| Norm Coleman concedes the Minnesota U.S. Senate race to Senator Elect Al Franken following a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in favor of Franken. The seat gives Democrats a 60-vote majority in the Senate.|
MN Supreme Court Opinion PDF
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Posted by sookietex at 7:17 PM || ||
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Nixon Presidential Library has opened approximately 154 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House recorded in January and February 1973 and consisting of approximately 994 conversations. The conversations cover topics such as the conclusion of a peace settlement between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the return of American POWs, President Nixon’s second inauguration, the U.S. and Europe, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, energy policy, the reorganization of the executive branch, the creation of a “New Majority” for a reinvigorated Republican Party, and the first Watergate trial.
While the conversations document the entire scope of issues in which the Nixon White House engaged in early 1973, these conversations particularly concern the peace settlement ending United States involvement in the Vietnam War and the return of American prisoners of war from Southeast Asia. Other major topics include visits from foreign dignitaries for former President Harry S. Truman’s memorial services, maintaining US access to oil produced in the Middle East in the face of tighter controls by the Organization for Oil Producing Countries (OPEC), and the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion rights in Roe v. Wade.
|Tape Number||Location||Tape Subject Log||Conversations|
|36||White House Telephone||Conversation List/Audio|
|43||White House Telephone||Conversation List/Audio|
|112||Cabinet Room||not yet online|
|113||Cabinet Room||not yet online|
|160||Camp David Study Table||Conversation List/Audio|
|239||Camp David Hard Wire||Conversation List/Audio|
|240||Camp David Hard Wire||Conversation List/Audio|
|393||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|394||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|395||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|396||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|397||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|398||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|399||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|400||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|401||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|402||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|403||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|404||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|405||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|406||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|407||Old Executive Office Building||Conversation List/Audio|
|829||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|830||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|831||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|832||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|833||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|834||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|835||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|836||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|837||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|838||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|839||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|841||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|842||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|843||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|844||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
|845||Oval Office||Conversation List/Audio|
The opening also consists of approximately 10.5 cubic feet of previously restricted materials from the White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files; the National Security Files; and the Henry A. Kissinger Files, and 12,000 newly released pages from the White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files of Kenneth Cole.
The Nixon Library has scanned and posted 41 documents that represent the variety of subjects and wealth of historical information included in the new textual release.The release includes significant material on the formulation of the Nixon administration’s foreign and domestic policy, covering subjects such as the environment, Title IX, Detente, US-Israeli relations, the standoff at Wounded Knee, the invasion of Cambodia, the so-called Plumbers unit, the Saturday Night Massacre, the geo-political consequences of the opening to China, and the investigation of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. View representative documents from the textual collections.
Posted by sookietex at 5:55 PM || ||
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address Saturday, June 27, 2009 Washington, DC PODCAST OF THIS ARTICLE Download MP3 4.25 mb
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a historic piece of legislation that will open the door to a clean energy economy and a better future for America.
For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow. We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth: the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.
Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this too. Now is the time for us to lead.
The energy bill that passed the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation in our economy. It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy – everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings, like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.
Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill. We’re already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we’re making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1000 permanent jobs. In Michigan, investment in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1400 people.
The list goes on and on, but the point is this: this legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. I have often talked about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth so that we do not return to the endless cycle of bubble and bust that led us to this recession. Clean energy and the jobs it creates will be absolutely critical to this new foundation.
This legislation has also been written carefully to address the concerns that many have expressed in the past. Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions. It provides assistance to businesses and families as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies. It gives rural communities and farmers the opportunity to participate in climate solutions and generate new income. And above all, it will protect consumers from the costs of this transition, so that in a decade, the price to the average American will be just about a postage stamp a day.
Because this legislation is so balanced and sensible, it has already attracted a remarkable coalition of consumer and environmental groups; labor and business leaders; Democrats and Republicans. And I want to thank every Member of Congress who put politics aside to support this bill on Friday.
Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.
We have been talking about energy for decades. But there is no longer a disagreement over whether our dependence on foreign oil is endangering our security. It is. There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It’s happening. And there is no longer a question about whether the jobs and industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries? I want that answer to be the United States of America. And I believe that the American people and the men and women they sent to Congress share that view. So I want to congratulate the House for passing this bill, and I want to urge the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations – to our constituents, to our children, to God’s creation, and to future generations.
Thanks for listening.
Posted by sookietex at 8:14 PM || ||
Representative John Boehner Weekly Republican Address 06/27/09 TEXT TRANSCRIPT
“I’m John Boehner, House Republican Leader. When I’m home in Ohio, I get an earful about the crushing debt Washington Democrats are running up. The President and Democrats in Congress claim this spending binge is necessary to put Americans back to work. They promised unemployment would not rise above eight percent if their trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ was passed. But our nation has lost nearly three million jobs this year. Unemployment has soared above nine percent. And now the President admits that unemployment will soon reach double-digits. After all of this spending, after all of this borrowing from China, the Middle East, our children, and our grandchildren, where are the jobs?
“It’s about to get worse for middle-class families and small businesses. Democrats are pushing a government takeover of our health care system that will cost at least a trillion dollars. The President has repeatedly claimed that Americans will be able to keep their doctors under the Democrats’ plan, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that at least 23 million Americans would lose their current health coverage and their doctors. Another independent report projects that nearly 100 million Americans may be forced onto government rolls.
“Our nation could lose an additional 4.7 million jobs under the Democrats’ health care proposal, based on analysis developed by White House chief economic advisor, Dr. Christina Romer. And one million small business jobs would be lost because of the Democrats’ costly mandates.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy. We should help them weather the storm and create jobs. This would be a real stimulus, but Washington hasn’t tried it yet. Republicans have offered a plan that encourages investment and allows families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn to help get our economy moving again – a real stimulus plan.
“On health care, we’ve put forward a better alternative that will reduce costs, expand access, and increase the quality of care in a way Americans can afford – without new taxes, costly mandates, or a government takeover that puts bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions that should be made by doctors and patients.
“This week, the President and Democrats on Capitol Hill continued their push for Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax. By imposing a tax on every American who drives a car or flips on a light switch, this plan will drive up the prices for food, gasoline, and electricity. Even President Obama has said that energy prices will – quote – ‘skyrocket,’ and its consequences will be especially severe in rural communities across our country. The Democrats’ bill will also ship millions of jobs to competitors like China and India. A recent study estimated it will cost us between 2.3 and 2.7 million jobs every year.
“We should be creating American jobs – not destroying them. That’s why House Republicans have proposed a better way: an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy to clean up the environment, lower energy costs, and create more jobs. Our plan will increase environmentally-safe energy production; promote the use of alternative fuels, such as nuclear, clean-coal, and renewable energy technologies; and encourage increased efficiency.
“Republicans are offering common-sense solutions that will make a real difference in creating jobs, making health care more affordable, and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment, and reducing energy costs. We hope our Democrat colleagues will abandon their failed go-it-alone approach and work with us to make these reforms a reality. Thanks for listening.”
Posted by sookietex at 7:51 PM || ||
Friday, June 26, 2009
Senator Mitch McConnell announced Sen. John Thune as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee VIDEO
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Sen. John Thune (R-SD) as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference. Sen Thune takes the chairman's position recently vacated by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV).
Posted by sookietex at 7:32 PM || ||
Dr. Paul Broun Responds to the Obamacare Infomercial and Offers His Vision for Health Care
Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) today released his rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s health care infomercial on the Administration’s Biggest Champion Network:
Posted by sookietex at 6:30 PM || ||
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
House Republican Leaders are joined by Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT) and Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD) as they discuss health care and energy.
Full Text Transcript:
Republican Leader Boehner:
We’re joined today by Governor Jim Douglas from Vermont and Governor Mike Rounds from South Dakota. They, like the American people, know that if the government gets involved in our health care we’re going to see nothing but rationed care, higher taxes and less quality in our health care delivery. So, it’s really important that we allow governors to have the flexibility to deal with this issue in their home states, and I think the governors will talk about that.
But at 852 pages, the Democrat health care plan will do just the opposite. It is a complete government takeover of our health care system, which is going to lead to higher taxes, rationing and a lower quality in our health care system. House Republicans have a proposal we’ve put on the table that will provide affordable access to high quality health insurance for every American. I believe that the Democrats ought to be working with us to do our best to help deliver health insurance to more Americans. Yet, at this point they’ve not reached out to us. We continue to reach our hands out and say “Listen, work with us.” If we’re going to have true health care reform, it needs to be bipartisan and it needs to keep the interests of Americans at the beginning of this process.
Governor Jim Douglas:
Well thank you; I’m Jim Douglas from Vermont.
I want to echo the Leader’s sentiments about the importance of a bipartisan approach to health care reform. This is an increasingly large percentage of our gross domestic product. It’s an increasingly large percentage of state budgets all across the nation. We need to get these costs under control. We need to change the way we deliver health care. To pay for quality rather quantity. To focus on prevention and chronic disease management, on ensuring that the American taxpayer and ratepayer gets the best bang for his or her buck. So, Governor Rounds and I are here for some meetings with Democrat leaders, as well as the Republican Caucus. I want to make sure that all the good ideas from the Republicans are considered in this process. The American people need a bipartisan solution.
We’ve done it in Vermont. We have a program called Green Mountain Care that is based on prevention and chronic disease management. We’ve saved hundreds of millions of dollars through the flexibility that we’ve received through our Medicaid waivers. So the message that the Leader articulated is an important one. No unfunded mandates to the states, flexibility so that states can experiment and do it their own way and a focus on quality and outcome so that we can control costs for the American people.
Governor Mike Rounds:
Mike Rounds from South Dakota.
Ninety-one percent of our people have a plan for taking care of their health care. Nine percent don’t. We can do better. The reason that we’re here today is to participate and we’d love to see it be a bipartisan effort - one in which we can improve health care. But at the same time, we have to be able to pay for it. Concerns that we’re expressing are that as states, we know that we share part of that burden. Today, we’re really struggling. We know the federal government is struggling. Anything that we do in health care, we have to have a long-term plan to pay the bills. If we don’t have that, it would not be sustainable and it would not be an improvement.
In South Dakota, we think that there are more reforms that could be done. In 2003, we had three insurance companies left offering individual health care products. Today we have 18, because we’ve opened up the market. We’ve made it competitive. We’ve laid the ground rules out but we did it in such a fashion that it worked for South Dakota. We don’t want to have the states lose the ability to be that laboratory where we can make things better. That’s the reason why we’re here today. We look forward to a very good discussion and coming up with a good plan that Republicans and Democrats alike can look at and say “we did something good for the rest of America.”
Republican Whip Cantor:
As we now are in the week of cap and trade in the House. I think it is becoming ever more apparent of how the Democratic agenda for the people of this country is disconnected with the reality that American families face every day. Plain and simple it’s about jobs and it’s about this failing economy. And the cap and trade bill is at best counterproductive toward trying to address those challenges.
When we look at the impact of this bill on American families, what we see is a job killer. There are studies out there that have indicated - on the one hand the MIT study says it’s $3,000 cost to a family of four as a result of this cap and trade bill. There are others, the CBO study that was out as recently as last week, which said that there is a $1,600 plus impact cost on a family of four. Today, now we are reading the reports that have come out this week that CBO has now reduced its cost estimate to say that it is only $160 that families will be impacted by the cap and trade bill. I think that now CBO has now entered the realm of losing its credibility. There is no question that the cap and trade bill will cost millions of jobs and it is pretty evident, I think now, given the word that we are hearing that the other side has 190 votes at this point, far short of that which are needed to pass this bill. And I think it reflects wariness on the part of the American people of the cost and consequences of the Democratic agenda. And that’s why Republicans will stay focused on jobs, the economy and on families’ financial security.
Rep. Mary Fallin:
I’m Mary Fallin, I come from Oklahoma and in my state, of course, we have a rich energy industry, and oil and gas and alternative energy with wind and solar, and people in Oklahoma are very concerned about the discussions here about energy. We do want in Oklahoma to have a cleaner environment. We do want cleaner air, cleaner water and cleaner land, but we don’t want it at the expense of losing jobs.
And in a state that has an abundance of oil and gas jobs in our economy, we are already seeing jobs that are being cut in our state just because of the discussion here in Washington, D.C. We have a plan here in our Republican caucus to develop all forms of energy whether it is wind, solar, nuclear, alternative fuels, biodiesel fuels, clean natural gas, clean coal technology, there are other alternatives besides the national energy tax which is said to increase our utility costs anywhere from 30-50 percent, and when you have families that are back home in our states that are suffering from a recession, that are worried about their jobs, worrying about making their mortgage payments.
To talk about increasing utility rates by 30-50 percent would be a huge burden upon our families not even to mention our businesses and manufacturing and how it could affect our job markets. We’re already seeing gasoline prices rise because we’re in the summertime. It’s estimated it will increase gasoline costs too.
So we need to sit back and be careful and thoughtful about what we’re doing to produce American-made energy to encourage innovation, research and development into American-made products while also working on the clean energy. And let me just say something about the health care debate. I appreciate the governors coming in today to visit with us about what they’re doing in innovation in their states.
In Oklahoma, we’ve created our own plan called Insure Oklahoma to take care of those who are uninsured, to work with the private sector and the government to where they can partner together to find reasonable cost supported health care that allows patient-doctor choice and that allows access to care. So I appreciate the governors coming today to help us here on health care because there are some great innovative ways that we can cover the uninsured, that we can lower our costs and create better access in preventative care.
Rep. Thad McCotter:
Earlier this year we saw the administration set an arbitrary deadline for a trillion dollar stimulus bill. One of the promises it made was that unemployment would not go beyond 8 percent in the United States if the bill was passed. Painfully, those promises and predictions have been disproven.
Just yesterday in Michigan, we saw within our manufacturing base General Motors announcing 4,000 white-collar layoffs by the end of the year. The response of this Democratic Congress is what? To pass cap-and-tax legislation that will adversely affect not only all American jobs, all American working families, but manufacturing in particular. The very same arbitrary deadline which we saw in the past has been repeated, and I believe that the promises and predictions they made will also be disproven.
One of the things we are supposed to do representing our constituents in Washington is to step back from the insanity and try to inject reality into the legislative process. I want you to think about what this bill means. The fundamental rationale behind this cap and tax legislation is this: Government will control the weather by raising your taxes, taking your job and dictating your life. That sounds very unappealing to those of us in the Republican Party and we think it’s unappealing to the Americans who right now are suffering under a recession. We think the president should get this economy moving and stop taking steps that will further hinder it and further harm working families. Thank you.
Conference Chairman Pence:
Thank you all for being here. Mike Pence, Conference Chairman. I was home in Indiana earlier this week. At town hall meetings in places like Connersville and Richmond, Indiana I saw confirmation, not only in the statistics of those communities but in the faces of the citizens, that this economy is hurting. The American people are struggling. People of Indiana are struggling under the weight of extraordinary unemployment. Remarkably, House Democrats are planning this Friday to bring a national energy tax to the floor of the House of Representatives at precisely the time when Americans and American businesses in the city and on the farm can least afford it.
As Mr. Cantor suggested there are competing estimates about the cost of this national energy tax. But interestingly there is no debate that the energy cost to average American households and businesses will rise. And this national energy tax will cost millions of American jobs. A recent study by the Charles River Associates suggested that, even including the green jobs that would be created under the cap and trade legislation, that our GDP could be reduced by as much as two millions lost jobs per year. The President himself said that utility rates would “necessarily skyrocket.” Even though the President said yesterday that the cost of his legislation would be “paid for by polluters,” in January of 2008 then-candidate Obama said that as utility rates rose that those would be passed along to consumers, and I believe he was right a year ago.
Well, Republicans have a better solution. Republicans have developed an “all of the above” strategy that sends us decisively in the direction of energy independence, more jobs and a cleaner environment. It is called the American Energy Act and it has gotten a great reception across the country and in districts of our members. We believe that the choice between energy independence and more jobs and a cleaner environment of the Republican alternative and the national energy tax, we know which one the American people will choose in a free and open debate.
Posted by sookietex at 6:50 PM || ||
Monday, June 22, 2009
BIOGRAPHY: Brigadier General Michael J. Walsh
Brigadier General Michael Walsh assumed command of the Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, Miss., February 20, 2008. He also serves as President-designee of the Mississippi River Commission. General Walsh came to MVD from Baghdad, Iraq, where he was the Commander for the Corps’ Gulf Region Division.
Previous assignments include: Commander of the Corps’ South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, Ga., from June 2004 to September 2006, Chief of Staff at Corps headquarters, Washington, D.C., from May 2003 to June 2004, Executive Director of Civil Works at Corps headquarters, Washington, D.C., from August 2001 to May 2003, District Commander of the Corps’ Sacramento District, Sacramento, Calif., from 1998 to 2001, and District Commander of the Corps’ San Francisco District, San Francisco, Calif., from 1994 to 1996.
Brig. Gen. Walsh has held a wide variety of Army command and staff assignments, to include: project management officer for Engineer Branch, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE); Environmental Task Force Leader, Fort Stewart, Ga.; Executive Officer, 92nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Stewart, Ga., and Saudi Arabia; Project Engineer and Assistant Area Engineer, Baltimore District; Construction Officer, 18th Engineer Brigade, Darmstadt, Germany; and Commander, Company B, 94th Engineer Battalion, Darmstadt, Germany.
Brig. Gen. Walsh graduated from Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He also earned a master's degree in construction management from the University of Florida. His military education includes the Engineer Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and is married with two children.
Posted by sookietex at 5:29 PM || ||
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address Saturday, June 20, 2009 Washington, DC PODCAST OF THIS ARTICLE Download MP3 4.16 mb
As we continue to recover from an historic economic crisis, it is clear to everyone that one of its major causes was a breakdown in oversight that led to widespread abuses in the financial system. An epidemic of irresponsibility took hold from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street. And the consequences have been disastrous. Millions of Americans have seen their life savings erode; families have been devastated by job losses; businesses large and small have closed their doors.
In response, this week, my administration proposed a set of major reforms to the rules that govern our financial system; to attack the causes of this crisis and to prevent future crises from taking place; to ensure that our markets can work fairly and freely for businesses and consumers alike.
We are going to promote markets that work for those who play by the rules. We’re going to stand up for a system in which fair dealing and honest competition are the only way to win. We’re going to level the playing field for consumers. And we’re going to have the kinds of rules that encourage innovations that make our economy stronger – not those that allow insiders to exploit its weaknesses for their own gain.
And one of the most important proposals is a new oversight agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. It’s charged with just one job: looking out for the interests of ordinary Americans in the financial system. This is essential, for this crisis may have started on Wall Street. But its impacts have been felt by ordinary Americans who rely on credit cards, home loans, and other financial instruments.
It is true that this crisis was caused in part by Americans who took on too much debt and took out loans they simply could not afford. But there are also millions of Americans who signed contracts they did not always understand offered by lenders who did not always tell the truth. Today, folks signing up for a mortgage, student loan, or credit card face a bewildering array of incomprehensible options. Companies compete not by offering better products, but more complicated ones – with more fine print and hidden terms. It’s no coincidence that the lack of strong consumer protections led to abuses against consumers; the lack of rules to stop deceptive lending practices led to abuses against borrowers.
This new agency will have the responsibility to change that. It will have the power to set tough new rules so that companies compete by offering innovative products that consumers actually want – and actually understand. Those ridiculous contracts – pages of fine print that no one can figure out – will be a thing of the past. You’ll be able to compare products – with descriptions in plain language – to see what is best for you. The most unfair practices will be banned. The rules will be enforced.
Some argue that these changes – and the many others we’ve called for – go too far. And I welcome a debate about how we can make sure our regulations work for businesses and consumers. But what I will not accept – what I will vigorously oppose – are those who do not argue in good faith. Those who would defend the status quo at any cost. Those who put their narrow interests ahead of the interests of ordinary Americans. We’ve already begun to see special interests mobilizing against change.
That’s not surprising. That’s Washington.
For these are interests that have benefited from a system which allowed ordinary Americans to be exploited. These interests argue against reform even as millions of people are facing the consequences of this crisis in their own lives. These interests defend business-as-usual even though we know that it was business-as-usual that allowed this crisis to take place.
Well, the American people did not send me to Washington to give in to the special interests; the American people sent me to Washington to stand up for their interests. And while I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one. The most important thing we can do to put this era of irresponsibility in the past is to take responsibility now. That is why my administration will accept no less than real and lasting change to the way business is done – on Wall Street and in Washington. We will do what is necessary to end this crisis – and we will do what it takes to prevent this kind of crisis from ever happening again.
Posted by sookietex at 5:35 PM || ||
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Weekly Republican Address 06/20/09 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT
Hello. I’m Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.
Republicans and Democrats agree that health care is in serious need of reform. Americans are frustrated with the high cost of even basic treatments and procedures; millions are without coverage; and millions are worried about losing the care they have. That’s why many of us are calling for reforms that would bring down the cost of care and ensure that those who need coverage can afford and obtain it.
Republicans have put forward common sense solutions like reforming our medical liability laws to discourage junk lawsuits that make health care more expensive for everyone; strengthening wellness and prevention programs that encourage people to make healthy choices, such as quitting smoking and fighting obesity; and addressing the needs of small business without imposing new taxes that kill jobs.
Unfortunately, some in Washington are insistent on a different set of proposals that could make our current problems even worse — driving costs higher than they already are and forcing even those who are happy with their current coverage into a government-run system that could lead to the same denial, delay, and rationing of care that we’ve seen in other countries.
Now I give them credit for trying to address the problem. But their proposals just aren’t the kind of reforms Americans are looking for. And this morning, I’d like to focus on just one area where their proposals fall seriously short: cost.
Throughout this debate, the administration’s central argument has been that America needs health care reform for the sake of the economy. Yet according to independent estimates, every health care proposal Democrats on Capitol Hill have offered would only hurt the economy.
This week, the independent Congressional Budget Office priced just a portion of these proposals at well over a trillion dollars. The total cost would be much higher, burying us in deeper and deeper debt. And yet Democrats still want to rush the process. When it comes to health care reform, the Democratic motto is clear: rush and spend, rush and spend.
If all this sounds familiar, it should.
Remember that the economic stimulus bill from earlier this year was sold along the same lines. The administration said the stimulus was necessary to jump-start the economy, even though....
...it would plunge the country deeper into debt. They even predicted that if we passed it quickly, unemployment wouldn’t go higher than eight percent.
Well, here we are just a few months later and the unemployment rate is approaching 10 percent.
You might remember that the administration also promised it would keep an eye on every dollar spent. Well, now we’re learning about projects so ridiculous only the government could make them up:
A $578,000 grant that a town in New York didn’t even request for a homeless problem it says it doesn’t even have. $3.4 million to build a 13-foot long turtle tunnel at a lake in Florida — that’s more than a quarter of a million dollars per foot for turtles. And this one takes the cake: in North Carolina, more than $40,000 in stimulus funds will go to pay the salary of someone whose job is to apply for more stimulus funds.
Now faced with rising unemployment and reports of stimulus waste, the administration concedes it made a mistake on its predictions about the stimulus. But that hasn’t kept it from pushing a government takeover of health care that America’s doctors oppose.
Before, the administration said that government spending would keep unemployment low. Now they say a new government health plan will keep costs low. Well, expecting a government-run system to help the economy is like praying for rain in the middle of a flood. The thing you’re asking for is the last thing you need. And so far, that’s pretty much been the message of every independent analyst who’s looked at the Democratic plans for health care.
If the stimulus bill taught us anything, it’s that we should be wary anytime someone in Washington says the sky’s going to fall unless Congress approves trillions of dollars immediately. Yet once again in the health care debate, it’s rush and spend, rush and spend. Americans want health care reform, but they want the right health care reform. And that means taking the time and the care necessary to get it right.
Against Republican advice, they rushed the stimulus. We shouldn’t rush again on something as important, and costly, as health care. ###
Posted by sookietex at 5:13 PM || ||
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Nevada Senator John Ensign resigned as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the Senate's fourth-ranking party leadership position a day after admitting he had an extramarital affair with a campaign aide.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
“He’s accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family and constituents, He offered, and I accepted, his resignation as chairman of the policy committee.”
Senator Ensign’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Cooper, confirmed his resignation and said there was no further statement.
Posted by sookietex at 6:03 PM || ||
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Congressman Ron Paul - Moving Towards Tobacco Prohibition - Texas Straight Talk:
Last week, another bill was passed and signed into law that takes more of our freedoms and violates the Constitution of the United States. It was, of course, done for the sake of the children, and in the name of the health of the citizenry. It’s always the case that when your liberty is seized, it is seized for your own good. Such is the condescension of Washington.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will give sweeping new powers over tobacco to the FDA. It will require everyone engaged in manufacturing, preparing, compounding, or processing tobacco to register with the FDA and be subjected to FDA inspections, which is yet another violation of the Fourth Amendment. It violates the First Amendment by allowing the FDA to restrict tobacco advertising in multiple ways, as well as an outright ban on advertising any cigarettes as light, mild or low-tar. The FDA will have the power of pre-market reviews of all new tobacco products, and will impose new user fees, meaning taxes, on manufacturers and importers of tobacco products. It will even regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.
My objections to the bill are not an endorsement of tobacco. As a physician I understand the adverse health effects of this bad habit. And that is exactly how smoking should be treated – as a bad habit and a personal choice. The way to combat poor choices is through education and information. Other than ensuring that tobacco companies do not engage in force or fraud to market their products, the federal government needs to stay out of the health habits of free people. Regulations for children should be at the state level. Unfortunately, government is using its already overly intrusive financial and regulatory roles in healthcare to establish a justifiable interest in intervening in your personal lifestyle choices as well. We all need to anticipate the level of health freedom that will remain once government manages all health care in this country.
Actions in Congress such as this tobacco bill are especially disconcerting after we thought we were beginning to see some progress in drawing down the wrong-headed and failed war on drugs. A majority of Americans now think marijuana should be legal, taxed and regulated, according to a recent Zogby poll and over 70 percent are in favor of allowing medicinal use of marijuana. Bills like this take us down exactly the wrong path. Instead of gaining more freedom with marijuana, we are moving closer to prohibiting tobacco. Our prisons are already bursting with non-violent drug offenders. How long will it be before a black market in tobacco fills the prisons with non-violent cigarette smokers?
Hemp and tobacco were staple crops for our founding fathers when our country was new. It is baffling to see how far removed from real freedom this country has become since then. Hemp, even for industrial uses, of which there are many, is illegal to grow at all. Now tobacco will have more layers of bureaucracy and interference piled on top of it. In this economy it is extremely upsetting to see this additional squeeze put on an entire industry. One has to wonder how many smaller farmers will be forced out of business because of this bill.
Posted by Ron Paul (06-15-2009, 01:32 PM) filed under Civil Liberties, Healthcare
Posted by sookietex at 4:18 PM || ||
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address Saturday, June 12, 2009 Washington, DC.
Last week, I spoke to you about my commitment to work with Congress to pass health care reform this year. Today, I’d like to speak about how that effort is essential to restoring fiscal responsibility.
When it comes to the cost of health care, this much is clear: the status quo is unsustainable for families, businesses, and government. America spends nearly 50 percent more per person on health care than any other country. Health care premiums have doubled over the last decade, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs have skyrocketed, and many with preexisting conditions are denied coverage. More and more, Americans are being priced out of the care they need.
These costs are also hurting business, as some big businesses are at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign counterparts, and some small businesses are forced to cut benefits, drop coverage, or even lay off workers. Meanwhile, Medicare and Medicaid pose one of the greatest threats to our federal deficit, and could leave our children with a mountain of debt that they cannot pay.
We cannot continue down this path. I do not accept a future where Americans forego health care because they can’t pay for it, and more and more families go without coverage at all. And I don’t accept a future where American business is hurt and our government goes broke. We have a responsibility to act, and to act now. That is why I’m working with Congress to pass reform that lowers costs, improves quality and coverage, and protects consumer health care choices.
I know some question whether we can afford to act this year. But the unmistakable truth is that it would be irresponsible to not act. We can’t keep shifting a growing burden to future generations. With each passing year, health care costs consume a larger share of our nation’s spending, and contribute to yawning deficits that we cannot control. So let me be clear: health care reform is not part of the problem when it comes to our fiscal future, it is a fundamental part of the solution.
Real reform will mean reductions in our long term budget. And I have made a firm commitment that health care reform will not add to the federal deficit over the next decade. To keep that commitment, my Administration has already identified how to pay for the historic $635 billion down payment on reform detailed in our budget. This includes over $300 billion that we will save through changes like reducing Medicare overpayments to private insurers, and rooting out waste in Medicare and Medicaid.
However, any honest accounting must prepare for the fact that health care reform will require additional costs in the short term in order to reduce spending in the long-term. So today, I am announcing an additional $313 billion in savings that will rein in unnecessary spending, and increase efficiency and the quality of care – savings that will ensure that we have nearly $950 billion set aside to offset the cost of health care reform over the next ten years.
These savings will come from commonsense changes. For example – if more Americans are insured, we can cut payments that help hospitals treat patients without health insurance. If the drug makers pay their fair share, we can cut government spending on prescription drugs. And if doctors have incentives to provide the best care instead of more care, we can help Americans avoid the unnecessary hospital stays, treatments, and tests that drive up costs. For more details about these and other savings, you can visit our website: www.whitehouse.gov.
These savings underscore the fact that securing quality, affordable health care for the American people is tied directly to insisting upon fiscal responsibility. And these savings are rooted in the same principle that must guide our broader approach to reform: we will fix what’s broken, while building upon what works. If you like your plan and your doctor, you can keep them – the only changes that you’ll see are lower costs and better health care.
For too long, we have stood by while our health care system has frayed at the seams. While there has been excuse after excuse to delay reform, the price of care has gone up for individuals, for business, and for the government. This time must be different. This is the moment when we must reform health care so that we can build a new foundation for our economy to grow; for our people to thrive; and for our country to pursue a responsible and sustainable path. Thank you.
Posted by sookietex at 1:54 PM || ||
I’m Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.
Across the country gas prices and home utility bills are on the rise again. During these difficult economic times, higher energy prices impose a great hardship on families struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority in Congress is embracing a national energy tax that will lead to even higher energy prices and massive job losses for the American people.
President Obama even admitted that under his energy plan, utility rates would ‘necessarily skyrocket.’ If the Democrats’ cap-and-trade bill were to become law, estimates suggest that the average American family would face up to $4,300 a year in extra energy costs and anywhere between 1.8 [million] and 7 million American jobs could be lost.
That’s a heavy price to pay for a plan that will do very little to clean up our environment, since manufacturers will probably ship their plants, and their pollution, to countries with less stringent environmental safeguards. This national energy tax amounts to an economic declaration of war on America’s families, small businesses and family farms. The American people know we can do better.
This past week, House Republicans introduced the American Energy Act. It’s an ‘all of the above’ energy plan that offers energy independence, more jobs and a cleaner environment, without imposing a national energy tax.
The Republican energy plan calls for more domestic exploration for oil and natural gas, a renewed commitment to clean, emissions-free nuclear energy, investments in renewable and alternative energy technologies, and incentives to spur greater conservation among individuals and businesses.
The American Energy Act is the comprehensive energy solution this country desperately needs to achieve energy independence, create good jobs and help our environment.
During these difficult times, the American people don’t want a national energy tax out of Washington, D.C. We want a 21st century answer to our nation’s energy needs. The ‘all of the above’ strategy of the American Energy Act is that answer. For more information about the American Energy Act, log on to http://gop.gov. I’m Mike Pence. Thanks for listening.
Posted by sookietex at 11:40 AM || ||
Friday, June 12, 2009
|Unitrd Nations Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Representative of the United States of America, H.E. Ms. Susan E. Rice, in connection with Non-proliferation, Democratic People's Republic of Korea. FULL STREAMING VIDEO [Webcast: Archived Video - 9 minutes ]|
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States welcomes the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1874. This resolution provides a strong and united international response to North Korea’s test of a nuclear device.
The message of this resolution is clear: North Korea’s behavior is unacceptable to the international community, and the international community is determined to respond. North Korea should return without conditions to a process of peaceful dialogue. It should honor its previous commitments to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. It should shun provocation and proliferation. But for now, its choices have led it to face markedly stronger sanctions from the international community.
This resolution condemns North Korea’s nuclear test in the strongest terms. It strengthens and enhances sanctions on North Korea in five critically important areas: by imposing a total embargo on arms exports from North Korea and significantly expanding the ban on arms imports; by creating a wholly new framework for states to cooperate in the inspection of ships and aircraft suspected to be carrying weapons of mass destruction or other banned goods; by calling on states and international financial institutions to disrupt the flow of funds that could support North Korea’s missile, nuclear, or proliferation activities; by committing to designate for targeted sanctions additional goods, entities, and individuals involved in North Korea’s illicit behavior; and, finally, by strengthening the mechanisms to monitor and tighten the implementation of this toughened new sanctions regime. These measures are innovative, they are robust, and they are unprecedented.
Mr. President, North Korea chose a path of provocation. As President Obama has said, actions must have consequences. Resolution 1874 has seen to it that they do. This resolution will give us new tools to impair North Korea’s ability to proliferate and threaten international stability. We are particularly grateful to our colleagues on the Council, who have come together to help adopt this resolution; we thank them for their tremendous hard work in this process, for their good effort, and for their goodwill.
Above all, Mr. President, Resolution 1874 reflects the resolve of the international community and the Security Council, which has spoken with one voice. The United States stands firmly behind these provisions and is committing to ensuring its implementation.
Thank you, Mr. President.
USUN PRESS RELEASE # 124(09) June 12, 2009 AS DELIVERED. Office of Press and Public Diplomacy. United States Mission to the United Nations. 140 East 45th Street. New York, N.Y. 10017
Posted by sookietex at 5:32 PM || ||
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The American Energy Solutions Group (AESG) and House Republican Leadership promoted their alternative to the energy bill passed by the House Energy & Commerce Committee on May 21. GOP House members call the bill's carbon emissions "cap-and-trade" program a "national energy tax."
The American Energy Act, An “All-of-the-Above” Solution for Energy Independence
- Increase production of American-made energy in an environmentally-sound manner.
- Promote new, clean and renewable sources of energy such as nuclear, clean-coal-technology, wind and solar energy.
- Encourage greater efficiency and conservation by extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and rewarding development of greater conservation techniques and new energy sources.
- Cut red-tape and reduce frivolous litigation.
New and Expanded Technologies: The bill creates a Renewable and Alternative Energy Trust Fund to provide funding for energy programs authorized by federal law, such as biomass, hydroelectric, clean coal, solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy. The fund will encourage the development of renewable, alternative and unconventional fuels, and new energy sources, using receipts from the new federal and oil gas leasing in the Arctic Coastal Plain and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Alternative Fuels: The bill spurs the development of America’s alternative fuels by repealing the “Section 526” prohibition on government purchasing fuels derived from sources such as oil shale, tar sands and coal-to liquid technology. The bill also encourages the use of clean coal-to-liquid technology by allowing federal agencies to enter into long-term contracts to buy coal-derived fuel and by authorizing the Secretary of Energy to enter into loan agreements with coal-to-liquid projects.
Tax Provisions for New and Expanding Technology: The bill encourages new and expanding energy technologies by making permanent tax credits for the production of renewable electricity, like wind, solar, and biomass. The bill also makes permanent investment tax credits for solar energy and for fuel cell properties and extends the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credits.
American Energy Act IN PDF Format:
Posted by sookietex at 6:50 PM || ||
Monday, June 08, 2009
Ethics Complaint on Apparel Dismissed 14th Ethics Complaints filed with no Violations, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-141
Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today welcomed news that another ethics complaint has been dismissed. This is the 14th ethics complaint filed against the governor or her staff that has been resolved with no finding of a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act. Those complaints contain 22 separate allegations, all of which have been found to be without merit.
The complaint, filed by Linda Kellen Biegel, a blogger designated by the 2008 Democratic National Convention to represent Alaska bloggers, alleged that the governor violated the ethics act when she acted as the official starter of the Iron Dog snow machine race in February while wearing a jacket with the name Team Arctic, a logo of the Arctic Cat Company.
Daniel went on to write, “I also note that most jackets worn by Alaskans have a company name or logo on them. It is common to see jackets with logos of North Face, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, Cabella’s, L.L. Bean and others. Indeed, it is more likely than not that any jacket that an Alaskan wears will have a company logo on it. So the fact that a person wears a jacket with a company logo on it is not evidence that the person is receiving a financial benefit as a result. To the contrary, it is the company that is receiving the benefit in the form of free advertising.”
"This complaint cost the governor personally, and the State of Alaska, thousands of dollars to address,” said Thomas Van Flein, the governor’s attorney. “It is regrettable that the ethics process has been diverted for partisan purposes by some, but it is also commendable that the board remains focused on the law." ###
Posted by sookietex at 5:36 PM || ||
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address Saturday, June 06, 2009 Washington, DC PODCAST OF THIS ARTICLE Download MP3 5.6 mb
Over the past few days, I’ve been traveling through the Middle East and Europe working to renew our alliances, enhance our common security, and propose a new partnership between the United States and the Muslim world.
But even as I’m abroad, I’m firmly focused on the other pressing challenges we face – including the urgent need to reform our health care system. Even as we speak, Congress is preparing to introduce and debate health reform legislation that is the product of many months of effort and deliberation. And if you’re like any of the Americans I’ve met across this country who know all too well that the soaring costs of health care make our current course unsustainable, I imagine you’ll be watching their progress closely.
I’m talking about the families I’ve met whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy or forcing them to go without the check-ups or prescriptions they need. Business owners who fear they’ll be forced to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers. Americans who rightly worry that the ballooning costs of Medicare and Medicaid could lead to fiscal catastrophe down the road.
Simply put, the status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way. If we do nothing, everyone’s health care will be put in jeopardy. Within a decade, we’ll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care – and we’ll keep getting less for our money.
That’s why fixing what’s wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve – it’s a necessity we cannot postpone any longer.
The growing consensus around that reality has led an unprecedented coalition to come together for change. Unlike past attempts at reforming our health care system, everyone is at the table – patient’s advocates and health insurers; business and labor; Democrats and Republicans alike.
A few weeks ago, some of these improbable allies committed to cut national health care spending by two trillion dollars over the next decade. What makes this so remarkable is that it probably wouldn’t have happened just a few short years ago. But today, at this historic juncture, even old adversaries are united around the same goal: quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Now, I know that when you bring together disparate groups with differing views, there will be lively debate. And that’s a debate I welcome. But what we can’t welcome is reform that just invests more money in the status quo – reform that throws good money after bad habits.
We must attack the root causes of skyrocketing health care costs. Some of these costs are the result of unwarranted profiteering that has no place in our health care system, and in too many communities, folks are paying higher costs without receiving better care in return. And yet we know, for example, that there are places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and other institutions that offer some of the highest quality of care in the nation at some of the lowest costs in the nation. We should learn from their successes and promote the best practices, not the most expensive ones. That’s how we’ll achieve reform that fixes what doesn’t work, and builds on what does.
This week, I conveyed to Congress my belief that any health care reform must be built around fundamental reforms that lower costs, improve quality and coverage, and also protect consumer choice. That means if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.
I also made it very clear to Congress that we must develop a plan that doesn’t add to our budget deficit. My budget included an historic down payment on reform, and we’ll work with Congress to fully cover the costs through rigorous spending reductions and appropriate additional revenues. We’ll eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in our health care system, but we’ll also take on key causes of rising costs – saving billions while providing better care to the American people.
All across America, our families are making hard choices when it comes to health care. Now, it’s time for Washington to make the right ones. It’s time to deliver. And I am absolutely convinced that if we keep working together and living up to our mutual responsibilities; if we place the American people’s interests above the special interests; we will seize this historic opportunity to finally fix what ails our broken health care system, and strengthen our economy and our country now and for decades to come.
Posted by sookietex at 5:20 PM || ||
Senator Jeff Sessions Weekly Republican Address 06/06/09 FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT
Hello, I’m Jeff Sessions, Senator from the state of Alabama and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Before I talk about the federal courts, I want to make note that in the early hours of the morning, sixty-five years ago today, a generation’s worth of brave Americans sailed across the troubled waters of the English Channel to an unknown fate on the beaches of Normandy.
They came from all walks of American life—from big northern cities to small southern towns—united behind a devotion to their country and a belief that democracy and freedom should not perish from the earth.
With a keen awareness of the dangers that lay ahead, they stormed the coast of Normandy with a force and fury that would forever change the human course of history. Too few of those heroes that set out across those stormy waters on June 6, 1944 are with us today.
But we take a moment now to honor their great sacrifice, to thank all those who’ve served our country, and to keep alive the memories of lost loved ones.
The Greatest Generation bestowed on us the gifts of a continued liberty and democratic government, each based on the exceptional American commitment to the rule of law.
This week I met with Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Sotomayor has a rich and engaging personality, a marvelous personal story. She also has a strong resume—the sort of education and legal background we should look for in a nominee.
She spent time in private practice, served as a federal prosecutor and now sits as an appellate judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
As I told Judge Sotomayor during our meeting, I and my Republican colleagues in the Senate are firmly committed to conducting a fair and respectful process.
Too often in the past, confirmation hearings have devolved into political theater, short on substance and long on distortions of character and record.
I am convinced that the Senate can do better. When the American people look back on these hearings, I’m hopeful they will remember them as the most substantive, the most thorough and the most thoughtful in memory—and focused on the issues that really matter.
The fact is, the Senate confirmation hearings are too important to squander. This is because only five justices are needed to declare the meaning of our Constitution and laws. Indeed, by redefining the meaning of our Constitution, judges have the power to impose their will on the people.
And, unlike Congress or the President, who are accountable to the voters at the ballot box, judges are granted lifetime tenure to exercise their power. With that in mind, we in the Senate have an obligation to act on behalf of the American people to carefully scrutinize the nominee’s records before confirmation.
We will examine the nominee’s previous judicial records. We will study her academic writings and speeches. We will ask tough, probing questions. And, in every instance, we will give the nominee a fair opportunity to provide full and complete answers.
One issue that merits close examination during this process is the direction of the American legal system. Although we sometimes take our heritage of neutral and independent judiciary for granted, the truth is, this great tradition is under attack. And the American people are rightly concerned.
For example, I am troubled by President Obama’s use of the ‘empathy standard’ when selecting federal judges. With this view—that a judge should use his or her personal feelings about a particular group or issues to decide a case—it stands in stark contrast to the impartiality that we expect in the American courtroom.
If a judge is allowed to let his or her feelings for one party in the case sway his decision, hasn’t that judge then demonstrated a bias against the other party?
And, if a judge is allowed to inject his or her personal views into the interpretation of the law, does he not then have a license to rewrite the laws to fit his own preferences?
I fear that this ‘empathy standard’ is another step down the path to a cynical, relativistic results-oriented world:
Where words and laws have no fixed meaning; Where unelected judges set policy; And where Constitutional limits on government power are ignored when they are inconvenient to the powerful.
This standard is deeply troubling because it is so contradictory to our country’s long heritage of a faithful and impartial adherence to the rule of law.
Impartiality is a cornerstone of the American legal system. The rule of law is a hallmark of an orderly society. Together, they form the basis for the moral authority of law. That moral authority is the reason that Americans everyday respect and accept the rulings of courts, even when they strongly disagree.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I have traveled to Iraq, and Pakistan and Afghanistan numerous times.
What the people of those countries want so desperately and need more than anything is the rule of law: a guarantee that contracts will be fairly enforced, that rights will not be infringed and that grievances will be peacefully addressed. Our legal system is the bedrock of our liberty and prosperity. It is unique in all the world.
We must do all we can to protect it.
I hope that the American people will engage in this nomination process and follow it closely. They should learn about the issues, and listen to both sides of the argument. And, at the end of the day, ask: If I must one day go to court, what kind of judge do I want to hear my case?
‘Do I want a judge that allows his or her social, political, or religious views to impact the outcome?
‘Or, do I want a judge that objectively applies the law to the facts, and fairly rules on the merits?’
That is the central question around which this entire nomination process will revolve. Thank you. And God Bless America. ###
Posted by sookietex at 4:54 PM || ||
Thursday, June 04, 2009
PODCAST President Obama Speech Cairo University DOWNLOAD MP3 26 mb
"A New Beginning" The President gives a speech in Cairo, Egypt, outlining his personal commitment to engagement with the Muslim world, based upon mutual interests and mutual respect, and discusses how the United States and Muslim communities around the world can bridge some of the differences that have divided them. June 4, 2009.
Translations of President Obama's Speech: "A New Beginning" In PDF format, Dari, Malay and Spanish are in HTML Format
ENGLISH TEXT TRANSCRIPT: FULL TEXT IN PDF FORMAT
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary (Cairo,Egypt) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 2009 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON A NEW BEGINNING Cairo University Cairo, Egypt, 1:10 P.M. (Local)
The Great Sphinx of Giza, President Obama, Great Pyramid of Khufu.
|PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions.|
We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world -- tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know there's been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." (Applause.) That is what I will try to do today -- to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.
Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.
As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam -- at places like Al-Azhar -- that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities -- (applause) -- it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality. (Applause.)
I also know that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President, John Adams, wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, they have served in our government, they have stood for civil rights, they have started businesses, they have taught at our universities, they've excelled in our sports arenas, they've won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers -- Thomas Jefferson -- kept in his personal library. (Applause.) FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT
Posted by sookietex at 5:46 PM || ||