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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Port Salerno Seafood Fest

Great time had by all.

Hey folks,

Happy Sunday to you. Welcome to the big Sunday Edition of the OPNTalk Blog. Glad you stopped by. You can always follow us on Twitter - peteropntalk, Facebook-Peter Carlock, and of course you can always Email Me at opntalk@gmail.com.

Just got back from the Port Salerno Seafood Fest. It was great as always. Josh even tried Coconut Shrimp for the first time. Yeah, he really doesn't like it. But he does like fish. As long as it's breaded and he has a LOT of Ketchup. {Smile}

There had to be tens of thousands there at the time we were. Everyone having a great time. Josh even got to play with a baby Alligator and a Rat. We made some new friends, listened to some GREAT Music, and or course, ATE. Alot. I can not wait to return next year. They always do a great job.

So back to business. Coming right up today?

Obama's State of the Union Speech Analysis
Three Times, Same Article, Different Perception

OK. So an update. I am officially quiting Smoking TODAY! I have been playing with it for the past week and a day. It's time to just give it up all together. I went from 50 or so a day to 11. I made it until about 3 pm yesterday without one. But then I did. I felt a little sick, and VERY Pissed off at myself for having one. Truth is, I was not even really craving it. It was there, SO? You get the point. "Hey I did great today. I made it all the way to Three o' clock. I can have one now." Nope. Not a game anymore. I really do not want to speed up the process. I want to be active and around as long as possible to see Joshua grow up.

Go get your gogo Juice, I'm going to fill my cup. Mine is Seattle's Best "Cinnabon" www.seattlesbest.com Be right back.
Peter

Obama's State of the Union Speech Analysis

Answering a question.

Hey folks,

OK. OK. OK. I will answer the question.

"What's up? Where is your 'expert analysis' of the state of the union speech? You are always quick to tell us what to think, so what gives? Shall we take it that you agree with everything President Obama said? I doubt that. But you said nothing. You did respond to 'Peter' but why did you not just attack the President like you do so often. Inquiring minds want to know."

{Sigh} Do I really have to? There are countless fact checks out there. Even the Mainstream Media did a pretty good job at it. It was all complete and total BUNK! The entire speech was filled with inconsistencies, untruths, exaggerations, and complete and outright lies. Even the All Barack Channel, ABC, did a Fact Check. They found the same things.

Just some? According to Fact Check.org,

■He said "we import more oil today than ever before." That’s untrue. Imports peaked in 2005 and are substantially lower today.
■He claimed his mortgage aid plan would help "responsible" buyers but not those who borrowed beyond their means. But even prominent defenders of the program including Fed Chairman Bernanke and FDIC chief Bair concede foolish borrowers will be aided, too.
■He said the high cost of health care "causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds." That’s at least double the true figure.
■He flubbed two facts about American history. The U.S. did not invent the automobile, and the transcontinental railroad was not completed until years after the Civil War, not during it.
■He claimed that his stimulus plan "prevented the layoffs" of 57 police officers in Minneapolis. In fact, it’s far more complicated than that, and other factors are also helping to save police jobs.


Others pointed out that there is NO WAY of checking his numbers of saved jobs. Or even created.

ABC reported this.

But the figures that the president was citing for workers and teachers are from a different assessment. Those numbers are determined based on responses from recipients of the stimulus money, and those haven't always been accurate. For example, last November, Recovery.gov claimed that in Arizona's 15th congressional district, 30 jobs had been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. The one problem that was spotted later: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona.

Another thing he was talking about was how his Administration would not allow Lobbyists to be part of Policy Making. However, he signed an Executive Order.

The order allows for waivers, however, and several have been granted. For instance, Jocelyn Frye, who used to lobby on employment and gender discrimination, became director of policy and projects for Michelle Obama; Cecilia Muñoz, who formerly lobbied for the National Council of La Raza, was appointed White House director of intergovernmental affairs; and former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn became deputy secretary of defense.

Obama might have been trying to leave himself some wiggle room when he specified "policymaking jobs." But Lynn’s job sounds to us like it involves policymaking. And it’s hard to claim that Ron Kirk, the United States trade representative, doesn’t have a policymaking role. Kirk didn’t need a waiver because he was a lobbyist — for Merrill Lynch and others — in Texas, not Washington, but Obama made no such distinction in his statement Wednesday night.


My analysis? Obama being Obama. Lies, and deceit. Sorry, the Speech Wednesday was all about the State of Obama. NOT the State of the Union. It was all about furthering his and the Loons INSANE Agenda to remake this country into the new USSA. That's all this was about. He attempting to appeal to everyone. Do you really believe this?

"I'm also proposing a new small-business tax credit, one that will go to over 1 million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages."

Three thousand vs $40 thousand or so to hire?

"While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment."

I have a Bridge to sell you.

"Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow."

Where are all those Shovel Ready Jobs? What happened to all of them? What about THIS?

"It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development."

Really?

"It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean-coal technologies."

DRILLING? CLEAN COAL? I have some Swamp land to go with the Bridge. But NONE of this will matter a bit with this.

"And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America."

Do you really believe he wants to DOUBLE the child tax credit? Like I said, the whole speech was nothing more than BUNK. An attempt to rescue Obama from plummeting Poll Numbers, and an attempt to make the Political Landscape, a little more friendly for the Left, going into this mid term Election year.
Peter

Sources:
Newsweek - Fact-Checking Obama's Speech
Fox News - Fact Check: How State of Union Compares With Reality
ABC News - Fact Check: President Obama's State of the Union 2010
Fact Check.org - Fact Checking Obama’s Speech

Note: From The Emails is a weekly Segment every Friday, or occasionally anytime, that appears here at the OPNTalk Blog. Please feel free to Email any Articles, Comments, Thoughts, Whatever, that you may like to share to opntalk@gmail.com As always, you never know what you may see here.

Three Times, Same Article, Different Perception

Three times a charm?

Hey folks,

This is to funny. This is from the Emails as well. BG sent the following to me.

Reuters - Economy soars 5.7 percent, fastest in 6 years

BG - Paragraph 1: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest in more than six years, as businesses made less-aggressive cuts to inventories and stepped up spending.

Paragraph 11: For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II.

Unbelievable, how the sycophants lie for their messiah.


{Laughing} I loved it. So I went to the actual article. Reuters - Economy soars 5.7 percent, fastest in 6 years. I started reading.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The economy grew at its fastest pace in more than six years in the fourth quarter, surprising economists, as businesses curbed their aggressive cut in stocks and stepped up spending.

The robust growth pointed to a sustainable recovery in a crucial period before government stimulus plans run out and was good news for an administration amid political difficulties.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 5.7 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its first estimate for the quarter. It was a strong end to a year in which the economy shrank by 2.4 percent -- the worst performance since 1946.

Wait. What?

While much of the growth resulted from companies' drawing down inventories more slowly than they did earlier in the year rather than from a surge in domestic demand, economists said it was still a positive report.

"The data shows that the necessary transition from government stimulus to private sector spending is under way, which is essential to sustain the economic expansion," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.

U.S. stocks initially rallied on the eye-catching growth number but ended down on worries about credit troubles in Europe. Stock market losses fed investors' preference for safe-haven U.S. government bonds, while the U.S. dollar rallied against major currencies.

Getting the economy on a sustainable growth track remains one of the key challenges facing President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday outlined measures to create jobs and nurture the recovery.

The government will release its closely watched employment report for January next Friday. A Reuters survey forecast payrolls grew by 5,000 jobs after an 85,000 drop in December.

The economic picture was further brightened by a jump in Midwest business activity in January to its highest level in four years, while consumer confidence hit a two-year high.

Economists said they expected the lift from inventories to fade over time, with economic growth moderating in the second half of the year.

This can't be the same article. Right? So I started searching and found THIS.

NY Post Economy soars at 5.7 percent pace in 4th quarter

Last Updated: 10:35 AM, January 29, 2010

Posted: 8:48 AM, January 29, 2010

So The NY Post had Two versions. But where is the original? The last one they had was this.

WASHINGTON -- The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest pace in more than six years, as businesses reduced inventories less aggressively, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

The first estimate put fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth at its fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003. The economy expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, growing at a 4.6 percent rate in October-December period.

Growth was boosted a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory liquidation, a factor that could mask the strength of the economic recovery from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

But even stripping out inventories, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, accelerating from the 1.5 percent increase in the third quarter, reflecting relatively strong performance from other segments of the economy.

Business inventories fell only $33.5 billion in fourth quarter after dropping $139.2 billion in the July-September period. The change in inventories alone added 3.39 percentage points to GDP in the last quarter. This was the biggest percentage contribution since the fourth quarter of 1987.

For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II, the department said.

In the last three months of 2009, consumer spending increased at a 2 percent annual rate, below the 2.8 percent annual pace in the prior quarter when consumption got a boost from the government's "cash for clunkers" program.

In the forth quarter, consumer spending contributed 1.44 percentage points to GDP.

Consumer spending, which normally accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, has been held back by the worst labor market in a quarter century.

Business investment in the fourth quarter grew for the first time since the second quarter of 2008 as the drag from the troubled commercial real estate was offset by robust spending on equipment and software. Business investment rose at a 2.9 percent rate after falling 5.9 percent over the previous three-month period.

The growth of spending on new home construction braked sharply in the fourth quarter to an annual rate of 5.7 percent from an 18.9 percent pace in the third quarter. Home building has received a lift from a popular tax credit for first-time buyers, but recent data have hinted at some weakness starting to creep in.

Export growth outpaced imports, leaving a trade gap that contributed half a percentage point to GDP growth in the last quarter.


So still attempting to put a good spin on this. Then I found the original. Posted by John Manning with Google Groups.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest in more than six years, as businesses made less-aggressive cuts to inventories and stepped up spending.

The Commerce Department said on Friday its first estimate put fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth at its fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003. The economy expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, growing at a 4.6 percent rate in October-December period.

"Wow, great number. It's very solid and gives us a running start into the second half of the year when we can't rely on government stimulus," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago.

"That's part of the plan, to get us moving as fast as possible so when life support is removed we'll have a pulse."

U.S. stock index futures extended gains on the data, while Treasury debt prices deepened losses. The dollar rose against the yen.

Getting the economy on a sustainable growth track remains one of the key challenges facing President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday outlined a raft of measures to create jobs and nurture the recovery.

Growth was boosted by a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory liquidation, a factor that could mask the strength of the economic recovery from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

But even stripping out inventories, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, accelerating from the 1.5 percent increase in the third quarter, reflecting relatively strong performance from other segments of the economy.

Business inventories fell only $33.5 billion in fourth quarter after dropping $139.2 billion in the July-September period. The change in inventories alone added 3.39 percentage points to GDP in the last quarter. This was the biggest percentage contribution since the fourth quarter of 1987.

For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II.

In the last three months of 2009, consumer spending increased at a 2 percent annual rate, below the 2.8 percent annual pace in the prior quarter when consumption got a boost from the government's "cash for clunkers" program.

In the fourth quarter, consumer spending contributed 1.44 percentage points to GDP.

Consumer spending, which normally accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, has been held back by the worst labor market in a quarter century.

Business investment in the fourth quarter grew for the first time since the second quarter of 2008 as the drag from the troubled commercial real estate was offset by robust spending on equipment and software.

Business investment rose at a 2.9 percent rate after falling 5.9 percent over the previous three-month period.

The growth of spending on new home construction braked sharply in the fourth quarter to an annual rate of 5.7 percent from an 18.9 percent pace in the third quarter. Home building has received a lift from a popular tax credit for first-time buyers, but recent data have hinted at some weakness starting to creep in.

Export growth outpaced imports, leaving a trade gap that contributed half a percentage point to GDP growth in the last quarter.

Separately, employment costs in the United States rose 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, Labor Department data showed.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the Employment Cost Index to increase 0.4 percent in the three months ending in December 2009, after it inched up an unrevised 0.4 percent in the prior quarter.

Wages and salaries, which make up about 70 percent of compensation, and benefits were both up 0.5 percent, the Labor Department said.


Now folks, everyone that writes Articles, tweaks, and changes things after proof reading. I have even gone in and corrected typos after posting. But to completely change every thing around to make it sound better than it is? Three times? Like BG said, "Unbelievable, how the sycophants lie for their messiah."
Peter

Sources:
Reuters - Economy soars 5.7 percent, fastest in 6 years
NY Post
Economy soars at 5.7 percent pace in 4th quarter
John Manning Google Groups

Note: From The Emails is a weekly Segment every Friday, or occasionally anytime, that appears here at the OPNTalk Blog. Please feel free to Email any Articles, Comments, Thoughts, Whatever, that you may like to share to opntalk@gmail.com As always, you never know what you may see here.

More Natural Cancer Preventers

Health and Science for Sunday 013110

Hey folks,

I do love a good Salad. I love those raw Veggie Planters. I grew up surrounded by Italians, so I do love my Red Wine, Pasta, and Garlic. Turns out, ALL these may be more beneficial to me than I thought. According to Reuters - Plant flavanoid may help prevent leukemia by Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – Eating foods like celery and parsley which contain the naturally occurring flavanoid apigenin may help prevent leukemia, Dutch scientists said Thursday.

Maikel Peppelenbosch of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands said tests showed that apigenin -- a common component of fruit and vegetables -- was able to halt the development of two kinds of cells in leukemia and cut their survival chances.

The findings suggest apigenin could hold promise for preventing leukemia, Peppelenbosch said
.

That's GREAT news.

But he warned that his study had also found the compound has chemotherapy resistance properties, suggesting it might interfere with standard treatments for people already diagnosed with leukemia.

"Apigenin might be a useful preventative agent for leukemia, but it should not be taken at the same time as chemotherapy for established disease as it could interfere with the positive effects of treatment," Peppelenbosch wrote in a study in the Cell Death and Disease scientific journal.

Flavanoids are compounds with antioxidant properties that protect cells against damage by oxygen molecules.

Previous studies have shown that apigenin, which is found in celery, parsley, red wine, tomato sauce and other plant-based foods, may also be beneficial in protecting against ovarian cancer.


What about all that Garlic I eat?

Cardiovascular Health and High Cholesterol – If you enjoy eating Mediterranean or Far Eastern food you’ll notice that garlic is used a lot. The good news is that people from areas also have low incidences of cardiovascular disease.

Most have a FAR lower Cancer Rate, and are in better health in general.

Cholesterol can be a confusing area of health. On one hand it is essential whilst on the other hand it can kill us. This is because there are two types of Cholesterol – HDL and LDL. The latter type is considered bad. Modern medicine has found that garlic contains allicin which scavenges hydroxyl radicals (OH). This is turn is thought to prevent LDLs from being oxidised.

Unfortunately a number of studies that have been carried out have shown mixed results. It only goes to show how much more seriously natural remedies needs to be taken. Of course, we all know that there’s no incentive for drug companies to research natural products due to the lack of financial reward. If you have problems with high cholesterol go ahead and take some garlic. Just make sure it’s part of a balanced diet and you don’t ignore your doctor’s advice.

Antioxidant – Allicin naturally increases antioxidant enzymes atalase and glutathione peroxidase in your blood. It can help against the damaging effects of nicotine and slows the aging process of your liver by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.

Anti-Bacterial – Garlic has 1% of the potency of penicillin and can ward off a number of bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptococcal meningitis, Candida albican and Staphylococcus. The problem with most antibiotics is that bacteria develops resistance to them, however this is not the case with garlic.

These benefits were first realized back in the early 19th century when English priests caught infectious fever. The French priests, who ate garlic everyday, didn’t.

Blood Clots – Clinical trials, which were published in the Journal of Hypertension, showed that the blood pressure of volunteers was reduced 1 – 5% after taking garlic supplements. This may not sound a lot but this small reduction can reduce the chance of a stroke by 30-40% and heart disease by 20-25%


So as long as I continue to overcome Smoking, drink my Coffee, and eat the things I love to eat, well, it can't hurt. {Smile}
Peter

Sources:
Reuters - Plant flavanoid may help prevent leukemia
Natural Health Remedies - What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?

Message to ET, BAD

You can't make this stuff up.

Hey folks,

Yeah, uh, I have nothing to add. Here. Uh, have fun.

AFP - Is calling E.T. a smart move? by Richard Ingham – Fri Jan 29, 12:08 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – In 2008, NASA beamed the Beatles song "Across the Universe" into deep space, sending a message of peace to any extraterrestrial who happens to be in the region of Polaris, also called the North Star, in 2439.

"Amazing! Well done, NASA!" Paul McCartney said. "Send my love to the aliens."

Who could argue with such a well-meaning, positive initiative?

Quite a few, actually.

As the citizens of Planet Earth strive ever more enthusiastically to reach E.T., some experts say numerous messages zipping through the cosmos are confusing or little more than space spam.

Others ask who has the right to represent our world to the galaxy -- or question the wisdom of bellowing out our presence in what may be a hostile neighbourhood.

"A lot of the stuff is very responsible, but I do wonder about some of the other stuff that's being transmitted," Albert Harrison, a professor of social psychology at the University of California at Davis, said at a conference at the Royal Society in London on Monday.

"There's pictures of celebrities, of two political candidates -- one identified as good, the other identified as evil -- snack-food commercials, love letters to rock stars and so on."


WHO?

He added: "When you start broadcasting and drawing attention to yourself, you have to be very cautious about the image you give. We might appear as a threat to them.

"We don't know what will be made of these messages and it could be years and years before we find out."

The thirst for contact with alien civilisations has a long history.

The US probes Pioneer 10 and 11, launched in 1972 and 1973, bear plaques of a naked man and woman and symbols seeking to convey the positions of the Earth and the Sun.

Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977 and now on the outer fringes of the Solar System, each carry a gold-plated copper phonogram disk with recordings of sounds and images on Earth.

But, relative to the vast distances of interstellar space, these four scouts are crawling along.

It will take around 40,000 years for Voyager 1, the most distant man-made object in space, to get anywhere close to a star.

No-one knows if there is any intelligent life there to pick up the time capsule... or whether our species will still be around to get a reply.

As a result, the electromagnetic spectrum offers a far quicker channel.

For the last 50 years, enthusiasts have been listening out for signals, discernible in the background noise of space, that might point to another civilisation.

Apart from a couple of brief, intriguing events, nothing has really shown up, which has prompted the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to shift more and more from "passive" to "active" mode.

We are already spewing out diffuse signals through TV and radio broadcasts that pass through the ionosphere.

With "active SETI", the idea is to use powerful radio astronomy transmitters to beam out to interesting stars or extrasolar planets in the hope of eventually hitting paydirt. The transmitters are operated by space agencies or institutions, which in some cases are paid for the service.

Projects have included a tiny 1,679-bit message beamed in 1974 to star M13, 25,000 light years away; two "Cosmic Calls" in 1999 and 2003; a 2006 TV show by the Franco-German channel ARTE which beamed messages from the public to the star Errai, 45 light years distant; and a "Message from Earth" to a planet orbiting the star Gliese 581, incorporating contributions from users of social networking site Bebo.

If they exist -- and if they are able to figure out the messages -- alien civilisations are in for a smorgasbord of human culture.

Messages range from the earnest and the philosophical to the cerebral, such as an "Interstellar Rosetta Stone" of symbols that give information about Earth and Homo sapiens.

The missives include the jokey: "Please send money. Any kind of money. Universal money is OK. Alien currency OK. Meteorites are good. Gold, Moon rocks, space junk also good. Send to: Maura, Planet Earth."

And there is the political: an image of George W. Bush as the personification of evil, juxtaposed against Barack Obama as the embodiment of good, sent out by "X-Files" actress Gillian Anderson.


{Laughing} Oh.

Any life forms at Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti, meanwhile, will receive recordings of the vaginal contractions of ballerinas with the Boston Ballet, a renegade 1980s art project aimed at giving the galaxy an idea of human conception.

European Space Agency (ESA) astrophysicist Malcolm Fridlund says that in the absence of any evidence so far that extraterrestrial life exists of any kind, active SETI may well be a waste of time.

Even so, he urges caution about drawing attention to ourselves.

"I'm not lying awake at night worrying about the overlords of the galaxy or anything like that," he told AFP, "but when you don't know of anything that's out there, you should maybe be a little careful, you should know something about the (star) system first."

Those who share his concern include the British cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who suggests "we should keep our heads low," given any possibility of encountering a hostile, technologically superior civilisation.

"The risk posed by active SETI is real," the prestigious British journal Nature warned in 2006, in an editorial that unleashed divisions among enthusiasts as to who had the right to be ambassador of Earth.

"It is not obvious that all extraterrestrial civilizations will be benign -- or that contact with even a benign one would not have serious repercussions for people here on Earth."


So there you have it folks. Message to ET, BAD!
Peter

Sources:
AFP - Is calling E.T. a smart move?

Jury Duty Scam Warning

Warning from a friend

Hey folks,

I do not normally do this. As a matter of fact, most of my FWD,,, are simply deleted without a second glance. WAY to many Emails to go through as is. But this was from a friend that has been around from ther beginning of the OPNTalk Blog and even before that, in various places around the Webb, so I checked it out. Here it is.

Pass this on to your grown children and family members. This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below). Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado .

This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites , warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here:
http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm
And here:
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

Yep! It's true

If you are like me, you hate Jury Duty. Some of you have this image in your head that they will come and knock on your door, and haul you off to Jail, if you fail to comply. So this makes you an easy target for a scam like this.

It reall is simple. NEVER give out private information to anyone over the phone or Online, unless you are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT sure that you KNOW who it is you are dealing with. Be careful out there folks.
Peter

DLA for 013110

Very well articulated.

Hey folks,

I have said this in the past. Even Rush has talked about this. But our Display in Logic Award Winner said it best. Conservatives? Do NOT look toward a third Party. Who is he?

Richard A. Viguerie pioneered political direct mail and has been called "one of the creators of the modern conservative movement" (The Nation magazine) and one of the 'conservatives of the century" (The Washington Times). He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause, and the Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com

Richard Viguerie is Keynote Speaker for Tea Party Group; Cautions Against Forming a Third Political Party

DALLAS, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, delivered the keynote address at the January 29 meeting of the Leadership Tea Party, a conservative grassroots training event, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Westin Hotel.

Viguerie praised the Tea Party movement for providing new energy to conservative grassroots throughout the nation.

"You've brought fresh, new reinforcements into the battle against big, corrupt government," he told the group.

Viguerie credited the Tea Party for helping stop many liberal initiatives from quickly being enacted into law.

"If there had been no Tea Party opposition to the President's legislative program, Obamacare, Cap and Trade, Union Card Check, and much more federal spending would probably have been enacted into law in 2009," he said.


NO DOUBT ABOUT IT! Now he says "Tea Party opposition." But what he means is YOU. Thanks to YOU "Obamacare, Cap and Trade, Union Card Check, and much more federal spending would probably have been enacted into law in 2009." You ARE the Tea Party. Average everyday EDUCATED VOTERS, are what slowed down the Obama train wreck.

Viguerie told the Tea Party leaders that they should work to be a third force in politics but should not try to organize themselves into a third party. "A third party would be a disaster for the cause of limited government," he warned.

Excellent point!

Tea Party members and other grassroots conservatives should focus exclusively on the 2010 Republican and Democratic primaries, he said.

"Don't think about 2012 at all. In fact, don't even think about November 2010. Your focus should be to challenge every establishment Republican and Democrat in all federal, state, and local races," Viguerie emphasized.

"Our country didn't get into the mess we're in because of the policies and skills of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid. The people who are responsible for handing power to the liberals in 2006 and 2008 are George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist, and other GOP leaders. The disastrous policies of the big government Republicans caused the voters to want to fire all Republicans," he said.


True.

"Unfortunately, most conservative leaders just kept quiet while Bush, Rove, DeLay, Hastert, and Frist ran full speed ahead with all their spending and deficits. But Tea Party activists are different. You believe in principles, not just political power. What a tremendous improvement," Viguerie exclaimed.

Very well said. Not to mention, if Conservatives DID throw their support behind a Third Party Candidate, like it or not, that would GUARANTEE a Left Victory. Republican Leaders need to take a lesson from the Tea Parties, Mass. and all the letters, Emails, and Town Halls, and GET THE MESSAGE. We do not WANT a Third party. We WANT Republicans to get back to their Conservative Roots. As I have said before.

"Run someone we can actually VOTE for. Find Conservatives, RUN Conservatives, and you will WIN every Election. The MAJORITY in this country are still Conservative. Republicans, Independents, and even a lot of Democrats, ARE Conservative. They believe in God, Family, Right and Wrong. They believe in and LOVE America. They WANT Smaller less intrusive Government. Period."

Congratulations Richard A. Viguerie. You are the Winner of the Display of Logic Award. Keep it up. There has NEVER been a better time to educate people of the VAST and very clear and distinctive differences in Today's New Liberalism and Conservatism. Now IS the time to stand up, and be counted. Now IS the time to make a statement. We want our country back!
Peter

IWA For Sunday 013110

Has to be.

Hey folks,

Time to wrap things up with the IWA. This week? There can be only one. Seriously. I know some of you out there are not going to like this. That, however, does not change the fact he is the most deserving. He IS the Idiot of the Week, Month, Year. He IS the biggest Idiot we have ever had in Office. He IS Barack Obama.

There is no doubt. From his completely bogus State of the Union, AKA State of Obama Speech, where he was incorrect, told untruths, and completely made stuff up, to killing the Space Program to turn it into another Global Warming propaganda machine to further his agenda. Oh, he also went to the Republicans retreat and told THEM a bunch of lies and got angry when he was asked simple questions.

I really mean this from the heart. It's truly a shame. You, Barack Hussein Obama, COULD have gone down in history as the greatest President of all time. You, being the first African American to hold the Office, with Conservative views? Enacting Reagan like policies? Ending the War? Doing the things necessary to bring the US Economy around? Rid us of politics as usual and truly bring people together to work for the good of all Americans? You could have been the brightest light, a shining symbol of the Greatness of America. From the ashes of a scarred past, to where we should be today? You Sir, had the opportunity to BE GREAT! To make the Country even greater.

It's a shame you chose a different path. It's a shame you would rather destroy the country in the hopes of rebuilding it in YOUR Image. It's a shame that you are either to ignorant to see how you truly appear, not only to us, but to all in the World, or, which I lean more towards, you are to arrogant to care. I tend to believe that you really think most Americans are to stupid to know what you are really trying to do. You may be partly right on that. With the help of your friends in the MMD {Mainstream Media Drones} or the State Run Media, whatever you want to call them, you really believe that you are fooling everyone. Truth is, you have become a greater threat to this country than ANY previous or current threat we face.

I've said this before. An enemy from without can kill thousands, blow up buildings, and create havoc. An Enemy from within, especially in the Highest office in the land, can actually destroy the entire country. You Sir, are that Enemy.

Again, just in case you ARE that ignorant to understand that 70 percent of Americans no longer believe in Global Warming, 86 percent LIKE their Healthcare and do not want you to destroy it, and the VAST Majority of Americans LOVE their Country and do NOT want the new USSA that you are attempting to create, YOU Sir are on the wrong path. You Sir are the PROBLEM, not the solution. YOU Barack, are the one standing in the way of Economic recovery, freedom, and the greatness of this country returning. No amount of lies and rhetoric can change that.

Congratulations Barack, you ARE the idiot of the Week. You can place this next to your completely BOGUS Noble Peace Prize.
Peter

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama State of The Union Address 012710

Here is a transcript of the speech.

Obama: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans, our Constitution declares that from time to time the president shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility, and they've done so in the midst of war and depression, at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable, that America was always destined to succeed.

But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain.

These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people.

Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history's call.

One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression.

So we acted, immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.

But the devastation remains: One in 10 Americans still can't find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who'd already known poverty, life has become that much harder.

This recession has also compounded the burdens that America's families have been dealing with for decades, the burden of working harder and longer for less, of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.

So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They're not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for president. These struggles are what I've witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Indiana, Galesburg, Illinois.

I hear about them in the letters that I read each night. The toughest to read are those written by children, asking why they have to move from their home, asking when their mom or dad will be able to go back to work.

For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don't understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded, but hard work on Main Street isn't, or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems.

They're tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can't afford it, not now.

So we face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope -- what they deserve -- is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics, for while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same, the aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills, a chance to get ahead, most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.

You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids, starting businesses and going back to school. They're coaching Little League and helping their neighbors.

One woman wrote to me and said, "We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged."

It's because of this spirit -- this great decency and great strength -- that I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

Despite -- despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We do not allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it's time the American people get a government that matches their decency, that embodies their strength.

(APPLAUSE)

And tonight -- tonight, I'd like to talk about how together we can deliver on that promise.

It begins with our economy.

Our most urgent -- our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis. It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans -- and everybody in between -- it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it.

(APPLAUSE)

I hated it. I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.

(LAUGHTER)

But when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular, I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today. More businesses would certainly have closed; more homes would have surely been lost.

So I supported the last administration's efforts to create the financial rescue program. And when we took that program over, we made it more transparent and more accountable. And as a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we've recovered most of the money we spent on the banks.

(APPLAUSE)

Most, but not all. To recover the rest, I've proposed a fee on the biggest banks. Now...

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I know Wall Street isn't keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, as we stabilized the financial system, we also took steps to get our economy growing again, save as many jobs as possible, and help Americans who'd become unemployed.

That's why we extended or increased unemployment benefits for more than 18 million Americans, made health insurance 65 percent cheaper for families who get their coverage through COBRA, and passed 25 different tax cuts.

Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses.

(APPLAUSE)

We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.

(APPLAUSE)

I thought I'd get some applause on that one.

(LAUGHTER)

As a result...

(APPLAUSE)

As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person, not a single dime.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.

(APPLAUSE)

Two-hundred-thousand work in construction and clean energy. Three-hundred-thousand are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, first responders.

(APPLAUSE)

And we're on track to add another 1.5 million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act.

(APPLAUSE)

That's right, the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill.

(APPLAUSE)

Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped saved jobs and avert disaster, but you don't have to take their word for it.

Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its workforce because of the Recovery Act.

Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created.

Talk to the single teacher raising two kids who was told by her principal in the last week of school that, because of the Recovery Act, she wouldn't be laid off after all.

There are stories like this all across America. And after two years of recession, the economy is growing again. Retirement funds have started to gain back some of their value. Businesses are beginning to invest again, and slowly, some are starting to hire again.

But I realize that, for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response.

That is why jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses...

(APPLAUSE)

... but government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers.

We should start where most new jobs do, in small businesses, companies that begin when...

(APPLAUSE)

... companies that begin when an entrepreneur -- when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream or a worker decides it's time she became her own boss.

Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and are ready to grow. But when you talk to small-business owners in places like Allentown, Pennsylvania, or Elyria, Ohio, you find out that even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they're mostly lending to bigger companies. Financing remains difficult for small-business owners across the country, even though they're making a profit.

So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm also proposing a new small-business tax credit, one that will go to over 1 million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.

(APPLAUSE)

While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.

(APPLAUSE)

Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow.

(APPLAUSE)

From -- from the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean-energy products.

Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation's goods, services and information.

(APPLAUSE)

We should put more Americans to work building clean-energy facilities and give...

(APPLAUSE)

... and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient, which supports clean-energy jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.

Now, the House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps.

(APPLAUSE)

As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same, and I know they will. They will.

(APPLAUSE)

People are out of work. They're hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.

(APPLAUSE)

But -- but the truth is, these steps won't make up for the 7 million jobs that we've lost over the last two years. The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation for long- term economic growth and finally address the problems that America's families have confronted for years.

We can't afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from last decade, what some call the "lost decade," where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion, where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs, where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.

From the day I took office, I've been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious, such effort would be too contentious. I've been told that our political system is too gridlocked and that we should just put things on hold for a while.

For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold? You see...

(APPLAUSE)

You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China's not waiting to revamp its economy; Germany's not waiting; India's not waiting.

These nations, they're not standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. They're putting more emphasis on math and science. They're rebuilding their infrastructure. They're making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.

Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.

Now, one place to start is serious financial reform. Look, I'm not interested in punishing banks. I'm interested in protecting our economy. A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes. But that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy.

We need to make sure consumers and middle-class families have the information they need to make financial decisions. We can't allow financial institutions, including those that take your deposits, to take risks that threaten the whole economy.

Now, the House has already passed financial reform with many of these changes. And -- and the lobbyists are trying to kill it. Well, we cannot let them win this fight. And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right. We've got to get it right.

(APPLAUSE)

Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history, an investment -- an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched.

And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year's investments in clean energy in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide, helping to make advanced batteries, or in the California business that will put 1,000 people to work making solar panels.

But to create more of these clean-energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives, and that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.

(APPLAUSE)

It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.

(APPLAUSE)

It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean-coal technologies.

(APPLAUSE)

And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year.

(APPLAUSE)

And this year -- this year, I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate.

I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.

But -- but here's the thing. Even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future, because the nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy, and America must be that nation.

(APPLAUSE)

Third, we need to export more of our goods.

(APPLAUSE)

Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America. So...

(APPLAUSE)

So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support 2 million jobs in America.

(APPLAUSE)

To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports and reform export controls consistent with national security.

We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores.

(APPLAUSE)

But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules.

(APPLAUSE)

And that's why we'll continue to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens global markets and why we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea, and Panama, and Colombia.

(APPLAUSE)

Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people. Now, this year -- this year, we've broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools.

And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform, reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city.

In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.

(APPLAUSE)

And in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential. When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states.

Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That's why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.

(APPLAUSE)

To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants.

(APPLAUSE)

And let's tell another 1 million students that, when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years, and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.

(APPLAUSE)

And, by the way, it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs, because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

Now, the price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing the middle class. That's why last year I asked Vice President Biden to chair a task force on middle-class families.

That's why we're nearly doubling the childcare tax credit and making it easier to save for retirement by giving access to every worker a retirement account and expanding the tax credit for those who start a nest egg. That's why we're working to lift the value of a family's single largest investment, their home.

The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments. This year, we will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages. And...

(APPLAUSE)

And it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform.

(APPLAUSE)

We do.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, let's clear a few things up.

(LAUGHTER)

I didn't choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now, it should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics.

(LAUGHTER)

I took on health care because of the stories I've heard, from Americans with pre-existing conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage, patients who've been denied coverage, families, even those with insurance, who are just one illness away from financial ruin.

After nearly a century of trying -- Democratic administrations, Republican administrations -- we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans.

The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market.

It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care. And by the way, I want to acknowledge our first lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make kids healthier.

Thank you, honey.

(APPLAUSE)

She gets embarrassed.

(LAUGHTER)

Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses.

And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress, our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.

(APPLAUSE)

Still, this is a complex issue. And the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering, "What's in it for me?"

But I also know this problem is not going away. By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small-business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether.

I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.

(APPLAUSE)

As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed. There's a reason why many doctors, nurses and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo.

But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me know. Let me know.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm eager to see it.

Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform, not now, not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people. Let's get it done.

(APPLAUSE)

Let's get it done.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, even as health care reform would reduce our deficit, it's not enough to dig us out of a massive fiscal hole in which we find ourselves. It's a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve and one that's been subject to a lot of political posturing.

So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight. At the beginning of the last decade, the year 2000, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion.

By -- by the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.

On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.

(LAUGHTER)

Now...

(APPLAUSE)

Now -- just stating the facts. Now, if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis, and our efforts to prevent a second depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt. That, too, is a fact.

I'm absolutely convinced that was the right thing to do, but families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same.

(APPLAUSE)

So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year.

Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will not be affected, but all other discretionary government programs will.

Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.

(APPLAUSE)

We will continue to go through the budget line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work. We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year.

To help working families, we'll extend our middle-class tax cuts. But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, for investment fund managers, and for those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, even after paying for what we spent on my watch, we'll still face the massive deficit we had when I took office. More importantly, the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to skyrocket.

That's why I've called for a bipartisan Fiscal Commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad.

(APPLAUSE)

This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline.

Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I'll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

And when the vote comes tomorrow, the Senate should restore the pay-as-you-go law that was a big reason for why we had record surpluses in the 1990s.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can't address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. And I agree, which is why this freeze won't take effect until next year, when the economy is stronger. That's how budgeting works.

(LAUGHTER)

But understand -- understand, if we don't take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery, all of which would have an even worse effect on our job growth and family incomes.

From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument, that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts, including those for the wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away.

The problem is, that's what we did for eight years.

(APPLAUSE)

That's what helped us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. We can't do it again.

Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it's time to try something new. Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let's meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let's try common sense, a novel concept.

Now, to do that, we have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust, deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years.

To close that credibility gap, we have to take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, to end the outsized influence of lobbyists, to do our work openly, to give our people the government they deserve.

(APPLAUSE)

That's what I came to Washington to do. That's why, for the first time in history, my administration posts our White House visitors online. That's why we've excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.

But we can't stop there. It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or with Congress. It's time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.

(APPLAUSE)

I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.

I'm also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform, Democrats and Republicans.

(APPLAUSE)

Democrats and Republicans, you've trimmed some of this spending. You've embraced some meaningful change, but restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online.

(APPLAUSE)

Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.

(APPLAUSE)

Of course, none of these reforms will even happen if we don't also reform how we work with one another. Now, I'm not naive. I never thought that the mere fact of my election would usher in peace and harmony and some post-partisan era.

I knew that both parties have fed divisions that are deeply entrenched. And on some issues, there are simply philosophical differences that will always cause us to part ways. These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, they've been taking place for over 200 years. They're the very essence of our democracy.

But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day. We can't wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side, a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can.

The confirmation of...

(APPLAUSE)

I'm speaking of both parties now. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants shouldn't be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators.

(APPLAUSE)

Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, no matter how malicious, is just part of the game. But it's precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet -- worse yet, it's sowing further division among our citizens, further distrust in our government.

So, no, I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics. I know it's an election year. And after last week, it's clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern.

To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills.

(APPLAUSE)

And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, a supermajority, then the responsibility to govern is now yours, as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.

(APPLAUSE)

So let's show the American people that we can do it together.

(APPLAUSE)

This week -- this week, I'll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. I'd like to begin monthly meetings with both Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can't wait.

(LAUGHTER)

Now, throughout our history, no issue has united this country more than our security. Sadly, some of the unity we felt after 9/11 has dissipated. And we can argue all we want about who's to blame for this, but I'm not interested in re-litigating the past.

I know that all of us love this country. All of us are committed to its defense. So let's put aside the schoolyard taunts about who's tough. Let's reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values. Let's leave behind the fear and division and do what it takes to defend our nation and forge a more hopeful future, for America and for the world.

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That's the work we began last year. Since the day I took office, we renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation. We've made substantial investments in our homeland security and disrupted plots that threatened to take American lives.

We are filling unacceptable gaps revealed by the failed Christmas attack with better airline security and swifter action on our intelligence. We've prohibited torture and strengthened partnerships from the Pacific to South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula.

And in the last year, hundreds of Al Qaeda's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed, far more than in 2008.

And in Afghanistan, we're increasing our troops and training Afghan security forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011 and our troops can begin to come home.

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We will reward good governance, work to reduce corruption, and support the rights of all Afghans, men and women alike. We're joined by allies and partners who have increased their own commitment and who'll come together tomorrow in London to reaffirm our common purpose. There will be difficult days ahead, but I am absolutely confident we will succeed.

As we take the fight to Al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president.

We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August.

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We will support -- we will support the Iraqi government -- we will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and we will continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity.

But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.

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Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world -- they have to know that we -- that they have our respect, our gratitude, our full support. And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home.

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That's why we made the largest increase in investments for veterans in decades last year.

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That's why we're building a 21st-century [Veterans Affairs]. And that's why Michelle has joined with Jill Biden to forge a national commitment to support military families.

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Now, even as we prosecute two wars, we're also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people, the threat of nuclear weapons. I've embraced the vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan through a strategy that reverses the spread of these weapons and seeks a world without them.

To reduce our stockpiles and launchers, while ensuring our deterrent, the United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades.

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And at April's Nuclear Security Summit, we will bring 44 nations together here in Washington, D.C., behind a clear goal: securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

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Now, these diplomatic efforts have also strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons. That's why North Korea now faces increased isolation and stronger sanctions, sanctions that are being vigorously enforced.

That's why the international community is more united and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a promise.

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That's the leadership we are providing: engagement that advances the common security and prosperity of all people. We're working through the G-20 to sustain a lasting global recovery. We're working with Muslim communities around the world to promote science and education and innovation.

We have gone from a bystander to a leader in the fight against climate change. We're helping developing countries to feed themselves and continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS.

And we are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease, a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad.

As we have for over 60 years, America takes these actions because our destiny is connected to those beyond our shores. But we also do it because it is right.

That's why, as we meet here tonight, over 10,000 Americans are working with many nations to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild.

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That's why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan, why we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran, why we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea, for America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity, always.

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Abroad, America's greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution, the notion that we're all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law, you should be protected by it, if you adhere to our common values, you should be treated no different than anyone else.

We must continually renew this promise. My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened...

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We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate.

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This year -- this year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do.

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We're going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws, so that women get equal pay for an equal day's work.

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And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system, to secure our borders, and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nations.

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In the end, it's our ideals, our values that built America, values that allowed us to forge a nation made up of immigrants from every corner of the globe, values that drive our citizens still.

Every day, Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers. Time and again, they lend a hand to their neighbors and give back to their country. They take pride in their labor and are generous in spirit.

These aren't Republican values or Democratic values that they're living by, business values or labor values. They're American values.

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions -- our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government -- still reflect these same values.

Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people's doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith.

The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

No wonder there's so much cynicism out there. No wonder there's so much disappointment.

I campaigned on the promise of change, change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change, or that I can deliver it.

But remember this: I never suggested that change would be easy or that I could do it alone. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is.

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths and pointing fingers. We can do what's necessary to keep our poll numbers high and get through the next election instead of doing what's best for the next generation.

But I also know this: If people had made that decision 50 years ago or 100 years ago or 200 years ago, we wouldn't be here tonight. The only reason we are here is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard, to do what was needed even when success was uncertain, to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and their grandchildren.

Our administration has had some political setbacks this year, and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year.

And what keeps me going, what keeps me fighting, is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on.

It lives on in the struggling small-business owner who wrote to me of his company, "None of us," he said, "are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail."

It lives on in the woman who said that, even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, "We are strong, we are resilient, we are American."

It lives on in the 8-year-old boy in Louisiana who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti.

And it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go someplace they've never been and pull people they've never known from the rubble, prompting chants of "USA! USA! USA!" when another life was saved.

The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people.

We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us.

We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment, to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.

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Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.