Obama is absolutely 100% a socialist. From his “spread the wealth around” comment to Joe the Plumber a few years to his actual policies as president of the United States, the proof is there unless you wish to ignore it.
Check out the video below.
A Democratic state legislator from east Arkansas, his father and two campaign workers pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit election fraud after federal prosecutors said the lawmaker’s campaign bribed absentee voters and destroyed ballots in a special election last year.
Prosecutors said Democratic Rep. Hudson Hallum of Marion, Kent Hallum, Phillip Wayne Carter and Sam Malone acknowledged that they participated in a conspiracy to bribe voters to influence absentee votes in the Arkansas District 54 primary, runoff and general elections in 2011. The four were released pending a sentencing hearing.
“In a nation in which every person’s vote matters, protecting the integrity of the electoral process from those who seek to win office by cheating the system is critical,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said in a statement released by her office. “Voter fraud schemes such as that carried out in the 2011 District 54 race have the devastating effect of eroding public confidence in elected officials and disenfranchising voters.”
A Democratic Party spokeswoman said Hallum indicated he would step down from his seat, but Gov. Mike Beebe had not received a formal resignation by Wednesday afternoon.
Hallum didn’t respond to phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment, and House Speaker Robert Moore said he has not heard from the lawmaker. But in an email sent to other Democratic legislators, Hallum apologized for his actions.
“I took some bad advice that led to some bad decisions on my part. I am going to stand up and accept full responsibility for my actions,” Hallum wrote. “I am truly sorry because I know this news will have an effect on everyone’s upcoming race.”
Prosecutors said Hallum and his father, Kent, tasked Carter and Malone with obtaining absentee ballot applications for certain voters and assisting voters in filling out the ballots, “actually completing absentee ballots in some instances without regard to the voter’s actual candidate choice.”
The ballots were typically placed in unsealed envelopes before being mailed to local election officials.
“If a ballot contained a vote for Hudson Hallum’s opponent, it was destroyed,” prosecutors said in a bill of information filed with the court.
Prosecutors also accused the four of offering money and food to absentee voters in exchange for their support.
At one point, prosecutors said, Hallum told Carter: “We need to use that black limo and buy a couple cases of some cheap vodka and whiskey to get people to vote.”
Hallum won the east Arkansas seat in a special election last year following the resignation of Rep. Fred Smith, who stepped down after he was found guilty of felony theft of property delivered by mistake. A judge later dismissed the theft case, but Smith was blocked from running in the Democratic primary against Hallum for his old seat because he had a conviction at the time he filed.
Smith is now running as the Green Party nominee for the seat. No Republican is running.
Hallum’s guilty plea comes as Democrats in Arkansas are struggling to keep the Legislature from falling to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction. Party leaders were quick to condemn Hallum’s actions Wednesday afternoon.
“The sanctity of our elections and the rights of voters to see that every vote is counted fairly and responsibly are some of the basic, fundamental liberties of our democracy. No threat to those liberties can or should be endured,” Party spokeswoman Candace Martin said. “Hudson Hallum is taking responsibility for his actions and we hope that will help resolve things in a way to see that such activities will never be tolerated.”
Republicans said the case pointed to long-running voter fraud problems in the state.
“The voters’ constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair election was stolen by an Arkansas Democrat who was more concerned with winning than upholding the public trust and being a true public servant,” state GOP Chairman Doyle Webb said. “This is corruption that a two party system will end.”
Prosecutors said in the charging documents that the four tried to conceal the absentee voter fraud by using rental cars when collecting ballots and using coded language such as “gold tokens,” ”duct work” and “watermelons” when referring to the absentee ballots.
Sentencing hearings will be held later for the four. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison plus a potential fine of $250,000.
Malone resigned his job as a West Memphis police officer, but did not know if he would resign from the Crittenden County Quorum Court or the West Memphis school board, attorney Blake Hendrix said. There was no answer at a number listed for Carter, a West Memphis City Councilman.
Hallum’s name will remain on the ballot, but if he wins in November after resigning, a special election will have to be called for the seat, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said. A court could order election officials to not count any votes cast for Hallum.
Two platform planks sparked division at the Democratic National Convention here Wednesday.
Things got so bad that President Barack Obama was forced to personally intervene, ordering language mentioning God and naming Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel be added.
Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, a campaign source said, but did not seek to change it until after Republicans jumped on the omissions of God and Jerusalem late Wednesday. And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention’s chairman, kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings by trying to clean up a mess Democrats made by omitting from their official party platform mentions of God and of Jerusalem as the preferred capital of Israel.
Villaraigosa called for a voice vote on an amendment offered by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who chaired the platform drafting committee. Facing boos and “nay”s, he tried again, before announcing that in his judgment, a two-thirds majority had approved the measure. He was booed again as he walked off the stage.
A senior White House said Wednesday that the platform dispute was an unfortunate stumble during this week’s convention.
Republicans mocked each subsequent mention of God from the podium as antithetical to the Democratic Party’s platform. GOP rival Mitt Romney released a statement blasting Democrats for leaving Jerusalem out of the platform.
After Villaraigosa announced the platform change, Republicans wasted little time trying to exploit the flip-flop on Jerusalem. Romney has said he’d as president acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which would be a change in longstanding U.S. policy, which has been that all “final status issues” be left to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Mitt Romney has consistently stated his belief that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “Although today’s voice vote at the Democratic National Convention was unclear, the Democratic Party has acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Obama has repeatedly refused to say the same himself. Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
The convention language Obama pushed for is somewhat at odds with his own policy. Obama, like predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has every six months waived moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem since Congress voted to move it in 1995. He most recently did so June 1.
The White House directed questions on the topic to the reelection campaign.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the platform was changed to “maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the president and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
The division over Israel also flies in the face of a prediction Obama strategist David Axelrod made days earlier on “Fox News Sunday,” when he crowed that Obama’s convention would be free of the sideshows that plagued the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa.
“We don’t have the problems that the other party has,” Axelrod said then. “We’re not divided. We don’t have to worry about, you know, what people are saying on the side or about their affection for the president or — we don’t have those problems.”
Obama’s campaign and the party, as well as the news organizations covering their confab, stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been invested in the planned Thursday night event. When Obama accepted his party’s nomination at the NFL stadium in Denver in 2008, the city’s host committee spent $2.3 million just to rent the stadium.
Blaming the weather — hardly a surprise in the humid South during the first week of September — for ditching the football stadium venue drew immediate criticism from the editorial page editor of the Charlotte Observer.
“What did organizers think the chance of rain would be on a September evening in Charlotte when they decided to put the Obama event at the stadium in the first place? Zero?” Taylor Batten wrote on the paper’s blog.
Needled by Mitt Romney and other Republicans, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their convention platform Wednesday to add a mention of God and declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after President Barack Obama intervened to order the changes.
The embarrassing reversal was compounded by chaos and uncertainty on the convention floor, requiring three votes before a ruling that the amendments had been approved. Many in the audience booed the decision.
The episode exposed tensions on Israel within the party, put Democrats on the defensive and created a public relations spectacle as Obama arrived in the convention city to claim his party’s nomination for a second term.
The language in the party platform — a political document — does not affect actual U.S. policy toward Israel. The administration has long said that determining Jerusalem’s status is an issue that should be decided in peace talks by Israelis and Palestinians.
Obama intervened directly to get the language changed both on Jerusalem and to reinstate God in the platform, according to campaign officials who insisted on anonymity to describe behind-the-scenes party negotiations. They said Obama’s reaction to the omission of God from the platform was to wonder why it was removed in the first place.
The revisions came as Obama struggles to win support from white working-class voters, many of whom have strong religious beliefs, and as Republicans try to woo Jewish voters and contributors away from the Democratic Party. Republicans claimed the platform omissions suggested Obama was weak in his defense of Israel and out of touch with mainstream Americans.
GOP officials argued that not taking a position on Jerusalem’s status in the party platform raised questions about Obama’s support for the Mideast ally. Romney said omitting God “suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of the American people.”
“I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize,” Romney said.
Added to the platform was a declaration that Jerusalem “is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
That language was included in the platform four years ago when Obama ran for his first term, but was left out when Democrats on Tuesday approved their 2012 platform, which referred only to the nation’s “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”
Some delegates were angered by the change.
“There was no discussion. We didn’t even see it coming. We were blindsided by it,” said Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim delegate from Salt Lake City, who questioned whether the convention had enough of a quorum to even amend the platform.
Also restored from the 2008 platform was language calling for a government that “gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations alike have said it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to settle Jerusalem’s final status — a position reiterated earlier Wednesday by the White House. Both sides claim Jerusalem as their capital, and the city’s status has long been among the thorniest issues in Mideast peace talks.
The U.S. has its embassy in Tel Aviv, although numerous Republicans — including Mitt Romney — have vowed to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
During his 2008 campaign, Obama referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a speech to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby. But as official policy, his administration has repeatedly maintained that Jerusalem’s status is an issue that Israelis and Palestinians should decide in peace talks. The platform flub gave Republicans an opening to revive their attacks on Obama’s support for Israel just as Democrats were hoping to bask in the glow of first lady Michelle Obama’s Tuesday speech and gin up excitement for her husband, who will accept his party’s nomination for a second term on Thursday.
But restoring the language did not placate Republicans, who used it to suggest that Obama’s party is now more supportive than he is of the Jewish state.
“Now is the time for President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
Even as Democrats worked to quell the political fallout from the omission, some Democrats in Charlotte were in open revolt. Angry delegates screamed and threw their hands in the air as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman, declared the amendments approved.
“The majority spoke last night,” said Angela Urrea, a delegate from Roy, Utah. “We shouldn’t be declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said the move was a “reasonable adjustment,” but suggested the party could have avoided the skirmish.
Republicans declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel in the platform the party approved last week at its convention in Tampa, Fla. GOP platforms in 2004 and 2008 also called Jerusalem the capital.
Don’t look now, but Obama has set another record. We now have more Americans on food stamps than at any point in our entire history.
Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said, as Democrats prepare to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.
Participation was up 0.4 percent from May and 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained greater than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate stayed higher than 8 percent. New jobless numbers will be released Sept. 7.
“Too many middle-class families who have fallen on hard times are still struggling,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an e-mailed statement today. “Our goal is to get these families the temporary assistance they need so they are able to get through these tough times and back on their feet as soon as possible.”
Food-stamp spending, which more than doubled in four years to a record $75.7 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s biggest annual expense. Republicans in Congress have criticized the cost of the program, and the House budget plan approved in April sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s vice- presidential nominee, would cut expenses by $33 billion over 10 years.
“We need a new direction,” Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said in an e-mail. “Democrats are desperately trying to convince voters that they are better off than they were four years ago. But the opposite is true,” as evidenced by the food- stamp numbers, she said.
Reductions to the program have also emerged as a point of contention in debate over a farm bill to replace current law that expires Sept. 30. The U.S. Senate in June passed a plan that would lower expenditures by $4 billion over 10 years, while the House Agriculture Committee the following month backed a $16 billion cut.
During the Republican primary campaign, then-candidate Newt Gingrich labeled Obama as “the best food-stamp president in American history.” When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called his statements “inaccurate” and “divisive,” Gingrich dismissed the complaints as a smear from “modern liberals” who are “off the deep end.”
Food-stamp enrollment is rising partly because the USDA is pushing higher participation too aggressively, giving government money to people who may not need or want it, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions said in a telephone interview.
“This administration has been hawking food stamps,” said the Alabama Republican, who has called for lower spending on the program. “Every additional dollar in this program is borrowed money,” he said. “It’s one more example of government incompetence.”
Today’s report shows the two most populous states, California and Texas, had the most recipients. California was tops with 4.012 million, a 0.8 percent gain from the previous month and 7.3 percent more than the previous year. Texas was in second place, while down 0.4 percent from the previous month and 1.4 percent lower than a year earlier.
Louisiana and North Carolina, where Democrats are meeting this week to nominate Obama, had the biggest monthly gains in enrollment, 1.3 percent. Enrollment fell the most in Utah, down 1.4 percent from May, followed by Idaho and Ohio.
Spending on what’s officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program totaled $6.21 billion in June, 0.4 percent higher than the previous month and 2.8 percent more than a year earlier. The record is $6.26 billion spent in September 2011.
About 47 percent of recipients are children, and 8 percent are elderly, according to the USDA. About half of all new recipients leave the program within 10 months.