United States Presidential Election, 2012

The election is over. President Obama was reelected.

This page is for reference. 

Divided U.S. Gives Obama More Time
The New York Times
November 6, 2012

Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time.

In defeating Mitt Romney, the president carried Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, a near sweep of the battleground states, and was holding a narrow advantage in Florida. The path to victory for Mr. Romney narrowed as the night wore along, with Mr. Obama winning at least 303 electoral votes. Read more here


After Hard-Fought Campaign, a Victory for Obama (interactive)

C-Span Campaign 2012


Road to the White House

Your Resource for Campaign 2012, the Latest from Congress, and Politics Around the Country

Panel Looks at Role of Independents in U.S. Politics
C-Span Campaign 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012

The U.S. political system was the focus of the "Politics for the People" series in New York Friday.  Former U.S. Congressman Mickey Edwards and Jackie Salit, President of, were the featured panelists.

He says in elections, like in any normal decision making process, people want choices but in this case voters are only offered choice A or B.

Edwards advocates changing this given the growing population of independents.

Jackie Salit agreed with Edwards. She added on election day it’s the American people who are speaking.

The "Politics for the People" series was created in 2002 by the New York County Independence Party. The Series aims to give the public an inside look at public policy from an independent’s point of view. Read more


Hacking Democracy Official Website


Hacking Democracy

Hacking Democracy is a 2006 documentary film by producer Robert Carrillo Cohen and producer / directors Russell Michaels and Simon Ardizzone, shown on HBO. Filmed over three years it documents American citizens investigating anomalies and irregularities with 'e-voting' (electronic voting) systems that occurred during America's 2000 and 2004 elections, especially in Volusia County, Florida. The film investigates the flawed integrity of electronic voting machines, particularly those made by Diebold Election Systems, and the film culminates dramatically in the on-camera hacking of the in-use / working Diebold election system in Leon County, Florida.

In 2007 Hacking Democracy was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Read more

..............Election Fraud in Florida - The Hari Hack............

To some, Clint Curtis is a hero

The Orlando Weekly
By Jeffrey C. Billman
August 10, 2006

He’s the brave computer programmer who stood up to corruption in Tallahassee even though it cost him his job at the Florida Department of Transportation, and even though he believes exposing this very same corruption got a FDOT comrade killed.

More importantly, he’s walking, talking proof of a GOP conspiracy to rig the 2004 presidential election. For Democratic activists wondering how John Kerry lost to President George W. Bush when exit polls predicted otherwise, Curtis offers a satisfying explanation: Kerry didn’t lose. Bush stole it again. Read more



United States presidential election, 2012

The United States presidential election of 2012 is the next United States presidential election, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and the Vice President of the United States on December 17, 2012, will be chosen. Barack Obama, who is eligible for a second and final term as President, has announced that he will seek nomination to be the Democratic Party's candidate in this election. Read more

Electoral College (United States)

The Electoral College consists of the electors appointed by each state who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have and that each state's legislature decides how its electors are to be chosen. U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College. The Electoral College is an example of an indirect election, as opposed to a direct election by United States citizens (such as for members of the United States House of Representatives). Read more

Democratic Party (United States)

The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous operation in the United States, and is one of the oldest political parties in the world. Barack Obama is the 15th Democrat to hold the office of President of the United States.

As of the 112th Congress following the 2010 elections, the Democratic Party currently holds a minority of seats in the House of Representatives, but holds a majority of seats in the Senate. It currently holds a minority of state governorships, as well as a minority of state legislatures. Read more


Democratic Party official website


United States third party and independent presidential candidates, 2012

This article contains lists of official and prospective third party and independent candidates associated with the 2012 United States presidential election.

"Third party" is a term that is commonly used in the United States to refer to political parties other than the two major parties, which are the Democratic Party and Republican Party. The term is used as innumerate shorthand for all such parties, or sometimes only the largest of them.

An independent candidate is one who runs for office with no formal party affiliation.

Those listed as candidates have either formally announced they are candidates in the 2012 presidential election and have filed as candidates with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), or have formed an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run in 2012. They are listed, in each respective section, alphabetically by surname.

Prospective candidates are individuals who are the subject of speculation in prominent media sources as being possible candidates for the nomination of a party other than that of the Democratic or Republican party, or potential independent candidates in 2012. The speculation may stem from noted media analysts and commentators, or from actions or comments made by the individuals themselves — which suggest the possibility of a presidential run — as reported in reliable media sources. They are listed, in each respective section, in order of the date of the most recent media citation. Read more



Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP (Grand Old Party). The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S. political spectrum and is considered center-right, in contrast to the center-left Democratic Party.

In the 112th Congress, elected in 2010, the Republican Party holds a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, and a minority of seats in the Senate. The party holds the majority of governorships, as well as the majority of state legislatures, and control of one chamber in five states. Read more



Republican Party GOP.Gov


Libertarian Party (United States)

The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects the ideas of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration across borders, and non-interventionism in foreign policy, i.e., avoiding foreign military or economic entanglements with other nations and respect for freedom of trade and travel to all foreign countries.

In the 30 states where voters can register by party, there are over 225,000 voters registered with the party. Hundreds of Libertarian candidates have been elected or appointed to public office, and thousands have run for office under the Libertarian banner. The Libertarian Party has many firsts in its credit such as the first party to get an electoral vote for a woman. Read more


Libertarian Party official website



The 2012 election Libertarian Party presidential candidate will be chosen May 3-6, 2012 at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention in Summerlin, Nevada. At least five candidates are competing for the nomination, including Gary Johnson, Carl Person, Sam Sloan, Bill Still, R. Lee Wrights.


Status: Defeated by the reelection of President Obama

Libertarian Party Nominates Gary Johnson for President


LAS VEGAS - The Libertarian Party nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for President of the United States, expressing confidence he will be able to find effective small-government solutions to the country’s most pressing problems and mount a strong challenge to his major party rivals.

Mr. Johnson was declared the party’s Presidential nominee after he won 70% percent of the vote in the first round of balloting, receiving 419 of the 595 votes cast.

His closest challenger, R. Lee Wrights of Texas, finished second with 152 votes. Read more


Gary Johnson for President Official Website

Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia


Gary Johnson

Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American businessman, a former Governor of New Mexico, and the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, as a member of the Republican Party, and is known for his low-tax libertarian views and his regular participation in triathlons. Read more


Tea Party Patriots

The Tea Party movement spontaneously formed in 2009 from the reaction of the American people to fiscally irresponsible actions of the federal government, misguided "stimulus" spending, bailouts and takeovers of private industry. Within the first few weeks of the movement, Tea Party Patriots formed to support the millions of Americans seeking to improve our great nation through renewed support for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market economic policies. Read more


Tea Party Patriots

Tea Party Patriots is an American political organization that promotes "fiscally responsible" activism as part of the Tea Party movement. It claims to have over 1,000 local chapters. Its mission is "to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. Read more

Americans Elect 2012
Pick a President, not a party

Americans Elect is the first nonpartisan presidential nomination. The goal of Americans Elect is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers directly to voters—not the political system. American voters are tired of politics as usual. They want leaders that will put their country before their party, and American interests before special interests. Leaders who will work together to develop fresh solutions to the serious challenges facing our country. We believe a secure, online nominating process will prove that America is ready for a competitive, nonpartisan ticket. Read more

Americans Elect 2012, Facebook


Related story: Make Way for the Radical Center, NYT-Friedman


Jacqueline Salit, Pres

This is an exciting and challenging time for independent voters and for the independent movement. Independents are now 40% of the electorate. Polls show that 41% of college students consider themselves indies as do 35% of African Americans under the age of 30. Independents played an integral role in shaping the 2008 presidential season via open primaries and caucuses in 33 states as well as in recent contests in NJ, VA and MA. Read more


Rocky Anderson: former mayor of Salt Lake City, lawyer

Status: Defeated by the reelection of President Obama

Rocky Anderson

Ross Carl "Rocky" Anderson (born September 9, 1951) served two terms as the 33rd mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, between 2000 and 2008. He is the Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights. Prior to serving as Mayor, he practiced law for 21 years in Salt Lake City, during which time he was listed in Best Lawyers in America, was rated A-V (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell, served as Chair of the Utah State Bar Litigation Section and was Editor-in-Chief of, and a contributor to, Voir Dire legal journal. Read more


Rocky Anderson Official Campaign Website


Rocky Anderson 2012


Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party’s candidate for President, declared his candidacy on the Americans Elect website today. [March 14, 2012] The announcement comes in the midst of the Justice Party’s effort to gain ballot access across the country.  Although the Justice Party has had some recent setbacks in ballot access acquisition, it continues to grow and expand as America’s fresh face of an independent movement calling for an end to Washington, D.C. corruption. Read more



Michele Bachmann: US Congresswoman, tax lawyer

Status: Suspended campaign January 4, 2012

Michele Bachmann, Wikipedia

Michele Marie Bachmann (née Amble; born April 6, 1956) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Minnesota's 6th congressional district, a post she has held since 2007. The district includes several of the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, such as Woodbury, and Blaine as well as Stillwater and St. Cloud.

She is currently a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. She previously served in the Minnesota State Senate and is the first Republican woman to represent the state in Congress. Bachmann is a supporter of the Tea Party movement and a founder of the House Tea Party Caucus. Read more


Michele Bachmann

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke at the (Oct-23-11) Sunday morning church service of the Calvary Bible Church in Osceola, Iowa. She shared her faith and responded to questions from Pastor Matt Floyd. Read more


Michele, Official Campaign Website


Michele Bachmann presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota began a campaign for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for president of the United States in June 2011. Bachmann announced she was running for president during the CNN Republican primary debate held June 13, 2011, and made her formal announcement two weeks later in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Read more

Cain: Former Chairman of Federal Reserve Bank, KC

Status: Suspended campaign December 3, 2011

Herman Cain


Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American business executive, syndicated columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and served as chairman and deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Before his business career he worked as a mathematician in ballistics as a civilian employee of the United States Navy. Read more


Herman Official Campaign Website


Herman Cain presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

Businessman, radio host, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and former United States Senate candidate Herman Cain of Georgia began a campaign for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States shortly after the 2010 midterm elections. Read more


Newt Gingrich: Former Speaker of the House

Status: Suspended campaign May 2, 2012

Newt Gingrich

Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich, born Newton Leroy McPherson; June 17, 1943) is an American politician, author, political consultant, and history teacher who served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. He is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

Born and raised near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Gingrich attended Emory University and received his Ph.D. from Tulane University. In the 1970s he taught history and geography at West Georgia College. During this period he mounted several races for the United States House of Representatives, before winning the election of November 1978. He served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995. Read more


Newt Gingrich for President Official Website


Jon Huntsman, Jr.: 16th Gov Utah, Ambassador China

Status: Suspended campaign January 16, 2012

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. (born March 26, 1960) is an American politician, businessman, and diplomat who served as the 16th Governor of Utah. He also served in the administrations of four United States presidents and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.[1]

Huntsman worked as a White House staff assistant for Ronald Reagan, and he was appointed by George H.W. Bush as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and later as United States Ambassador to Singapore from 1992–1993. Huntsman served as Deputy United States Trade Representative under George W. Bush, launching global trade negotiations in Doha, Qatar in 2001 and guiding the accession of China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization.

Huntsman has also served as CEO of his family's Huntsman Corporation and was elected Governor of Utah in April, 2004 and won re-election in 2008 with nearly 78% of the vote. While governor, he also served as chairman of the Western Governors Association and as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association. On August 11, 2009, he resigned as governor to accept an appointment by Barack Obama as the United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. He submitted his resignation as ambassador on January 31, 2011, in order to explore a presidential campaign. Read more


Jon Huntsman for President Official Website


Ron Paul: US Congressman, Medical Doctor

Status: Suspended Campaign May 14, 2012

Ron Paul


Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes Galveston. Paul serves on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Financial Services, and on the Joint Economic Committee. He is the chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, where he has been an outspoken critic of American foreign and monetary policy. Read more Official Campaign Website 


Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas is running for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for President of the United States. Although he was frequently mentioned as a possible candidate, Paul stopped short of a full-fledged candidacy before May 2011. Prior to that, he had only indicated that he was considering running for the presidency. On April 14, 2011, Paul announced the formation of a "testing-the-waters" account, and had stated that he would decide whether he would officially enter the race by at least early May. Paul announced the formation of an exploratory committee on April 26, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. He proceeded to officially declare his candidacy for President of the United States on May 13, 2011 in Exeter, New Hampshire. Read more



Rick Perry: Governor of Texas

Status: Suspended campaign January 19, 2012

Rick Perry


James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and current Governor of Texas. A Republican, Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. Perry was elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. With a tenure in office to date of 10 years, 313 days, Perry is the longest continuously serving current U.S. governor, and the second longest serving current U.S. governor after Terry Branstad of Iowa. Perry served as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2008 (succeeding Sonny Perdue of Georgia) and again in 2011. Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas state history. As a result, he is the only governor in modern Texas history to have appointed at least one person to every eligible state office, board, or commission position (as well as to several elected offices to which the governor can appoint someone to fill an unexpired term, such as six of the nine current members of the Texas Supreme Court). Read more


Pick Official Campaign Website


Rick Perry presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

Rick Perry, the four-term Governor of Texas, announced via a spokesman on August 11, 2011, that he will be running for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for president of the United States. He formally launched his campaign on August 13, 2011, in Charleston, South Carolina. Read more

Tim Pawlenty: 39th Governor of Minnesota, lawyer

Status: Suspended campaign August 14, 2011

Tim Pawlenty

Timothy James "Tim" Pawlenty (born November 27, 1960), also known affectionately among supporters as T-Paw, is an American politician who served as the 39th Governor of Minnesota (2003–2011). He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election from May to August 2011. He previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives (1993–2003) where he served two terms as majority leader.

Pawlenty was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and raised in nearby South St. Paul. He graduated from University of Minnesota with a B.A. in political science and earned a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. His early career included working as a labor law attorney and the vice president of a software company. After settling in the city of Eagan with his wife, Pawlenty was appointed to the city's Planning Commission and was elected to the Eagan City Council at the age of 28. He won a seat as a state representative in 1992, representing District 38B in suburban Dakota County. He was re-elected four times, and voted majority leader by House Republicans in 1998. Read more


Tim Pawlenty for President Official Website


Mitt Romney: 70th Governor of Massachusetts , lawyer

Status: Defeated by the reelection of President Obama

Mitt Romney


Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American entrepreneur and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.

The son of George W. Romney (the former Governor of Michigan) and Lenore Romney (née LaFount), Mitt Romney was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and later served as a Mormon missionary in France. He received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, and thereafter earned Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration joint degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Romney entered the management consulting business, which led to a position at Bain & Company, where he eventually served as CEO and brought the company out of crisis. He was also co-founder and head of the spin-off company Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became highly profitable and one of the largest such firms in the nation. The wealth Romney accumulated there would help fund his future political campaigns. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, losing to incumbent Ted Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled games into a financial success. Read more


Mitt, Official Campaign Website


Mitt Romney presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

The Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign began informally shortly after the 2008 presidential election. Having campaigned for the Republican nomination in 2008, the former Governor of Massachusetts was frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for U.S. president.

Romney stopped short of a full-fledged candidacy until the beginning of 2011. Romney filed his organization with the Federal Elections Commission as an exploratory committee, and announced the organization in a video message on April 11, 2011. He officially announced his candidacy in Stratham, New Hampshire on June 2, 2011. Read more

Rick Santorum: Former US Sen-Pennsylvania, lawyer

Status: Suspended campaign April 10, 2012

Rick Santorum

Richard John "Rick" Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is a lawyer and a former United States Senator from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Santorum was the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference -making him the third-ranking Senate Republican from 2001 until his leave in 2007. Santorum is considered both a social and fiscal conservative. He is known for his stances against homosexuality and the Terri Schiavo case, and has been a firm supporter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, intelligent design, and Social Security privatization.

In March 2007, Santorum joined the law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. He practiced law in the firm’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., offices, where he provided business and strategic counseling services to the firm's clients. In addition to his work with the firm, Santorum has served as a Senior Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and was a contributor to Fox News Channel. Santorum is a candidate for president of the United States in the 2012 election. He formed a presidential exploratory committee on April 13, 2011, and formally announced his candidacy on June 6. Read more


Rick Santorum for President Offical Website



Also ran Republican: Thaddeus McCotter, US Representative, lawyer; Status: Withdrew on September 21, 2011


John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ron Paul on War

The Incumbent: President Barack Obama, Democrat

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

Barack Obama, Wikipedia

Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961, is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Read more


Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012, Wikipedia

On April 4, 2011, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, formally announced his re-election campaign for 2012. He is expected to be opposed by a candidate from the Republican Party and candidates from other parties, in an election scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The campaign will be based in Chicago, and key members of Obama's successful 2008 campaign such as David Plouffe and David Axelrod will reportedly return. On the day of the announcement, the campaign released a promotional video showing supporters of Obama organizing for the re-election effort. As The Guardian noted, this was the first U.S. presidential re-election campaign to use Twitter and Facebook for promotion. Read more




The 2012 State of the Union Address
An America Built To Last - link to the White House


Official White House Transcript
2012 State of the Union Address
Remarks by the President in State of the[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [107.6 KB]

President Obama is collecting information on those who speak out against him on Talking points are offered in response.

2012 Launch of African Americans for Obama

Obama Humiliates the Black Caucus – and They Pretend Not to Notice
Black Agenda Report
by Glen Ford
September 28, 2011

"Obama has very publicly commanded them to shut up and perform what he believes is their only legitimate function: to get him re-elected."

This magazine spent much of the 2008 presidential campaign warning that reflexive, unquestioning, uncomplaining support for Barack Obama would render African Americans politically irrelevant for the next four years. "About 90 percent of Black America has allied itself with a candidate that never promised them a damn thing," we wrote, back on April Fools Day, 2008. One year before, in Selma, Alabama, Obama had first deployed his pseudo-Baptist preacher delivery to announce that Blacks had already come "90 percent of the way" towards equality, strongly inferring that his election would take us the other ten percent of the way, while simultaneously sending "a signal to whites that the days of Black racial agitation were nearly over." Read more



Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner
President Barack Obama, September 24, 2011:

"I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself, I don’t have time to complain, I’m gonna press on, I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes, shake it off, stop complainin, stop grumblin, stop crying, we are gonna press on, we got work to do" - Pres. Obama, Washington Post

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner
President Barack Obama, official White House video

Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list"

Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list" Reuters
by Mark Hosenball
October 5, 2011

"(Reuters) - American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials....Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder....Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki. They accuse Obama of hypocrisy, noting his administration insisted on publishing Bush-era administration legal memos justifying the use of interrogation techniques many equate with torture, but refused to make public its rationale for killing a citizen without due process." Read more



EDITORIAL: Obama’s killing of U.S. citizens


October 11, 2011


The White House has yet to make the compelling case for targeting al-Awlaki

The more Americans learn about the White House rationale for the targeted killing of an American citizen, the more ominous it sounds.

The latest information on the secret memo that justified the termination of al Qaeda terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki indicates that the basis for the decision was that there was no other way to eliminate him as a threat. Because capturing him was not feasible, he had to be killed. There is no argument over the obvious fact that al-Awlaki posed a threat to this country, but the rationale for negating an American citizen’s constitutional due-process rights cannot be based on simple expediency. Imagine applying the same "we couldn’t catch him so we killed him" rule to domestic law enforcement. No court in the country would stand for it. It is hard to believe that the national assets that infiltrated Osama bin Laden’s compound could not do the same in al-Awlaki’s lair.

The memo reportedly was drafted by attorneys David Barron and Martin Lederman in the Office of Legal Counsel. The thinking of this duo seems to have "evolved" from three years ago, when they argued in the Harvard Law Review that the executive branch had amassed too much war-making power. Defenders of the Obama administration argue that the memo - written long after the kill order was issued - was narrowly tailored to al-Awlaki and not intended to establish a broad policy. This argument is unconvincing. Every person placed on a government death list, whether a U.S. citizen or not, must by law have his case reviewed and his termination authorized by a presidential finding. In that respect, every case is and should be unique. However, having established an operational precedent with al-Awlaki, it would be naive to believe that future cases would not simply default to the same logic.

Precedent always makes policy, but this is both a dangerous precedent and bad policy. The memo may attempt to explain how this utilitarian argument for assassination overawes constitutional guarantees of due process, but so long as the report remains locked away in the White House, we may never know.

President Obama’s legal team has overlooked a better justification for the killing. Last November, when it was first reported that al-Awlaki had been placed on the Obama administration’s death list, The Washington Times introduced the argument that the terror leader was no longer an American citizen. Even though al-Awlaki had not publicly renounced his citizenship, he had engaged in the type of "expatriating acts" that would constitute a "fair inference" that he no longer considered himself to be an American, per the test in the 1980 Supreme Court case Vance v. Terrazas. By this rationale, there is no due-process issue because by the time he was killed; he was not a citizen.

Instead, the White House has chosen a more complicated, less elegant and frankly unpersuasive approach that raises more questions than it answers. It is no wonder Mr. Obama is trying to keep the secret death memo under wraps. If this is the best work his advisers can do, they are not serving the president or the country well. The al-Awlaki targeted-killing memo doesn’t amount to tripping down a slippery slope; it is jumping down an elevator shaft. Read more



Holder Promises To Kill Citizens With Care

Jonathan Tutley

Holder Promises To Kill Citizens With Care
Res ipsa loquitur ("The thing itself speaks")
March 6, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder was at Northwestern University Law School yesterday explaining President Barack Obama’s claimed authority to kill any American if he unilaterally determines them to be a threat to the nation. The choice of a law school was a curious place for discussion of authoritarian powers. Obama has replaced the constitutional protections afforded to citizens with a "trust me" pledge that Holder repeated yesterday at Northwestern. The good news is that Holder promised not to hunt citizens for sport. more

Barack Obama Nobel Peace Prize Questioned

Nobel peace prize jury under investigation
Associated Press
February 1, 2012

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize officials were facing a formal inquiry over accusations they have drifted away from the prize's original selection criteria by choosing such winners as President Barack Obama, as the nomination deadline for the 2012 awards closed Wednesday.

The investigation comes after persistent complaints by a Norwegian peace researcher that the original purpose of the prize was to diminish the role of military power in international relations.

If the Stockholm County Administrative Board, which supervises foundations in Sweden's capital, finds that prize founder Alfred Nobel's will is not being honored, it has the authority to suspend award decisions going back three years — though that would be unlikely and unprecedented, said Mikael Wiman, a legal expert working for the county.

Obama won in 2009, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won in 2010, and last year the award was split between Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.

For this year's award, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina, jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Cuban rights activists Oswaldo Paya and Yoani Sanchez are among the candidates who have been publicly announced by those who nominated them.

The secretive prize committee doesn't discuss nominations — which have to be postmarked by Feb. 1 to be valid — but stresses that being nominated doesn't say anything about a candidate's chances.

Fredrik Heffermehl, a prominent researcher and critic of the selection process, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that "Nobel called it a prize for the champions of peace."

"And it's indisputable that he had in mind the peace movement, i.e. the active development of international law and institutions, a new global order where nations safely can drop national armaments," he said

Especially after World War II, the prize committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, has widened the scope of the prize to include environmental, humanitarian and other efforts, he said.

For example, in 2007 the prize went to climate activist Al Gore and the U.N.'s panel on climate change, and in 2009 the committee cited Obama for "extraordinary efforts" to boost international diplomacy.

"Do you see Obama as a promoter of abolishing the military as a tool of international affairs?" Heffermehl asked rhetorically.

Read more


NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial

NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 was signed into United States law on December 31, 2011 by President Barack Obama.

The Act authorizes $662 billion in funding, among other things "for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad." In a signing statement, President Obama described the Act as addressing national security programs, Department of Defense health care costs, counter-terrorism within the U.S. and abroad, and military modernization.  The Act also imposes new economic sanctions against Iran (section 1045), commissions reviews of the military capabilities of countries such as Iran, China, and Russia, and refocuses the strategic goals of NATO towards energy security.

The most controversial provisions to receive wide attention are contained in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled "Counter-Terrorism." In particular, sub-sections 1021 and 1022, which deal with detention of persons the government suspects of involvement in terrorism, have generated controversy as to their legal meaning and their potential implications for abuse of Presidential authority. Although the White House and Senate sponsors maintain that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) already grants presidential authority for indefinite detention, the Act states that Congress "affirms" this authority and makes specific provisions as to the exercise of that authority. The detention provisions of the Act have received critical attention by, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and some media sources which are concerned about the scope of the President's authority, including contentions that those whom they claim may be held indefinitely could include U.S. citizens arrested on American soil, including arrests by members of the Armed Forces.



One Billion Against Indefinite Detention, Facebook 



Indefinite detention without trial: Section 1021

Detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002. In May 2006, the UN Committee against Torture condemned prisoners' treatment at Guantánamo Bay, noting that indefinite detention constitutes per se a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

The detention sections of the NDAA begin by "affirm[ing]" that the authority of the President under the AUMF, a joint resolution passed in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, includes the power to detain, via the Armed Forces, any person "who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners," and anyone who commits a "belligerent act" against the U.S. or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, "without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the [AUMF]." The text authorizes trial by military tribunal, or "transfer to the custody or control of the person's country of origin," or transfer to "any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity."

Addressing previous conflict with the Obama Administration regarding the wording of the Senate text, the Senate-House compromise text, in sub-section 1021(d), also affirms that nothing in the Act "is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force." The final version of the bill also provides, in sub-section(e), that "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States." As reflected in Senate debate over the bill, there is a great deal of controversy over the status of existing law.

An amendment to the Act that would have replaced current text with a requirement for executive clarification of detention authorities was rejected by the senate. Read more



NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial


Federal Government Takes Final Step to Suspend Constitution

In what can only be considered a tragic irony, the U.S. Senate passed out of the final conference committee the controversial National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, coinciding with the 220th Anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act otherwise known as the NDAA, provides broad authority for the federal government to use the military in domestic operations in order to detain Americans indefinitely and without trial. Such a move not only whitewashes the natural rights of Americans, whereby even publicly criticizing the federal government can now rise to the purposefully vague definition of a "belligerent act", it also sits in direct violation of "Posse Comitatus" an 1878 law forbidding use of the military at home and against Americans. Read more



NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial


Dear brothers and sisters. Now is the time to open your eyes!

In a stunning move that has civil libertarians stuttering with disbelief, the U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America.

The National Defense Authorization Act is being called the most traitorous act ever witnessed in the Senate, and the language of the bill is cleverly designed to make you think it doesn't apply to Americans, but toward the end of the bill, it essentially says it can apply to Americans "if we want it to". Read more



NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial

NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial

The NDAA And Civil Rights- A National Call To Action
Matt Weidner
Fighting For The American People
January 1, 2012

There will come a time when all Americans will regret that they all stood passively by while the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and ultimately the sacred ground we were all entrusted to protect called America was dismantled, in slow motion, right in front of every single one of us.

They did it right before our eyes. All of our rights, and all of what it meant to be an American, taken from our fat, sticky hands like a dog snatches candy out of a baby’s hand.  And no one did anything at all about it.  We all woke up every morning and went to our meaningless jobs, where we all just fed the tyrannical machine that was grinding us all down.  And when each day was done, we went home, plopped down in front of the television and gorged our mushy brains on the putrid poison and meaningless drivel fed to us every night by the corporate and government controlled media….a nation of 360 million addled fools.  Addled by drugs, addled by alcohol, addled by utterly meaningless nonsense that we shoot into our veins every single day like a strung out heroin junkie.

And where are the attorneys in all of this?  No, not the caricature of an attorney framed in the 1-800-Accident ads, no the attorneys that took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America, those attorneys who understand that the highest calling of the profession is to stand up and sacrifice everything to serve the interests of those who are suffering the most among us all.  I still believe that in the midst of this terrible epoch in American history a lawyer class will emerge that will forever change the perception of the profession in the eyes of the world…

If only attorneys would heed the epic call to action…Read more



NDAA 2012 - Indefinite detention without trial

FBI, CIA, DOJ- All opposed NDAA 1031…so why did Congress Ignore Them?
Matt Weidner
Fighting For The American People
December 17, 2011

Everyone in this country needs to be real clear about what NDAA 1031 means.  It means the government can come in, seize you and hold you indefinitely with no notice, no trial, no charges.

Various Senators and groups tried to amend the bill to make it clear that it did not apply to US citizens, but this was rejected by The President and leading Senators.  What really is amazing however, is just who was against the indefinite detention provisions:

Opposition to the detention provisions came from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, CIA Director David Petraeus, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, White House Advisor for Counterterrorism John Brennan, and DOJ National Security Division head Lisa Monaco. The Senate ignored them all. Read more



Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front
Los Angeles Times
by Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
December 10, 2011

Reporting from Washington—
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said. Read more

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (also called Predator B or Guardian) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the CIA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force. The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the U.S. Air Force to indicate their human ground controllers. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. Read more

The Summers Memo
New Yorker Magazine
by Ryan Lizza
January 23, 2012

In a piece this week on Barack Obama’s shift from idealism to pragmatism, I describe an important fifty-seven-page document from Lawrence Summers to President-elect Barack Obama dated December 15, 2008:

Marked "Sensitive and Confidential," the document, which has never been made public, presents Obama with the scale of the crisis. "The economic outlook is grim and deteriorating rapidly," it said. The U.S. economy had lost two million jobs that year; without a government response, it would lose four million more in the next year. Unemployment would rise above nine per cent unless a significant stimulus plan was passed. The estimates were getting worse by the day.

This document is the ur-text of economic policymaking for the Obama Administration. Given the importance of this issue for understanding the past few years, I’m making the full document available below. (Click on the arrows in the lower left corner to expand.) I hope it ignites a lively debate. Read more

The Summers Memo December 15, 2008
Adobe Acrobat document [2.5 MB]


Matt Weidner: Wall Street Has Been Waging War on Americans And It Started on Sacred Ground, Jan 1, 2012 on YouTube



Recorded November 3, 2011, 10.15am. The People vs. Goldman Sachs mock trial people's hearing held at Liberty a/k/a Zuccotti Park with fiery commentary by Dr. Cornel West, eloquence by Chris Hedges, and testimonies from people directly affected by Goldman Sach policies. (closed captioned).


How Many Stephen Colberts Are There?
The New York Times
by Charles McGrath
January 4, 2012

There used to be just two Stephen Colberts, and they were hard enough to distinguish. The main difference was that one thought the other was an idiot. The idiot Colbert was the one who made a nice paycheck by appearing four times a week on "The Colbert Report" (pronounced in the French fashion, with both t’s silent), the extremely popular fake news show on Comedy Central. The other Colbert, the non-idiot, was the 47-year-old South Carolinian, a practicing Catholic, who lives with his wife and three children in suburban Montclair, N.J., where, according to one of his neighbors, he is "extremely normal." One of the pleasures of attending a live taping of "The Colbert Report" is watching this Colbert transform himself into a Republican superhero. Read more


Colbert Super PAC Official Website


A 501(c)(4) organization is a nonprofit that can take unlimited donations and never has to report the donors.


Colbert Super PAC

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (also known as the Colbert Super PAC) is a United States political action committee (PAC) established by Stephen Colbert, who portrays a conservative political pundit on the television series The Colbert Report. As a super PAC the organization can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as wealthy individuals. Speaking in character, Colbert said the money will be raised not only for political ads, but also "normal administrative expenses, including but not limited to, luxury hotel stays, private jet travel, and PAC mementos from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus." Read more



Politics and popular culture

Rombama Theater
by Karen Garcia
January 11, 2012

You have to hand it to Newt Gingrich. Since the Democrats won't go for Mitt Romney's jugular, Gingrich will do it for them.  The worst epithet I have ever heard Barack Obama use against Wall Street bankers is "fat cats".  As he is wont to frequently point out, the Wall Street kitties have a lot of business savvy and didn't actually do anything illegal.

Not Newt.  He has laid into Romney like a rabid mountain lion disemboweling a pampered Angora. Gingrich does severe damage, calling him a vulture capitalist job killer in the withering tone that only he can pull off.  In a few days he has dared to go where the Obama crowd has thus far feared to tread, succeeding in putting the entire private equity industry on the defensive.  Not so Obama, who probably will remain purring and preening for the primary duration.  Even DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not known to be a shrinking violet, will only call Romney a "job cremator." Capitalist pig is, unfortunately not in the neo-lib capitalist lexicon. Read more



The Wealth Issue
The New York Times
January 19, 2012

Mitt Romney is a rich man, but is Mitt Romney’s character formed by his wealth? Is Romney a spoiled, cosseted character? Has he been corrupted by ease and luxury?

The notion is preposterous. All his life, Romney has been a worker and a grinder. He earned two degrees at Harvard simultaneously (in law and business). He built a business. He’s persevered year after year, amid defeat after defeat, to build a political career.

Romney’s salient quality is not wealth. It is, for better and worse, his tenacious drive — the sort of relentlessness that we associate with striving immigrants, not rich scions.

Where did this persistence come from? It’s plausible to think that it came from his family history. The philosopher Michael Oakeshott once observed that it takes several generations to make a career. Interests, habits and lore accrue in families and shape those born into them.

The Romney family history, which is nicely described in "The Real Romney" by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, is a story of tenacious work, setbacks and recovery. People who analyze how Mormonism may have shaped Romney generally look to theology. But the Mormon history, the exodus, matters most.

Mitt Romney’s great-great-grandfather Miles was a member of the church in Nauvoo, Ill., and spent years building a temple there. Even after Joseph Smith was killed by a mob and most of the Mormons fled, Miles stayed to finish his temple.

Then, in 1844, as the great work was being completed, mobs burned it to the ground and forced Miles and his family to head West. Most Mormons made the trek to Salt Lake City, but the Romneys could not afford an ox cart. They were part of a small, malnourished band that took four years of struggle to make it the 1,300 miles west.

Mitt’s great-grandfather, also Miles, made the trek starting at age 7. He was married in 1862, but a month after his marriage Brigham Young told him to leave his wife, Hannah, and become a missionary for three years in Britain. Hannah supported herself by taking in other people’s washing. Read more


The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy
The New York Times
May 1, 2012

Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn’t understand their contribution. You get the sense that they’re afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren’t there?

With that in mind, I recently met Edward Conard on 57th Street and Madison Avenue, just outside his office at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he helped build into a multibillion-dollar business by buying, fixing up and selling off companies at a profit. Conard, who retired a few years ago at 51, is not merely a member of the 1 percent. He’s a member of the 0.1 percent. His wealth is most likely in the hundreds of millions; he lives in an Upper East Side town house just off Fifth Avenue; and he is one of the largest donors to his old boss and friend, Mitt Romney.

Unlike his former colleagues, Conard wants to have an open conversation about wealth. He has spent the last four years writing a book that he hopes will forever change the way we view the superrich’s role in our society. "Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong," to be published in hardcover next month by Portfolio, aggressively argues that the enormous and growing income inequality in the United States is not a sign that the system is rigged. On the contrary, Conard writes, it is a sign that our economy is working. And if we had a little more of it, then everyone, particularly the 99 percent, would be better off. This could be the most hated book of the year. Read more

Why Evangelicals Don’t Like Mormons
The New York Times
January 25, 2012

According to a CNN exit poll of South Carolina Republican primary voters, Newt Gingrich, a thrice-married Catholic, won twice as much support from evangelical Protestants as Mitt Romney, a Protestant. And among voters for whom religion meant "a great deal," 46 percent voted for Mr. Gingrich and only 10 percent for Mr. Romney.

This is the second evangelical-heavy state Mr. Romney has lost. With a third, Florida, next on the list, it’s important to consider the often antagonistic skepticism that many evangelicals have of Mr. Romney’s brand of Protestantism: Mormonism. Read more


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wikipedia

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, colloquially, the Mormon Church) is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement, a Christian primitivist movement started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations (called wards or branches) and built temples worldwide. With over 50,000 missionaries serving worldwide at any given time, the church currently claims a growing membership of over 14.1 million. The church's predominant theology is Mormonism, the belief that the original doctrines and priesthood authority of Christ were restored. Read more


The official website The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Mormon Channel YouTube

Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions

David L. Cohen, who oversees lobbying efforts for Comcast, is a member of Mr. Obama's exclusive $500,000 bundling club.

Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions
The New York Times
by Eric Lightblau
October 27, 2011

WASHINGTON — Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid.

At least 15 of Mr. Obama’s "bundlers" — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign.

Because the bundlers are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate, the Obama campaign has managed to avoid running afoul of its self-imposed ban on taking money from lobbyists.

But registered or not, the bundlers are in many ways indistinguishable from people who fit the technical definition of a lobbyist. They glide easily through the corridors of power in Washington, with a number of them hosting Mr. Obama at fund-raisers while also visiting the White House on policy matters and official business. Read more



Congressional Insider Trading

Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
60 Minutes
by Steve Kroft
November 13, 2011

The following is a script of "Insiders" which aired on Nov. 13, 2011. Steve Kroft is correspondent, Ira Rosen and Gabrielle Schonder, producers.

The next national election is now less than a year away and congressmen and senators are expending much of their time and their energy raising the millions of dollars in campaign funds they'll need just to hold onto a job that pays $174,000 a year.

Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don't always apply to them. Read more


Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
TRANSCRIPT, 60 Minutes, Steve Kroft, Nov-13-2011
Adobe Acrobat document [109.3 KB]

Congressional Insider Trading Gone Wild
Zero Hedge
by Tyler Durden
November 13, 2011

Back in May we penned, "Why A Hedge Fund Comprised Of Junior Congressional Democrats Should Outperform The Market By 9%" in which the simple conclusion was that insider trading is not only rampant in Congress, but completely unregulated, as it is perfectly legal for Congressional staffers to trade at their leisure on inside information: an exemption which the beta chasing 2 and 20 crowd on Wall Street would sell their first through fifth born to be granted, now that their glaring inability to generate alpha is laid out for all to see. Tonight we were happy to see that 60 Minutes has finally brought this gross and criminal injustice to the general public, and we expect that Congress will promptly legislate itself into actually complying with laws meant for the mere mortals out there. That said, we fully commiserate with the pathological excrement that makes up House of Representative these days: it is indeed a sad day when a Congressional member has to rely on honest work to make their millions as opposed to perfectly legal trading on inside information predicated upon laws that these very congress men and women legislate. Something tells us all the world's banana republics are just staring at the US with sheer and utter amazement as layer after layer of the unprecedented depravity of American society is exposed for all to see. Read more



Why A Hedge Fund Comprised Of Junior Congressional Democrats Should Outperform The Market By 9%
Zero Hedge
by Tyler Durden
May 29, 2011

That insider trading in Washignton occurs with a greater frequency than at Galleon is no secret. Courtesy of various loopholes, members of both the House and Senate have long been allowed to trade on inside information, something that grabbed the media's attention when back in November 2005 someone, somewhere sent the stock of USG Corp., W.R. Grace & Co., and Crown Holdings higher even though there was no public information. Only later would it become known that then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist would deliver a speech announcing new legislation to relieve companies of asbestos litigation. Subsequent studies (such as Ziobrowski et al's 2004 paper "Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the United States Senate.") confirmed substantial market outperformance by members of Senate. A few days ago, Ziobrowski et al, have released a follow up study "Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives" which confirms that not only do congressional critters consistently outperform the market, but does a granular analysis of just who it is in congress that should consider leaving the public arena, and raising capital to start their own hedge fund: simply said, junior, democratic congressmen beat the market by roughly the same amount, with the same consistency (and probably with the same Sharpe ratio) that allows SAC to charge 3% and 35%.

In a nutshell, the latest stereotype is that if one is a junior democrat in Congress, and one trades for their own discretionary account, one most likely is doing so using insider information.

Read more


Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments
of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives



Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock
Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
Adobe Acrobat document [329.0 KB]

Third party option; "giant sucking sound" of NAFTA

Twenty years ago in the 1992 election Ross Perot ran as a third-party candidate and received almost 19 percent of the popular vote, some 19,743,821 votes, but not a single Electoral College vote. As we all know from Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), the Electoral College elects the president, not the American popular vote.

In his 1992 campaign, Ross Perot was opposed to NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Perot warned of the "giant sucking sound" of jobs leaving America if NAFTA became law. The corporate fascist loved NAFTA, and promised any jobs lost would be replaced, and then some, by increased demand for high-value American products like computers, jobs that paid higher wages than the jobs lost. Turns out Ross Perot was right. Apparently high-value American products can be made elsewhere, like in China, by cheap labor, and with less environmental regulations or worker protections.

Ross Perot’s 1993 debate with Vice President Al Gore on Larry King over NAFTA is a classic, see below. The year NAFTA was ratified America had a $1 billion trade surplus with Mexico. In 2010 America's trade deficit with Mexico was $66 billion.
How long will Americans believe in voodoo economics?



The Patriotic Millionaires

We are here representing a group of 200 Americans with incomes over $1 million per year. To put that figure in perspective, the United States has a population of around 308 million people. Of those people, roughly 400,000 have incomes of over $1 million a year. For those of you without calculators handy, we are NOT the 1%, we are the 0.1%. . . and we should pay a higher tax rate. We want to pay a higher tax rate. And in response to a suggestion from Grover Norquist, Senator Hatch and other conservatives, that we just write an extra check to the IRS, let us clarify our position. We want EVERYONE in the country who is fortunate enough to make more than a million a year to pay a higher tax rate. This ‘everyone’ will include the 50% of congress people and senators who are millionaires. Read more November 16, 2011 Statement to the Press

Statement to the Press By the Patriotic Millionaires
November 16, 2011
Adobe Acrobat document [48.4 KB]


US millionaires ask Congress to 'Raise our taxes' 

Al Jazeera


Nearly 140 millionaires asked a divided US Congress on Wednesday to increase their taxes for the sake of the nation. "Please do the right thing," the entrepreneurs and business leaders wrote President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, noting that they benefited from a sound economy and now want others to do so. "Raise our taxes." Read more


A Counterintuitive Truth: Higher Taxes = More Jobs

A Counterintuitive Truth: Higher Taxes = More Jobs
Justice Network Editorial
by Neil Gillespie
November 27, 2011

President George Bush ordered the nation to "go shopping" to fight terrorism after the 9-11 attack. Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve instituted monetary policy to facilitate the shopping spree. Pres. Bush also started two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, and put them on the national credit card. That blew the budget. President Clinton left office with a budget surplus after creating 23 MILLION JOBS! In contrast Pres. Bush only created 3 million jobs. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal January 9, 2009, see Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was to address discrimination in loans made to individuals and businesses from low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The law worked fine from 1977 through 2001 until Pres. Bush took office and wrecked the economy. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall act of 1934, by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, was a major factor in the 2008 Economic Crash. Glass-Steagall was repealed during Pres. Clinton’s second term in office.

Oh for the good old days of peace and prosperity, and a budget surplus to boot! Since Pres. Clinton created 23 million jobs with higher tax rates, and Pres. Bush created only 3 million jobs with lower tax rates, it looks like higher tax rates on the rich actually creates more jobs. This may sound counterintuitive, but those are the facts. This is my view, as a graduate of the Wharton School, and a former business owner. 



Watch more news videos | Latest world news

Full Interview. Bianna Golodryga speaks with Warren Buffett and his secretary Debbie Bosanek about taxes.



Treasury Department approves huge paydays for execs at firms who received TARP bailout money

The government approved a $10.5 million package for AIG chief executive Robert Benmosche.

Treasury Department approves huge paydays for execs at firms who received TARP bailout money
New York Daily News
by Juan Gonzalez
January 26, 2012

Scathing audit: Government approved pay packages worth $5M or more for 49 executives

The Treasury Department approved pay packages worth $5 million or more for 49 executives at a handful of firms that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts between 2009 and 2011.
A scathing new audit this week by the inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program blasted those payments, all of which occurred despite a $500,000 salary cap that President Obama and Congress established in 2009 at firms receiving "exceptional assistance" under TARP.
Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials joined behind the scenes with the bailed-out firms to repeatedly pressure Kenneth Feinberg, the special federal master overseeing the compensation packages, to approve higher salaries, the audit found.

Feinberg had the power to allow waivers to the cash cap, but the report found the program’s contradictory goals meant "he could not effectively rein in excessive compensation."
The CEO of one bailed-out firm, Ally Financial, actually complained that one of his underlings, who was paying for private school for his kids, would be "cash poor" if relegated to a salary of just $500,000.
The audit looked at seven of the biggest TARP recipients — Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, General Motors, Ally, Chrysler, and Chrysler Financial.

Two of those, Citigroup and Bank of America, paid back their government loans before the end of 2009, so they would be free to pay their execs whatever they wanted.
Of the remaining companies, AIG repeatedly insisted on the biggest pay packages and represented 80% of Feinberg’s "headaches," the audit said.

The company received more than $180 billion in federal bailout money in 2008, and even today, after paying back billions, it is still 70% owned by the federal government.
But at the recession’s height in spring 2009, AIG had the audacity to press Feinberg for raises ranging from 20% to 550% for its top employees, the report said.

Backed by top Treasury aides, AIG argued that unless it got those raises, key people would leave and the government would not get its money back.
What’s more, AIG wanted those salaries in cash, not stock.
Company execs confided to Feinberg that the firm’s common stock was "essentially worthless," the report said.
To his credit, Feinberg resisted the most outrageous salary demands, but he still approved dozens above the government’s $500,000 cash cap.

In 2009, for instance, he approved a $10.5 million package for AIG chief executive Robert Benmosch, which included $3 million in cash.
The following year, Feinberg approved another $10.5 million for Benmosch, while signing off on packages of from $3 million to $7.6 million for 17 of AIG’s 22 top employees.
Ally CEO Michael Carpenter got approval for an $8.1 million package. General Motors chief Fritz Henderson got $5.1 million.
AIG’s Executive Vice President Michael Herr declined to comment Thursday.
As for those dire warnings that many execs would flee, it simply didn’t happen.
The audit found that 85% of top employees covered by the federal salary caps in 2009 were still working at the same company two years later.

All that talk about limiting pay at companies the taxpayers bailed? It was just that — talk. Read more


SIGTARP, Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP

SIGTARP Special Master’s 78 page report of January 23, 2012


SIGTARP Executive Compensation Audit
January 23, 2012
Adobe Acrobat document [2.7 MB]

U.S. Faulted Over Pay at Rescued Firms
The New York Times
January 24, 2012

Federal auditors said that the government failed to rein in executive compensation at the biggest companies it bailed out during the financial crisis because its main concern was simply getting its money back.

Months after the emergency rescues began in the fall of 2008, the Obama administration announced pay caps of $500,000 for executives of seven companies that received major assistance from the taxpayers. Congress then passed a law requiring the Treasury to establish a special master to administer the cap and other new compensation rules for those that received the most money from the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Though Kenneth Feinberg, the special master, had been appointed to oversee the pay, a report released early Tuesday said that he had been pressured by both the companies and the Treasury to get around the caps.

Forty-nine people received packages worth $5 million or more from 2009 to 2011, according to the report.

The Treasury responded to the report in an appended letter, which noted that the $500,000 cap on salaries was merely a guideline, not a provision of law or a regulation. It also said that in drafting the compensation rules, the Treasury had issued six general principles, then given Mr. Feinberg the discretion to apply them according to each executive’s individual circumstances.

The Treasury did not dispute the auditor’s tally of individuals getting more than $500,000, but said that on an average basis, it had succeeded in cutting executive compensation at the seven companies dramatically.

Two of the seven companies that were singled out, Bank of America and Citigroup, were so eager to avoid the pay caps that they paid back their bailout money long before anyone expected them to be able to.

The other five companies were the American International Group, Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, General Motors and Ally Financial, which was formerly the General Motors Acceptance Corporation.

Negotiators for the companies told Mr. Feinberg that their top people needed big cash salaries, or at least payment in stock that could be sold right away. Otherwise they would quit, the argument went, harming the companies’ profitability and the likelihood they could ever pay back the government.

In one bargaining session, the chief executive of Ally Financial offered the example of an employee making $1.5 million, with $1 million of it in cash.

"This individual is in their early 40s, with two kids in private school, who is now considered cash poor," Ally’s chief explained, adding that such people "would not meet their monthly expenses" if the new rules were followed.

A.I.G., G.M. and Ally still collectively owe the taxpayers about $87 billion.

"Under conflicting principles and pressures," Mr. Feinberg approved multimillion-dollar packages for many executives, the audit said. Mr. Feinberg developed a system for approving or rejecting the requests. Read more



Yellow Dogs
Guest Post on Sardonicky
by Jay - - Ottawa
September 23, 2011

Selected passages...

"Yellow Dog Democrat" defined: an unflinching party loyalist who votes for the Democratic ticket even when the party elevates as its candidate a scoundrel, a dead man or, for that matter, a mangy four-legged cur. The term goes back to the nineteenth century. The term is applicable today in the twenty-first century. I speak of Democrats who will not budge, who will not think out of the box, no matter what.

The term is key to help me understand why many an otherwise sensible commenter, in this blog and elsewhere, continues to stick with Obama, despite his consistent betrayal of the best principles that stand for – or used to stand for -- the Democratic Party. Yellow Dog Democrats are rarely enthusiastic about Obama. How could they be in light of his abject failures and acknowledged willingness to turn his back on truth itself? And yet they back him...

....Yellow Dog Democrats write, but they don’t fight. Yellow Dog Democrats take the crumbs and lick the hands of those who abuse them. Where were the Yellow Dog Democrats in 2000 when the election was stolen, votes not counted, the losing candidate appointed to office by five Justices with a decision that didn’t parse? Yellow Dog Democrats hardly even barked. They should have been in the streets. Where are the Yellow Dog Democrats today when the young, the old and the Middle Class are being thrown under the bus? They bark, but they don’t bite.
Yellow Dog Democrats brag about the accomplishments of FDR and the New Deal. But the Democratic Party of FDR is extinct. It is a light extinguished, fading into myth. In fact, the Democratic Party of today, lead by Trojan Horse Obama, works diligently to overturn the New Deal, as well as to gut the Great Society programs of President Johnson.

All three branches of government are bought. Both major parties are bought. These once great institutions and once great parties dance to the tune of the elites. Both parties ignore the will of the people; just ask the pollsters. And still, Yellow Dog Democrats, the party loyalists no matter what, swear allegiance to the likely party ticket of November 2012. Shifting support to primary challenges or Third Parties, like the New Progressive Alliance, is labeled naïve, impractical, risky. The Yellow Dog Democrats are right: Obama will become the Default President in 2012. The best of the Empire will disappear; the worst of the Empire will endure -- and continue to be funded.

America is trapped in a two-party system subverting democracy. And Yellow Dog Democrats are helping to seal the trap. Read the entire post on Sardonicky 




politics and popular culture

Rejecting the Duopoly
by Karen Garcia
January 9, 2012

Here is some encouraging news from a just-released Gallup poll: a record number of Americans are refusing membership in either one of the major two corrupt political parties currently smothering what's left of our democracy.The proportion of self-identified independents in 2011, when the poll was conducted, is the largest in 60 years.


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Neil Cosentino of No Party Affiliation (NPA) explains the term Duopoly and gives his opinion on why the Occupy Tampa and Occupy Wall Street protesters are out there expressing their feelings and standing up for the rights of 99% of the American citizens of today.




Duopoly, Wikipedia

Modern American politics has been described as a duopoly since the Republican and Democratic parties have dominated and framed policy debate as well as the public discourse on matters of national concern for about a century and a half. Third Parties have encountered various blocks in getting onto ballots at different levels of government as well as other electoral obstacles, more so in recent decades. Read more