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Posts tagged ‘George W. Bush’

Dalai Lama to Open US Senate Session With Prayer.


The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, will give the opening prayer on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, the first time he has done so, reports said.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, said he and his committee also would host the Dalai Lama on Thursday afternoon. The Tibetan holy man is expected to meet with House leaders as well, The Hill reported.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black usually opens the Senate session with a prayer.

The Dalai Lama, who first visited the United States in 1979, has been in the country for a few weeks, sparking a controversy along the way.

President Barack Obama met with the spiritual leader in the White House two weeks ago — their third talk in recent years, the Washington Post reported.

China, which angrily objected to the meeting, calls the Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who seeks to use violent methods to establish an independent Tibet.

The Dalai Lama, 78, says he wants autonomy for Tibet and denies advocating violence.

During the White House meeting, Obama reiterated the U.S. stance against an independent Tibet but encouraged dialogue between the two countries.

“The president commended the Dalai Lama’s commitment to peace and nonviolence and expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s ‘middle way’ approach,” the White House said of the meeting, The Hill reported.

The Dalai Lama has appeared on Capitol Hill before for meetings with congressional leaders, and was awarded Congress’ highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, during a 2007 ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in an event attended by President George W. Bush.

In 2009, he focused on compassion in an opening prayer for the New York State Senate.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke

GOP’s Blakeman: Hillary Could Have Prevented Russian Attack.


Hillary Clinton failed to anticipate Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine territory and should have taken steps to deter Russian aggression, former Bush-era presidential assistant Bradley A. Blakeman charged Wednesday.

Blakeman noted that Clinton, the former secretary of state and leading Democratic contender for the nomination in 2016, played a high-profile role in hitting the “reset button” on U.S.-Russian relations.

“Maybe she could have prevented this if she had done her job correctly,” he said, “and had [used] the power of persuasion with our allies and others to call attention to Russia’s intentions.”

Blakeman, speaking in an exclusive Newsmax interview, said that while Hillary was pressing the reset button with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “the Russians were pressing the reject button.”

He added: “They saw America as being weak. They saw Obama as being weak, and somebody that could be exploited.”

Clinton has come under increasing attack from Republicans in recent weeks on issues ranging from Benghazi to her advocacy of the individual mandate that became the linchpin of Obamacare. She appeared to try to get out in front of the Ukraine issue Tuesday while speaking to the media in Long Beach, Calif.

She likened Russia’s pretext for the invasion to Nazi Germany’s push for Lebensraum in the 1930s.  Said Clinton: “The ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right, I must go and protect my people. And that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Any resolution of the conflict, Clinton said, must not sanction a de facto annexation by Russia of the Crimea.

During the 2012 campaign, Clinton criticized GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney for his view that Russia was America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. “I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN that April in response to Romney’s statement.

But now it appears Romney had a point, Blakeman said.

“She was so out of touch with foreign policy and relationships,” said Blakeman, “that she couldn’t see the forest for the trees that Romney was right, that Putin was no friend of the United States, and had every inclination in causing us problems whether it was in Syria or Iran, and using his power of division to conquer. And that’s exactly what he did.”

He added that Clinton should have discerned Russia’s interest in seizing Ukrainian territory and taken steps to deter it.

Blakeman is a GOP strategist and former assistant to then-President George W. Bush. Now a faculty member at Georgetown University, he is among a growing number of Republicans taking a second look at Clinton’s record in light of Putin’s unchecked militarism in central Europe.

The full geopolitical ramifications of the Russian occupation of Crimea are only now emerging.

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, in an appearance Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, noted that Ukraine gave up a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for Russian guarantees to honor its territorial sovereignty. Kristol said the West’s apparent tolerance for the Russian invasion sends a strong message that encourages nuclear proliferation.

“The signal it sends is not only don’t give up your nuclear weapons, [but] build nuclear weapons!” he remarked. “That will guarantee your safety. Everything else is just talk. It’s a horrible, horrible message to let get out in Europe itself, in Eastern Europe especially.”

Kristol added that the Obama administration’s view that it could induce Putin’s Russia into becoming a cooperative member of the world community — the objective of its much-maligned “reset” strategy — should be fair game for criticism.

“That was a centerpiece of Obama administration policy,” Kristol said. “…I think some of us who have been critical of that for a few years are entitled to say, ‘Can we now acknowledge that was a mistake and has failed?'”

According to Blakeman, Clinton’s role in the administration’s attempt to woo the Russians could become a major issue in the 2016 campaign — particularly if Putin continues to provoke Western powers.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By David A. Patten

George W. Bush: Drop ‘Disorder’ From Post-Traumatic Stress.


Image: George W. Bush: Drop 'Disorder' From Post-Traumatic Stress

By Drew MacKenzie

Former President George W. Bush has demanded changes in the way post-traumatic stress disorder is labeled so that the stigma can be removed surrounding the illness affecting many military veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking at a summit on veterans at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in University Park, Texas, Bush urged that the word “disorder” be erased, that it should just be called “post-traumatic stress,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

“We are going to use our platform to make clear that veterans receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress are not damaged goods, they are not mentally shattered,” Bush said. “They are people who got hurt defending our country and are now overcoming wounds.”

Story continues below video.

The former president said that by removing the “D” from PTSD will help veterans settle into civilian life and get jobs.

“Employers would not hesitate to hire an employee being treated for a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure,” Bush said. “And they should not hesitate to hire veterans with post-traumatic stress.

“Post-traumatic stress, or PTS, is an injury that can result from the experience of war. And like other injuries, PTS is treatable.”

Bush was the driving force behind the summit with the aid of the George W. Bush Institute, and he hoped it would show how Americans can help the 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans lead normal lives.

He was joined at the event by Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace, along with executives from Bank of America and 7-Eleven, the Morning News reported.

Bush, however, will find he’s facing a tough battle to get the PTSD name changed because doctors have previously resisted removing the “D.”

Last year, the American Psychiatric Association brought out a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for the first time in 13 years — and the manual kept the “disorder” in the PTSD psychiatric diagnosis.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

More Gun Buyers OK’d Under Obama Than Clinton or Bush.


More gun purchases are being approved after federal background checks under the Obama administration than the previous presidential tenures of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, The Washington Times reported.

Figures obtained by the newspaper reveal that nearly everyone who applies for a gun from a federally licensed dealer and is vetted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is handed the weapon, regardless of what party is in power.

The security system was introduced in 1998 to prevent potential buyers with criminal records or mental illness from obtaining guns. Sales of firearms by private sellers don’t require background checks unless required by state law.

In 1999 and 2000, during Clinton’s presidency, 0.83 percent of applicants, fewer than one in 100, were denied firearms, according to statistics obtained by the Times under the Freedom of Information Act. And from 2001 to 2008 under Bush’s tenure, the percentage of refusals was even less at 0.67 percent, also less than 100.

Under the current Obama administration, the average denial rate is just 0.46, or fewer than one in 50 applicants, which is nearly half of Clinton’s numbers and also much lower than Bush’s.

The statistics show that the percentage of denials was even lower than 0.46 in the six months directly after the Sandy Hook school massacre by deranged shooter Adam Lanza.

The rampage resulted in an outcry from gun control advocates, including President Barack Obama, for stricter gun controls and an expansion of the background check system.

Astonishingly, there were just over 171,028,000 federal background checks carried out on potential gun buyers run from Jan. 1, 1999, to June 30, 2013 — with about 1,024,000 denied. The factors that prevent would-be buyers getting firearms include a criminal history, illegal immigration, or a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Thomas Baker, assistant professor of criminology at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the number of gun applicants has increased rapidly in recent years because of the fierce political controversy surrounding gun controls that could result in them being barred from getting a weapon.

And he noted that people unlikely to be approved for a gun purchase are getting around the federal system by buying firearms privately.

“The unfortunate fact is that political rhetoric on gun control is likely increasing firearm purchases by those legally prohibited from owning firearms, too,” said Baker. “The only difference is that with the private-sale loophole, these sales go entirely undetected.”

Earlier this week in New Hampshire, a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales and transfers to include gun shows, the Internet, and flea markets was killed by the state’s Legislature, The Associated Press reported.

The bill would have required most private sellers to conduct background checks through federally licensed dealers. State Rep. Richard Meaney, a Republican, said the bill infringed upon New Hampshire gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Drew MacKenzie

Clarence Thomas: America Too Sensitive About Race.


Image: Clarence Thomas: America Too Sensitive About Race

By Elliot Jager

American society is more “conscious” of race than it was in the segregated south and during the early period of the civil rights struggle, U.S. Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas told a college audience on Tuesday, Yahoo News reported.

Thomas told students at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., that he was saddened that America was more race conscious than it was in that earlier era.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

He spoke of growing up as a Catholic and African American in Savannah, Ga., “the first black kid” to attend his all white school.  “Rarely did the issue of race come up,” Thomas said.

“Now, name a day it doesn’t come up. Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight; every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them – left them out.”

The university is an interdenominational Christian faith-based school offering liberal arts and select professional studies.

Thomas said the shabbiest treatment he’d received was not from southern whites.

“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated,” said Thomas. “The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me — by northern liberal elites — not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.”

Thomas also spoke of how faith played an important role in his job on the court.

“I don’t know how an oath becomes meaningful unless you have faith. Because at the end you say, ‘So help me God.’ And a promise to God is different from a promise to anyone else.”

Thomas, 65, is one of six Catholics on the court. There are three Jews and no Protestants. Nominated by president George H. W. Bush, he has served on the Supreme Court since 1991.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Ex-G.W. Bush Aide Wallace: Boehner Deserves Medal of Freedom.


House Speaker John Boehner pushed through Tuesday’s debt ceiling vote to keep Republicans from being falsely blamed for gumming up the government and enable them to keep their eyes on the prize: the 2014 elections, says Nicolle Wallace, former communications chief for President George W. Bush.

“The truth is the Republicans . . . will be judged by too many voters as responsible for these things,” Wallace told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“We have such important elections on the horizon; these midterm elections are much more important for our party than theirs, we have much more at stake.

“We have seen the wreckage caused by having . . . an extreme progressive liberal in the Oval Office. Our only recourse, now, is to further solidify our majority in the House and to try to take back the Senate, and it matters how our party is viewed when it comes to these big Washington food fights,” she said Tuesday.

Story continues below video.

Wallace, who was also senior adviser for the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign, said Boehner should get an award for his Herculean work in keeping a turbulent party together.

“John Boehner deserves whatever that highest civilian honor is, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Wallace said.

“He has a very difficult job . . . He is there not just to pass laws, but to keep the government running and to get things done. I admire every step he’s taken; even during the government shutdown last fall, through all of this, he’s been strong and he’s been honest.

“He’s in a really tough position, and I don’t think ‘sympathy’s’ the right word because I don’t pity him at all, I admire him, but I have a lot of empathy with what he’s wrestling with.”

See “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

What to Expect From Friday’s Jobs Report.


Friday, economists expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 181,000 jobs in January, up from the disappointing 74,000 scored in December. That’s about half the pace needed to bring unemployment down to acceptable levels and motivate the Federal Reserve to raise targets for short-term interest rates.

The economy did grow at a solid 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending accelerated and growth was more broadly supported by business investment and improvements in exports.

The Fed has well-founded confidence in the long-term stability of the recovery and is well-advised to continue tapering purchases of longer-term Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. Recent turmoil in currency and stock markets notwithstanding, the fundamentals underneath U.S. equities remain sound.

Editor’s Note: 38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000 

However, expansion in the housing, autos and manufacturing sectors — the bright stars of the 18-quarter expansion — showed signs of tiring, and these trends carried over into January data. For example, contracts for sales of new and existing homes and the Institute for Supply Management data for manufacturing have not been encouraging.

The unseasonably cold winter slowed housing sales, which should rebound by March. Autos and other manufacturing activities are troubled by Japan’s efforts to suppress the value of the yen against the dollar and accomplish price competitiveness and exports unjustified by underlying comparative advantages.

The jobs report may reflect continued restructuring among large retailers — many big names sold large volumes of goods at very thin margins during the holiday season and remain overexpanded — and uncertainty in healthcare owing to the rocky rollout of Obamacare.

Economists generally believe consumer spending got out ahead of income gains in the fourth quarter, and households will consolidate their finances and slow purchases through the spring. Overall, first quarter growth in the range of 2 to 2.5 percent — in line with the trend for the recovery since 2009 — is expected, and jobs growth in the range of 180,000 for January would support that expectation.

The unemployment rate should stay at about 6.7 percent, largely because so many adults remain discouraged or stuck in part-time jobs, with the latter condition worsening as Obamacare mandates for full-time employees in 2015 come into more immediate focus.

Going forward, the December termination of federal support for unemployment benefits administered by the states in excess of the customary 26 weeks will likely help depress the unemployment rate. The experience of North Carolina, which ended long-term benefits in July, indicates many adults will cease actively looking for work and not be counted in federal jobless statistics.

That experience does raise serious questions about the need for long-term assistance among many who have been collecting benefits, especially given that extended unemployment benefits raise wages demanded, generally, and discourages hiring on a broad scale.

Factoring in part-time employees who would prefer full-time work and discouraged adults, the jobless rate is 13.1 percent.

Getting headline unemployment down to 6 percent, while employing those folks at the margins of the labor market, would require about 365,000 jobs each month for three years — about double the pace accomplished since the economic recovery began and during the George W. Bush expansion.

It bears noting Presidents Reagan and Clinton accomplished more robust growth and jobs creation with lighter regulations, lower taxes, less emphasis on entitlement programs and fewer efforts to suppress criticism of their administrations’ policies.

Both capitalized on the dynamic opportunities offered by new technologies and private initiative by encouraging robust public debate about appropriate directions for public policy, as opposed to tolerating efforts to quiet their voices through law enforcement and muffle dissent through the administration of the tax laws.

Throughout the world, over and over again, new technology and private initiative have instigated more growth and created more good-paying jobs when debate is untethered by fears of retribution and unsettling to those in power.

Editor’s Note: 38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000 

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

By Peter Morici Twitter @pmorici1

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