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Archive for August, 2009

>How Democrats Cheat To Get Rich

>Dear Fellow American:

There’s no doubt about it: Getting rich in Barack Obama‘s America is tougher than ever. And with his plans for raising your taxes, staying rich is tougher still.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And as I see it, there are two basic ways to go about it.

The first is what I call “The Easy, Sleazy Democrat Way to Wealth.” All it takes is using political power — your own, or someone else’s — to steer private money or (even better) taxpayer dollars into your own bank account. Here are just a few tried-and-true “Sleazy Democrat” techniques for doing just that:

Run a “Government-Sponsored Enterprise” (into the ground). Say you’re a longtime party hack who knows nothing about running a business, like ex-Clintonite Franklin Raines. Get appointed as CEO of Fannie Mae, the “government-sponsored” mortgage giant, where the profits are privatized and the losses are covered by taxpayers. Take tens of millions in salary and bonuses (based on phony accounting) — and then, when you’ve laid the groundwork for Fannie’s bankruptcy and the subprime mortgage crisis, walk away with a “golden parachute” estimated at $240 million.

Force Taxpayers to Subsidize Your Business. First, pick something that makes no real-world, economic sense, like “biofuels” or “green technology.” Then, get the government to mandate and/or subsidize its use — and if possible, to tax and regulate your competition to death. It’s important, however, to mask your intentions by posing as a public-spirited crusader — like Al Gore, whose use of this technique has already built him a fortune of more than $100 million, and who could become a billionaire from the “carbon credit” racket if a cap-and-trade bill becomes law.

Benefit from Nepotism. Not a politician? No problem — just be related to one! Whether you’re the nephew of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), getting lucrative defense contracts, or the son of Joe Biden, getting rich off Dad’s name as a government lobbyist, or the wife of Barack Obama, getting a nearly 300% raise at her Chicago hospital job right after he was elected U.S. Senator — and right before he requested a $1 million earmark for the hospital — just remember: in the world of political influence-peddling and back-scratching, it’s always “family first.”

The icing on the cake of “Easy, Sleazy Democrat” wealth-building strategies like these? You get to rail against “rich Republicans” and “greedy corporate fat cats” while congratulating yourself on being a selfless public servant.

But wait a minute, you say. What if I’m not a powerful politician — and have no connections to one?

Then, you might want to know about the other way to wealth I mentioned — the honest, patriotic alternative to the “Easy, Sleazy Democrat Way.”

I call it The American Way to Wealth— and it’s got two simple steps:

  1. First, work hard at your job or business, and make as much money as you can. Stay current on your bills, and pay what you “owe” in taxes — but not a penny more.
  2. Take whatever you have left and invest it according to the advice of someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy — not, in other words, some Wall Street drone who gets commissions off your stock trades no matter how badly they do.

Now, if you don’t know someone like that — well, fortunately, I do. His name is Nicholas Vardy, a brilliant investment adviser who, in addition to managing money for a few wealthy clients, dispenses amazingly profitable investment advice — at a surprisingly affordable price — to subscribers to his Global Stock Investor newsletter.

Just how good is Nick Vardy’s investment advice? Well, consider this: While the major stock indexes were down as much as 20% during last year’s “Black October,” Nick’s subscribers were actually enjoying double-digit profits. Since then, as stocks have recovered, Nick’s subscribers have enjoyed market-beating profits of up to 37%.

Of course, investing in the stock market is not for everyone, but if your situation allows it and you are looking to build your wealth, he is the guy to help you do it


>Unions Have Bloated and Hurt America


Unions and the “Willy Wonka” Problem

In Today’s Issue: Unions and the “Willy Wonka” Problem

Remember Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Violet Beauregarde was a precocious young gum-chewer who tries a prototype “three-course-meal” chewing gum during he tour of Wonka’s factory. Willy Wonka warned her not to try it because of some unsolved problems with the blueberry pie flavor.
Violet disobeys and at first enjoys the intriguing new “treat” (consisting of tomato soup, roast beef, baked potato and blueberry pie flavors). But when Violet gets to the blueberry pie, her face begins to turn blue and she blows up like a balloon. Wonka has the Oompa Loompas roll Violet away to the juicing room before she explodes.
Unions have a similar problem to Violet. As we learned last time, when they first came to power they not only achieved important and positive things for their members, but they built a lasting legacy of restrictions on employer behavior that remains strong today. But like Violet, what at first was a good thing grew and grew over time. Eventually in many cases the massive gains unions made were completely out of proportion to what their host employers could handle. And that is when the big troubles began.
Here are some examples of how unions became victims of their own success:
1. Anti-competitiveness. Unions raised workers wages substantially above the wages paid to nonunion workers. This leads to two problems. First, unionized employers tend to substitute technology for labor whenever possible, over the long run creating unemployment and reducing the overall demand for labor (not to mention the number of people who benefit from these “monopoly” wages). In addition, union-made products have become more expensive.  Sales are lost to less expensive foreign competitors and nonunion producers.
2. Decline in the value of merit. Workers find it difficult to advance on their own merit in many union settings, where most contracts focus on seniority for advancement.  Union contracts specify the process for increasing wage which serves the group not the overachiever. This can sometimes lead to more productive talent leaving for non-union operations where they are more likely to benefit from their unique talents.
3. Unable to weed out underperformers. In unionized companies there is a lot of peer pressure not to “show off” your brothers and sisters. In some cases it is also more difficult to move (or remove) poor performing or ineffective employees. In that environment unionized workers can lose the incentive to work hard.  There’s no incentive to excel for the get-up-and-go employee.  Workers can become comfortable with mediocre culture in protective surroundings and pressure by the union not to go the extra mile.
4. Fewer investors. Savvy investors invest in competitive firms with sharp nimble management, and healthy margins.  Nonunion firms attract more investors.  With extra invested capital, firms can apply financing to acquire new technologies and expert talent to remain competitive. We are no longer in Kansas, economic dynamics changed
During the 1950’s, the French and British imported automobiles to the US.  By 1956, Japan started its US with compacts pick-ups.  New foreign car-makers began a gradual trend to increase competition. When you purchase your car, it’s an investment.  During your ownership your car requires maintenance and part replacements.  For decades, owning a foreign car implied added expenses.  Very few mechanics knew how to fix foreign cars.  The law of supply and demand allowed foreign car mechanics to charge higher fees.  Car parts could take weeks to replace. Purchasing American cars was a far more attractive option than foreign cars. It was easy, American auto dealers could compete on price and maintain higher unions wages because there was little competition.
By 1982, Honda opened the first US foreign car manufacturing plant which opened the gateway for a gradual change in attracting more US consumer dollars. By 1993 foreign-based auto plants built over 2.7 million passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S. and Canada annually.  South Korea’s Hyundai opened an assembly plant in Québec. During the mid-1990s, Germany’s Daimler-Benz and BMW both opened state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and Alabama, respectively.
The foreign auto firms provided quality vehicles, with available and affordable maintenance, and without paying higher fees to cover union labor costs.  In addition, these firms provide employment and benefits to US citizens. The model for unionized auto-workers no longer serves the new economic landscape. It’s even surprising the US has any unionized labor in the private sector that still can compete or survive.
We live in what is called a “flat” world that is highly competitive. As technology advances, information, communication, and exchange of ideas can take place instantly.  Competition is no longer limited to who is local.  It’s too easy to transport jobs overseas.  Highly trained and skilled labor is available in other countries at lower fees.  Therefore it’s essential for businesses to remain nimble and flexible to compete. Unfortunately for unions, they still are living several decades in the past.
After Violet was “juiced” by the Oompa Loompas, she left the Chocolate Factory purple, but no worse for wear (in the 2005 remake starring Johnny Depp as Mr. Wonka, Violet became very flexible and quick, doing cartwheels out of the plant). Unlike Violet, unions haven’t learned this lesson. Far from being flexible and dextrous business partners, they remain fat and bloated. And in our flat world, that is definitely a recipe to get “juiced” by the competition.
To your success,
Phillip Wilson

>Kindergarten: Is Your Child Is Ready?


eHow of the Day  
How to Know Your Child is Ready for Kindergarten by Kurt Schwengel
The new million dollar question in education has become, “Is my child ready for kindergarten?” As a kindergarten teacher since 1996, I would like to share some thoughts on when a child is ready. Remember, all children are different and you never really know how a child will perform until they actually get to kindergarten, but I have noticed some definite attributes in children who do well, as well as in those who struggle.
Read More  

>A Truthful Ad ABC Would Not Air


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>OUTRAGE: Americans Are Rising Up!


Dear Fellow Conservative:

Right now, something is happening in America that, try as they might, the liberal media can’t stop simply by distorting or ignoring it.

I’m talking about the surging opposition to President Obama’s plans to “remake” America (his word) from an independent republic of freedom-loving, self-reliant citizens into a Euro-socialist nanny state.

Call it a backlash. Call it a counter-revolution. Call it a conservative comeback. Call it what you will — but it’s real, it’s massive, and it’s about to boil over into something the liberals can’t deny any longer.

How do I know? Because it’s my job, as editor in chief of HUMAN EVENTS, to report on things that the liberal media won’t.

And everywhere my staff and I look these days we see the signs of this extraordinary political uprising…

IN THE POLLS showing a sudden and dramatic erosion in President Obama’s approval ratings — and an even steeper, faster decline in support for his neo-socialist policies

ON THE STREETS of mainstream America where “tea party” tax protests and other expressions of populist outrage are spreading like wildfire from town to town, city to city nationwide

IN STATEHOUSES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS where voters are forcing legislators — by popular referendum if necessary — to roll back the tax-and-spend policies that have brought so many states and localities to the brink of bankruptcy

ON THE AIRWAVES where conservative TV and radio personalities such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are soaring to new heights of popularity — while the ratings for liberals like Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman are plummeting

ON THE BESTSELLER LISTS where books like Mark Levin’s ” Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” and “Glenn Beck’s Common Sense” have dominated for months, outselling liberal tomes by hundreds of thousands

AND EVEN, AT LONG LAST, IN CONGRESS where, after years of selling out conservative principles, a small but growing number of Republicans are loudly voicing and voting those principles once again — despite the loud complaints of the liberal media.

What’s driving this extraordinary phenomenon? In a word — outrage.

After trusting Barack Obama‘s soothing promises, and the media’s constant reassurances, that once in office he would “transcend” partisan politics, Americans quickly realized they had elected the most radical leftist ever to serve as President of the United States.

They also realized that for all Obama’s talk of “transparency” and “accountability,” his administration was creating the conditions for a level of political sleaze, corruption and back-room wheeling-and-dealing far worse than anything Washington has seen in a very long time.

And now that the gap between Obama’s smooth-talking rhetoric and his actual performance has finally become plain to anyone but the most besotted of his admirers, Americans have had enough.

They have had enough of the out-of-control spending on bailouts and “stimulus” that have sent the federal deficit soaring to $1.8 trillion for 2009 alone — and even higher down the road — threatening to bankrupt our nation, destroy our currency, and impoverish our descendents for generations to come

They have had enough of Obama’s crusade to replace private healthcare with a government-run system that will empower federal bureaucrats to make life-and-death decisions about your medical care — and that will put all your private medical records in a government database (don’t worry, they promise never to use them to harm you)

They have had enough of Obama’s proposed tax hikes and tax “surcharges” to pay for all his spending programs that will drive U.S. tax rates higher even than the welfare-state economies of Europe (New Yorkers, for instance, could face a combined federal-state income tax rate of nearly 60 percent)

They have had enough of the appalling rogue’s gallery of crooks, cronies, tax cheats, and political big-spending leftists that Obama has appointed to the highest levels of our government — while firing or abruptly “retiring” official government watchdogs who have blown the whistle on his cronies and their schemes

They have had enough of the outrageous threats to investigate and prosecute Bush-era anti-terrorist agents and officials for the heroic work they did in keeping our country safe

They have had enough of the endless procession of unelected “czars” President Obama has appointed — 32 at last count! — to bring one sector after another of our economy and government under his direct control (come to think of it, why don’t we just call him “Czar Obama”?)

They have had enough, in short, of how President Obama and his allies are rapidly destroying so much of what has made our country prosperous and free — while arrogating to themselves a degree of power that would make Hugo Chavez blush.

And what about you, my friend? Have you had enough? Are you ready to join the swelling ranks of Americans who are determined to put a stop to this madness? Are you ready to add your voice to theirs in demanding an end to this assault on our liberties… an end to this era of fiscal insanity… an end to this government “of the cronies, by the cronies, and for the cronies”?

If you are — if you are among those who refuse to tolerate even for one more day what is happening in our nation’s capital, then I have only one thing to ask of you…

Join the conservative
counter-revolution today.


#yiv1503138028 { background-color:#E7E7E7;}

>Tomorrow Never Dies


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Confidential Informants: A Double-Edged Sword

Police in El Paso, Texas, announced Aug. 11 that they had arrested three suspects in the May 15 shooting death of Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, a Juarez cartel lieutenant who had been acting as a confidential informant (CI) for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. It was an activity that prompted the Juarez cartel to put out a hit on him, and Gonzalez was shot multiple times outside his home in an upscale El Paso neighborhood. A fourth suspect was arrested shortly after the Aug. 11 announcement. Among the suspects is an 18-year-old U.S. Army soldier stationed at nearby Fort Bliss who the other suspects said had been hired by one of the leaders of the Juarez cartel to pull the trigger on Gonzalez. The suspects also include two other teenagers, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old.
The man who recruited the teenagers, Ruben Rodriguez Dorado — also a lieutenant in the Juarez cartel — has also been arrested, and the emerging details of the case paint him as a most interesting figure. After receiving orders from his superiors in the Juarez cartel to kill Gonzalez, Rodriguez was able to freely enter the United States and conduct an extensive effort to locate Gonzalez — he reportedly even paid Gonzalez’s cell phone bill in an effort to obtain his address. Armed with the address, he then conducted extensive surveillance of Gonzalez and carefully planned the assassination, which was then carried out by the young gunman he had recruited.
The sophistication of Rodriguez’s investigative and surveillance efforts is impressive, and the Gonzalez hit was not the first time he undertook such tasks. According to an affidavit filed in state court, Rodriguez told investigators that he also located and surveilled targets for assassination in Mexico. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this case is that the entire time Rodriguez was plotting the Gonzalez assassination he, too, was working as a CI for ICE.
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While it is unclear at this point if ICE agents played any part in helping Rodriguez find Gonzalez, at the very least, Rodriguez’s status as an ICE informant would certainly have been useful in camouflaging his nefarious activities and could have given him some level of official cover. Although Rodriguez was a legal permanent resident of the United States, having friends in ICE would allow him to cross the border repeatedly without much scrutiny and help deflect suspicion if he were caught while conducting surveillance.

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Without having access to the information Rodriguez was providing to ICE, it is very difficult for us to assess if Rodriguez’s work with ICE was sanctioned by the Juarez cartel, or if he was merely playing both ends against the middle. However, when one examines the reach, scope and sophistication of the Mexican cartels’ intelligence efforts, it is clear that several of the cartels have demonstrated the ability to operate more like a foreign intelligence service than a traditional criminal organization. This means that it is highly possible that Rodriguez was what we refer to in intelligence parlance as a double agent — someone who pretends to spy on an organization but is, in fact, loyal to that organization.
Whether Rodriguez was a double agent or just an out-of-control CI, this case provides a clear example of the problems encountered when law enforcement agencies handle CIs — problems that become even more pronounced when the informant is associated with a sophisticated and well-financed organization.

Choir Boys Need Not Apply

While CIs can be incredibly valuable sources of information, running a CI is a delicate operation even under the best of circumstances, and poses a wide array of problems and pitfalls. The first and most obvious issue is that most people who have access to the inner workings of a criminal organization, and therefore the most valuable intelligence, are themselves criminals. Upstanding, honest citizens simply do not normally have access to the plans of criminal gangs or understand their organizational hierarchy. This means that authorities need to recruit or flip lower-level criminals in order to work their way up the food chain and go after bigger targets. In the violent world of the Mexican drug cartels, sending an undercover agent to infiltrate a cartel is extremely dangerous. Therefore, using CIs is even more important in such investigations than it is while working against other types of criminals.
The fact that many CIs are criminals means that not only do they frequently come with a heavy load of psychopathic and sociopathic baggage, but in order to stay in good standing within their organization, they often need to continue to commit illegal acts while working for the government, though the type of criminal activity permitted is often carefully delineated by the government. Not infrequently, these illegal acts can come back to haunt the agency operating the CI, so maintaining control of the CI is very important.
CIs can also come with a host of motivations. While some informants are motivated by money, or promises to have charges dropped or reduced, other informants will provide information to the authorities out of revenge or in order to further their own criminal schemes either by using law enforcement as a way to take out rival gangs or even a rival within their own organization. Because of these varying motivations, it can be very difficult to tell when CIs are fabricating information or when they are trying to manipulate the authorities. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for inexperienced or vulnerable handlers to lose control of a CI. In extreme cases, it is even possible for a smooth and sophisticated CI to end up controlling their handler. And this is not just confined to ICE or small-town police departments; there have been instances of FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents being manipulated and controlled by their CIs.
Out-of-control CIs can do things like refuse to follow orders, shut off recorders or edit recordings, tape meetings and calls with handlers, or even commit murders and other serious crimes while working with authorities. There have also been cases of handlers getting involved in sexual relationships with CIs, providing drugs to CIs, and even committing crimes with CIs who were manipulating them.
At the high end of the threat scale, there is also the possibility that informants will be consciously sent to the authorities in order to serve as double agents, or that the criminal organization they work for will double them back once it is learned that they have decided to begin cooperating with the authorities. Many federal agencies polygraph sources, but polygraph operators can be fooled and polygraphs are of limited utility on people who have no moral compunction about lying. Therefore, while agencies take efforts to vet their CIs, such efforts are often ineffective.
Double agents are particularly useful for the criminal organization because they can intentionally feed very specific information to the authorities in order to manipulate enforcement activities. For example, in the case of the Juarez cartel, they could tip off authorities to a small shipment of narcotics in one part of the sector in order to draw attention away from a larger shipment moving through another part of the sector. Of course, the fact that the CI provided accurate information pertaining to the smaller shipment also serves to increase his value to the authorities. In the case of a double agent, almost everything he provides will usually be accurate — although this accurate information is pretty much calculated to be harmless to the criminal organization (though organizations have used double agents to pass on information to the authorities that will allow them to take action against rival criminal gangs). The outstanding accuracy of the intelligence reported will cause the double agent to be trusted more than most regular CIs, and this makes double agents particularly difficult to uncover.

Not Typical Criminals

When considering the Mexican drug cartels, it is very important to remember that they are not typical criminal gangs. The cartels are billion-dollar organizations that employ large groups of heavily armed enforcers, and many of the cartels have invested the time and resources necessary to develop highly sophisticated intelligence apparatuses.
Such intelligence apparatuses are perhaps best seen in the realm of public corruption. Some of the Mexican cartels have a long history of successfully corrupting public officials on both sides of the border. Groups like the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) have recruited scores of intelligence assets and agents of influence at the local, state and even federal levels of the Mexican government. They even have enjoyed significant success in recruiting agents in elite units such as the anti-organized crime unit of the Mexican attorney general’s office. The BLO even allegedly recruited Mexico’s former drug czar, Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who reportedly was receiving $450,000 per month from the organization. This recruitment also extends to all levels of government in the United States, where Cartels have recruited local, state and federal officials. Many of the assassination operations the cartels have launched against one another and against senior Mexican officials have also demonstrated the advanced intelligence capabilities of the Mexican cartels.
With the money to buy foreign expertise and equipment, the Mexican cartels have been able to set up counterintelligence branches that can administer polygraph examinations, signals intelligence branches that can intercept the authorities’ communications and even elaborate (and well-funded) units designed to identify and bribe vulnerable public officials. The Mexican cartels also assign people to infiltrate law-enforcement agencies by applying for jobs. According to a report released last week, in a 10-month period, four applicants for U.S. border law enforcement positions were found through background checks and polygraph examinations to be infiltrators from drug-trafficking organizations. It is important to remember that these four were only those who were caught, and not all agencies submit applicants to the same scrutiny, so the scope of the problem is likely much larger. In light of this history of cartel intelligence activity, it is not unreasonable to assume that the cartels possess the sophistication and skills to employ double agents.

Alphabet Soup

Running a CI against a Mexican cartel is also greatly complicated by the number of agencies involved in the struggle against them. Among local, state and federal entities there are scores of agencies in El Paso alone with some sort of jurisdiction working against the cartels. The agencies range from obvious ones such as the DEA, FBI, Texas Rangers, El Paso Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the less obvious such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Union Pacific Railroad Police and the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Bliss.
This jumble of jurisdictions creates a very difficult environment for working with CIs. Not only are agencies legitimately concerned about protecting the identities of their CIs due to the possibility of corruption in other agencies, but there is also the issue of competition. Agencies are afraid of other, better-funded agencies stealing their informants. If a local police detective has developed a very good dope source, the last thing in the world he wants is for ICE or the DEA to take control of his source, which would in all likelihood mean that he will lose all the information the CI was providing. Likewise, if an ICE agent has developed a good Mexican cartel source, the last thing he wants is for the DEA or FBI to take control of the source.
In the human intelligence world, there is a lot of jealousy and suspicion. This not only means that information is not fully shared across agencies but also that agencies are very reluctant to run checks on their CIs through other agencies for fear of divulging their identities. This insulation results in some CIs double- or even triple-dipping, that is, working with other agencies and providing the same information in exchange for additional payments. This fragmentation also results in the agency running the CI not being able to learn of critical information pertaining to the past (or even current) activities of their CI. It means, too, that the agency that recruits the CI in some cases is simply not in the best position to take full advantage of the information provided by the CI, or that agency competition and institutional rivalries prevent the CI from being turned over to a more capable agency. Certainly, on its face, ICE would not be the best, most logical agency to handle a source like Rodriguez, who was a lieutenant in the Juarez cartel tasked with conducting assassination operations.
The fear associated with the potential compromise of CI identities inside an agency or task force due to corruption can also affect the operational effectiveness of law enforcement operations. It is hard to get much of anything done when people are worried about who may be a mole on the cartel payroll.

Nowhere to Hide

One last thing to consider in the Gonzalez assassination is that it highlights the fact that even though targets will seek shelter inside the United States, Mexican drug cartels will follow them across the border in order to kill them, something we have discussed for several years now. Moreover, incidents like the Gonzalez hit will likely cause high-value cartel targets to move even deeper into the United States to avoid attack — and their enemies’ brazen and sophisticated assassins will likely follow.
Rodriguez’s use of teenage assassins to kill Gonzalez is also in keeping with a trend we have seen in Laredo and elsewhere, that of the cartels recruiting young street-gang members and training them to be assassins. Young gunmen working for Los Zetas in Laredo, Houston, San Antonio and elsewhere have been given the nickname “Zetitas,” or little Zetas. In is not surprising to see the Juarez cartel also employing young gunmen. Not only are the young gunmen easily influenced, fearless and hungry for money and respect, but the cartels believe that the younger offenders are expendable if caught or killed, and will also do less time than an adult if they are arrested and convicted. These young killers are also not given much information about their employers in the event they are captured and interrogated by police.
In the final analysis, CIs are a necessary evil and can be a very effective weapon in the law enforcement arsenal. Like any weapon, however, CIs must be carefully managed, maintained and employed to make sure they are not used against the law enforcement agencies themselves.
NOTE: We have changed the designs and features of our Free Weekly Emails. Email me your thoughts.
Thank you,
Aaric Eisenstein
SVP Publishing

>When Will Obama Fix Social Security?


Obama’s economic plans are big, far-reaching and expensive.
In fact, Not since FDR has a newly elected U.S. president done so much to repair the economy.
To be sure, the economy is in dire need of repair, but will Obama’s economic plan work? And what side effects will it produce?
This free report examines every caveat of Obama’s economic plan and outlines – in plain English – how it will affect the U.S. economy and the taxpayers fueling it.
Obama Economics

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