as setting the stage for a meeting that will amount to little more than political posturing.
"The president has crippled the credibility of this week's summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.  "This new Democrats-only backroom deal doubles down on the same failed approach that will drive up premiums, destroy jobs, raise taxes and slash Medicare benefits. This week's summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, released a statement calling the plan "disappointing that Democrats in Washington either aren't listening or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the GOP criticisms, arguing that Republican leaders had asked for this week's meeting for months. "If they're not the party of no, Thursday's the perfect venue to be the party of yes," Gibbs said.
Highlights of Obama's proposal
Under Obama's plan:

• The health and human services secretary would work with a seven-member board of doctors, economists and consumer and insurance representatives to review premium hikes. This Health Insurance Rate Authority would provide an annual report to recommend to states whether certain rate increases should be approved, although the secretary could overrule state insurance regulators.
• New health insurance subsidies would be provided to families of four making up to $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Compared with the Senate bill, Obama's proposal lowers premiums for families making between $44,000 and $66,000, according to the White House. Compared with the House legislation, it lowers premiums for families making between $55,000 and $88,000.
• The Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole" would be closed by 2020. Under current law, Medicare stops covering drug costs after a plan and beneficiary have spent more than $2,830 on prescription drugs. It starts paying again after an individual's out-of-pocket expenses exceed $4,550.
• A 40 percent tax would be imposed on insurance companies providing so-called "Cadillac" health plans valued at more than $27,000 for families. The tax would kick in starting in 2018 for all plans. In contrast, the Senate bill would apply the tax to plans valued at more than $23,000 for families. The House bill does not include the tax, which labor unions vehemently oppose.
• The federal government would assist states by picking up 100 percent of the costs of expanded Medicaid coverage through 2017. The federal government would cover 95 percent of costs for 2018 and 2019, and 90 percent in the following years.
• Health insurance exchanges would be created to make it easier for small businesses, the self-employed and unemployed to pool resources and purchase less expensive coverage.
• Total out-of-pocket expenses would be limited, and insurance companies would be prevented from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Insurers would be barred from charging higher premiums based on a person's gender or medical history.
• Individuals under Obama's plan would be required to purchase coverage or face a fine of up to $695 or 2.5 percent of income starting in 2016, whichever is greater. The House bill, in contrast, would have imposed a fine of up to 2.5 percent of an individual's income. The Senate plan would have required a person to buy coverage or face a fine of up to $750 or 2 percent of his or her income. All three plans include a hardship exemption for poorer Americans.
• Companies with more than 50 employees under Obama's plan would be required to pay a fee of $2,000 per worker if the company does not provide coverage and any of that company's workers receives federal health care subsidies. The first 30 workers would be subtracted from the payment calculation. As with the individual requirement, this represents a compromise between the House and Senate plans.
• Some $40 billion in tax credits would be established for small businesses to help them provide health care options for their employees.
• States could choose whether to ban abortion coverage in plans offered in the health insurance exchanges. Individuals purchasing plans through the exchanges would have to pay for abortion coverage out of their own funds. The White House is following the Senate's lead. The stricter House version banned abortion coverage in private policies available in the exchange to people receiving federal subsidies.
• Illegal immigrants would not be allowed to buy health insurance in the health insurance exchanges. They would be exempted from the individual insurance mandate. As with abortion, the White House is adopting the Senate's language.


Bush Official Cleared of misconduct regarding 'torture' memos

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In a CNN report by CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden, it now appears that Bush administration lawyers have been cleared of all allegations concerning professional misconduct for writing "torture" memos.
Why? Because the Justice Department claims that these lawyers did not exercise bad professionalism, but may have exercised poor judgment.
The decision was made from a top career Justice Department executive David Margolis, who reversed a recommendation of investigators that found two lawyers memos did not constitute professional misconduct. The two lawyers in question, John Yoo and Jay Bybee will not have to face potential disbarment. These attorneys were part of a team headed by Steven Bradbury, who provided legal counsel to the executive branch during the second term of George W. Bush.

As expected, the decision was popular amongst the Republicans but not accepted too well by the Democrats who expressed their criticism of the Bush Administration lawyers.


President Obama Addresses the U.S.-Islamic World Forum

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The President emphasized that the U.S is ending in the war in Iraq, creating partnerships to isolate violent extremists in Afghanistan, and pursuing a two-state solution that recognizes the rights and security of Palestinians and Israelis


Mullah Baradar Captured - Taliban Leader Next in Power to Mullah Muhammad Omar

A few days ago, the top military cammander of the Taliban was captured in Karachi, Pakistan. The mission was carried out by both American an Pakistani intelligence forces. So how big a capure is it considered? It is extremely significant, as the commander named Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is the most significant figure captured since the beginning of the Afghanistan War over eight years ago. The Taliban founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar, is the only person more significant in the Taliban operation. He has reportedly had very close ties to Osama bin Laden before the September 11 tragedy in New York City.

For the last several days, both the Americans and Pakistani intelligence have taken part in interrogating Mr Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Information to find the one-eyed cleric, the spiritual leader of the Taliban named Mullah Omar.

The American and Afghan forces were in a major skeremish in southern Afghanistan when Mullah Baradar was caught. Due to the sensitive nature of the capture and what it actually means, the White House asked the New York Times to delay the release of information in a story, in an attempt to gain more intelligence .

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was known to run the Taliban's military operations and is definitely a big blow to the terrorist organaization.

Because of catching such a high Taliban figure, major cooperation amongst people in Afghanistan is now taking place, indicating that people feel less threatened because of his capture, and that the credability of the Taliban working in Afghanistan has been greatly diminished.

The Taliban may not be able to protect and continue to hide Osama bin Laden as well as they have since 2001, the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City. If this is actually true, then it may be possible that Osama bin Laden can be flushed out and caught. So yes, the capture of this Taliban commander was very significant.


President Obama Struggles both at Home and Abroad

Monday, February 15, 2010

President Obama was elected as the 44th President because of his sincere desire for change. But lately he has faced a number of issues, with the costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, health care negotiations nearly at a stand still along with an economy that's taking way too long to show some kind of come back. The President warned when the Stimulus bill was passed, that the United States must  be patient, as the change he has predicted and now trying to deliver will take time.
But now, how much more do you think he can do? His failure to close the deal so far on the health reform bill puts his abilities even abroad to act in danger of stalling.  President Obama visitied 21 countries in only his first year in office.  He's even had talks with countries that most people would consider his enemies.  But even with all of the hard criticism, President Obama and Secretary of State have to make some very tough decisions abroad. Iran is boastfully declaring that it will continue with its nuclear program, despite United States beliefs that Iran is engaging nuclear activities that don't seem to be all peaceful. The United States will engage in further tuff sanctions against Iran if they do not  comply with UN wishes of its members, namely the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France.


What you may not know about Presidents Day

By Ed Hornick, CNN

February 15, 2010 11:32 a.m. EST
Washington (CNN) -- Retailers open their doors Monday and roll out big sales to entice customers. Government employees -- along with kids -- have the day off. But do you know why?

If you answered "Presidents Day," you're technically wrong.

The actual federal holiday is called "Washington's Birthday," after the nation's first president, George Washington.

According to the Gregorian calendar, adopted by England and its colonies after Washington was born, his birth date was February 22, 1732. (The Julian calendar has him born on February 11.) He is viewed as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history and was also much adored during his lifetime.

"In the earlier years, when it was celebrated, it was more than celebrating his birth, it was celebrating what we liked about Washington: He walked away from power, a very poignant lesson for people," said presidential historian Doug Wead.

It wasn't until 1885, though, that February 22 became designated a federal holiday to honor Washington.

Presidential historian C.L. Arbelbide wrote in a 2004 article in the National Archives publication "Prologue" that succeeding generations found "significant ways to periodically resurrect his memory," as evidenced by the laying of the Washington Monument's cornerstone in 1848.

"The numerous tributes continued to reaffirm George Washington's place as the original 'American Idol,' " Arbelbide wrote in the article titled "By George, IT IS Washington's Birthday!"

Wead, who was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush, said Americans later fell in love with another president with similar attributes.

Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12, 1809, became a popular figure after freeing the slaves and ending the Civil War. But it wasn't until his assassination in April 1865 that Americans began to see Lincoln in a different light.

"Lincoln, because he was assassinated, he overnight became a beloved figure and suddenly a genius," Wead said.

Although he was considered "a buffoon and dumb during his time," after his death, everything he said was re-read and studied, Wead said.

In 1968, Congress debated whether to combine the two president's birthdays into one holiday, but decided against it. The legislative body passed the Monday Holidays Act that year, which said existing federal holidays would now be observed on Mondays to give government workers a long weekend.

The bill went into effect in 1971 and deemed that "Washington's Birthday" would be moved from February 22 to the third Monday in February.

But even today, Congress does not necessarily celebrate the day with the official title. While the House and Senate celebrate February 15 as "Washington's Birthday" this year, their weeklong recess is known as "President's Day District Work Period."

Though his birthday is a federal holiday, not all states celebrate it on the same day. While Congress has the authority to create federal holidays, states and the private sector do not have to observe them.

With the confusion over whose birthday it is and when it is celebrated, many Americans have simply lost interest in the day's true meaning, Wead said. The reason? Presidential nostalgia has been replaced by criticism and controversy.

"We don't have that [nostalgia] anymore. Part of that is cynicism about presidents today -- Nixon, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Bush ... there's less respect," he said. "There was a lot of respect for Washington because he walked away from power. That was just unheard of."


President on Health Care Reform in Cincinnati, Ohio

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Last Tuesday on February 9th, President Obama addressed a group of supporters at the AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic In Cincinnati, Ohio. In th height of his speech, the President told the crowd that the "Republicans need to put up, or shut up". Since it appears that the Republicans seem to oppose what the President thinks would help this country concerning health care reform, he now invites the Republicans to serve up their solutions to one of the most enduring problems that this country has to face, and that is Health Care Reform.
From now until February 25, the Democratic and Republican leaders have time to gather their thoughts and discuss compromise, but of course the Republicans really do not want to compromise, rather than to start over. Why? Because they want to show the country that the President's ideas regarding health care reform are theirs, not his. They want to dis-credit him for his ideas, then steel them and reinvent them as their own.
The two groups will have time to discuss possible compromises in a half-day, televised gathering on February 25th. Republicans claim that the President is jamming health care reform down their throats, but that may only be because after President Obama courted the ideas to the Republicans without success.
Even though the Senate Proof Filibuster is no more, the President will still eventually sign health care reform into law, as the fact is this is the first time for such a change within health care policies for the last 70 years. It would have been great if the health care reform vote would have taken place before the start of the new year, because in the off election year for a President, the Congress will be deciding it's future by electing Republican and Democratic leaders. The focus is slowly changing away from Health Care Reform, but President Obama is determined to keep his focus on Health Care. Watch the following video and listen to his views.


Vice President Joe Biden tears into Dick Cheney on Meet the Press

UPDATE, 10:15 AM ET: See details from Cheney's interview below.
In a much-anticipated Sunday showdown between Vice President Joe Biden and his predecessor Dick Cheney, Biden has drawn first blood.
Asked to respond to a range of harsh attacks on the Obama administration leveled by Cheney, Biden first gathered himself. "Let me choose my words carefully here," he told David Gregory in a pre-taped interview for Sunday's "Meet the Press."
Then Biden let loose with several minutes of his most pointed criticism of Cheney since the 2008 presidential campaign, when Biden claimed that Cheney had "done more harm than any other single elected official in memory in terms of shredding the Constitution."
Speaking to Gregory, Biden charged at least four times that Cheney was "rewrit[ing] history" with his recent attacks, and declared that President Obama has amassed a success rate in countering terrorism that "exceeds anything that occurred in the last Administration."
Cheney will appear on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.


DAVID GREGORY: Let me ask you about some of the criticism that's been leveled at this Administration by former Vice President Dick Cheney. He has argued that this Administration has failed to treat the fight against terrorists as war. He cites the decision related to Khalid Sheik Muhammad to offer him a civilian trail as one example. Giving the Christmas Day Bomber the privileges of the American criminal justice system is another example. The decision to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. What do you say?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Let me choose my words carefully here. Dick Cheney's a fine fellow. He's entitled to his own opinion. He's not entitled to rewrite history. He's not entitled to his own facts. The Christmas Day Bomber was treated the exact way that he suggested that the Shoe Bomber was treated. Absolutely the same way. Under the Bush Administration there were three trials in military courts. Two of those people are now walking the streets. They are free. There were 300 trials of so-called terrorists and those who engage in terror against the United States of America who are in federal prison and have not seen the light of day. Prosecuted under the last Administration. Dick Cheney's a fine fellow, but he is not entitled to rewrite history without it being challenged. I don't know where he has been. Where was he the last four years of the last Administration?

DAVID GREGORY: What about the general proposition that the President according to former Vice President Cheney doesn't consider America to be at war and is essentially soft on terrorism? What do you say about that?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I don't think the Vice-- the Former Vice President Dick Cheney listens. The President of the United States said in the State of the Union, "We're at war with Al Qaeda." He stated this-- and by the way, we're pursuing that war with a vigor like it's never been seen before. We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates. We are making, we've sent them underground. They are in fact not able to do anything remotely like they were in the past. They are on the run. I don't know where Dick Cheney has been. Look, it's one thing, again, to-- to criticize. It's another thing to sort of rewrite history. What is he talking about?

DAVID GREGORY: You have often said, when I've asked you and others, that you never impugn a man's motives. But why do you think Dick Cheney is speaking out and being so critical of the President and the Administration so publicly?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I don't know. I-- I-- I'm not gonna guess about his motive. All I know is he's factually, substantively wrong. On the major criticisms he is asserting. Why he's insisting on that. He either is misinformed or he is misinforming. But the facts are that his assertions are not accurate.
DAVID GREGORY: You would not be this outspoken or critical when you're out of office. Is that fair to say?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, I-- I-- I would hope I-- look, it's one thing to be outspoken. It's another thing to be outspoken in a way that misrepresents the facts. And I-- I guess-- again, I-- it's almost like Dick is trying to rewrite history. I can understand where the-- why that would be-- you know, an impulse. And maybe he isn't-- literally, I'm not being facetious. Maybe he's not fully informed of what's going on. I mean, the progress we have made. There has never been as much emphasis and resources brought against Al Qaeda. The success rate exceeds anything that occurred in the last Administration. And they did their best. I'm not-- I'm not impugning their effort. It's simply not true that the President of the United States is not prosecuting the war against Al Qaeda with a vigor that's never been seen before. It's real. It's deep. It's successful.
Dick Cheney's interview with ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl aired on Sunday morning. Some notable moments:

-- Cheney laughed at Biden's claim that Iraq would end up being a great success of the Obama administration.

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised by my friend Joe Biden," he laughing.
"I'm glad he now believes Iraq is a success," Cheney said. "For them to try and take credit for what has happened in Iraq strikes me as a little strange. ... So if they are going to take credit for [Iraq's success] - fair enough - for what they've done while there are there - but it ought to go with a healthy dose of 'thank you George Bush' up front. And a recognition that some of their early recommendations with respect to prosecuting that war were just dead wrong."

"I think the biggest strategic threat the United States faces today is the possibility of another 9/11 with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind. And I think Al Qaeda is out there - even as we meet - trying to do that," Cheney said to ABC's Jonathan Karl.

"Now, President Obama has taken them off the table. He announced when he came in last year that they would never use anything other than the U.S. Army Manual which doesn't include those techniques. I think that's a mistake," Cheney said in an exclusive interview on "This Week."


Bad Weather in D.C. Area

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The thought of global warming took a backseat on Monday, as it appears that the Congress in Washington got another break by getting a day off today because of another grueling snow storm that hit the D.C. area on Monday. Anywhere from 10-20 more inches of snow fell in different areas of Maryland, Virginia and the D.C. area. The recent snow fall broke a January 7-8, 1996 record of 23.2 inches. Weather patterns are extremely unusual throughout the country as the grounds a particularly wetter this winter than normal. The northeast United States has been hit with one snow storm after another, and February being usually a good month promising snow, there should be no drought in the spring. As an example, a record of 32.4 inches of snow fell on the Dulles International Airport in D.C. over the last two days, and still another five more inches are expected in the Washington-Baltimore areas.


POS Register Systems Available for Retail Business

If you happen to be in business and if you sell directly to the public, you must have to tools that can help you sell merchandise along with keeping track of your inventory. Such POS systems are available for retail, restaurant, or salon environments. The systems come in all sizes, depending on your need. Software products such as POS, inventory or barcode scanner products are also available. It is important to purchase these types of devices from a company that supports what they sell. Advisers are available between Monday and Friday between the hours of 7:30AM and 4:00PM PST at 1-800-903-6571 or by email.


Michelle Obama on Larry King Live Tuesday February 9, 2010

Tonight, Michelle Obama will be on "Larry King Live" and you have a chance to share video questions during the show. There is one catch, you would have to submit our videos by 10:00 AM ET, which is only 5 hours away from now. The number that should work is 1-800-676-2100. Now is your chance to actually air your video on live TV with Larry King and Michelle Obama.


Great Lighting Products Easier To Find Than Ever

Have you ever walked through a retail store and passed the lighting isle? It never fails, especially when my wife is with me, that I wonder down the lighting isle and glance at all the lights being displayed in one particular isle. The one type that my wife likes the most is Crystal Lighting. But for some reason, you can tell that they are not exactly what I'd like. They look kind of cheap, most likely because they are, and some are not even made by glass, but by plastic. I guess that they originally catch my eye because they are all lit, but the lighting fixtures are all bunched up together, and you cannot get the real feel of the lighting that each lamp creates. Shopping in a store is definitely not the place for me to shop for lighting products, mainly because the displays are terrible. It actually is best to shop right online and read about the products. If you are interested in just about any type of lighting such as indoor, outdoor, lamps, ceiling fans, whether it be for the bathroom, foyer, kitchen, anywhere indoors or outdoors, then I'd suggest you let your fingers do the walking and see what is available for the price you would like to pay.


President Obama works, as the Saints and Colts play in the Super Bowl

Monday, February 8, 2010

The professional football season has come to a close as the NFC New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31 to 17 in Super Bowl 44. But it wasn't all fun and games for President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday as he was grilled in an address about Health Care, the economy and national security. He defended his view on health insurance, saying that if nothing gets done, health insurance premiums would "keep on beating down families, small businesses, large businesses -- it's going to be a huge drain on the economy. We're going to have to do something about it. I think we can." The President wants to be more specific, and tackle one issue at a time, and then he believes the Congress can come in agreement to pass a health care bill. Yes, it may have been Super Bowl Sunday, and many people turned on the TV and for at least a short time, forgot about their problems to watch one of America's past time TV programs, the Super Bowl. But President Obama did not rest today, and most likely only got a chance to watch highlights of the Super Bowl later in the evening.


Floor Tiling - Do It Yourself for the Right Price

Home remodeling can be very expensive, especially if you don't shop around first. Of course, the most expensive way would be to have someone else do the job for you, but with the economy going the way that it has, and the job market on a down turn as it has been for almost a year now, you would do yourself great justice by remodeling on your own. A fairly simple job now-a-days would be to lay down new or replacement floor tiles. Find the right place that has a variety of tiles to choose from, along with a sale that fits your pocket book. The days of outright spending money because you just want to are long gone. If you are on the market to remodel flooring in your home, you can find what you are looking for in one place.


Republican Bid for the White House in 2012 - Who Are the Candidates so far?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It has been only over a year since President Obama has taken office, but the Republicans are already making allot of noise is developing a stragegy to take back the White House in 2012.
So what's up? Apparently there is a list of about a dozen potential candidates that the Republicans have leaked out to the press. Who Are They? Here are the TOP 5....What are their Pro's and Con's?

The following is from the report by ABC News, Ted Davis........

         MITT ROMNEY
Pro: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is widely seen by political insiders as the frontrunner for the GOPs 2012 presidential nomination. His strengths include being seen as "the next guy up" in a party with a tradition of rewarding second-time candidates (think Nixon in 1968, Reagan in 1980, Bush I in 1988, Dole in 1996, McCain in 2008). Other assets include his personal wealth; his efficient staff; his fire-in-the-belly; his work on behalf of Republican candidates around the country; and his business background. Like many aspiring presidential candidates who have come before him, he has written a new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," which is set to be released March 2.

Con: Romney, who dropped his support for abortion rights as he got closer to his 2008 presidential run, faces lingering questions about his authenticity. There also remain certain evangelical Christians who are not sure if a Mormon qualifies as a Christian. Romney showed in 2008 that he can endure the rigors of a presidential campaign. His previous run, however, also makes him something less than a fresh face.


Pro: The former Alaska governor is the No. 1 star in the GOP. No other Republican is capable of attracting the same kinds of crowds and media attention that she can. Her recently published memoir, "Going Rogue," sold like hotcakes. Since stepping down as governor of Alaska, Palin has shown that she can get more attention with a post on her Facebook page than her rivals can get from giving a major policy address. As a woman who decided to go forward with her pregnancy even after she learned that her son, Trig, would have Down syndrome, Palin has a strong following in both the special needs and pro-life communities. Con: The downside with Palin is that her run for vice president in 2008 left many voters with the impression that she lacks the intellectual firepower to be president. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in November, three out of five Americans think Palin is not qualified to be president. Although her resignation as governor of Alaska freed her up to pursue one of the most widely publicized book tours of all time, the resignation fed an image of her as highly volatile -- not necessarily a quality one would look for in a potential commander-in-chief. Palin told Oprah Winfrey on Jan. 22 that her gig as a Fox News contributor does not preclude her from running for president in 2012. Some Republican leaders say, however, that she is more interested in enriching herself than in building the party. Other Republican officials note that the fascination with her is akin to the fascination with celebrities and that it would not necessarily translate into political support once the nominating season begins. Finally, she has not put together the kind of staff typically required to run a successful national campaign.

Pro: The Minnesota governor is packaging himself as a conservative who managed to win and govern in a state which has produced such well-known liberals as Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone and Al Franken. "If I can do it in Minnesota, we can do it elsewhere," he likes to say. Pawlenty, who has talked about the GOP as being "the Party of Sam's Club," is the personable son of a truck driver who is good at portraying the GOP as the party which delivers a better value than the Democrats. Pawlenty was as active as anyone in 2009. He has hired a large and experienced staff and he is not seeking re-election this year so that he can campaign full-time for president if he makes the final decision to move forward with a White House run.
Con: Pawlenty's weakness is that he does not enjoy Romney's personal wealth and he is overshadowed by Palin's star power. He also came under scrutiny last year when Dan Balz of the Washington Post characterized his moves to the right as being "Romneyesque." 


Pro: The former House Speaker is often described as the best "ideas guy" in the Republican Party. Through his political advocacy group, American Solutions, he has advanced what he calls "tripartisan" solutions to creating jobs, fostering energy independence and reforming education. Gingrich, who recently converted to Catholicism because of his wife, stays in the public limelight as a Fox News contributor and prolific author. Con: While Gingrich covets the increased attention that comes from being covered as a potential presidential candidate, most Republican insiders think he will ultimately pass on a 2012 race. Although he is revered by conservative activists for leading the GOP to its first House majority in 40 years, many Republicans remember his tenure as Speaker as a stormy one. There is also a concern that Gingrich's personal and political baggage from the 1990s would impede the GOP's ability to make the election a referendum on the Obama administration.


Pro: The former Arkansas governor is one of the most gifted talkers in American politics. Witty and soundbite-friendly, he stunned the political world in 2008 by beating the much-better funded Romney in the Iowa caucuses. Huckabee, a former pastor, has a strong following among evangelical Christians who appreciate his steadfast support for the sanctity of life. He was an early and consistent opponent of the Wall Street bailout and has a politician's knack for remembering names and ingratiating himself with those with whom he comes into contact. Huckabee continues to do better than any other Republican presidential candidate in hypothetical match-ups with President Obama, according to recent public opinion polls. Con: Despite his incredible win in the Iowa caucuses in 2008, Huckabee never put together the kind of national staff or national fundraising network which would have allowed him to overcome Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for the nomination. One reason why Huckabee did not advance further than he did was that he was targeted by the anti-tax Club for Growth which accuses him of going along with higher taxes in Arkansas during his tenure as governor. Huckabee's stock was hurt last year when word spread that he granted clemency to notorious cop-killer Maurice Clemmons. Although the clemency has not yet hurt his standing with the public, it will probably become the subject of attack ads if he becomes a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. It's not clear whether Huckabee, who has put on weight since 2008, still has the same drive that he had last time.

Others considering the race to the White House in 2012......

Mike Pence -      House Republican Conference Chairman from Indiana
Haley Barbour -  Mississippi governor,chairman of the Republican Governors
John Thune -       South Dakota Senator - most likely to compete with Tim
Ron Paul -           Texas Representative - OB/GYN doctor
Gary Johnson -    former New Mexico governor
Rick Santorum -  former senator from Pennsylvania
George Pataki -  former New York Governor


Acquire Good Health Care Protection - Today - Not an Easy Business

Friday, February 5, 2010

The focus on President Obama's Health Care Plan centers around methods that he believes would safeguard the American people from medical catastrophes, and provide health care that would help every American citizen. On the receiving side, most Americans seem to favor the plan, although there is stiff opposition amongst several Republicans and moderate conservatives and liberals alike. Today you are not guaranteed that you can acquire good health insurance, but what you must do is find an agent that knows the market well enough to provide you with a product that is suitable to you. There are thousands upon thousands of agents out there, but it is important that they maintain good insurance marketing methods that would benefit you with your selection of insurance. You want them to be credible, have competitive insurance products, and if in market as an agent for example, you would want to be able to find fresh prospects, ones that are pre-screened that qualify for the particular type of insurance that you have to offer. So the insurance business is quite complicated, and President Obama along with the House and Senate have laid out different plans to come up with a final plan to be ratified by Congress soon. It is still up in the air that any such plan can be approved easily, now especially with the election of Scott Brown, the new Republican Senator from Massachusetts. What will happen next concerning the Health Care Plan proves to be very interesting.


Republican Senator Scott Brown swarn in by Vice President Joe Biden

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Well now it is official. The state of Massachusetts now has a Republican U.S. senator, as Scott Brown was sworn in today by the president of the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden. No longer do the Democrats have a super-majority, by loosing the 60th Senate seat. So how does just one seat matter so much. First, it now will be the first time since 1972 when Senator Ted Kennedy became the Senate representative for Massachusetts, that a Republican held the state senate seat. Second, the loss of the super-majority by the Democrats with his election means that Obama will now not have the ability to just push major legislative priorities through Congress such as health care reform without a tuff vote. The Republican opinions and actions now matter. It is the opinion of this editor that there should have never been a thing called a Super-majority in either branch of Congress. When such a thing is in place, it appears as the Democrats has demonstrated the entire first year of Obama's first term that the Republican opinion and vote wouldn't seem to matter. As a Democrat myself, I do believe that it was too convenient for the Democrats to push legislation through the Senate.
Another fear of congressional Democrats is that the win in Massachusetts by Republicans may be only the beginning of a potential GOP landslide in November's midterm elections. If that happens and the Republicans gain an all out majority in the Senate, President Obama may be hard pressed to get any other legislation through congress that bears a liberalistic flavor to it. It in effect can make the President a 'lame duck' President in only his 2nd year of his first term. So it is important for the Democrats to keep the existing seats in the Senate and not loose not even one more seat. But what could happen instead would be the Democrats regain their seat in November. Then it would be super-majority time for the Democrats in the Senate, and President Obama can continue to push through his legislation as desired. Again, I don't believe that is necessarily a good thing, but still is possible down the road.


Computer Games - Some Good and Some Bad

There are several types of computer games, some of them very light in nature, suitable for children, and others or for more adult individuals. Such games can be found online, or on dedicated computer interfaces like that of the xbox 360. In this country, people are pretty free, as they can do what they wish, short of serious crimes and threatening the President's life. When a President gains popularity, it is common to see people like game manufactures make games centered around a popular figure such as Barack Obama, and sometimes that could be good or bad.
In another country for example, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has declared a law stating that using any kind of gaming interface such as a 'PlayStation' to play games such as 'Mercenaries 2 and World in Flames is illegal and if caught, is punishable for up to five years in prison. The Venezuelan President claims that there are games that teach you to kill.
In the United States, there have been games that teach you to kill available for years. But our freedom allows us to play those games even if they have bad influences on different individuals.


New Health Care Plan will be Better Suited to Catch Serious Illness

In the new health plan masterminded by the Democratic Congress, the rush seems to be on to get a new plan in place that would help the American people. The costs of such a plan with today's private insurance options can be high. With the help of government help, serious diseases like Mesothelioma may be detected in earlier stages because of a simple fact. More people will be able to afford to go to their doctor, and such a disease may be detected at an early stage. Without a doctors physical, this form of cancer cannot be detected until its later stages. Just in case that it is not detected early, there are mesothelioma treatments available that can help slow the disease, as there still is no cure for such a cancer. But there are new therapies and medicines on the horizon because of the extensive research being done at this time.
At the present time, if you do not have good insurance or no insurance, your chances of survival with all the diseases floating around can be slim. People without insurance now have to spend their whole life savings, file bankruptcy, and go to extreme measures because they either do not have insurance or have poor coverage, sometimes next to none. President Obama made health care reform one of his campaign promises, and is try to get the health care reform bill sent to his desk for signature soon. When such a bill becomes law, then there will be a much better chance to catch a disease like mesothelioma in time for corrective treatment.


Obama Supports Small Business Growth - Town Hall Meeting in New Hampshire

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In an attempt to help push job creation legislation, President Obama took his message to New Hampshire today. He kind of acted as if he was campaigning for President again. Why? Because the state of New Hampshire is a crucial state that must buy off on one of his main agendas for 2010, and that is job creation. The President wants to invest $30 billion in a fund that would be available for small businesses. The money would come from the TARP program (Troubled Asset Relief Program and offer cheap capital to community banks that increase loans to small businesses.
Originally, it was the big businesses that were in trouble, but all of the large businesses now have the funds needed to continue to operate. But the small businesses seem to have been left behind so far. This legislation for small businesses and job creation are key to how soon the economy really turns around and people acquire jobs. So why would you think that small businesses are so critical to the economy? The answer is simple. Small businesses employ approximately 50% of the total work force in the country.
Other reasons for pitching his plan in the State of New Hampshire may be because Obama seems to be desperate in gaining back political momentum. The first presidential primary starts in this state, and it seems to be a good beginning point to try and get the momentum going for positive results.
Obama won the election as one of the main reasons were because he captured much of the independent vote which represents approximately 40% of the total voting population.
As President Obama took his small business ideas to the people in New Hampshire, they were sure to fire back with other questions, centering around government transparency and health care reform, education, and energy dependence. President Obama expects these questions, and he is is particularly well versed with the answers. All the President must do now is sell his ideas, something that seems to be getting harder and harder to do these days. He needs to get the independent voters to back him once again, but it now will be a pretty hard sell. Nevertheless, President Obama will not quit, as he has vowed to the people that he will continue to march forward in backing what he believes in. At the same time, the President knows that he will always have major opposition from the Conservative party, but he welcomes the debates and different views centering the issues. He believes that it is OK to have different opinions, even if they don't represent his. One of the things he doesn't like that the Conservative party has recently demonstrated, is the support for issues the President wants to tackle, but when it comes time to vote for the issue, they seem to drop their support and vote against the issue.

So he begins. Three more years to keep pounding his ideas into the minds of the American people, and he feels sure that eventually people will see that his plans are actually working. Some of the Republican (conservative) people are without patience, but it is possible that the support from the Moderates and Conservatives will come his way, although he knows that not everybody would buy off on his plans.


Trip to the Moon Will not Happen in the Next 10 years, but Obama gives the Space Program $6 Billion

It has been rumored for a while that President Obama would be cutting funds to go back to the moon in an attempt to trim the budget. Today, President Obama did just that in a sense, as he ended the Constellation mission back to the moon with the submission of the 2011 budget, but at the same time gave NASA a $6 billion funding increase over the next 5 years.
So why did he really decide this when his replacement plan will have to go through the roads of Congress, and it seems as if the Republicans try and shoot down every plan that he has. Maybe he decided this because the 'Nasa Constellation program' would eventually return astronauts to the moon by the year 2020, while it was over budget, and not on schedule. Besides, new technologies that could apply to the space program have not been implemented, and there now were other objectives possible with outer space besides just landing a man on the moon. It is no longer feasible to just try and do that. Spending another 10 years to land on the moon 60 years later would be a waste of money, unless maybe we would attempt to colonize the moon, and there definitely would not be enough funds in the present budget to do such a thing. More funding would have to come in the year 2015 or 2016 to get a man on the moon by 2020. With global warming, and the need to help people live on this earth, along with the natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, it does not make any sense to keep the Constellation mission back to the moon on the drawing table at this time.
A project such as this that was introduced in 2005 by President George W. Bush. It was anticipated that it would have problems, but now it is known that it would just be too costly to fix the problems, something that the U.S. Government doesn't have at this time. Regardless, President Obama has given the space program $6 Billion in funds to continue for the next decade.
Within the last couple of days, George W. Bush visited President Obama in the White House for a very short visit, and now we can speculate that the two Presidents had a brief conversation on the project, as out of respect, most likely President Obama informed George W. that his project had to be axed.
So what is the Republican reaction? Of course it would be sour with the news, because President Obama disregarded a plan made by a Republican President, but also as stated by the Republican from Alabama, Richard Shelby whose district also includes the Marshall Space Flight Center, stated his dislike for the Obama cut. He claims that "Congress cannot and will not sit back and watch the reckless abandonment of sound principles, a proven track record, a steady path to success, and the destruction of our human space flight program." As an astronaut himself as he flew on the space shuttle four times, it is understandable how he may have these strong feelings about loosing such a program.
Now how about someone who may like the change. Surprisingly, it is the commercial spaceflight companies that are extremely happy regarding the Obama plan to add $6 Billion to the space program. Now there would be "robust competition in the marketplace that can reduce costs and generate innovation" as stated by Bretton Alexander, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.


Obama will give you $2,500 a year to go to school

Monday, February 1, 2010

(ARA) - By now, everyone knows that the Obama administration's stimulus bill is designed to get the economy moving again. However, you may not know that most of the bill's $70 billion for education will go to low- to middle-income individuals.

A major part of the bill is a $13.8 billion tuition tax credit boost called the American Opportunity Tax Credit. This tax credit reimburses 100 percent of the first $2,000 of educational expenses for lower income students. For the next $2,000, students will receive a 25 percent reimbursement. In short, lower income students will receive $2,500 in education reimbursements per year.

The bill also features other benefits for low-income students. Families that do not earn enough to pay income taxes can receive a $1,000 education refund.

"These kinds of incentives from the government don't come along very often," says Janet Hill, financial aid and education counselor at, a free online education service. "If people have been thinking of going back to school, now would be the time to do it. If they are hurting financially, they can easily get the money they need to get a degree." These benefits are set to expire after the 2010-2011 school year.

Fortunately, thanks to a growing number of online education options, degree-seekers can take advantage of President Barack Obama's stimulus bill without leaving their jobs. Sites like Classes and have helped nearly 500,000 degree-seekers get their stimulus money and enroll in online universities.

"We help people learn how to take advantage of this bill," says Hill. "All they have to do is visit our form and fill it out. We guide them through the rest."

If you are a low-income individual and want to get money to go back to school, visit, fill out their form, and indicate which schools you may be interested in. An education advisor will contact you and help you get your share of President Obama's stimulus money to go back to school.


Weekly Address: Reining in Budget Deficits


The Pentagon - Thinking must Change to address present Wars and Cyber Attacks

It took almost 25 years, but the United States finally will replace the planning style of fighting. Presently the present style is how the United States is presently manuvoring 2 wars. But now the plan will be to protect "U.S. interests around the world from a range of threats, from terrorism to cyber attacks" according to (CNN) Washington. As in the present like in the past, determining the forces needed depended soley on the regional conflicts, which would then determine what the size, shape or evaluation of U.S. forces should be. In place is a Quadrennial Defense Review, and it will be reviewed on the same day that the Pentagon presents its budget. One item that will be made top priority will be the use of helicopters that will be used in the rugged terrain in Afghanistan. During the final 3 years of President Obamas first term in office, he will be concentrating his war efforts in Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be asking for $708 billion, which will include finding for the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars, approximately $44 billion more than the 2010 budget of $664 billion. This will also help fund the use of special forces troops used in both wars. The funding will help the U.S. defend against Cyber attacks, and to continue past cyber issues that originated in China.


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