Daily Archives: November 29, 2011

Chris Christie, Charmer, Blasts President Obama


English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

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Gov. Chris Christie tore into President Obama in the aftermath of the supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement, asking, “What the hell are we paying you for?” and calling the President “a bystander in the Oval Office.”


“I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the President knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said during a press conference in Camden.

Though he said both parties deserve blame, Gov. Christie maintained that the buck stops with the President and pointed to his own governance as a model for leadership.

“In New Jersey, the reason [problems got solved] is because I called people into the room and said we’re going to solve this problem and I had people of good will on the other side who said they believed it was their obligation, regardless of party, to get done things like pension and benefit reform,” the governor said, adding, “Why the president of the United States refuses to do this is astonishing to me.”

The President may as well go back to the Senate, Gov. Christie suggested.



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Breaking: Conrad Murray Sentenced

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Dr. Conrad Murray has been sentenced to four years in custody in the death of Michael Jackson.

Three weeks ago, Dr. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Mr. Jackson’s death.

Prosecutors successfully argued that Dr. Murray’s reckless use of the anesthetic propofol to help Mr. Jackson sleep, without proper monitoring, led to the singer’s death.

Testimony during Dr. Murray’s trial revealed that he gave propofol nearly every night in the two months before the singer’s June 25, 2009, death.

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Breaking: Cain Reevaluating Campaign Viability

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Herman Cain is reassessing the future of his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination the day after a woman said she had a thirteen-year affair with him.

Mr. Cain held a conference call this morning with his campaign staff and told them he is evaluating the viability of his campaign. He plans to continue his speaking schedule.

On Monday, Mr. Cain denied the accusations in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. “I acknowledge that I have known her for about that period of time. But the accusation that I had a 13-year affair with her, no.”

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American Airlines’ Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy

American Airlines

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American Airlines‘ parent company, AMR Corp., announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The decision comes as the airline tries to “achieve a cost and debt structure that is industry competitive and thereby assure its long-term viability and ability to continue delivering a world-class travel experience for its customers,” the company said.

American Airlines, American Eagle, and all other subsidiaries will honor all tickets and reservations and run normal flight schedules during the bankruptcy filing process.

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SCOTUS to Rule on Crack Sentencing Schemes

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The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve a question that has vexed lower federal courts about a law narrowing the gap between sentences for offenses involving kinds of cocaine.

Selling cocaine in crack form used to subject offenders to sentences 100 times as long as those for selling it in powder form. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced the disparity to eighteen to one for people sentenced after the law came into effect.

What about people who committed their offenses before the statute came into force but were not sentenced until afterward?

For such defendants, Judge Terence T. Evans wrote in one of the cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear, the law “might benefit from a slight name change: The Not Quite as Fair as it could be Sentencing Act of 2010 (NQFSA) would be a bit more descriptive.”

The usual rule is that new laws do not apply retroactively unless Congress says so; here, Congress said nothing.

Edward Dorsey pleaded guilty in June 2010 to possessing 5.5 grams of crack with the intent to distribute it. Under the law in effect at the time of his offense and his plea, he was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years. Under the new law, and Mr. Dorsey would probably have received a sentence of three or four years.

Judge Evans, writing for a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, said Mr. Dorsey “lost on a temporal roll of the cosmic dice” and was “sentenced under a structure which has now been recognized as unfair.” He added that the courts were powerless to change things. A solution, he said, was up to Congress.

The Justice Department initially supported that view but later changed its position. The full Seventh Circuit in August declined to revisit the issue by a 5-to-5 vote.

The case is Dorsey v. United States, No. 11-5683. The Court also agreed to hear a companion case, Hill v. United States, No. 11-5721, and consolidated the two.

The second case involves Corey Hill, who was convicted of selling fifty-three crack. He was sentenced under the old law in December 2010, after the new one was in force.

In the lower courts, the Justice Department urged the imposition of the harsh sentence. In the Supreme Court, it reversed course, urging the justices to rule in Mr. Hill’s favor.

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Fact-Checking Michele Bachmann’s Debate Performances

I’m happy to say I don’t think that I’ve said anything inaccurate in any of the debates. And I’m extremely grateful for that. It’s a high-profile stage and so I’m grateful that I don’t think I’ve made a blunder.

Michele Bachmann, on NPR’s Morning Edition (November 25, 2011)

Representative Michele Bachmann (Paul Sancya, Associated Press)

In an interview on Friday, Rep. Bachmann acknowledged that she is sometimes truth-challenged. “I wish I was perfection walking on air, but I’m not,” she told Steve Inskeep. “I’ve gotten things wrong. But I try very hard to get my facts right, and there’s times when I’ve said things that are inaccurate and I regret that.”

Then she made the statement above, that she’d said nothing inaccurate in the debates.

The Republican candidates for President have already held at least ten debates. Here are a few highlights and analyses of Rep. Bachmann’s performance during those sessions.

New Hampshire debate: June 13, 2011

“The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs.”  The CBO never said the health law was killing jobs. After the debate, The Washington Post awarded this claim Three Pinocchios.

“Senior citizens get this more than any other segment of our population, because they know in Obamacare the President of the United States took away $500 billion — a half-trillion dollars — out of Medicare, shifted it to Obamacare to pay for younger people.”  The Medicare savings in the health-care law are aimed at providers, not seniors; seniors will benefit from the law. People younger than fifty-five might face higher premiums under the Republican plan for Medicare. The Post found this statement worth Two Pinocchios.

Iowa debate: August 11, 2011

“In the last two months, I was leading on the issue of not increasing the debt ceiling.” Rep. Bachmann does not play a leadership role in Congress and had no involvement in the debt ceiling discussions, except rhetorically.

The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. What did the American people get in return? Twenty-one billion [dollars] in illusory cuts.” Rep. Bachmann’s reference to $21 billion in “illusory cuts” refers only to the impact on the deficit in the 2012 fiscal year. Over ten years, the deficit reduction amounts to $917 billion. (Incidentally, a blank check means there is no dollar amount.)

Reagan Library debate: September 7, 2011

“Obamacare is killing jobs. We know that from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.” She said it again! It’s still wrong.

“Obamacare took over one-sixth of the American economy. […] If we fail to repeal Obamacare in 2012, it will be with us forever and it will be socialized medicine.” This is not true, no matter how often candidates say that the health-care law represents socialized medicine or took over one-sixth of the economy. Socialized medicine is a single-payer system in which the government pays the bills and controls costs (much like Medicare).

“As a matter of fact, what he’s done is, he’s said in fact to Israel that they need to shrink back to their indefensible 1967 borders.” President Obama never said this. The Post gave Rep. Bachmann Four Pinocchios when she claimed it the first time. The President gave a speech in May in which he said the 1967 border should be a starting point for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He made clear he was not saying the lines should be Israel’s border. He was even thanked by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a speech to Congress.

Tampa debate: September 12, 2011

“President Obama embedded $105,464,000,000 in Obamacare in postdated checks to implement this bill.” Rep. Bachmann’s assertion of $105 billion “embedded” in the health-care law was a claim for which she earned four Pinocchios. Her charge that this money was “hidden” does not have credibility. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed money for these programs before the legislation was voted into law. Since then, the Obama administration has issued a new release every time it spent some of the funds.

Orlando debate: September 22, 2011

“I didn’t make that claim, nor did I make that statement. Immediately after the debate, a mother came up to me, and she was visibly shaken and heartbroken because of what her daughter had gone through, and so I only related what her story was.” Rep. Bachmann was trying to spin her way out of a problem because she had been attacked for saying the HPV vaccine was “potentially dangerous.” She made that statement before she mentioned the distraught mother.

New Hampshire debate: October 11, 2011

“It was the federal government that pushed the subprime loans. It was the federal government that pushed the Community Reinvestment Act.”  The notion that the CRA, approved in 1977, had anything much to do with a lending crisis that flowered in 2007 and 2008 has been roundly discredited.

CNBC debate: November 9, 2011

 “When you have 53% of Americans paying federal income taxes, but you have 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes, you have a real problem.” This “fact” ignores a key part of the federal tax system: payroll taxes. For many, payroll taxes are a greater part of their tax burden than income taxes. When all federal tax liabilities are included, it is clear that only a small percentage pay no form of federal tax. Rep. Bachmann is proposing a solution (making everyone pay at least the cost of two Big Macs) for which there is no problem.

CNN National Security debate: November 22, 2011

“This is one thing we know about Barack Obama: He has essentially handed over our interrogation of terrorists to the ACLU. He’s outsourced it to them. Our CIA has no ability to have any form of interrogation for terrorists.” The ACLU has been critical of President Obama for continuing Bush-era anti-terror policies. Rep. Bachmann is incorrect to say the CIA cannot interrogate terrorists. The CIA is part of the High Value Interrogation Group, established by Pres. Obama in 2009, which brings “together the most effective and experienced interrogators and support personnel from across the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense and law enforcement.”

“Almost every decision that the President has made since he came in has been one to put the United States in a position of unilateral disarmament, including the most recent decision he made to cancel the Keystone pipeline.” Pres. Obama did not cancel the Canadian oil pipeline. The State Department delayed the decision.

“It’s because Iran has announced they plan to strike Israel. They’ve stated as recently as August — just before President Ahmadinejad came to the U.N. General Assembly, he said that he wanted to eradicate Israel from the face of the Earth. He has said that if he has a nuclear weapon, he will use it to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, he will use it against the United States of America.” Iranian officials have never said they have a nuclear weapon; they have denied having such a program. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said he would use a nuclear weapon against Israel. In fact, as examined by The Post, he may not have ever said he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. There is dispute on whether this was actually a mistranslation.

The record clearly shows that Bachmann has said many inaccurate statements during the debates, sometimes repeatedly.

Via The Washington Post.

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