CEOs To Pressure Congress On Fiscal Cliff

A group of leading American CEOs has joined together in initiating a campaign to encourage Washington lawmakers to come to an agreement about what should be done to avoid the impending fiscal cliff.

According to The Hill, chief executives from dozens of the Nation’s biggest corporations have joined to coax an agreement to break the fiscal stalemate that has kept the 112th Congress from making progress with regard to the ever-expanding National debt.

“What we’re trying to do is drive support for the radical middle, the 70 percent of us … that really want to do the right thing down the middle and recognize that the only way you can govern is through compromise,” said David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell.

The executives say they want a deal from Congress that would reform entitlement spending programs to cut the deficit and overhaul the tax code to create more revenue. This would strike balance between Democratic and Republican plans that Congress continues to argue over.

With $40 million in private donations for its cause, the group plans to embark on an aggressive advertising campaign after the elections to pressure Congress. Chief executives joining the cause include the heads of Aetna, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, General Electric and Boeing.

The CEOs were organized by the nonpartisan group Fix the Debt.

Massive Storm Possible On East Coast

Preppers in the Northeast should prepare for some harrowing weather next week as what is being dubbed as a “perfect storm” is predicted by forecasters and could affect people from North Carolina to Nova Scotia.

“It is likely that significant impacts will be felt over portions of the U.S. East Coast through the weekend and into early next week,” the National Hurricane Center said.

On Thursday, Hurricane Sandy battered Cuba before taking a turn that could lead it right up the East Coast. The hurricane could track north just in time not only to cause heavy rains but also to meet a cold weather front, which would make for a potential Hurricane/winter weather hybrid event that could cause up to $1 billion in damage, forecasters say.

Some meteorologists are predicting a mix of steady gale-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and possible snow starting Sunday and continuing past Halloween on Wednesday for people in the eastern part of the United States.

“It’s going to be a high-impact event,” said Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hydro-Meteorological Prediction Center in College Park, Md.

“It has the potential to be a very significant storm with respect to coastal flooding, depending on exactly where it comes in. Power outages are definitely a big threat,” he said.

Officials say that if the storm makes landfall as expected on the Northeastern coast, it has the potential to grow into a storm that will “go down in history books.”

A Third Party Vote Is A Vote For America

On Monday, Americans watched a supposedly liberal candidate for President and a supposedly conservative candidate for President agree on the importance of massive military spending.

Those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with the hopes of less American meddling in the Mideast heard him talking about why he has used drone attacks galore in the region, even killing an American citizen in the role of judge, jury and executioner. They heard why we must remain in the Mideast and why America must shun cuts to military spending.

Mitt Romney agreed with Obama on his points and upped the ante, suggesting that not only should cuts be shunned but also that military spending increases should be championed. And conservative voters watched yet another Romney forward-march toward centrist candidate, effectively Etch A Sketch-ing much of the “true conservative” Republican persona that many voters on the right so badly wanted to battle Obama in the coming election.

Oh yeah, and they talked about Israel. And Israel. And Israel. And Israel. It became apparent that the third and final Presidential “foreign policy” debate focused largely on domestic policy. When the candidates did focus on the intended topic, the differences in position were non-apparent.

So the choice — the “direction for America’s future” choice — is clear, and the next four years are going to be a continuation of the past 12: a back-and-forth over taxes at home that never reaches a clear and concrete conclusion to the benefit of anyone; a continued assault on Constitutional civil liberties; a continued boon to the American and International banking cartels; and, without a doubt, a continued effort to line the pockets of America’s ever-expanding military industrial complex, which will take the lives of more American volunteers abroad and continue to double down its domestic expansion.

Often, it seems that these political writings are constantly dismal in tone. But there is no other option, for the readers will continue to lie to themselves until they are no longer allowed a political opinion. But, for all of those who continue to lambaste anyone who suggests that neither Obama nor Romney is the man for the job, here are some points with which you may agree at least slightly.

  • America is financially doomed due to a little more than half a century of government ineptitude.
  • The only way to reverse the coming economic calamity is to implement drastic change and completely alter the way citizens of the Nation view their place in the world and their responsibility at home.
  • This was not a Nation built on the idea that a ruling class has the authority to manipulate a peasant class.
  • The government no longer works for you.
  • Debt cannot be lessened by increasing spending, whether it is on corporate welfare, domestic entitlements or the military.
  • A government with the ability to print money ad infinitum has no reason to tax its citizens’ income.
  • The National Defense Authorization Act, domestic surveillance dragnets set up to catch anyone critical of government, parliamentary police forces and threats to free speech, personal property and the right to personal defense must all be eliminated.

Neither Obama nor Romney agrees with any of these things. They both incorrectly believe that governments can effectively create jobs. They both believe that safety always trumps liberty. They believe in and belong to the ruling class and are surrounded by members of the military-industrial and banking cartels that flourish only when Average Joe flounders. They both believe that increasing government spending in one way or another will help to reduce the government’s debt.

So, say again that a vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama; it doesn’t matter because a vote for Romney is a vote for Obama. A vote for either man is a vote for moving again further from the principles upon which this Nation was founded.

A third party vote may indeed be a fool’s errand, because a vast majority of the population of this Nation is informed only by corporate-controlled (and, thereby, government-controlled) mainstream media that have gone to great lengths to black out any message but that of the two (one) party status quo.

On Tuesday, another debate was broadcast. It wasn’t carried by FOX, MSNBC, CNN or any other major television news networks. It was, however, shown on Russian semi-state-run network RT, as well as C-Span and a handful of online news channels.

The event, sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, included the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson, the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode and the Green Party’s Jill Stein (none of whom you’ve probably heard of) along with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The debate was refreshing; and, while the candidates agreed on many of the issues of the zeitgeist, they certainly offered a clear collective rebuttal to the ideas of Romney and Obama.

Because most readers probably don’t know much of anything about the aforementioned third party candidates, this column will not pick apart the debate but will rather challenge readers to wake up from the Romney/Obama coma and watch the event below. There are no funny moments or personal attacks, but it looks a lot like what one may expect the Nation’s Founders had hoped for modern political discourse.

*The debate begins at 1:02:55.*

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EcaX12h46k&w=420&h=315]
 

Johnson took the night. Though the Libertarian is on the ballots in 48 States, enough to secure an Electoral College victory, it is evident that he won’t win in the Presidential election. America is too lazy to digest anything but FOX/MSNBC mind mush and demand a clear alternative to Thing 1 or Thing 2.

Bernanke May Step Down From Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will likely resign from his position in January 2014, regardless of whether President Barack Obama is re-elected.

Though Bernanke has declined to comment publicly about the possibility of giving up the position he has held since the George W. Bush Presidency, it is reported that sources close to him say he will likely step down.

“I am very focused on my work, I don’t have any decision or any information to give you on my personal plans,” he said at a news conference last month.

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has already vowed to replace the Fed chairman if he is elected, most likely with Glenn Hubbard, former Bush Administration head of the Council of Economic Advisers and current economic adviser to the candidate’s campaign.

If Obama is re-elected, a possible replacement for the Fed chairman could be Lawrence Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary from 1999 to 2001 and Director of the White House United States National Economic Council until November 2010.

Whoever replaces the current Fed chair, Bernanke’s Keynesian legacy will likely impact American economics for decades to come. The Fed in recent years has given banks about $16 trillion in undisclosed funds, including $3 trillion to foreign banks. It also announced with its most recent round of quantitative easing that inflationary fiat money printing could continue indefinitely.

Sacred Cow Defense Will Kill America

President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney both agree that the United States is in the midst of a historically unsustainable debt spiral; they also both agree that military spending is a sacred cow that can be cut under no circumstance.

Obama has used drones in an unprecedented way that has resulted in the loss of life of not only enemy combatants in war zones, but also civilian casualties in countries like Pakistan where the United States is not at war. And Romney — who, if elected, will take control of the same remote-operated fleet of death machines — applauds the current President’s drone strategy, which has come under fire from many within the human rights community and drawn protest from the citizens and leadership of countries abroad.

“I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends,” Romney said when asked about drone policy at the Presidential debate Monday.

Romney also proffered the same 2014 Afghanistan troop withdrawal date that Obama has been touting, despite having criticizing the President in the past for “offering the enemy a timeline.”

The two candidates spent a long time during the debate Monday driving home one point: America is in dire financial trouble, but cannot make defense spending cuts.

Unmentioned, however, was the fact that the budget cuts that the two candidates are so worried about do not actually cut defense spending at all. The focus of the contention is on “sequestration” cuts — automatic spending cuts put into place last year when government again raised the debt ceiling.

The first round of “cuts” has already taken place under sequestration, shaving $487 billion from Pentagon spending over the next decade as defense spending continues to grow at the rate of inflation.

Romney wants to reinstate that money. And Obama said Monday that he, too, would reverse sequestration cuts.

If government doesn’t act by January, an additional $600 billion in defense spending will go into action. But even under complete sequestration, defense spending will continue to rise by about 16 percent.
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGqpUz5Hbi4&w=560&h=315]

The CIA Wants More Drones

The Central Intelligence Agency needs more drones, according to a proposal submitted by director David Petraeus.

Petraeus submitted a proposal to add up to 10 drones to a program that currently has about 30 to 35 of the unmanned aerial vehicles. The increase is needed to allow the agency to continue launching strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, while targeting terror threats in other regions of the world, according to a report by The Washington Post.

If the CIA proposal is approved, it could expand its drone missions to North Africa, where al-Qaida is expected to have established significant strongholds, while continuing aggressive bombing missions in Yemen and Pakistan.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik recently claimed that 80 percent of those killed in U.S. drone attacks in his country are civilians. And a recent study conducted by Stanford and New York University backs up the claim, finding that only about 2 percent of the nearly 3,000 casualties were high-value militant targets.

The White House Counterterrorism Security Group has not yet approved the CIA proposal; and, because top Pentagon officials have previously expressed concern about the CIA’s increasing involvement in targeted killing missions, there is a chance the agency will not get the extra drones.

Internet Freedom Is In Danger

Americans are likely going to see the Federal government take greater control over the Internet in the near future if the increasingly frequent “wolf” cries from officials about the threat of a cyberattack are any indicator.

On Oct. 15, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States faces a “Cyber-Pearl Harbor” which could cripple the Nation’s vital infrastructure during a speech to a number of national security experts in New York. He said that America is in a pre-9/11 moment and could implement the security measures now to avoid a cyber-catastrophe that could potentially shut down technology across the country.

Halfway through last week, minor cyber-attacks on Capital One Financial Corp. and BB&T Corp. temporarily prevented some customers of the companies to view personal banking information. U.S. officials promptly blamed the attacks on Iranian government-backed groups.

With all of the talk about cyberspying and cyberattacks against the United States, government is undoubtedly gearing up to implement a series of controls on the Internet by Presidential fiat to expand its control.

Unfortunately for American Internet users, the controls will likely be the online equivalent of the civil liberties-destroying policies put in place via the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11.

The U.S. government, to the dismay of many Internet freedom advocates, has already been involved in the seizure of domain names and entire websites, claiming copyright laws had been violated. And in San Francisco last year, officials suspended cellphone and social network access to pre-empt a protest of police brutality. Occupy Wall Street protestors also had their Twitter accounts hacked so that government officials could learn more about that protest movement.

When Congress attempted to pass laws earlier in the year — the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), tha Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP) — to gain more government control over the Internet, public outcry quashed the initiatives. More talk from the Department of Defense about Internet security means that the President may soon pass a similar measure with no way for the public to stop it.

Fear Can Alter Depth Perception

Preppers and survival experts often note how the body’s reaction to fear affects different senses vital to survival. According to a new study, fear can make you underestimate the distance between you and a potential threat.

“Our results show that emotion and perception are not fully dissociable in the mind,” said psychologist Stella Lourenco, co-author of the study published in Current Biology. “Fear can alter even basic aspects of how we perceive the world around us. This has clear implications for understanding clinical phobias.”

In general, people have a good sense for when objects heading toward them will make contact, giving them a split second to react by ducking or bracing for the object to strike them. The researchers sought to test the effect of fear on the accuracy of that skill.

The researchers had study participants make time-to-collision judgments of images on a computer screen. The study participants were instructed to gauge when each of the images, which varied from pictures of butterflies and rabbits to ones of menacing snakes and spiders, on the computer screen would have collided with them by pressing a button. The researchers found that the study participants often thought the snakes and spiders were closer than the less threatening visuals.

“We’re showing that what the object is affects how we perceive looming. If we’re afraid of something, we perceive it as making contact sooner,” said Matthew Longo, a psychologist at Birkbeck, University of London.

“Even more striking,” Lourenco added, “it is possible to predict how much a participant will underestimate the collision time of an object by assessing the amount of fear they have for that object. The more fearful someone reported feeling of spiders, for example, the more they underestimated time-to-collision for a looming spider. That makes adaptive sense: If an object is dangerous, it’s better to swerve a half-second too soon than a half-second too late.”

Obama Is A Really, Really Bad Businessman

Conservatives often argue that government is inefficient and loves to waste money. Now, they are getting a look at what it looks like when government gets involved in the manufacturing sector.

Workers at a heavily taxpayer-funded battery plant that cost about $300 million spend most of their time not churning out expensive lithium-ion batteries for Chevy Volts, but rather playing cards, reading magazines and cleaning the building.

Investigators from Wood 8 TV reporting in Holland, Mich., found that many taxpayer-funded workers at LG Chem spend much of their time doing absolutely nothing.

“There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day,” former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who quit in May, told the news station.

The plant was made possible by $151 million provided by President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill; and of its 200 employees, 100 are paid for through the grant. So far, according to the news channel, $133 million of the grant money has already been spent; about 40 percent went to foreign companies.

In recent months, while many of the taxpayer-funded employees have become tired of sitting idle, they have reportedly taken to doing volunteer projects throughout the local community while on company time.

Obama’s Unemployment Lies

President Barack Obama has been lauding the latest unemployment numbers during campaign speeches and debates in recent weeks as a sign of a turnaround aided by the policies of his Administration, but a closer look — as many conservatives have pointed out — reveals a dismal employment outlook.

Only about four out of 10 Americans currently have a job. And though the Labor Department’s most recent numbers indicate a drop from 9 percent in September of last year to 7.8 percent this September, the falling unemployment numbers are due largely to the way the Labor Department defines what it means to be an unemployed American looking for work.

The government assumes that about 5 percent of the American population is actively seeking employment — thus, unemployed — and another 3 percent are looking for work but have yet to apply for jobs. Combining the two figures gives the Labor Department its lofty 7.8 percent.

Currently, 23 million people are out of work or unemployed but actually looking for work. Add to that what the government subtracts as “discouraged workers,” and the numbers are much more frightening: 33 percent of Americans are not only unemployed but also don’t want a job. This is based on the ratio of employment to population, which gives a better picture of how many Americans believe it is beneficial to work rather than survive on the government dole.

At present, the employment-to-population ratio indicates that 58.7 percent of Americans are working, but a staggering 82 million are looking for work or are unemployed and don’t want work. That would put real population-based unemployment at a staggering 41 percent overall.

“The employment-to-population ratio is the best measure of labor market conditions and it currently shows that there has been almost no improvement whatsoever over the past three years,” Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics, writes in a note to clients obtained by CNN.

The reason so many unemployed Americans fall into the “discouraged worker” category is a direct consequence of the government’s constant expansion of social welfare programs even in the face of a crippling National debt crisis. Recent numbers show that around 47 million people in the United States rely on food stamps and do so for longer periods of time than ever.

In a recent address to Americans, former Presidential contender Ron Paul lamented: “Not all of the unemployed are counted in the BLS unemployment numbers.  This is no secret.  In 1994 government statisticians came up with the term ‘discouraged worker’ to remove entire swaths of people from the unemployment statistic.  Now all the government has to do to improve the unemployment numbers is discourage people from looking for a job.”

Paul cited in his address a lesser unemployment rate of about 22.8 percent from Shadow Government Statistics that, while not based on the employment-to-population ratio, uses a more economically conservative methodology to reach a lesser but still dismal unemployment rate.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ak6jXVZ0Qo&w=560&h=315]

America’s Decadent Reality Show Politics

If the pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are to be believed, the upcoming Presidential election is one that will determine the future course of the United States. But that hasn’t stopped the election-year political squabbling from sounding a great deal like dialogue in an episode of a kitschy reality television show.

If you were looking for a strong and dignified leader, a true statesman who could be likened to American leaders from decades past, to inhabit the Oval Office following the November election, this just isn’t your year. Here are some reasons why.

Mitt Romney’s son wants to take a cheap shot at the President.

It’s probably safe to assume that most readers of this article have been involved in a schoolyard scrap or two, maybe even a bar fight. Very few, however, have probably upon arriving at work become disgruntled at a fellow employee and rushed over to take a swing at them. But these are heated political times. Maybe if Taggert Romney one day decides to get involved in Presidential politics like his father, however, America can look forward to another Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton type affair. That is, if the Romneys still have those varmint-hunting guns lying around.

Unfortunately, the younger Romney’s remarks gave liberal media types an opening to further attempt to discourage less-well-off and minority voters with all matter of “spoiled rich boy wants to punch the President” headlines. And, before we assume it’s just liberals picking on the Republican candidate, consider this: If one of Obama’s Kenyan relatives made a similar remark on National television, it’s a safe bet that Fox would have a field day.

On the bright side, liberal media madman Lawrence O’Donnell challenged Tagg to a fight, saying: “Take a swing at me, and don’t worry, there won’t be any Secret Service involved. Just us. And I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll come to you any time, anywhere. Go ahead Taggert, take your best shot.”

One can only hope the younger Romney accepts the invitation; O’Donnell is probably long overdue for a pummeling.

The first lady of the United States is on National television talking about the President going commando.

Could you imagine Nancy Reagan appearing on daytime television and fielding a question about which type of underwear she preferred on the President. Well, on the show Live! last Friday, Michelle Obama was asked that very question, to which she answered “None of the above.” (One benefit of voting for Romney is the assurance that his wife will never field such a question due to his religious sensibilities.)

We also can learn from the first lady’s appearance last week that she likes to eat French fries and watches “The Real Housewives” when she isn’t trying to make schoolchildren eat too-small portions at lunch.

Paul Ryan’s ridiculous photo shoot.

Paul Ryan

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Joe Biden. Enough said.

Biden must know that he is a walking parody of himself, yet he spent the entire Vice Presidential debate employing a strategy of laughing down his opponent. Members of Biden’s party loved the Vice President’s misplaced condescension. But the rest of America spent the evening pondering the gravity of this exchange between Ryan and Biden:

“I think the Vice President very well knows that sometimes words don’t come out of your mouth the right way,” Ryan said.

Biden laughed and retorted: “But I always say what I mean.”

Yikes.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPKzkt1NuWY&w=420&h=315]

If this is the Presidential campaign that is going to determine the direction of the country, we’re all in trouble. There was a statesman in the race, but in a country where television shows about chubby ill-mannered little girls farting in public receive high rankings, it’s not surprising that the media and the voters shunned him.

Third Party Debate Scheduled

Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson will finally be allowed to participate in a Presidential debate, except Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will not be present.

The debate, sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, will take place Tuesday and will also include the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson, the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

“The previous debates between President Obama and Governor Romney have failed to address the issues that really concern everyday Americans,” said Christina Tobin, founder and chairwoman of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. “From foreign policy, to the economy, to taboo subjects like our diminishing civil liberties and the drug war, Americans deserve a real debate, real solutions, and real electoral options.”

Johnson has also been critical of the two-party Presidential debates, describing them as “dueling Phil Donahue acts carping at one another over who is worse.”

“I defy anyone who watched the debate to identify a plan from either the Republican or Democrat that will achieve a balanced budget,” he said. “We need a fundamental reduction in the role and cost of government, and both Romney and Obama are fundamentally big-government guys.”

The third party debate next Tuesday will be broadcasted live by Ora T, a digital programming service, and moderated by famed television newsman Larry King.

Iranian Leader Predicts U.S. Collapse

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there is a collapse of the “US empire” on the way because of a combination of massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, according to Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

“How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” Ahmadinejad asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. “The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”

He went on, “An empire, or a government, remains in power so long as the people under its power support it, but today the Americans have acted in a way that the world nations do not like them at all, and therefore, their international legitimacy is annihilated.”

Ahmadinejad also downplayed the effects that Western sanctions have had on the nation. However, riots broke out in Tehran earlier this month when the nation’s currency lost two-thirds of its value against the dollar, thus sparking inflation.

Multivitamins Reduce Cancer Risk

A new study shows that daily use of a multivitamin by middle-age and older men could result in a modest decrease in cancer risk.

In a randomized trial that included nearly 15,000 male physicians, daily multivitamin use resulted in a modest but statistically significant reduction in cancer after more than a decade of treatment and follow-up, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

The researchers say that given the inconsistency of previous studies regarding multivitamin intake and cancer reduction, the new results are surprising. In the new study, multivitamins cut the chance of developing cancer by 8 percent.

According to background information from the study: “The combination of essential vitamins and minerals contained in multivitamins may mirror healthier dietary patterns such as fruit and vegetable intake, which have been modestly and inversely associated with cancer risk in some, but not all, epidemiologic studies.”

Cancer experts say the benefit of taking a multivitamin in cancer prevention, however, is far less than sticking to a good diet, exercising and not smoking. Each of those can lower cancer risk by 20 percent, according to research.

Stein: Debate Commission Damns Democracy

There was another option besides President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney at the Presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday, but local police promptly led long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, away in cuffs when the two tried to enter the venue.

Stein and Honkala will appear on 85 percent of ballots on Election Day, and poll around 2-3 percent in a handful of recent national polls. The two women were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y., where the debate was scheduled to take place. They were later released from police custody.

A press release from the Stein campaign explains:

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST [Tuesday]. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a “mockumentary,” saying that, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala then turned and began walking onto the debate grounds, at which point the rank of police officers physically stopped them and pushed them back. The two women sat down and the police arrested them, saying that Stein and Honkala would be charged with “obstructing traffic,” a charge Jill Stein for President staffer and lawyer Alex Howard called “bogus” in that there was no through-traffic visible at any time during the incident.

While Stein and Honkala presumably did not actually expect to be allowed to enter the debate, the duo was protesting the Democrat and Republican elites’ control over the Commission on Presidential debates (CPD). The CPD has gone to great lengths to ensure that no third party candidates would share the stage at any debate with Obama and Romney despite vocal protests and even a lawsuit from Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Stein makes a convincing case as she is being arrested in the video below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnam1yi5bVs&w=560&h=315]
 
Stein is a human health and environmental advocate who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. For the past 25 years Honkala has been a leading advocate for poor and homeless in America.

Debate: Obamney Will Win The Election, America Loses

The headlines following last night’s debate were to be expected; jubilant cries from the mainstream media that President Barack Obama is back in front of the Presidential horse race.

But, besides doing so in a more forceful manner, the President did little more than make the same promises that he has made since 2008 — and bend the truth to embolden his weak record. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, despite the opportunity to distinguish himself as a conservative in a battle against leftist policy, spent much of the night dodging the President’s rightful accusations of his flip-flop-flips from left to right to moderate.

The only thing that could have made the debate less useful to voters wishing for a clear distinction between the two candidates would have been easily evadable softball questions tossed by presumably uninformed voters in the audience. And that’s just what we got. Anyone watching saw only kid-glove questions (certainly handpicked by Party elite) the audience members had for the two men vying for a seat in the Oval Office.

When asked about creating jobs and lessening unemployment by a 20-year-old college student, the candidates reached into a tried and true campaign grab bag of rhetoric about the importance of education and manufacturing jobs to the American economy. Obama also mentioned the 5 million jobs he keeps saying he has created, which many Americans seem to be having a hard time finding.

When the President called out Romney with the accusation that the former Governor wanted “to let Detroit go bankrupt” the ensuing argument strengthened the feeling that these two men are not all that different in how they would handle certain situations.

“And I know he keeps saying you want to take Detroit bankrupt. Well, the President took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did,” Romney said. “And I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened.”

Obama moved directly into his class warfare rhetoric, accusing Romney of having a financial plan that will only serve to make the rich more wealthy.

“Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan? Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan,” Obama said. “And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as Governor, that’s been his philosophy as a Presidential candidate.”

One thing that was quite clear during the Presidential debate was where moderator Candy Crowley’s allegiances lie. Questions from audience members, as well as Crowley’s follow-ups, were laughably and blatantly pro-Obama.

Playing on the tired “Republican war on women” myth, Obama used a discussion about budget cuts to attack Romney on plans to cut funding to abortion-provider Planned Parenthood. The President even rehashed the already debunked political myth that the organization provides free mammograms to needy women.

“When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country, who rely on Planned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings,” he said.

Romney, didn’t help his own case greatly in discussing women’s issues, however it was not for lack of care so much as poor word choice. In a statement that will undoubtedly go down in Internet meme history, Romney claimed to be at the forefront of women’s social and employment issues when he discussed his “binders full of women” as Governor of Massachusetts.

“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Romney said. “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

When the issue of the recent terror attacks that led to American deaths in Benghazi, Libya arose, the President floundered, just as his Administration did in the days and weeks following the attacks. But Crowley unashamedly jumped to his defense.

Romney pointed out that it took Obama a long time to admit the event had been a terrorist attack, but Obama said he had said so the day after in the Rose Garden.

When Crowley backed up the President’s assertion, he proclaimed with a hint of condescension, “Say that a little louder, Candy.”

Despite the tag-team effort against him, Romney pushed on pointing out that it was troubling to him that the President continued campaigning in the wake of the attack on the consulate.

Another question, this one focusing on the 2nd Amendment, should leave gun rights activists a little unnerved, as the answers given by both candidates do little to give confidence that either candidate believes in an unfettered right to bear arms.

Obama, in an act of outright dishonesty, nearly referred to any weapon that is not a sporting firearm as an automatic assault rifle and though Romney corrected him, the challenger promised nothing that would make the 2nd Amendment stronger.

Democrats will spend the day claiming their candidate won the debate, and Republicans will disagree. Unfortunately, with a clear difference on issues of financial responsibility, liberty and reckless war yet to be seen between the two men, it is America that continues to lose.

Debate Rules Reveal Presidential Puppet Show

Americans are told that this is the Presidential election that will determine the direction for the Nation’s future. The populace is told that a contest is under way between two ideologues — each with a separate vision for the United States and its people, and each with a different plan of action.

The election is in the final moments of a battle royal of impassioned Presidential candidates, with the finer points illustrated for the citizens of the Nation via nationally televised Presidential debates.

The portion of the population that believes this — the greater portion, no less — is simply made up of useful idiots that, in their ignorance, deserve the fate that will befall the populace of this Nation.

The truth is that the Democratic Party and Republican Party elite are orchestrating every aspect of the Presidential campaign to the benefit of the two-party political machine and the corporate and financial monied elite that have assumed plutocratic control of the United States.

A copy of the 21-page memorandum of understanding signed by the campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that establishes the rules the two candidates must follow in debates like that which took place last night was published by TIME’s Mark Halperin this week. The document makes it clear that Americans didn’t witness a debate so much as they watched a two-party press conference.

Here is a selection of the rules set forth in the document which was signed prior to the initial Oct. 3 Presidential debate:

  • “The candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates.”
  • “The candidates shall not address each other with proposed pledges.”
  • “At no time during the October 3 First Presidential debate shall either candidate move from his designated area behind the respective podium.”
  • For last night’s debate, “the moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate….”
  • “The audience members shall not ask follow-up questions or otherwise participate in the extended discussion, and the audience member’s microphone shall be turned off after he or she completes asking the questions.”
  • “[T]he Commission shall take appropriate steps to cut-off the microphone of any…audience member who attempts to pose any question or statement different than that previously posed to the moderator for review.”
  • “No candidate may reference or cite any specific individual sitting in a debate audience (other than family members) at any time during a debate.”
  • “Each candidate may move about in a pre-designated area, as proposed by the Commission and approved by each campaign, and may not leave that area while the debate is under way.”

Here’s the entire document:

 

The 2012 Debates – Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns

 
The Commission on Presidential Debates (read: the Democratic and Republican Party elite controlling the debates) want no spontaneity or passion from either candidate.

The creator of the following video did a pretty good job of explaining why:

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZLqsRqKFyI&w=420&h=315]

Coburn: Congress Is No. 1 Wasteful Expense

What is the biggest Federal waste of taxpayer money? According to budget hawk Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in his annual “Wastebook,” taxpayers are getting ripped off by employing an ineffective Congress.

Coburn notes in his annual list of wasteful government spending that the current Congress is on track to be the least productive that it has been since 1947, approving only 61 laws this year. He suggests that, as a result, Congress’ $1.32 billion budget for member, leadership and committee offices should be cut by 10 percent.

In “Wastebook,” Coburn writes:

Whether it was failing to hold oversight hearings, pass laws, cut unnecessary spending, or simply cast votes on amendments, the U.S. Congress let taxpayers down in 2012. In fact, many high school student councils have been more deliberative than the U.S. Senate.

All that follows in this report can be traced right back to what Congress has and has not done. Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution entrusts Congress with the responsibility to approve how money is spent out of the Treasury and to account for such expenditures. Congress approved every cent spent to fund the projects outlined in this report and did nothing to stop any of these expenditures. In fact, in many cases members of Congress actually took credit for the projects with no shame. All of the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either the action or lack of action of Congress, earning it the well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.

Other examples of government wasteful spending include money spent to encourage caviar eating, tax breaks for the National Football League and other professional sports, rules that allow people to use food stamps for alcohol, a NASA program to make pizza to eat on Mars, and a $325,000 grant to produce a robot squirrel designed to lure rattlesnakes.

“As you look at these examples, put your personal political persuasion aside and ask yourself: Would you agree with Washington that these represent national priorities, or would you conclude these reflect the out-of-touch and out-of-control spending threatening to bankrupt our nation’s future?” Coburn asks.

Read the full report here.

Does Gary Johnson Matter?

The Republican Party is worried that Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson could take a substantial toll on the election outcome, so an all-out assault has been launched against the candidate.

As pundits note that Mitt Romney has taken a more moderate stance on many issues in recent weeks and President Barack Obama’s policies have turned voters concerned with civil liberties away from the Democratic ticket, there is buzz that Johnson may have a heavy impact on the outcome of an already competitive election.

According to The New York Times, Republican operatives in a handful of the 48 States where Johnson is on the Presidential ballot have been working to ensure that the Libertarian will be an option for as few voters as possible.

Johnson has been denied the opportunity to debate alongside Romney and Obama, but says he offers voters something that the two major-party candidates do not: a different path for America. For that reason, Johnson told The Times that he represents Perrier in a Presidential race between Coke and Pepsi.

Addressing Republicans who begrudgingly support Romney despite his moderate political views, Johnson asked in a recent campaign speech, “What is more of a wasted vote than voting for somebody that you don’t believe in?”

The Libertarian has offered harsh critiques of both Obama and Romney. In a recent interview with Salon, he took an opportunity to tell potential voters what he would say if allowed to join the debate stage tonight with the two-party candidates:

Well, I would not bomb Iran. I would get out of Afghanistan tomorrow, bring the troops home. I believe that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. I would end the drug wars. I would advocate legalizing marijuana now. I would have never signed the Patriot Act. I would have never signed the National Defense Authorization Act allowing for arrests and detainment of you and me as U.S. citizens without being charged. I believe we need to balance the federal budget now and that means a $1.4 trillion reduction in federal spending now. When it comes to jobs, I’m advocating eliminating income tax, corporate tax, abolishing the IRS, and replacing all of that with one federal consumption tax. In this case, I am embracing the FairTax. I think that that’s really the answer when it comes to American jobs. In a zero corporate tax rate environment, if the private sector doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs, then I don’t know what it takes to create tens of millions of jobs.

Voting Stresses You Out

A new study finds that voting in elections, like the quickly approaching Presidential election, can actually cause stress and emotional arousal, something people passionate about politics likely already knew.

“Emotional changes are related and affect various physiological processes, but we were surprised that voting in national democratic elections causes emotional reactions accompanied by such physical and psychological stress that can easily influence our decision-making,” according to Professor Hagit Cohen from the Anxiety and Stress Research Unit at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The study, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, found that the level of cortisol in study participants was nearly three times higher just before voting than it was 21 months later. Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” is released when a person is in a state of stress, threat or emotional distress.

The study was conducted on Israel’s Election Day in 2009 with individuals on their way into a polling place. They were asked to give a saliva sample and to complete a questionnaire examining emotional arousal at a stand that was placed 30 feet from the ballot box.

“Since we do not like to feel ‘stressed out,’ it is unclear whether this pressure on Election Day can influence people and cause them not to vote at all. Impact on voter turnout is particularly important given that the stress levels rise if our preferred party or candidate for whom we want to vote is not popular in the polls,” Cohen said.

Panetta Spreads ‘Cyber-Pearl Harbor’ Fear

The term “Cyber-Pearl Harbor” conjures up some ridiculous imagery, but the fateful military attack that led the United States full force into World War II is what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta invoked last week to make a case for passing online security bills like the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which has been widely criticized by privacy advocates.

Panetta, during a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, said that America is in a “pre-9/11 moment” and should do everything in its power to secure its “national interests in cyberspace.”

Panetta said that in order to avoid a “Cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability” Congress must pass a bill that enables the Federal government to freely obtain personal online information about Americans from businesses. CISPA, which does just that, was voted down by Congress after complaints from online freedom and privacy advocates who said it violated the 1st and 4th Amendments. The Barack Obama Administration, however, has not ruled out passing the legislation via executive order.

Panetta pinpointed China, Russia and Iran as the nations most likely to launch a damaging cyberattack against the United States. Panetta said (emphasis is the author’s own):

An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.

Panetta also argued that the U.S. government needs the ability to launch offense operations against cyber-actors it deems as threats to national security.