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Businessman announces campaign to reduce spending

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7411933.html

By MIKE GLOVER Associated Press © 2011 The Associated Press
Feb. 3, 2011, 5:26PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — A wealthy Dallas businessman says he’s establishing a campaign-like operation in Iowa to force presidential candidates to pledge to make deep cuts in federal spending.

Michael George announced his plan Thursday at the Iowa Statehouse. He says he will hire veteran Republican strategists Marlys Popma and Dave Funk to serve as advisers. Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn will serve as a director of George’s campaign in Iowa.

Popma says the group already has five field staffers at work in Iowa and she expects George to spend more than $1 million on the campaign.

George says he wants presidential candidates who come to Iowa to pledge to cut up to $500 billion in waste from the federal budget.

“We have the most powerful organization we know of on the ground in Iowa,” said George.

George said his professional career was serving as an adviser to the military and giant corporations like Caterpillar and Xerox about how they can eliminate waste in their budgets. He said up to 25 percent of the discretionary spending in the federal budget is waste. He said he’s tried without success to convince Congress to make the cuts.

“We determined there was very little appetite in Congress for our ideas without political clout behind it,” said George. “We intend to try to educate the voters in Iowa so they will only support those candidates who will agree to implement the $500 billion spending reduction.”

George says he’s paying for the effort out of his own pocket now but may turn to raising money. Television and radio commercials could begin this winter, George said.

Popma said the group, called Strong America Now, has gathered 10,000 signatures on petitions and has a cadre of 2,000 volunteers.

“We also have five field people on the ground, which is more than any presidential candidate,” said Popma.

George says his hope is to convince all of the presidential candidates to endorse the big spending cuts he’s pushing, building political support as the campaign unfolds.

“Waste has no constituency,” said George.

He pointed to the recommendations made recently by a special commission on the deficit.

“It came up with some great ideas, but nobody supported it,” said George.

George argued that his proposal calls for simply driving waste out of the government and not ending programs, because ending programs automatically sparks fierce opposition.

“It’s not slashing programs, it’s making programs more efficient,” said George. “This is something Democrats and Republicans can agree on. It’s a way of building consensus in the country, instead of building division which is where we’re headed right now.”

George’s effort is only the latest by groups which look to grab some of the heavy attention given Iowa’s precinct caucuses, which traditionally launch the presidential nominating season. Groups typically look to get attention from the heavy media focus, but also by forcing candidates to address their pet issues.

George says he’s planning a session in Des Moines in May.

“They will hear people from state, local and the federal government talk about how they’ve been able to cut spending,” said George. He told reporters he will have a heavy presence in Iowa.

I’ll be here every week,” said George.

Strawn said he’s not only head of the Republican Party, but a businessman interest in restraining government spending.

“We’ve got the tools to fix this country,” said Strawn. “The time to act is now.”

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7411933.html

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New group aims to use Iowa Caucuses as lever to move the world (audio)

http://www.radioiowa.com/2011/02/03/new-group-aims-to-use-iowa-caucuses-as-lever-to-move-the-world/

by O. Kay Henderson on February 3, 2011

in Politics & Government

A retired business consultant is investing his time and his own money in a project to pursuade presidential candidates to embrace a program he says can significantly reduce the federal deficit.

Seventy-one-year-old Michael George, founder of Strong America Now, has hired five staffers to fan out through Iowa to build a network beyond the 10,000 Iowans who’ve already signed up. \”Iowa is the lever by which you can move the world,” George said during a news conference in the Iowa Capitol. “Barack Obama proved it in 2008. We think we can prove it again in 2012.”

George wants Iowans to convince the 2012 candidates to embrace a process that would see each federal government agency cut seven percent out of its budget in each of the next four years.

“What we need is a method of spending reduction that everyone can agree on — Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, pro-life, pro-choice, everyone — and that method is called waste reduction,” George said. “There is no constituency in congress for waste, is there?”

Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, is backing the concept.

“There’s a proven road map for success that if we apply across the entire federal government, the operations, we can save up to $700 billion a year,” Strawn said during today’s news conference, “and put this country back on the path to a true balanced budget.”

George touts his previous work for the U.S. military, saying he helped the Navy save nearly $170 million a year by reducing the number of times pilots landed on aircraft carriers as part of their ongoing training.

Dave Funk, a Tea Party activist who was recently elected vice chairman of the Polk County Republican Party, is also part of the “Strong America Now” campaign. “And I’m asking every Iowan to look those presidential candidates in the eye and ask them, ‘What sir, what ma’am are you willing to do to save America?’” Funk said during this afternoon’s news conference. “‘Are you willing to reduce the waste in government?’”

George has hired a key Iowa political operative who has worked on presidential campaigns in the past to help organize the effort.
Marlys Popma, the former executive director of Iowa Right-to-Life, worked on Iowa presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. In 2008, she worked on John McCain’s campaign as the national coordinator for evangelical outreach.

The “Strong America Now” organization does not plan to endorse candidates, but has already begun to spend money on radio advertising in five states to tout its call for significant “waste reduction” in the federal budget.

http://www.radioiowa.com/2011/02/03/new-group-aims-to-use-iowa-caucuses-as-lever-to-move-the-world/

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Senate Clashes Over Long-Term Patriot Act, Grassley Calls for Permanent Extension

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/02/04/senate-clashes-over-long-term-patriot-act-grassley-calls-for-permanent-extension/

by Jason Ditz, February 04, 2011

House Bill Would Extend Provisions for 10 Months

 

Senators are split three ways on how to procede with the forthcoming extension of the most controversial portions of the Patriot Act, with questions over adding some nominal oversight to the process and length of the extension causing serious rifts.

Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D – VT) has the most modest extension of the three, seeking to extend the provisions through 2013 and promising some oversight over how the US surveils its citizenry.

This bill was quickly slammed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R – IA) who introduced an alternative bill that would extend the provisions for all of eternity and would prohibit any additional oversight of the spying activity. Sen. McConnell (R – KY) backed Grassley’s version, insisting that the “threat of oversight” would burden the never-ending war on terror. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) sought a compromise bill, which would use Leahy’s 2013 date but Grassley’s total lack of oversight.

The fighting is all quite interesting (and ominous) but will likely be meaningless as the House version of the bill is seeking to avoid the sort of major political battle of the others and will simply extend the provisions, oversight-free of course, for 10 more months.

More Info

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/02/04/senate-clashes-over-long-term-patriot-act-grassley-calls-for-permanent-extension/

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House Study Bill 17 – Introduced

I found the gun bill HSB 17 below at the NRA and Iowa legislative websites. HSB 17, which is a House Study Bill, which if passed out of the Sub Committee, then once it is passed out of the Public Safety Committee would become a House Joint Resolution proposing an Amendment to the Iowa Constitution. Then it has to be voted on and passed by two General Assemblies of the State Legislature and then voted on by the people of the State of Iowa and signed by the Governor. It is my opinion that once it is passed and signed by the Governor, the way the Amendment is worded, We The People of Iowa would have absolute gun rights. Please review House Study Bill 17. If you agree with the bill, please send an email to other Iowans and let the five Legislators on the sub committee (email addresses below) know you like the bill just the way it is and want it advanced. You do not want to compromise and will not accept a change in the wording by the committee, State House or State Senate.

If you agree, feel free to send your own email to the five legislators below or forward this one to them They will get the idea.

clel.baudler@legis.state.ia.us; Tom.Shaw@legis.state.ia.us; bob.kressig@legis.state.ia.us; rick.olson@legis.state.ia.us; Mark.Brandenburg@legis.state.ia.us

 

House Study Bill 17 – Introduced

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION _____

BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON

PUBLIC SAFETY RESOLUTION BY

CHAIRPERSON BAUDLER)

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION

1 A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution

2 of the State of Iowa relating to the right of an individual

3 to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, and use arms.

4 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

1 Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of

2 the State of Iowa is proposed:

3 Article I of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is amended

4 by adding the following new section:

5 Right to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, and use

6 arms. SEC. 1A. The right of an individual to acquire, keep,

7 possess, transport, carry, and use arms to defend life and

8 liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental

9 and inviolable. Licensure, registration, special taxation,

10 or any other measure that suppresses or discourages the free

11 exercise of this right is forbidden.

12 Sec. 2. REFERRAL AND PUBLICATION. The foregoing proposed

13 amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa is referred

14 to the general assembly to be chosen at the next general

15 election for members of the general assembly and the secretary

16 of state is directed to cause the same to be published for

17 three consecutive months previous to the date of that election

18 as provided by law.

19 EXPLANATION

20 This joint resolution proposes an amendment to the

21 Constitution of the State of Iowa providing that the right of

22 an individual to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry,

23 and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other

24 legitimate purposes is fundamental and inviolable. Licensure,

25 registration, special taxation, or any other measure that

26 suppresses or discourages the free exercise of this right is

27 forbidden.

28 The joint resolution, if adopted, would be referred to the

29 next general assembly for adoption a second time before being

30 submitted to the electorate for ratification.

http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=BillInfo&Service=DspMultVers&GA=84&key=1173:HSB:17

http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=Lobbyist&Service=DspReport&ga=84&type=b&hbill=HSB17

http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?id=6201

http://www.legis.iowa.gov/Schedules/committee.aspx?GA=84&CID=42

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Iowa Tea Party Leader Courted By Potential 2012 Candidates

Fox News Article

by Steve Brown | January 20, 2011

At first, influential Iowa Tea Party leader Ryan Rhodes says he wasn’t sure about Peter Singleton wanting to meet to talk about Sarah Palin.

“I didn’t know if he was even connected with her,” says Rhodes.

But over the course of several meetings which began back in November, Rhodes became convinced Singleton was on an scouting expedition for Palin in Iowa, home of the first 2012 presidential contest.

Singleton, an attorney from Menlo Park, California, is a Palin supporter. Campaign finance reports show he donated to SarahPAC, Palin’s political action committee, in 2009 and to the Iowa Republican Party just last fall.

A senior Iowa Republican tells the Fox News Channel Singleton bought a table at the September, 2010 Reagan Dinner — annually the Iowa GOP’s largest fund-raiser — where Palin was the featured speaker. However, Singleton did not attend the event.

Rhodes says Singleton, “…wanted to know what [Palin's] chances were in Iowa, what she needed to do and where I stood.”

The Des Moines Register lists Ryan Rhodes as one of the “50 Most Wanted” GOP political operatives in Iowa.

But is he ready to back Palin?

Rhodes says he would need to talk with Palin, “personally, one-on-one” before deciding. But right now Palin is among Rhodes’ early favorites along with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann.

On Friday night, Bachmann speaks to a Des Moines gathering of Iowans for Tax Relief, the largest issue advocacy group in the state and Rhodes will be there.

And yes, Michelle Bachmann’s people have asked to speak with him, too.

Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/01/20/iowa-tea-party-leader-courted-potential-2012-candidates#ixzz1D1Llbn3A

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Treasury Department increase the debt limit

January 6, 2011

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Leader:

I am writing in response to your request for an estimate by the Treasury Department of when the statutory debt limit will be reached, and for a description of the consequences of default by the United States.

Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary. Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States. Default would effectively impose a significant and long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs. Even a very short-term or limited default would have catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades. Failure to increase the limit would be deeply irresponsible. For these reasons, I am requesting that Congress act to increase the limit early this year, well before the threat of default becomes imminent.

As you know, in February of 2010 Congress passed legislation to increase the debt limit to $14.29 trillion. As of this writing, the outstanding debt that is subject to the limit stands at $13.95 trillion, leaving approximately $335 billion of “headroom” beneath the current limit. Because of the inherent uncertainty associated with tax receipts and refunds during the spring tax filing season, as well as other variable factors, it is not possible at this point to predict with precision the date by which the debt limit will be reached. However, the Treasury Department now estimates that the debt limit will be reached as early as March 31, 2011, and most likely sometime between that date and May 16, 2011. This estimate is subject to change depending on the performance of the economy, government receipts, and other factors. This means it is necessary for Congress to act by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

At several points in past years, Treasury has taken exceptional actions to delay the date by which the limit was reached in order to give Congress additional time to raise the limit. These extraordinary actions include: suspending sales of State and Local Government Series (SLGS) Treasury securities[1]; suspending reinvestment of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G-Fund)[2]; suspending reinvestment of the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF)[3]; and determining that a “debt issuance suspension period” exists, permitting redemption of existing, and suspension of new, investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF)[4]. Treasury would prefer not to have to engage again in any of these extraordinary measures. If we are forced to do so again, these measures could delay the date by which the limit is reached by several weeks. Once these steps have been taken, no remaining legal and prudent measures would be available to create additional headroom under the debt limit, and the United States would begin to default on its obligations.

As discussed in greater detail below, raising the debt limit is necessary to allow the Treasury to meet obligations of the United States that have been established, authorized, and appropriated by the Congress. It is important to emphasize that changing the debt limit does not alter or increase the obligations we have as a nation; it simply permits the Treasury to fund those obligations Congress has already established.

In fact, even if Congress were immediately to adopt the deep cuts in discretionary spending of the magnitude suggested by some Members of Congress, such as reverting to Fiscal Year 2008 spending levels, the need to increase the debt limit would be delayed by no more than two weeks. The limit would still need to be raised to make it possible for the government to avoid default and to meet the other obligations established by Congress.

The national debt is the total amount of money borrowed in order to fulfill the requirements imposed by past Congresses and under past presidencies, during periods when both Republicans and Democrats were in control of different branches of government. These are legal obligations, incurred under the laws of the United States. Responsibility for creating the debt is bipartisan, and responsibility for meeting the Nation’s obligations must be shared by both parties.

As the 112th Congress turns to this issue, I want to stress that President Obama believes strongly in the need to restore balance to our fiscal position, and he is committed to working with both parties to put the Nation on a fiscally responsible path. This will require difficult choices and a comprehensive approach to reduce the gap between our commitments and our resources. It will require that the government spend less and spend more wisely. The President has already taken important steps, including enacting the savings in the Affordable Care Act; restoring Pay-As-You-Go budgeting; and undertaking a three-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending. The President’s proposals would put us on a path to cut the deficit by more than half in the medium term, and substantially reduce the rate of growth in federal health care costs in the long term. The President looks forward to working with Members of the 112th Congress on additional measures to address our medium- and long-term fiscal challenges.

Because Congress has always acted to increase the debt limit when necessary, and because failure to do so would be harmful to the interests of every American, I am confident that Congress will act in a timely manner to increase the limit this year. However, for the benefit of Members of Congress and the public, I want to make clear, for the record, what the implications of a default would be so there can be no misunderstanding when the issue is debated in the House and Senate.

Reaching the debt limit would mean the Treasury would be prevented by law from borrowing in order to pay obligations the Nation is legally required to pay, an event that has no precedent in American history. Such a default should be understood as distinct from a temporary government shutdown resulting from failure to enact appropriations bills, which occurred in late 1995 and early 1996. Those government shutdowns, which were unwise and highly disruptive, did not have the same long-term negative impact on U.S. creditworthiness as a default would, because there was headroom available under the debt limit at that time.

I am certain you will agree that it is strongly in our national interest for Congress to act well before the debt limit is reached. However, if Congress were to fail to act, the specific consequences would be as follows:

* The Treasury would be forced to default on legal obligations of the United States, causing catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
* A default would impose a substantial tax on all Americans. Because Treasuries represent the benchmark borrowing rate for all other sectors, default would raise all borrowing costs. Interest rates for state and local government, corporate and consumer borrowing, including home mortgage interest, would all rise sharply. Equity prices and home values would decline, reducing retirement savings and hurting the economic security of all Americans, leading to reductions in spending and investment, which would cause job losses and business failures on a significant scale.
* Default would have prolonged and far-reaching negative consequences on the safe-haven status of Treasuries and the dollar’s dominant role in the international financial system, causing further increases in interest rates and reducing the willingness of investors here and around the world to invest in the United States.
* Payments on a broad range of benefits and other U.S. obligations would be discontinued, limited, or adversely affected, including:
o U.S. military salaries and retirement benefits;
o Social Security and Medicare benefits;
o veterans’ benefits;
o federal civil service salaries and retirement benefits;
o individual and corporate tax refunds;
o unemployment benefits to states;
o defense vendor payments;
o interest and principal payments on Treasury bonds and other securities;
o student loan payments;
o Medicaid payments to states; and
o payments necessary to keep government facilities open.

For these reasons, any default on the legal debt obligations of the United States is unthinkable and must be avoided. It is critically important that Congress act before the debt limit is reached so that the full faith and credit of the United States is not called into question. The confidence of citizens and investors here and around the world that the United States stands fully behind its legal obligations is a unique national asset. Throughout our history, that confidence has made U.S. government bonds among the best and safest investments available and has allowed us to borrow at very low rates.

Failure to increase the debt limit in a timely manner would threaten this position and compromise America’s creditworthiness in the eyes of the world. Every Secretary of the Treasury in the modern era, regardless of party, has strongly held this view. Given the gravity of the challenges facing the U.S. and world economies, the world’s confidence in our creditworthiness is even more critical today.

I hope this information is responsive to your request and will be helpful as Congress considers this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Timothy F. Geithner

 

cc: The Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader
The Honorable Dave Camp, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Sander M. Levin, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Max Baucus, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member, Senate Committee

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The American Dream Film Part 1 HD

From: theamericandreamfilm | January 05, 2011 | 56,025 views

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If you liked this film please visit our site, donate or buy the dvd: http://www.theamericandreamfilm.com

The AMERICAN DREAM is a 30 minute animated film that shows you how you’ve been scammed by the most basic elements of our government system. All of us Americans strive for the American Dream, and this film shows you why your dream is getting farther and farther away. Do you know how your money is created? Or how banking works? Why did housing prices skyrocket and then plunge? Do you really know what the Federal Reserve System is and how it affects you every single day? THE AMERICAN DREAM takes an entertaining but hard hitting look at how the problems we have today are nothing new, and why leaders throughout our history have warned us and fought against the current type of financial system we have in America today. You will be challenged to investigate some very entrenched and powerful institutions in this nation, and hopefully encouraged to help get our nation back on track.

 

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STOP THE STALEMATE RALLY

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO YOUR MEMBERS AND CONTACT LISTS:

STOP THE STALEMATE RALLY
January 15th ~ 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Mid-American Center
Council Bluffs, IA

Speakers include state Sen. Kent Sorenson, R-Indianola; state Rep. Kim Pearson, R-Altoona; and former state Rep. Danny Carroll.

Attached you will find a flyer to distribute. Time to rally people and let Rep. Gronstal know that there will be no more stalemates. It’s no longer “business as usual”…

Sponsored by Iowa Conservative Alliance and Iowa Tea Party
(Ryan Rhodes – 515.441.0173)

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Tom Shaw & Bret Baier with Fox News

On Wed. Jan. 12th, 2011 Tom Shaw will be doing a interview on the Bret Baier. This show is aired at 5:00-6:00 CDT. I believe this interview will be addressing the Impeachment of the Iowa Supreme Court. We need to show support for the Impeachment of these judges.

 

Upmeyer says no decision on justice impeachment

 

By MIKE GLOVER Associated Press

4:09 p.m. CST, January 7, 2011
www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-iptv-upmeyer,0,2688256.story

JOHNSTON, Iowa —
A key Republican legislative leader said Friday that no decision has been made on whether lawmakers will try to impeach the remaining four justices on the Iowa Supreme Court, but if they do, a top Democrat promised “a fight of epic proportions.”

GOP Rep. Linda Upmeyer, the incoming House majority leader, said she’s expecting to hear arguments on the issue, noting that “there are members in our caucus that support impeachment, and I know there are members who do not.”

The issue is one of the most divisive and emotional questions in the state’s political arena. Voters in November ousted three justices following an organized effort by groups opposed to the court’s unanimous decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Since then, some conservative lawmakers in the House have said they were preparing a resolution of impeachment to oust

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UFC Fighter Jacob Volkmann Calls Out President Barack Obama, Gets A Visit From the Secret Service

UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann, following his UFC 125 win over Antonio McKee, declared that he wanted to fight President Barack Obama for his next fight. I for one, would pay big bucks to see this fight, even though it would only last two seconds!

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