Posts tagged ‘Big Money’

Obama hits China on trade and Romney on China | The Ticket – Yahoo! News


Obama hits China on trade and Romney on China | The Ticket – Yahoo! News.

Campaigning Monday in the pivotal battleground of Ohio, President Barack Obama hit China over allegedly underhanded competition that hurts American workers, and knocked Mitt Romney as being for unfair trade practices before he was against them.
Equality Armando Olmos

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“We don’t need folks who during election time suddenly are worrying about trade practices, but before the election are taking advantage of unfair trading practices,” Obama told a crowd of some 4,500 cheering supporters in Cincinnati.

The Republican presidential nominee has recently redoubled his attacks on the president over China as both men court blue-collar workers who blame Beijing’s rise for the decline of American manufacturing. It’s a sentiment with overwhelming support in Congress, where many accuse the rising economic power of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar—a move that helps keep its exports cheaper relative to American competition.

The former Massachusetts governor has promised that, if elected, he will formally designate China a currency manipulator, a step that could trigger retaliatory sanctions—and, many experts warn, precipitate a trade war.

Obama, who has sometimes struggled to reach white working-class voters, accused Romney of benefiting personally from seeing American manufacturing jobs flow to China. The president charged that, as head of the private equity firm Bain Capital, his rival invested in firms that moved jobs to Asia.

“He made money investing in companies that uprooted from here and went to China,” Obama said. “Now, Ohio, you can’t stand up to China when all you’ve done is sent them our jobs.”

The Romney campaign vigorously disputed that allegation, with spokesman Ryan Williams accusing the president of “recycling false and debunked attacks.”

“He can’t tell the people of Ohio about his record of fewer jobs, more debt, and lower incomes,” Williams said in a statement. “And even members of his own party have loudly condemned his inaction toward China.”

(The Republican National Committee also blasted out a series of quotes from Democrats, including Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, which had criticized the Obama administration for not designating China a currency manipulator. Obama aides say the yuan is artificially cheap, but that the issue is best addressed either at the World Trade Organization or through bilateral negotiations—even though such talks have yielded little progress. Legislation meant to escalate the pressure on Beijing has stalled in the Republican-held House of Representatives in the face of opposition from potent sectors of big business.)

Obama’s trip came as the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced new steps to challenge China’s allegedly improper subsidies to its auto and auto-parts sectors.

The Obama administration is also escalating another trade enforcement action, begun in July, against what it says are unfair anti-dumping and countervailing duties on some $3.3 billion in U.S. automobile exports to China.

“You can talk a good game, but I like to walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” Obama said.

Romney’s tough rhetoric on China reflects how a challenger can use foreign policy issues to his or her advantage: Candidate Obama did the same thing on China in 2008, pushing then-President George W. Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics. In 2000, candidate Bush hit the Clinton administration’s record on China and described the rising Asian power as a strategic competitor. And in 1992, candidate Bill Clinton accused then-President George H.W. Bush of accommodating the “butchers of Beijing.”

Each time, the candidate turned president muted his more strident criticisms and worked to bring Beijing into international institutions and get its cooperation on a range of thorny issues, like nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran. Advisers to Romney insist that he would keep his pledge.
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U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney pauses as speaks to reporters in Los Angeles, California

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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/David McNew)

Republican presidential candidate and …

Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney Speaks To Hispanic Business Owners

Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney Speaks …

U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, California

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Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust! | Addicting Info


Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust! | Addicting Info.

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Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust!
September 17, 2012
By Deborah Montesano

Activists in Pennsylvania aren’t waiting for the state Supreme Court to issue a decision on the new voter ID law, which was recently upheld by a lower court. They’re rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to put 1,000,000 new state-issued ID’s into the hands of voters.

Although there has never been a prosecution for voter fraud in Pennsylvania, and though the state estimates that 758,000 people lack the required identification, a Commonwealth Court concluded that no one would be disenfranchised by the law. The requirements of the law are for citizens to produce a social security number, a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, plus two items showing their name and current address. Those without the latter can bring someone to verify their residence.

The state projects that they will issue only a few thousand IDs before the election, but that doesn’t fit with the plans of the activists. While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on the law on Thursday and could still overturn it, activists aren’t willing to waste time waiting for their decision. In Philadelphia alone, an estimated 200,000 citizens lack the necessary ID. An organization called The Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition is conducting a widespread information and transportation effort in Philadelphia and beyond to help people understand what they need and to get them to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to get the identification.

Other activists are self-appointed, out of concern for the integrity of the voting process. According to National Public Radio (NPR), one resident of a low-income senior housing complex has helped about 80 residents who no longer drive get their identification. Another woman, Audrey Traynham, provided information to a crowd outside of the DMV. She said, “I wasn’t recruited by anyone. I just feel like it’s my civic duty to make sure … everybody has their chance to vote.” What a pity when the courts don’t feel the same!

I’d be delighted if you joined me on Facebook or checked out my blog.

They Only Help The Rich But What About Us The 99 Percent; we’re the invisible people.


The Fed steps in, and stocks soar: Dow climbs 206 – Yahoo! News.

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market staged a huge rally Thursday after investors got the aggressive economic help they wanted from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average spiked more than 200 points and cleared 13,500 for the first time since the beginning of the Great Recession. The average is within 625 points of its all-time high.

The Fed said it would buy $40 billion of mortgage securities a month until the economy improves. It left open the possibilities of buying other assets and of buying long after the recovery picks up.

The central bank also extended its pledge of super-low short-term interest rates into 2015, and extended a program to drive down long-term rates.

It was the package known as QE3 — a third round of quantitative easing, in market-speak. And it was just what investors were hoping for.

“They’re saying that the punch bowl, the fuel for the economy, isn’t going away — it’s going to be here as long as you need it,” said Tony Fratto, a former aide to President George W. Bush and managing partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a policy consulting firm in Washington.

The Dow closed up 206.51 points, the seventh-biggest gain this year, at 13,539.86, its highest close since the last days of December 2007, the first month of the recession.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 23.43 points at 1,459.99, also its highest since December 2007. The Nasdaq composite index, which has been trading at its highest levels since 2000, was up 41.52 at 3,155.83.

David Abuaf, chief investment officer at Hefty Wealth Partners, said he expects investors to keep shifting from safer assets like government bonds to stocks. That could push stock prices higher and start a cycle of increased wealth and spending.

“People will feel more confident, consumers will buy more goods, and GDP growth will increase,” he said, referring to the gross domestic product, or economic output.

The stock market had already enjoyed a summer rally, in part because investors were betting on more Fed action. The Dow has climbed more than 1,100 points since the start of June.

Still, stocks spiked Thursday in industries across the economy. Materials companies, which tend to do well when the economy picks up, enjoyed the biggest gain — 2.6 percent as a group. Bank stocks also surged.

This is the third round of bond-buying by the Fed since the financial crisis struck in the fall of 2008. The goal is to lower long-term interest rates, get people to borrow and spend more and push investors into stocks.

If history is any guide, stocks could rally a bit more. In the three months following March 2009, when the Fed said it would expand its first round of buying, the S&P 500 rose 18 percent. In the three months after the central bank hinted at a second round of buying in August 2010, the S&P rose 14 percent.

Some economists and investors have warned that the bond-buying will have a limited impact because interest rates are already near record lows.

Critics of the stock rally say investors should focus on why the Fed is acting in the first place: The U.S. economy is weak. Economic growth in China is also slowing, and much of Europe is in recession and struggling with high debt.

Earlier this month, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, said the central bank would buy the debt of countries that use the euro and are desperate to keep their borrowing costs down.

“I’m not buying anything,” Gary Flam of Bel Air Investment Advisors said as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at a press conference.

Flam added, referring to Draghi and Bernanke: “These two guys are propping up market in the hope it will trickle down to the economy, but after several years of this we haven’t seen a sustainable impact. The underlying problems of debt and deficits remain.”

The Fed also lowered its outlook for economic growth this year to no stronger than 2 percent. That’s down from its forecast of 2.4 percent in June.

In Treasury trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell slightly to 1.73 percent from 1.79 percent late Wednesday. It had spiked to 1.84 percent as investors sold bonds after the Fed announcement.

The dollar fell slightly against major currencies. It tumbled almost a penny against the euro, which rose to a hair under $1.30.

The price of gold climbed to its highest level since February — $1,772 an ounce, a gain of $38, or 2 percent. When the Fed buys bonds, gold often rises, both because investors fear inflation and because a weaker dollar makes gold more expensive.

The trading day didn’t begin well. European markets were falling and U.S. futures slid, suggesting stocks might fall when U.S. markets opened.

In addition to worries about what the Fed might do, investors were rattled by turmoil in the Middle East. Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital earlier in the day, and there was violence around the U.S. mission in Cairo. The U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed Tuesday.

Stocks rose after the open but barely. Then the Fed released a statement about its moves shortly after 12:30 p.m., and prices began to climb steadily. Some Fed watchers homed in on a pledge to keep stimulating the economy for a “considerable” time “after” it appears to have strengthened. That is stronger language than the central bank had used before.

Then Bernanke started speaking at the press conference at around 2:15, and stocks shot up. A few minutes into the conference, the Dow was up nearly 240 points.

“We are looking for ongoing, sustained improvement in the labor market,” Bernanke told reporters. “There’s not a specific number in mind. But what we’ve seen in the last six months isn’t it.”

In other news Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in two months, though the figures were skewed in part by Hurricane Isaac.

The figures come after a disappointing jobs report last week. Employers added only 96,000 jobs in August, far below the average 226,000 a month added in the January-March quarter.

The government also said that wholesale prices rose 1.7 percent in August, the most in three years. They were driven up by higher costs for gas and food. Removing the impact of energy and food, however, the increase in prices has been mild.

Among stocks making moves, Pall Corp. rose $4.63, or 8 percent, to $62.80. The company, which makes filtration equipment, posted net income that beat Wall Street predictions.

Apple climbed $13.19, or 2 percent, to $682.98. On Wednesday, the company unveiled an iPhone with a bigger screen and faster download speeds.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose to a four-year high after Germany’s highest court rejected calls to block the creation of Europe’s rescue fund for indebted governments.

The Fed action combined with the Middle East turmoil pushed crude prices up to above $98 a barrel of the first time in more than four months. Oil rose $1.30 to close at $98.31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

There were nearly four stocks rising for every one falling. Volume was high, 4.5 billion shares.

___

AP Business Writer Christina Rexrode contributed to this report.

House GOP Budget Would Cost States Ten Times More Than Expanding Medicaid | ThinkProgress


House GOP Budget Would Cost States Ten Times More Than Expanding Medicaid | ThinkProgress.

ss on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act still in contention is the law’s expansion of Medicaid — the health care program for the disabled, seniors, and low-income Americans that’s jointly funded by the federal government and the states. The Supreme Court’s ruling on health care reform back in June determined that states could chose to opt out of the expansion without losing the federal Medicaid dollars they already recieve. Several governors — all of them Republicans — have already taken the opportunity to declare their state will not participate in the program’s expansion.

These refusals are often justified on budgetary grounds: Medicaid’s burden “increasingly shifts to Florida taxpayers in future years” and was “growing three and a half times as fast as Florida’s general revenue” as Governor Rick Scott put it. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said of the expansion, “I think that is something our state cannot afford.” And Rick Perry, the ever blunt governor of Texas, declared, “I will not be party to… bankrupting my state.”

Ironically, however, a recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities determined that the budget Paul Ryan engineered in the House — which was passed by the governors’ own party, and endorsed by Rick Perry and the other leaders of the Republican Governors Association — would cost states’ budgets well over ten times as much as the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

The CBPP determined that between now and 2022 the Medicaid expansion would cost states $73 billion. Over that same time period, the House GOP budget would cut $810 billion from the federal government’s contribution to Medicaid, on top of its repeal of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. The budget would also cut another $281 billion from federal support for schools and other state and local services. A grand total of $1.091 trillion in losses to state budgets.

In fairness to the governors, the Urban Institute ran the numbers and found that the cost of expanding Medicaid would not fall evenly on the states. (It should be noted their estimates only run through 2019.) And the majority of the states either refusing, or leaning towards refusing the expansion, have populations with unusually high portions of people that are currently uninsured but would be eligible to join Medicaid.

But even under the Urban Institute’s worst-case predictions, several of the refusing or leaning-towards-refusal states still see net savings from the new federal dollars that come with the expansion. And for those that still see net costs, such as Texas and Florida, the highest predicted budgetary hit was in the vicinity $2.5 billion. Almost certainly, that comes no where close to matching the damage that would be done if the House GOP’s budget became law.

Meanwhile, the number of uninsured Americans fell by 1.3 million in 2011 — the first time it’s gone down in four years. In no small part, the decrease was due to a boost in Medicaid and CHIP funding included in the 2009 stimulus. If all the states carry through with the far greater boost the ACA’s expansion would bring to Medicaid, as many as 17 million currently uninsured Americans could finally gain coverage.
be found here.

6 Worst Lies In Paul Ryan’s Speech


6 Worst Lies In Paul Ryan’s Speech.

en on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

Vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is taking flack on the morning news shows for his keynote address at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night. His speech was riddled with false claims, so much so that even Fox News wrote, “To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”

Here are the most glaring lies from his speech:

1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”

2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.

US Supreme Court Becoming More Powerful – Business Insider


US Supreme Court Becoming More Powerful – Business Insider.

Congress technically has the power to undo Supreme Court decisions it doesn’t like.

But these days, partisan divisions have interfered with Congress’ functioning so much that the nations’ justices often have the last word, The New York Times’ Adam Liptak reports.

The Times cited this recent study by University of California, Riverside professor Richard Hasan, which found the number of so-called Congressional overrides of Supreme Court decisions have diminished significantly in the past decade.

“[P]artisanship seems to have strongly diminished the opportunities for bipartisan overridings of Supreme Court cases, in which Democrats and Republicans come together to reverse the Supreme Court,” the study found.

Justice Antonin Scalia made a reference to the high court’s new power during the game-changing arguments over the president’s signature health care overhaul, Liptak reported.

While discussing whether the high court should strike down the insurance mandate and let Congress decide on the balance of the law, Scalia said “you’re not going to get 60 votes in the Senate to repeal the rest.”
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Sheldon Adelson and Newt Gingrich: One gained clout from friendship, the other funding – The Washington Post


The way casino magnate Sheldon Adelson remembers it, he and his wife, Miriam, met then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995 in the majestic Capitol Rotunda as they made their way through the building while lobbying for a bill to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Nearly two decades later, Gingrich, on the campaign trail, has promised that his first executive order as president would be the embassy move, long a priority of ardent Israel supporters such as the Adelsons.

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The former House speaker is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

It would also be a sweet jackpot for the Adelsons, who are the biggest patrons of Gingrich’s political career.

Perhaps no other major presidential candidate in recent times has had his fortunes based so squarely on the contributions of a single donor, as Gingrich has on Adelson, who has spent millions in support of Gingrich and his causes over the past five years. In a primary season dominated by the mega-spending of super PACs, Adelson’s efforts on Gingrich’s behalf provide a window into the expanding influence of the super-rich on American politics.

After putting up the seed money and ultimately $7.7 million between 2006 and 2010 for a nonprofit group that served as a precursor to Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Adelson, 78, an irascible Las Vegas billionaire, doubled down this month, giving $5 million to a political action committee run by former close aides to Gingrich.

“My motivation for helping Newt is simple and should not be mistaken for anything other than the fact that my wife Miriam and I hold our friendship with him very dear and are doing what we can as private citizens to support his candidacy,” Adelson, who is listed by Forbes as the eighth-wealthiest American, with a net worth of $21.5 billion, said in a prepared statement e-mailed to The Washington Post. He declined interview requests.

The most recent donation to Winning Our Future, a Gingrich-linked super PAC, fueled Gingrich’s resurgence before Saturday’s primary in South Carolina and bankrolled ads and a half-hour film painting rival Mitt Romney as a job-killing corporate raider. Adelson told associates that he will consider more donations if Gingrich fares well Saturday.

For Gingrich, the check links him even more closely to Adelson (pronounced ADD-el-son), an outspoken businessman known for aggressive tactics. His net worth has increased at least ninefold in the last decade. (The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating his company, Las Vegas Sands, in connection with allegations that Adelson ordered an executive to bribe Chinese officials by putting them on the payroll. Adelson and company officials deny the allegations, which they say were first made by a disgruntled former employee.)

Adelson said the check to Gingrich was about fidelity. “Our means of support might be more than others are able to offer,” he said, “but like most Americans, words such as friendship and loyalty still mean something to us.”

Friends said Adelson and Gingrich share views on Israel, labor and free enterprise. In December, when Gingrich was riding atop the national GOP polls, Adelson was delighted.

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ramseytuell

1/27/2012 2:11 PM MST

At present we are sending 33% of our work to other countries. If we were to keep 18% of that here it would put most of that 14 million back to work. It is very important that we do it now. Workers feed our money Supply, pay taxes, and pay the wages of all those that have jobs in our government.
The President, in his state of The Union speech, addressed the fact that we are losing our skilled workers such as engineers, die makers, machinists, etc and along with them goes our ability to manufacture and build wealth in our country.
If I see any of the contenders for the Presidency, or the President and any of his staff, smiling and talking about rearranging the government offices to safe money, or shuffling papers and laws to improve the economy, I’m going to puke.

banicki

1/20/2012 1:33 PM MST

One dollar one vote.
Here is biggest problem of this years election. and no one is discussing it including the Times.
American politics is one of the few jobs where you are allowed to hunt for another job during 98% of normal working hours and continue to be paid for your present position. WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN THIS TIME!
“Republicans hope Mr. Obama’s pronouncement that a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut was the last “must-do” piece of legislation for the White House will work in their favor, making them look as though they are trying to create jobs while Mr. Obama is busy campaigning.” Boehner Faces a Restive G.O.P. and New White House Attacks, Jennifer Steinhaurer, New York Times, January 14, 2011
In 2012 we have the following items that demand national attention: the presidential and congressional elections, the Afghan war, Iran building a nuclear weapon, high unemployment, a teetering economy and a national debt with no plan in place to solve it. These are just the items on the top shelf. Morehttp://goo.gl/mIWYc

Provincial

1/20/2012 9:13 AM MST

What is not mentioned in this article is the fact that Newt Gingrich did a 180 on his Israel v. Palestinians positions immediately after receiving the $1 million.
Newt sold himself to Adelson, he has been bought and paid for.

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Sheldon Adelson and Newt Gingrich: One gained clout from friendship, the other funding – The Washington Post