“Hoya” Obama

It was election time, so Barack Obama decided to go out to the local reservation
to gather support from the Native Americans.

They were all assembled in the Council Hall to hear the
speech.

Obama had worked up to his finale, and the crowd was getting more and more excited.

“I promise better education opportunities
for Native Americans!”

The crowd went wild, shouting “Hoya! Hoya!”

Obama was a bit puzzled by the native word, but was encouraged by their enthusiasm.

“I promise gambling reforms to allow a Casino on the Reservation!”

“Hoya! Hoya!” cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

“I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for
Native Americans!”

The crowd reached a frenzied pitch shouting “Hoya! Hoya! Hoya!”

After the speech, Obama was touring the Reservation, and saw a tremendous herd of
cattle.

Wanting to show his interest, he asked the Chief if he could get closer to take a look
at the cattle.

“Sure,” the Chief said, “but be careful not to step in the hoya.”

By phoebe53 Posted in Humor

Clyburn’s definition of wealth distribution “tithing”

Clyburn hopes to use supercommittee post to tackle growing wealth gap
By Mike Lillis – 08/14/11 07:10 AM ET

A leading House Democrat is hoping to use his prestigious seat on the deficit-cutting supercommittee to close the growing gully that divides the rich and the poor in America.

Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) said the recent debate over slashing spending and reducing deficits has all but ignored the toll those cuts could exact on lower income folks, particularly in minority communities. Clyburn – the third-ranking House Democrat and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – is vowing to use his perch on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to tackle the nation’s enormous wealth gap.

“In 1963, Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] expressed disbelief that the vault of opportunity in this great country was empty. Yet in 2011, the gap continues to grow wider between those who enjoy great wealth and those who struggle to get by with little thought of ever getting ahead,” Clyburn said in a statement reacting to his appointment on the deficit panel.

“Too often, the human side gets lost in the Washington debates about our nation’s debt and deficits,” he added. “I will seek to keep those interests on the table.”

Many liberals in and out of Congress have attacked the Republicans’ budget strategy for focusing on steep cuts to domestic and safety-net programs, while excluding any new stimulus spending or tax-revenue increases. The critics argue that the unbalanced nature of that strategy puts a bulk of the deficit-reduction burden on low- and middle-income families, while corporations and wealthy Americans are left off the hook.

As part of the package to raise the debt ceiling, for instance, Congress locked in more than $900 billion in domestic spending cuts up front, and created the supercommittee to identify at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction. There were no stimulus provisions or revenue hikes.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) suggested last week that Congress is exacerbating the jobs crisis with such cuts.

“With 13.9 million Americans still out of work, the path to employment is long, and full of roadblocks,” Engel said. “Unfortunately, the federal government has been placing some of those obstacles up themselves.”

Clyburn said he’ll be pushing for revenue raisers – not just cuts – in the next round in order to “secure our nation’s financial future in a fair and balanced way that requires shared sacrifice and creates opportunity for all Americans.”

He has his work cut out.

While Democrats are insisting on tax-revenue increases as part of the package, Republicans are equally as adamant that they be excluded.

“We were not elected to raise taxes or take more money out of the pockets of hardworking families and business people,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote Monday in a memo to fellow Republicans.

If the panel fails to reach an agreement by Thanksgiving, an automatic trigger would cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending, mostly from Medicare and the Defense Department.

There’s also a racial element to the nation’s wealth gap. Analysts at the Pew Research Center reported last month that the median wealth of white households is $113,149 – 20 times greater than that of black households ($5,677) and 18 times greater than that of Hispanic households ($6,325). The divide is the widest it’s been since the government began keeping such figures 25 years ago, Pew found.

Most Democrats are pushing to reverse many of the Bush-era tax cuts, like the reductions in the capital gains and estate taxes, which provide handsome benefits to those with accumulated wealth, but do almost nothing to help lower income families with few assets.

Subtle prejudices might also help explain why the wealth gap is growing.

After the housing bubble popped, for instance, researchers at Harvard University discovered that, among blacks and whites of similar incomes, mortgage lenders targeted blacks more often for sub-prime loans, even when they were eligible for less risky arrangements.

The lingering jobs crisis has also affected minorities disproportionately. While the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, the figure soars to 15.9 percent for black workers – roughly twice the 8.1 percent rate for whites.

In response, the CBC has launched a national tour to highlight the employment disparities facing certain communities and to promote a series of proposals the members say would create jobs.

A number of CBC members – including Clyburn, CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) – will be in Detroit on Tuesday as the tour moves around the country.

It’s hardly the first time Clyburn has taken on the politics of race and poverty. For years, the South Carolina Democrat has been pushing legislation – dubbed the 10-20-30 plan – to direct at least 10 percent of federal rural development spending to communities where at least 20 percent of the population have lived below the poverty line for at least the last 30 years.

Clyburn, the son of a minister, refers to the plan as “tithing.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/176779-clyburn-hopes-to-use-supercommittee-post-to-tackle-wealth-gap

There’s still gold in them thar hills

As gold prices soar, dreamers grab their picks and pans

ReutersBy Jim Forsyth | Reuters – 21 hrs ago

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – There’s still gold in them thar hills.

With the price of the precious metal near $1,750 an ounce, a new generation of prospectors is heading into the hills with picks and pans, following in the footsteps of American dreamers who hoped to strike it rich.

“The higher the price goes, the more people come out of the woodwork,” said Tom Pickens, part of a group that prospects for gold in the Llano River in central Texas.

“More and more people are going to come,” he added.

Pickens and his fellow modern-day prospectors may not have the grizzled beards and floppy hats of the treasure seekers who explored California, the Dakotas and Alaska in the 19th century.

But those 49ers would recognize the gold pans and water sluices still used to find the elusive metal.

In Texas, prospectors these days focus on what is called the “Llano Uplift,” northwest of Austin.

It is a granite formation where flakes of gold and silver were mined by the Comanches and served as the basis of the legend of the Lost Mines of San Saba. The tales of entire cities made of silver and gold lured adventurers from the Spanish conquistadors to Alamo defender and knife inventor Jim Bowie into the hill country of Texas.

Pickens and his fellow prospectors don’t have their dreams set quite so high. He says while there is gold in the area, it is not likely to be more than powder or pea-sized pebbles.

“You could go into the Llano River, get your pan out there, get a shovel full of sand, and you might be able to find a flake or two,” he said.

The rivers are so loaded with sand and minerals that it’s difficult to retrieve the super-fine flakes, he said.

“There are times when I will look down and see five or six flakes of gold in my pan,” he said. “But when you need 40,000 of those flakes to fill a vial, you need to keep prospecting for weeks and weeks.”

Pickens concedes that for the roughly 125 people who pan for gold in central Texas regularly, it is a way to get outside, get some exercise and experience nature.

If there have been any modern-day versions of James Marshall, who discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 and sparked the California gold rush, he said he probably would not have heard.

“Most prospectors are quiet,” he said. “If they do find gold, they keep it to themselves.”

Ralph Aldis with San Antonio-based U.S. Global Investors says there are dumber things to do these days than prospecting.

“There has been a strong run up in gold prices because of speculators,” he said. “We think the price will continue to rise.”

In Texas, rivers such as the Llano are owned by the state, and anyone willing to pay a $250 permit fee and clean up after themselves can stake a claim.

Pickens said when gold prices rose in recent weeks, his phone started ringing with calls from people who want to join the gold rush.

“It’s like a scratch-off ticket or something. You keep thinking you’re going to find a glory hole or the mother lode,” he said. “But right now, I still have my day job.”

http://news.yahoo.com/gold-prices-soar-dreamers-grab-picks-pans-191526453.html

 

By phoebe53 Posted in Money

Pawlenty Drops 2012 Presidential Bid

Pawlenty Drops 2012 Presidential Bid

 

Published August 14, 2011

 

Pawlenty.jpg

Fox News

Aug. 10: Tim Pawlenty in Adel, Iowa.

Tim Pawlenty announced an end to his presidential candidacy Sunday after what he called a “disappointing” third place finish in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll.

The former Minnesota governor said he had hoped to get a jolt from the preference poll that is an early indicator of a candidate’s potential strength in the primary season.

“I’m ending my campaign for president,” Pawlenty told ABC’s “This Week,” noting that he wished the scenario had been different but voters were looking for something else.

The message Pawlenty was offering “didn’t get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for coming into the and out of the Ames straw poll. We needed to get some lift to continue on and to have a pathway forward. That didn’t happen,” he said.

“Obviously, we had some success raising money, but we needed to continue that, and Ames was a benchmark for that. And if we didn’t do well in Ames, we weren’t going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road,” he added.

Pawlenty received 13 percent of the vote in the Saturday poll, which is not generally a marker of the future presidential nominee. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who earned 27 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum earned 9 percent and businessman Herman Cain received 8 percent.

But Pawlenty, who had relied on organizational strength and popularity in the lead-off caucuses state, has struggled to gain traction in Iowa, where he and Bachmann, who was born in the state, have conducted a surly back-and-forth.

After his third-place finish, Pawlenty issued a statement saying that he merely needed to show progress, and had achieved that goal.

“We are now moving onto the next phase of our campaign. Over the coming weeks we will be visiting New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida while continuing to grow our already strong ground game in Iowa,” Pawlenty said.

But a senior adviser told Fox News that during a Sunday morning conference call, Pawlenty told supporters, “We cannot envision a path forward to victory and so therefore, we made a decision to end the campaign.”

The winner of the Republican presidential nomination will face President Obama in the 2012 election.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/14/pawlenty-to-drop-gop-presidential-bid/#ixzz1V1DhbWun