Posts tagged obama
Gas prices have risen for 32 days straight, according to AAA.
That means that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has increased more than 13% over that period to $3.73.
It’s hitting wallets right in the middle of winter, when people are already looking at large home heating bills. And it comes just after many Americans have been hit with smaller paychecks, and are worried about looming budget cuts that could deliver an even deeper blow.
What’s behind the higher prices at the pump? It’s a confluence of factors, from rising crude oil prices, to production cuts and refinery closings.
“Right now, things are tight worldwide,” said Ray Carbone, president of New York commodities trading firm Paramount Options. “Refineries going down, unanticipated maintenance, and higher demand … going into driving season.”
Two-thirds of the cost of one gallon of gas comes from the price of crude, which has jumped 10% in the last two months, according to the Energy Information Administration. As the U.S. housing market experiences a resurgence, the jobs picture brightens and consumer spending expands, anticipation of higher oil demand is driving up prices. At the same time, fears have ebbed that there would be a protracted slowdown in China’s economy, which would have dampened global demand for oil.
OPEC, the powerful cartel of petroleum exporting countries, is also believed to have cut production by about 1 million barrels a day in the last few months, partly in response to rising oil production elsewhere, notably the United States.
Adding to that, several refineries are either preparing to, or have already, shut down for maintenance before their annual switch to summer gasoline, which is formulated differently.
For the average American, all this couldn’t be happening at a worse time.
Where is the “don’t like” button?
You have to constantly remind yourself that in Obama’s rush to put the whole country under Obamacare and to make “everyone pay their fair share of taxes”, he never ever means to apply these things to himself, his friends or Liberals in general. In typical dictator style, it is only the honest, hard-working middle class folks like you and I that must pay for the bulk of everything.
From Business Week: It hasn’t drawn much attention, but Facebook’s first annual earnings report contains an accounting gem: a multi-billion-dollar tax deduction for the cost of executive stock options and share awards.
Even though Facebook (FB) reported $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits from U.S. operations in 2012, it will probably pay zero federal and state taxes—and even receive a federal tax refund of about $429 million—according to a Feb. 14 statement from Citizens for Tax Justice.
The tax-research and -lobbying organization says companies such as Facebook should treat stock options the same in their reports to shareholders as they do in their tax filings. Citizens for Tax Justice calls the tax footnotes in Facebook’s Jan. 30 financial statement “an amazing admission,” but there’s nothing illegal about the breaks the company is claiming. Companies like Facebook are allowed to treat the cost of non-cash compensation, such as stock options, as an expense that reduces profits, essentially the way they treat cash compensation such as salaries.
The difference is that Facebook—unlike, say, General Motors (GM)—relies heavily on stock options and restricted stock units as a form of compensation. It paid out a lot during its years as a private company that it must now recognize on its income statement and balance sheet.
You won’t find any $429 million tax refund in Facebook’s financial statements. Indeed, the company says it had a $559 million federal tax liability in 2012. But that liability isn’t an actual payment. In a footnote, the company also said that it had a $1.03 billion “excess tax benefit” last year related to “stock option exercises and other equity awards.” That benefit is what flips the federal tax liability into a refund. (A small portion is applied against state taxes.)
Facebook says that it anticipates reducing its tax liability in the future by an additional $2.17 billion by using further net operating loss carry-forwards that it has banked.
Facebook spokeswoman Ashley Zandy declined to discuss the tax break but pointed to the transcript of Facebook executives’ conference call with analysts. On the call, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman cited the accumulated tax benefits and noted that the company ended the fiscal year with nearly $10 billion in cash and investments, “giving us great flexibility and risk protection.” source – Business Week
President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan is springing to life in a surge of executive directives and agency rule-making that touch many of the affairs of government. They are shaping the cost and quality of health plans, the contents of the school cafeteria, the front lines of future combat, the price of coal. They are the leading edge of Obama’s ambition to take on climate change in ways that may be unachievable in legislation.
Altogether, it’s a kinetic switch from what could have been the watchword of the Obama administration in the closing, politically hypersensitive months of his first term: pause. Whatever the merits of any particular commandment from the president or his agencies, the perception of a government expanding its reach and hitting business with job-killing mandates was sure to set off fireworks before November.
Since Obama’s re-election, regulations giving force and detail to his health care law have gushed out by the hundreds of pages. To some extent this was inevitable: The law is far-reaching and its most consequential deadlines are fast approaching.
The rules are much more than fine print, however, and they would have thickened the storm over the health care overhaul if placed on the radar in last year’s presidential campaign. That, after all, was the season when some Republicans put the label “death panel” (one that some have dubbed “over-the-top”) on a board that could force cuts to service providers if Medicare spending ballooned.
The new health law rules provide leeway for insurers to charge smokers thousands of dollars more for coverage. They impose a $63 per-head fee on insurance plans — a charge that probably will be passed on to policyholders — to cushion the cost of covering people with medical problems. There’s a new fee for insurance companies for participating in markets that start signing customers in the fall.
In short, sticker shock
It’s clear from the varied inventory of previously bottled-up directives that Obama cares about more than “Obamacare.”
“I’m hearing we’re going to see a lot of things moving now,” Hilda Solis told employees in her last day as labor secretary. At the Labor Department, this could include regulations requiring that the nation’s 1.8 million in-home care workers receive minimum-wage and overtime pay.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush approved a series of executive orders that created an office of homeland security, froze the assets in U.S. banks linked to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, and authorized the military services to call reserve forces to active duty for as long as two years.
Bush’s most contentious move came in the form of a military order approving the use of the military tribunals to put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than a regular criminal court.
Obama also has wielded considerable power in secret, upsetting the more liberal wing of his own party. He has carried forward Bush’s key anti-terrorism policies and expanded the use of unmanned drone strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan and Yemen.
When a promised immigration overhaul failed in legislation, Obama went part way there simply by ordering that immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they apply. So, too, the ban on gays serving openly in the military was repealed before the election, followed now by the order lifting the ban on women serving in combat. source – The Blaze
China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.
U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S.
Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion. source – Bloomberg
The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.
Since then, senior Obama officials including Attorney General Eric Holder and John Brennan, Obama’s top terrorism adviser and his current nominee to lead the CIA, have explicitly argued that the president is and should be vested with this power. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from October reported that the administration is formally institutionalizing this president’s power to decide who dies under the Orwellian title “disposition matrix”.
When the New York Times back in April, 2010 first confirmed the existence of Obama’s hit list, it made clear just what an extremist power this is, noting: “It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.” The NYT quoted a Bush intelligence official as saying “he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president”. When the existence of Obama’s hit list was first reported several months earlier by the Washington Post’s Dana Priest, she wrote that the “list includes three Americans”.
What has made these actions all the more radical is the absolute secrecy with which Obama has draped all of this. Not only is the entire process carried out solely within the Executive branch – with no checks or oversight of any kind – but there is zero transparency and zero accountability.
The president’s underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president – at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as “Terror Tuesday” – then chooses from “baseball cards” and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.
In fact, The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ has been so fixated on secrecy that they have refused even to disclose the legal memoranda prepared by Obama lawyers setting forth their legal rationale for why the president has this power. During the Bush years, when Bush refused to disclose the memoranda from his Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that legally authorized torture, rendition, warrantless eavesdropping and the like, leading Democratic lawyers such as Dawn Johnsen (Obama’s first choice to lead the OLC) vehemently denounced this practice as a grave threat, warning that “the Bush Administration’s excessive reliance on ‘secret law’ threatens the effective functioning of American democracy” and “the withholding from Congress and the public of legal interpretations by the [OLC] upsets the system of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of government.”
But when it comes to Obama’s assassination power, this is exactly what his administration has done. It has repeatedly refused to disclose the principal legal memoranda prepared by Obama OLC lawyers that justified his kill list. It is, right now, vigorously resisting lawsuits from the New York Times and the ACLU to obtain that OLC memorandum. In sum, Obama not only claims he has the power to order US citizens killed with no transparency, but that even the documents explaining the legal rationale for this power are to be concealed. He’s maintaining secret law on the most extremist power he can assert. source – Guardian UK
How to break American in one easy step
Question: What is the CLOWARD-PIVEN Strategy?
Answer: The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward (1926–2001) and Frances Fox Piven (b. 1932) that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”. source – Wiki
Obama is using the Cloward-Piven strategy to collapse an America based on our Constitution, and to replace it with ultra far-left Socialism leading to dictatorship. Now you know everything there is to know about Obama’s second term in office. The only question that remains is what will you do with that information?
From ABC News: President Barack Obama is expected to lay out his principles for immigration reform in a speech in Las Vegas today that will include a potentially quicker path to citizenship than the bipartisan plan a group of senators unveiled earlier this week.
The president will offer some new details about the White House’s immigration reform plan, which expands on a blueprint it released in 2011, a senior administration official told ABC News. But for now Obama will stop short of offering his own piece of legislation because of the progress made by the Senate “Gang of Eight.”
The White House has sounded positive notes about the Senate group’s plan thus far, but the specifics that Obama announces are expected to have some key differences that might cause concern for some Republican senators who have signed onto the senate deal.
Like the senators’ plan, Obama’s proposal calls for a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The senators’ plan would grant “probationary legal status” immediately to eligible undocumented immigrants, but would not allow them to apply for permanent legal status, or a green card, until the border is deemed to be secure. Think of that as a trigger system.
On the other hand, Obama’s framework would not contain a border security measure. Administration officials told media outlets that they believe a path to citizenship needs to be straightforward. They also believe a trigger system, like the one in the senate plan, could lead to a state of legal limbo for the undocumented immigrants who receive legal status,The Washington Post reported.
The border-security-first plan, however, is essential to Republican senators who signed onto the Senate “Gang of Eight” deal.
“I will not be supporting any law that does not ensure that the enforcement things happen,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the group, told conservative blogger Ed Morrissey on his web radio show.
Obama’s plan is likely to include language that would allow same-sex bi-national couples to have the same rights as heterosexual couples,BuzzFeed and The Washington Post reported. Under current law, gays and lesbians who are married to U.S. citizens under state laws cannot obtain a green card. Obama’s plan would allow them a path to citizenship, but the issue is not mentioned in the Senate “Gang of Eight” proposal.
As noted by the Post, that language may anger Christian groups who have signaled they would support comprehensive immigration reform.
But the White House remains optimistic about the progress that has been made so far. An official described the senators’ announcement as a “breakthrough” to ABC News because it wasn’t clear whether Republicans would sign on to any path to citizenship.
Some observers couched the Senate group’s decision to come out with his plan a day before Obama as an attempt to outfox the White House politically. But administration officials told media outlets they remain generally pleased with the plan and believe that the president’s speech could build momentum for a final bill. source – ABC News
The spirit in the sky
If President Obama’s goal with the inaugural prayers was to marginalize and offend devout, conservative Christians and orthodox Jews, it would be fair to say: mission accomplished.
The choice of Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, departed from historical protocol. She was the first female and first non-clergy member to lead an inaugural prayer. She did so in the wake of Pastor Louie Giglio’s unceremonious removal from the dais after the discovery he had preached a sermon 20 years ago expositing the Bible’s position on homosexuality.
While it’s understandable that Evers-Williams would feel the need to temper her prayers, lest the current administration banish her from future public speaking engagements, her words represent a stunning departure from historical inaugural prayers and from anything resembling a Christian, Jewish, or even a generic Judeo-Christian prayer.
Evers-Williams, when asked to describe her religious affiliation by Religion News Service, said,
I have been Baptist, I have been Methodist, I have been Presbyterian. I have attended all of those churches depending on where I have lived in my life.
The answer seems rather dodgy, but nothing out of the ordinary, so when her “prayer” began as something of an announcement, we waited for the “prayer” part to begin:
America, we are here, our nation’s Capitol on this January the 21st 2013, the inauguration of our 45th [editor’s note, should be 44th] president Barack Obama.
And we waited some more…
We come at this time to ask blessings upon our leaders, the president, vice president, members of Congress, all elected and appointed officials of the United States of America. We are here to ask blessings upon our armed forces, blessings upon all who contribute to the essence of the American spirit, the American dream. The opportunity to become whatever our mankind, womankind, allows us to be. This is the promise of America.
Was this a prayer or a speech? If it was a prayer, note that Mrs. Evers-Williams addressed it simply to “America,” imploring “America” to bestow blessings upon our leaders and our country. source – PJMedia
Editor’s Note: In all fairness she closed her prayer with “and in the Jesus name”, which was funny because she never addressed her prayer to Him, or the God the Father. But she did keep talking about “some kind of spirit”.