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One who cares enough to tell Americans the truth.
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Friday, August 31, 2012
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Here is a special message worthy of your attention:
Today, August 31, 2012, the result of the Office of Congressional Ethics Board's investigation into Representative Rob Andrews' recent activities involving his leadership PAC and campaign account was released and, not surprisingly, it was a fairly damning report of Rep. Andrews' conduct. The investigation concluded that "there is a substantial reason to believe that [Rep. Andrews] improperly used congressional campaign and Leadership PAC funds for personal use, in violation of House Rules and federal law."
More troubling, however, is Rep. Andrews' failure to fully and fairly cooperate with the investigation: "Representative Andrews refused to fully cooperate with the OCE's review in this matter preventing the Board from properly ascertaining the complete scope and nature of certain expenses by Representative Andrews and his family." Rep. Andrews has disclaimed any wrongdoing, but then refuses to cooperate in an investigation which could potentially clear him of all wrongdoing? This just doesn't add up. If you truly have nothing to hide, Rep. Andrews, then give the investigators the information they seek.
Holding Office as a U.S. Representative is an honorable privilege requiring the highest ethical and moral standards from the individual holding the office. You serve the People of the First Congressional District, Rep. Andrews, not yourself. The conduct described in the OCE Board's report is disgraceful. It's time for a career change for Rob Andrews. Save whatever may be left of your honor, Rep. Andrews, and immediately resign.
Rep. Andrews too-long tenure in Congress has brought remarkably little assistance to the residents of the 1st Congressional District. The Camden waterfront, previously a source of good, solid jobs providing a living wage to the people of the district, has been in a downward spiral. The DRPA, a recipient of federal funds, has been found to be a virtual playground of waste and abuse, according to a recent report for the NJ Office of the Comptroller.
Where has Rep. Andrews been on these and the other important issues? On a vacation, perhaps in some European country.
Thomas T. Booth, Jr., Esq.
You will recall that Notre Dame University was roundly criticized for inviting President Obama to be a commencement speaker inasmuch as Notre dame is a Catholic university and Obama has long supported abortion-on-demand. Still, despite a huge outcry and a plunge in donations from alumni, Notre Dame went ahead with its decision and welcomed Obama.
But none of that did Notre Dame a damned bit of good.
Because Obama & Co. now have Notre Dame under assault along with all other Catholic institutions.
And yes, the Obama administration has had some success with getting lawsuits against its HHS mandate tossed on technical grounds, arguing that they are still working to accommodate religious objections and that because the mandate hasn’t affected religious institutions as of yet, the lawsuits are not ripe. That argument has worked against the lawsuits brought by Belmont Abbey College and Wheaton College.
So it was no surprise earlier this month when the Obama administration filed a motion to have a lawsuit by the University of Notre Dame dismissed on those same technical grounds. But the university is reportedly pushing back.
In a memorandum filed in Indiana federal court yesterday, the University of Notre Dame opposed the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss its suit and argued that the contraception mandate forces the university to violate its faith by forcing it to provide coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures or by hiring only employees of its own religion.
Notre Dame is arguing that because of the mandate, which is scheduled to go into effect in August of next year, it’s presently facing roughly $50,000 in costs to budget consultants as well as providing for an additional $1 million set aside for potential penalties, according to Law360.com.
“Notre Dame is suffering imminent injuries to its rights from the U.S. government mandate, and, indeed, the very existence of that threat has posed collateral injuries now,” the university argued in its brief, according to Law360.com. “The U.S. government mandate and its narrow religious-employer definition require Notre Dame to face ‘a Hobson’s choice.’ On the one hand, Notre Dame would have to violate its religious beliefs were it to abide by the Mandate or its exemption. On the other, failure to adhere to those options could subject Notre Dame to various penalties.”
Notre Dame also reportedly argued that the mandate exposes it to the potential of expensive lawsuits for not complying with the mandate next year.
The Administration reportedly claimed that the suit should be tossed because it is working on amendments to the rule to accommodate religious objections.
Notre Dame argues in its brief that no matter what the Administration intends to change or doesn’t intend to change, the law as its currently written is having an effect right now and “is imposing both imminent and current harms.”
Not everyone at Notre Dame is on board however. As The Cardinal Newman Society has reported previously, a group of philosophy graduate students at the university created a petition opposing the university’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate. That petition reportedly currently has about 170 signatures from students, staff and faculty.
Notre Dame Law professor Richard Garnett told Notre Dame’s student newspaper he believes Notre Dame’s case is strong.
“…he said the mandate saddles the University with a responsibility that contradicts its “religiously-motivated aspiration” to be a preeminent Catholic research university.
“And, the burden is unnecessary, because it would be possible for the government to achieve its goal of expanding insurance coverage for ‘preventive services’ while accommodating religious institutions like the University,” he said.
There is no specific timeline for the case, Garnett said, and similar cases are pending across the country in different stages.
“In theory, the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court,” he said. “It could also, however, end much earlier in the process, depending on whether or not the administration revises the rule, or on the outcome of the November election.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Here are advance excerpts from Mitt Romney's speech to the GOP convention tonight:
"Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us. When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future. That very optimism is uniquely American. It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.
Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.
This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
This was the hope and change America voted for.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, 'I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!'
So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.
To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.
"My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO. Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love– this world would be a far more gentle and better place.
"My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, 'Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?'
I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
"Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.
And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.
"When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.
So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.
"That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I'm pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
"But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.
"Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
"To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
"President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.
"We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman, and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.
"The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even than the past.
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight."
I've spoken to several journalists from Europe here at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
And I've asked them how they feel about Republicans saying "we don't want to be like Europe."
A young journalist from Austria answered: "I wouldn't expect America to be like Europe. Why would you want to be like Europe? You are a different culture, a different continent, a different nation with a different history. It's understandable that you wouldn't want to be like Europe."
But another journalist from Paris indicated that what he finds as a resistance to European ways to be somewhat off-putting.
He told me that Europe is no longer a social welfare state but at the same time he defended government, taxes and entitlement programs. He said that America should adopt a single payer healthcare program and should provide free college education to everyone. He said he doesn't mind paying taxes -- he welcomes it because he feels that government is providing for him and for everyone else.
So, there you have it -- different views of Europe and America from different Europeans.
And this too: My new acquaintances from Paris told me that if and when I visit Paris I won't want to come home. "You will be so happy," they said.
That, I don't doubt.
Posted by Dan Cirucci at 8:28 PM
Here are some additional excerpts from Paul Ryan's compelling speech to the GOP Convention last night with emphasis added:
"After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Gov. Mitt Romney."
"With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he's pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can't be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics because their ability, character and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney."
"It [the stimulus money] went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst."
"So our opponents can consider themselves on notice [regarding Medicare]. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the left isn't going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate, we want this debate, we will win in this debate.
Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close."
"It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at the moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind."
"These past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What's missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago. Isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?"
"President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record and then calls that the record. But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy that we are living."
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life."
"None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us."
"Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I've been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he's a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country."Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Dan Cirucci at 11:54 AM
That's the only word I could think of as I watched Paul Ryan speak live at the GOP Convention last night.
Why do I feel this way?
Youth is the first factor. Ryan is about the same age that JFK was when Kennedy captivated the nation. Ryan's young and attractive family is another important factor. And even his relatively youthful looking mom and her inspiring story reinforce this image.
But there's more.
Ryan keeps saying "we can do this." And he believes it with the confidence and determination that only a young person can bring to the task. This is heartening, it's encouraging, it's great to hear. Ryan's optimism -- the optimism of a new generation -- helps to restore our faith in the future. He's stepping up and telling us that his generation and the ones that follow aren't merely ready to tackle the big job of reclaiming our nation's fiscal well-being and stature, they're actually anxious to get on with the job. They can't wait. They want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And if you're in their way, you'd better move aside.
Kennedy said "the torch has been passed to a new generation."
Ryan says essentially the same thing.
Kennedy said "we can do better" and "we've got to get America moving again."
Ryan basically repeats those lines.
Kennedy charged that those in power had their moment, that their ideas had become tired and worn-out, that their plans no longer worked.
Ryan convincingly makes the same charges once again.
Kennedy challenged us to roll up our shirt sleeves and to work together to get our country back on track.
So does Ryan.
Kennedy refused to believe that America could or should relinquish its position as the leader of the free world.
Ryan advances that theme as well.
It's almost as if the torch really has been passed -- across eras and across generations from one son of Ireland to another -- from Kennedy to Ryan.
Paul Ryan also exhibits the same appealing presence and sometimes awkward charm that Kennedy showed. As with Kennedy, Ryan seems surprised at times at the adulation that has come his way. And like Kennedy, he's also able to make a joke about himself. And he did that again last night.
Certainly, Ryan is exceptionally bright -- as was JFK.
And Ryan isn't afraid to advance bold ideas (reforming and preserving Social Security, cutting the debt, balancing the budget) in the same way that Kennedy did (sending a man to the moon, cutting taxes to boost the economy, closing the missile gap).
But here's something that Ryan has that Kennedy didn't have: a sincere earnestness and a relentless determination. At times JFK seemed ambivalent about his political journey. No so with Ryan.
Ryan is the kid that you barely noticed on the first day of class in high school or college. You hardly knew he was there. But day-by-day and week-by-week and month-by-month he began to make a difference and he stood out and people started to gravitate to him. You realized that not only did he have the right answers but that he was helpful and jocular as well -- he could be a pal. And damned if this somewhat nerdy guy didn't manage (more often than you'd think) to get the gal as well.
This is what I see in Paul Ryan.
As I left the Tampa Bay Times Forum last night I felt something I hadn't felt since 1960 -- a real sense of a new generation stepping forward. And, I gotta tell ya, I felt for like I was part of it; like I was a teenager again, following a dream.
For just a moment the sky was broader, the horizon seemed brighter and the possibilities appeared to be infinite.
That's powerful stuff.
So, be sure of this: A star was born last night!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Here are advance excerpts of the speech to be delivered by former US Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice at the GOP Convention tonight:
"Where does America stand?
Indeed that is the question of the moment- “Where does America stand?” When our friends and our foes, alike, do not know the answer to that question – clearly and unambiguously -- the world is a chaotic and dangerous place. The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer – we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them – we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality -- that our leadership abroad and our well being at home are inextricably linked. They know what needs to be done. Our friends and allies must be able to trust us. From Israel to Poland to the Philippines to Colombia and across the world -- they must know that we are reliable and consistent and determined. And our adversaries must have no reason to doubt our resolve -- because peace really does come through strength. Our military capability and technological advantage will be safe in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s hands.
"When the world looks at us today they see an American government that cannot live within its means. They see a government that continues to borrow money, mortgaging the future of generations to come. The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny. That is not the America that has inspired others to follow our lead.
"Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle – long and hard -- to extend the benefits of the American dream to all – without regard to circumstances of birth.
But the American ideal is indeed endangered today. There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home and inspire us to lead abroad. They will provide an answer to the question, “Where does America stand?” The challenge is real and these are tough times. But America has met and overcome difficult circumstances before. Whenever you find yourself doubting us – just think of all the times that we have made the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect."
Posted by Dan Cirucci at 9:44 PM
Here are some advance excerpts from Paul Ryan's speech to the GOP convention tonight:
"I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready. Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.
“Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country. The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.
“We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.
“My Dad used to say to me: ‘Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.’ The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems. And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.
"The right that makes all the difference now is the right to choose our own leaders. You are entitled to the clearest possible choice because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues – we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others – we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this."
At the GOP Convention last night, from our perch high atop the area we were once again struck by the array of bright, new Republican stars from all over the nation: men and women of every color and ethnicity.
Look at the lineup of new GOP luminaries:
Mia Love - future GOP Congresswoman from Utah.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma
Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Govenor Brian Sandoval of Nevada
Future Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
Former Congressman (and former Obama supporter) Artur Davis of Alabama
Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida
Agriculture Secretary and Former Congressman Adam Putnam of Florida
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Congressman and Future Senator Connie Mack of Florida
GOP Chair Reince Priebus of Wisconsin
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty of Wisconsin
Congressman Allen West of Florida
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
No matter how you look at it, this is one helluva impressive list. For the Republican Party, the future looks very, very, bright!
Don't you hate when the media ask "Who won the night?"
So do I.
But this morning the question is being asked again.
Some people say Ann Romney won the night with her simple, appealing plea to (primarily women) voters delivered with poise and panache. No doubt about it, Ann was appealingly authentic.
Others say it was Chris Christie with his bold message of tough love delivered with typical brashness. Clearly, Chris was compellingly commanding.
But these were two entirely different speeches.
They had two distinctly different missions. And they were appealing to somewhat different audiences.
The candidate's wife traditionally introduces the candidate in gentle, embracing, non-confrontational tones. The keynoter sets the tone for the convention and the campaign with clear, definitive (sometimes sharp) contrasts between one party and one candidate and the other party and the other candidate.
Ann was primarily appealing to women in an attempt to soften her husband's image and show they he (they) really care; that they've faced the same problems and challenges as everyone else; that things were not handed to them; that they haven't lived a storybook life.
Christie needed to fire up the base AND reach out to Democrats and independents. To Republicans he said: "Stop trying to please everybody. Stop trying to be loved. Tell the truth, make the tough decisions and you'll gain not just votes but respect as well." To Democrats and independents he said: "Yes, we really are worse off than we were four years ago; yes, things really are tough and they don't seem to be getting better. But with bold, honest, leadership we can forge a new alliance. We can get out of this fix. We can do better."
The combination of Ann Romney and Chris Christie provided a powerful, prime-time, one/two punch to the evening. This unlikely duo did what it was supposed to do.
Indeed, they both both won!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Here in the arena in Tampa for the call of the states as the Republican Party goes about the business of nominating Mitt Romney.
The floor of the arena is jammed with delegates and the cheering and screaming during the voting is raucous at times and marvelously uplifting.
I remember watching the roll call of the states as a little boy on a small black and white television. From the very beginning I was mesmerized by this awesome spectacle.
If you have children I hope you are having them watch the roll call tonight in this beautiful red, white and blue bedecked hall.
How can one not get goosebumps during this historic, colorful, folksy unique call of the states?
Sure, the roll call could probably be completed in a few moments electronically. But isn't it nice that it's still done the old-fashioned way with each state expressing its own distinct personality -- it's own individuality?
This is a marvelous spectacle and a great tradition and I feel so honored to be here and witness it live and in person.
God bless America!
Posted by Dan Cirucci at 5:48 PM
Tonight at the Republican National Convention will be a night of speechifying.
In today's highly-visual, multi-media saturated world many people believe that public speaking is not that important anymore.
These people are wrong.
The fact is that public speaking is just as powerful, if not more powerful than ever before.
Why is this so?
There are several reasons:
1) Public speaking is “in the moment.” It happens live, in front of a live audience.
2) Public speaking is powerful because the spoken word is powerful. It's been proven time and again that live, spoken words can change people’s minds and even move them to action.
3) Public speaking is focused speech. Every good speech has a theme. The theme is the central idea of the speech. It’s the core of what the speaker wants people to remember.
4) If the speaker can’t express the theme of the speech in one, good solid sentence, he/she doesn’t have a theme; the theme is the central idea. If you watch a speech tonight and you can't say what the speech is about in one sentence after you've heard it, then it wasn't a good speech.
5) Every good speech has a purpose. The purpose is what the speaker wants the audience to think, feel, or do after you’ve delivered the speech.
6) The purpose is what the speaker is saying. The theme is why the speaker is saying it.
7) Every good speech has a clear beginning. This brief beginning is where the speaker makes a vital link with the audience. The speaker “shakes hands with the audience.” He/she takes the first step to gain their attention and get them on his/her side.
8) The middle of the speech is the “stuff” of the speech. This is the longest part. It’s the main message and it contains the central idea. Two or three main points (and some secondary points, evidence, back-up arguments, etc.) can be presented in this part of the speech depending on the length (time) of the speech.
9) The end or conclusion of the speech is where the speaker summarizes, repeats his/her main point, inspires the audience or calls them to action. This is a relatively short part of the speech but it’s also one of the hardest parts to pull off.
10) The speaker must be organized and you must know his/her audience before delivering a speech: Who are we speaking to? How long will we speak? Why are we speaking to this audience? How will we gain their attention? What do we want them to remember? What do we want them to think, feel or do when we have concluded our remarks? And here’s one other thing: To be believable as a speaker, you must be yourself. You must be real, natural, and comfortable as you address the audience.
These are the essential elements of public speaking.
This is what determines the success of a speech, or lack thereof.
Keep all this in mind when you watch the speeches at the convention tonight.
The Better Education Institute (BEI) – the newly launched non-profit arm of Better Education for Kids, Inc. – in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey will provide 2,000 backpacks filled with essential school supplies to students in need on August 31th, in Plainfield, New Jersey.
“We are very excited to team up with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency in Plainfield for our second annual backpack drive. At BEI we want to make sure every child has a great teacher, but we also want to help students arrive at school with the tools to be successful. This drive is one way to make that happen,” said Gerard Green, Outreach Coordinator for BEI.
“We are ecstatic to partner with BEI to help children throughout the state,” said Carlos Lejnieks, Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey. “These sorts of partnerships are exactly what it takes to make sure our children have every opportunity to be successful in the classroom.”
Backpacks are Free for Plainfield residents. The distribution will take place on Friday, August 31st. The distribution site and time are as follows:
Shiloh Baptist Church
515 West 4th St,
Plainfield, NJ 07060
5pm – 7pm
Plainfield residents interested in receiving the free backpacks and supplies for their children are encouraged to preregister. Registration is free and can be done at: b4njkids.org/plainfield
Please have your child/children in attendance when you pick up your bag. Supplies are limited.
About the Better Education Institute (BEI)
Quality education has been inequitably distributed in this state, and in this country, for far too long. This fundamental challenge goes unanswered in many of New Jersey’s struggling communities. BEI mission is to deploy research-based programs in five key areas in an effort to create sustainable and long lasting educational change for low-income and at-risk children.
About Better Education for Kids, Inc.
Better Education for Kids, Inc. (B4K) is an independent voice for common-sense education reform in New Jersey. B4K stands for the proposition that the first priority of the New Jersey public school system must be the best interests of New Jersey students, not the special interests that dominate the status quo. To this end, every class must have an effective teacher and every school an effective principal, and teachers and principals should be given the necessary training and resources to be effective. Public policy and all administrative and personnel policies should support these goals. Parents must be empowered with access to data and other information to hold educators, leaders and elected officials accountable for their performance.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one–to–one mentoring that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey supports all local BBBS chapters throughout the entire state of New Jersey through the sharing of best practices, mutual support, awareness building, advocacy and the acquisition of developmental resources and funding. There are nine chapters covering 21 counties. For more information: www.BBBSNJ.org.
Dick Morris is a renowned pollster, author, commentator and political prognosticator.
He was the man behind President Clinton's many political successes.
Morris has now conducted his own poll on the upcoming presidential election. Here's part of what he has to say:
With all the conflicting polls and survey samples using registered — as opposed to likely — voters, I decided to conduct my own poll using the same methodologies I used so successfully for Clinton.Click here to get more details from Dick Morris' revealing new poll.
On Thursday, August 23rd, I conducted a national survey of 500 likely voters through live telephone interviews. The poll finds Romney ahead of Obama by 50-43! — far, far different from the published polls.
(The sample was 33% Democrat, 31% Republican, 11% black, and 8% Latino).
Sphere: Related Content
|The wedding of Adam Cirucci and Gina Basciani coincided with the Philly Naked Bike Ride. Photograph by Mark Tassoni.|
As promised, here are more photos from the 8/25 wedding of Adam Cirucci and Gina Basciani. Enjoy! Our thanks to Mark Tassoni for the top photo and to Lou Cirucci for all the rest!Sphere: Related Content
Monday, August 27, 2012
|Just a very small portion of the vast media center at the convention.|
The Convention was formally convened and then adjourned.
The real action will begin tomorrow.
The Republicans always retained the option of convening a shortened, three-day convention and so that's what we will be seeing this week.
We really don't think we have to identify the faces above. You all know who they are. You certainly see enough of them.
Even when there are no convention sessions, media still converge and political power brokers and prognosticators still do their thing.
With so many of them gathered in one place at one time, it's hard to turn your gaze away -- and it's just so damned much fun to be here.
We'll keep you posted.
All photos copyright 2012 by Dan Cirucci. Sphere: Related Content
I'm sitting here waterside in Tampa just a short distance from the hall where the GOP convention will be held.
I've just picked up my credentials which will admit me to all convention sessions so that I can thoroughly report everything that's happening to you.
It's partly cloudy here in Tampa but the sun is peeking through the clouds. Our flight here was largely uneventful -- a few bumpy moments but no cause for concern.
We are surrounded by media types just now but we have not spotted any obvious "stars." We'll tell you when we do.
You know, the (once) dominant media have wanted an excuse not to cover the GOP convention -- to basically ignore it -- and now they think they've found that excuse in Isaac. But the old media no longer rule and the old rules don't apply anymore. This party, this convention, these candidates will not be ignored. Yes, there IS a storm here. It's a political storm. And it is about to sweep across the country and it will transform America. Get ready . . . the winds of change are blowing!
As I'm waiting to board the plane to the GOP convention in Tampa, I sincerely hope that the Republicans will be able to get all their convention sessions in, what with hurricane Isaac and all.
Because, as I've said before conventions are important.
The quadrennial political convention is an important rallying point for the party. For party loyalists and activists the convention gives everyone the chance to meet and be together -- face-to-face. And this real, live meeting is even more important now in the age of hi-tech communication. In fact hi-tech simply drives the desire for greater in-person human interaction. Communicating via e-mail or social media actually fuels
our desire to meet the people that we've been chatting with.
And Republicans are the among the most sociable, warmest, welcoming people I've ever met -- plus, they enjoy interacting (and partying) as much as the rest of us.
And I should know as I came to the Republican Party as a convert and Republicans were most welcoming to me. They accepted me with open arms.
And that simply proves that first impressions really ARE important as I have been a Republican ever since.
Posted by Dan Cirucci at 7:52 AM
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Here are some of the early photos from Philly's naked Bike Ride on Saturday.
These photos were taken in the area around posh Rittenhouse Square where bicyclists wheeled merrily along in celebration of cycling.
A great time was had by all -- including the attendees at the wedding of Adam Cirucci and Gina Basciani who got to watch it all from the front of the beautiful Rittenhouse Hotel.
Our thanks to Janessa Lee for taking these photos.Sphere: Related Content
|Adam Cirucci and Gina Basciani on the eve of their wedding.|
Over the weekend Adam Cirucci and Gina Basciani became Mr. & Mrs. Adam Daniel Cirucci.
To say it was a joyous occasion would be an understatement.
The photos above depict some of the momenta at the rehearsal session and at the wedding ceremony itself -- both held in beautiful West Chester, Pennsylvania amidst the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley.
We'll have more photos to show you in another post -- including more of the stunning bride and handsome groom.Sphere: Related Content
“Four years ago today, President Obama promised voters he would
implement an energy policy that reduces costs for middle-class families –
but he’s delivered exactly the opposite. Gas prices are surging and
household energy costs will be driven even higher because of the
President’s war on coal. It’s unacceptable and voters deserve better
than President Obama’s ‘hodgepodge’ policies. The Romney-Ryan plan will
put the nation on a course for energy independence by 2020 and create
millions of new jobs.” – Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson
Four Years Ago Today, President Obama Promised To Implement An Energy Policy To Help Drive Down Costs For Families:
But What Has President Obama Delivered? A “Hodgepodge” Energy Policy That Has Left Gas Prices Skyrocketing:
- NBC’s Chuck Todd: “No Issue That Has Been … A Bigger Bust For The President Than Energy Policy In General.” MSNBC’s CHUCK TODD: “Very quickly, president’s going down to Miami to give an energy speech. Nia, you’ve been with me, I feel like, on the front lines covering the president from the day he took office. There is no issue that has been a, I guess, a bigger bust for the president than energy policy in general. There’s a lot of, we can come up with a lot of excuses as to why, but boy, it’s just like you can’t - he’s made no progress.” (MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” 2/23/12)
- Gas Prices Are Significantly Higher Than This Time Last Year. “The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline stood at $3.718 on Thursday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That’s up from $3.572 the same time a year ago. A month ago, prices were at $3.477.” (Myra P. Saefong, “Drivers May Have To Wait For Break At Gas Pump,” MarketWatch, 8/24/12)
And President Obama’s Other Energy Policies Are Threatening To Drive Prices Higher And Destroy Jobs:
Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett: “It holds many promising opportunities for Rutgers–Camden to grow — and thrive — through greater administrative autonomy and financial support ...” (Lucas K. Murray, “Merger Bill Officially Becomes Law,” Courier-Post, 8/23/12)
· Pritchett: “It also provides a thoughtful framework to promote collaborations in the health sciences among Rutgers–Camden, Rowan, the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and other institutions to realize our shared goal of attracting more federal research grants and more students to our region.”
· Pritchett: “[This is] a transformative moment for Rutgers-Camden and higher education in Southern New Jersey.” (David Levinsky, “Christie Signs Higher-Education Overhaul Into Law,” Burlington County Times, 8/23/12)
· Pritchett: “Signing of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Higher Education Restructuring Act represents a milestone for the citizens of southern New Jersey and for Rutgers-Camden …” (Jessica Bautista, “Gov. Chris Christie Signs Higher Education Bill To Restructure Rowan, Rutgers Universities,” Gloucester County Times, 8/22/12)
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) “thanked Christie at least four times during his remarks for showing ‘courage’ in pushing for the law. Two previous Democratic governors had failed to enact similar measures.” (Joelle Farrell, “Christie Signs Reorganization Of Colleges,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/22/12)
· Sweeney: "A better-educated community is a healthier community all the way around - education, education, education … And this comes from a union ironworker that didn't go to college. That's why I value it even more."
· Sweeney: “This is a legacy day for the state of New Jersey. Today, we’re doing what other states couldn’t do by making higher education in our state better …” (David Levinsky, “Christie Signs Higher-Education Overhaul Into Law,” Burlington County Times, 8/23/12)
· Sweeney: “What we’ve accomplished here is the re-creation of South Jersey’s economy ...”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker: “This legislation is a win for Newark, it is a win for Rutgers, it is a win for medical higher education, it is a win for our hospital, and it is a win for New Jersey.” (Paul Milo, “UMDNJ Merger a 'Win for Newark,’” Newark Patch, 7/3/12)
State Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden): "Higher Ed in New Jersey has been talked about being reorganized for literally decades … I can't tell you how proud and how happy I am that the governor and the Legislature have acted to give Camden and South Jersey … what it deserves when it comes to resources." (Joelle Farrell, “Christie Signs Reorganization Of Colleges,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/22/12)
NJTV’s Andrew Schmertz: “By signing the legislation merging New Jersey’s higher education institutions, Governor Christie effectively ended years of raucous debate and government inaction on the issue, and started the process that will greatly expand Rutgers and Rowan universities.” (NJTV’s “NJ Today,” 8/22/12)
The Wall Street Journal: “The new law joins a growing list of bipartisan achievements for Mr. Christie and his Democratic allies, including a revision of tenure rules for public school teachers and increasing benefit contributions for public workers.” (Heather Haddon & Will James, “Rutgers Merger Signed Into Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/22/12)
Philadelphia Inquirer: “Flanked by legislators and state officials, Gov. Christie gave his ceremonial imprimatur at Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday to a historic overhaul of the state's higher education system, one of his greatest political triumphs.” (Joelle Farrell, “Christie Signs Reorganization Of Colleges,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/22/12)
The Record: “Christie Signs Law Creating Rutgers 'Powerhouse'” (Patricia Alex, “Christie Signs Law Creating Rutgers 'Powerhouse,'” The Record, 8/23/12)
· “Governor Christie signed legislation on Wednesday that ushers in an era of potentially enormous growth at Rutgers University.”
· “Rutgers, the state university, is poised to gain coveted dental and medical schools and attract more research dollars under the plan, hoisting it into the top 25 schools in the nation in terms of total grant funding for research.”
The Star-Ledger: “The sweeping new law will give Rutgers nearly all of UMDNJ — including its medical schools in Newark and Piscataway — in one of the greatest expansions in the state university’s history.” (Kelly Heyboer & Megan DeMarco, “Gov. Christie Signs N.J. Higher Education Merger bill,” The Star-Ledger, 8/23/12)
· “Previous attempts to merge all of part of Rutgers and UMDNJ were abandoned during the McGreevey and Corzine administrations amid political bickering. This time around, the restructuring plan gained the backing of both Democrats and Republicans in Trenton.”
Gloucester County Times: “With one fell swoop of a pen, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a historic higher education restructuring bill Wednesday that will give Rutgers University a medical school and give Rowan University a research university designation.” (Jessica Bautista, “Gov. Chris Christie Signs Higher Education Bill To Restructure Rowan, Rutgers Universities,” Gloucester County Times, 8/22/12)
· “The legislation … is expected to be an economic boon for New Jersey, keeping its students competitive with a global market and, overall, creating a stronger higher education system.”
· “[P]ositive change in the years to come can be expected.”(Editorial, “Rowan And Rutgers Can Shine In South Jersey,” Gloucester County Times, 8/23/12)
Here is a special message from the Cardinal Newman Society:
A serious scandal has been averted... at least in part!
Thanks to God, and to your prayers and support for The Cardinal Newman Society's work...
...Loyola Marymount University (LMU) appears to have canceled its fundraiser for the plaintiffs in a Supreme Court case to legalize same-sex "marriage."
It's difficult to imagine a more blatant betrayal of the Church!
But our work is not done...
...because LMU still plans to present a student and faculty reading of the play "8", which promotes gay "marriage"--just without collecting donations.
And there is more to come! As the 2012-13 academic year is just getting started, so are the scandals at wayward Catholic colleges.
I am writing to urge your help in alerting Catholic families, the media and Catholic blogs, and the bishops about the LMU travesty and similar concerns. By "shining the light," we can do much to put an end to such scandals!
Please pass on the following details to others. And please...
...your prayers and immediate donation can help us expose this scandal and others, while assisting college leaders to renew faithful Catholic higher education.
So what's the story with LMU? You may recall that California voters approved "Proposition 8" four years ago to defend marriage. Outrageously, two San Francisco judges struck down the law this year.
The Catholic bishops condemned the ruling, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan lamented:
"The people of California deserve better. Our nation deserves better. Marriage deserves better."
Well, the same could be said of Loyola Marymount University.
The organization behind the lawsuit against Proposition 8, now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, is the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), an aggressive opponent of traditional marriage laws.
So how can it be possible that a Jesuit Catholic university planned to raise funds for this radical group, and will present a play that advocates same-sex "marriage"?
Sadly, it's true. On September 7, the university will present the pro-gay "marriage" play "8" on its Los Angeles campus. And yes, it originally announced that it would collect donations for AFER.
This week, The Cardinal Newman Society contacted LMU's president and public affairs office to inform them that we intended to expose their plans, but hoped they might cancel the event. Yesterday LMU changed the event description and erased any mention of fundraising, but the play is still scheduled for September 7...
...unless we can put a stop to it! For 19 years, The Cardinal Newman Society has stood for fidelity and authentic Catholic identity by "shining the light" on Catholic campuses, with documented success.
Our campaigns have led to significant declines in scandalous commencement speakers and Vagina Monologues performances... prompted two secularized colleges to drop the "Catholic" label... and spurred on reforms at other Catholic colleges.
It would be a welcome irony, if in response to LMU's attempted fundraiser, you would generously offer your prayers and your immediate donation to The Cardinal Newman Society.
If you can send a contribution today, your gift will support:
...our professional team of investigative reporters, who follow developments in Catholic higher education that no one else is covering;
...our Campus Notes blog, which reports on college developments like the LMU scandal and hopeful reforms;
...our Newman Guide which helps families identify faithful Catholic colleges; and
...our ongoing work with college leaders to renew and strengthen Catholic education.
With regard to the LMU incident, we are already communicating with LMU's president and public affairs office, with the continued hope they might put a stop to this play.
And we have also alerted the appropriate bishops, informing them who is behind this scandal.
Incredibly, it is not just a few rogue professors behind this event! A University office and entire academic departments are to blame.
Sponsors include the LMU Faculty and Staff Gay-Straight Network (which is officially recognized by the University), the Department of Communication Studies, and the Department of Theater Arts and Dance.
The Office of LGBT Student Services, which organizes social events for homosexual students, also was advertised as an original co-sponsor and the primary contact for the play. But after The Cardinal Newman Society raised concerns...
...LMU quietly removed LGBT Student Services from the sponsor list and deleted contact information for the LGBT Services director.
This may be a desperate attempt to represent the play as an academic event sponsored only by faculty, and somehow protected by academic freedom.
They can run from the truth, but they can't hide the stain of this scandal!
With your help, I promise that The Cardinal Newman Society will remain vigilant and "shine the light" while promoting authentic Catholic education.
And I promise to keep you updated on the LMU situation.
In the meantime, would you please help us start this academic year on a strong footing, with an immediate donation and a prayer that God will continue to bless this important work?
Thank you so very much, and may God bless you!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Patrick J. Reilly
Founder & President
The Cardinal Newman Society
P.S. Want to help? I'd be most grateful for three things: 1) your generous support to keep us going, 2) your prayers for LMU and The Cardinal Newman Society, and 3) your effort to forward this e-mail to others who need to know. Thank you!
[Donations can also be mailed to: The Cardinal Newman Society,
9720 Capital Ct., Ste. 201, Manassas, Virginia 20110]
Saturday, August 25, 2012
In its simplest, clearest (and perhaps crudest) terms the upcoming presidential election comes down to this: Will we be a nation of makers or takers?
That's what it boils down to.
Because we are rapidly approaching the tipping point. We are rapidly approaching the point where more people in America will be receiving benefits without working as opposed to working and earning their own keep.
In other words, the makers are about to be in the minority and they will be supporting an ever-growing population of takers.
When more people take than make, Big Fat Bloated Nanny-State Government has won. The fight is effectively over. The scales have been tipped.
And when you owe your very livelihood -- your very existence -- to the government, then you've basically lost your freedom. Government then is no longer of, by and for the people but rather it's ON the people -- on top of them, all over them, all around them in a suffocating mass of dependence.
Remember: A government that's big enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you need.
Makers or takers?
Will we make our own goods and services once again or keep taking (buying) from other nations, and at a higher and higher cost to ourselves and our nation?
Will we achieve energy independence by tapping the resources right here in our own country or will we remain dependent on foreign sources, thus compromising our strength and independence throughout the world?
Makers or takers?
Will we make the bold decisions that we need to make to put out fiscal house in order, cut costs and lower the deficit or will we continue to borrow our way into deeper and deeper debt and take the future away from our children and grandchildren?
Makers or takers?
Will we make our own destiny or take orders from others?
Will we make a new, thriving,robust economy based on the power of hard work, rugged individualism and free enterprise or will we take the present situation and accept it as the new norm?
Will we make up our own minds, realize our own power and renew the highest ideals of our Founders or will we take the word of the Obamatons and the dominant media and simply resolve ourselves to the notion that there is nothing more that we can do and accept the idea of America as a nation whose time has passed?
This is the Big Decision that we are facing.
This is really what the election is all about.
This is why it's probably the most important election in our lifetimes.
Will we make or merely take?
Will we thrive or barely survive?
Will we continue to achieve or quietly take our leave?
The choice is ours.
"As disappointing as it is, I love being here. I love this job. You're just gonna have to live with it."
This is what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told reporters who have asked him if he was disappointed about not being chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate or if he would consider accepting a cabinet post in the Romney administration.
The answer to both questions was "no." As I told you yesterday, Christie seems absolutely content in his current position and, as ever, he's comfortable with the people of New Jersey and he really does love being Governor of the Garden State.
Just before leaving for the GOP convention in Tampa Christie did one more swing through New Jersey journeying from Newark, through Camden and to the southern New Jersey shore at Sea Isle City. We had a chance to chat with him in our hometown of Camden and he seemed absolutely buoyed by his interactions with his fellow New Jerseyans.
Knowing Chris Christie as we do we have no doubt that he sincerely loves the state that he was born and bred in and his intent is to continue to serve the state. The Governor sees more challenges ahead and he does not like to leave a job unfinished.
Well, 2013 is a re-election year for Christie and though as a good politician he knows the value of keeping his options open, our bet is that he's already gearing up for re-election.
Yes, we know that there's renewed talk that the popular Mayor of Newark may run against Christie and other significant potential challengers have also been mentioned.
But Chris Christie remains a formidable and compelling figure both within New Jersey and beyond. Plus, he's brought the Garden State new prominence and new clout. And we've got a feeling the people of New Jersey like that. They like their new, higher, more positive profile and they like their Governor as well.
Friday, August 24, 2012
“While the Obama-Biden ticket tries to convince Americans that the
middle class is ‘coming back,’ the facts continue to get in the way.
More and more families have been working harder for less, and the
economy Barack Obama built isn’t working for them. After four years of
disappointment and broken promises, the middle class is shrinking and
nearly every group of Americans is worse off. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan
will jumpstart the economy by delivering 12 million new jobs and higher
take-home pay for all Americans.” – Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign
New Economic Reports Confirm “Almost Every Group Is Worse Off” In The Obama Economy:
- “For The First Time Since The End Of World War II, Mean Family Incomes Declined For Americans In All Income Tiers.” “Their downbeat take on their economic situation comes at the end of a decade in which, for the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers. But the middle-income tier—defined in this Pew Research analysis as all adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median —is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades.” (“The Lost Decade Of The Middle Class,” Pew Research Center, 8/22/12)