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December 13, 2015

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 United States presidential election
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Steve Burke
Image: Steve Burke.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

Interview[]

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Brookhaven, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSteve BurkeWikinews waves Right.png The only way to answer your question is by semi story okay? I was asked once to take over the fight to save the county infirmary from closure. It housed ill and hopeless cases. I felt it was the county’s obligation to keep it open. Just as I believe we have an obligation to the mentally ill who need a hospital setting instead of the street or jail. So I took on the county and organized the seniors, relatives of the patients and went to work until the county elected officials cried uncle and kept it open. In fact they built a brand new infirmary and I believe it is still open. I last stopped there in the 1990s to visit a man I became friends with at the infirmary. He was bed ridden after he was stabbed with a knife in the back and it severed his spine. The county infirmary is owned by Suffolk County but in the town of Brookhaven. When I was first elected to the Brookhaven council, I felt we could now start to help the people. What a shock I got and lessons no political course in school can teach. There [were] some minor patronage jobs available. One person who was a disabled vet wanted some part time work. I spoke with my board members and they agreed to give him a bingo inspector job. About four evenings a month minor pay. On our very first meeting I looked at the agenda and his name was not there. I asked why and they told me they decided to give it to a bartender where they ate and drank. Because he made good drinks. That did not fly with me. I called them all into a room and spoke with them and the party leader by phone. The result was that day the disabled vet got the position and held it until he passed on. So back stabbing, back biting, always looking to get even [are] the lessons I learned the hard way from my fellow elected officials. But it taught me how to get things done. Former New Hampshire U.S. Senator [Warren] Rudman said when he quit the Senate, he could not get over the hatred and back stabbing in Washington. So I guess when you deal with elected egos it is the same all over. The town had a few hundred vehicles they owned and the employees drove. Remember Brookhaven is the largest town in New York. I was assigned the public safety department. I found the town cars were unaccounted for. No one knew where they were or who had them. Some I found in back yards of employees with parts missing, invoices of repairs not done on town cars but on personal cars and charged to the town. I stopped all of that, put the repairs out to bid. Made a depot to pick up and drop off daily a car. Changed the color and bought smaller vehicles. I also started a repair yard with town mechanics. When the bid expired. I saved the local police/code enforcement department that they wanted to get rid of. They took care of our parks and buildings, etc. I think I put in a resolution to push for the five cent return bottles, cans, etc., or maybe I just brought it up. I am not sure. That was before the state did it. The town dog pound was a problem. I heard they were selling dogs and cats out the back door to labs and for guard dog companies. I got the town board to go in with me one evening and seize the records. We went through them and turned them over to the district attorney. It was not followed up. But there [were] no more rumors of dogs or cats going out the back door. I am sure there was more but that was 30 years ago. You will have to cut it down. One builds up enemies if you do anything as an elected official. Those that last a long time are generally do nothings, no waves.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as councilman in Macomb, New York?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am the only Democrat on the five person board. So the entire board has to take credit of keeping tax increases below 2% a year without going into our fund balance. In fact our fund balance is the best of the other 31 towns and the county of St. Lawrence. We have lowered the cost of health care along with our tax base. Upgraded equipment, put money aside for replacement equipment, made our buildings energy efficient. Then we started at the beginning of each meeting the Pledge of Allegiance and a short prayer to the Almighty. Best of all we have no debt.

St. Lawrence County highlighted in red.
Image: David Benbennick.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png This was a strong Republican county when I first became chair. I was able to turn the county around to Democrat, but now it has fallen back to Republican. I started the first resource guide that allowed us to raise funds, obtained a house for the first time ever headquarters. Hillary Clinton won her first Senate seat with just 10 counties out of 62 in New York. We were one of those 10 counties when I was chair. I served as chair and was called back after several years to be chair again. I left the party in both a happy, strong and good financial condition.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png According to WWNY-TV, you previously ran for president in 1992. What was the nature of that run and what did you learn from it?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I am impressed that you did some investigative work. It is rare today. Good for you. You should go far in this field. The country was just starting to feel the impact of a slowdown. I wanted to speak out as to what I saw and speak to the issues of the day. I learned that it was a closed shop then and has gotten worse both in ability to be recognized and the economic situation. NAFTA and all free trade policies are detrimental to our economical health, jobs, income and general well being of the country. When NAFTA was first proposed I was chair and spoke out against it and was given heat for it. But oh well I swim upstream anyway.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Did you run in any presidential primaries in 1992?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I ran in six states total and did the best [in] Louisiana.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why are you [a] Democrat? What do you like about the party and have you ever considered joining a non-establishment party?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No I will not join any other party. I like the freedom of being a Democrat. This freedom is not found in other parties.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png So far you have filed to run in the New Hampshire primary. Do you plan on filing for any other primaries?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes we are working in other states to be known and have signed up for Louisiana. Money is always a problem in a grassroots campaign.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png That a voice be heard that is different than what is there now. The same old, same old get you the same old with no chance of bringing the county back home to where we have full employment, everyone getting along, pulling together regardless of color, race or religion. We are Americans all, living on a small rock just hanging out in space.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Barack Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png I will not slam an other Democrat who is doing what he feels is correct. I would do things differently for sure.
A. I believe in making friends not enemies.
B. No sanctions, I consider them an act of war.
C. Trade with every[one] on the planet. It is good for [us] and the products we have to sell — jobs.
D. Healthcare needs to be tweaked; move it in line with the health plan the congress has and a single payer.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing America and how will you deal with these as president?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends. You see how China is doing it by helping all around the world along with Russia. War and the blood of our young and our treasury is causing us to be bled to third world status. Radical Islam — work with a coalition of nations with the United Nations and root out that nest of vipers once and for all. Rebuild those countries devastated by war as was done after World War II.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have a Dream speech.
Image: National Archives and Records Administration.

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Make friends around the world, fair trade, full employment here at home. New plants opening up. I have a plan for that. Where we finally answer Reverend Martin Luther [King, Jr.]‘s I Have a Dream.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly is the plan?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png We have a precedent set with the General Motors bailout. All the closed factory and manufacturing buildings around the country need to be used. Let’s find the people with skills to open them up and get them running. The government will have a startup fund to lend, so we can be self sufficient again. By closing some of our military bases around the world that money can be used in this country and the military brought home to help secure our borders. Remember we are bleeding money and must stop it or we are done. One of the best things I feel for all our young is to have a military draft for a two year period of their lives. It teaches them order and how to get along and live with people of all colors and religions. Add a CCC type of organization to that and give them a choice. Then add a GI type of benefits to that. As a correction officer I saw the hopelessness of prisoners who could not read or write but were smart. If the government uses its money and talent not just on early intervention but in all grades to help these kids who have trouble in school reading and writing etc. Americans right now feel a sense of no one cares and we are going nowhere. Lack of jobs, money, housing. If you are married William then you know money in marriage is the big problem not sex. We have people with ideas in this country. Let’s use them to make our country self sufficient again. Let’s show the country through leadership that we are moving forward together towards a goal. No more making scapegoats out of each other. Those in office have a hunger for more and more money because they have a need???? Well so do those working or having a business. Let’s not tax them to death. We all want to have the good life. Let’s work towards that goal. I see the problems and know there are answers by setting goals, direction and leadership. Sorry if I got off on a rant. But you asked.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a Burke administration?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png People who have a love of country, its people and the constitution. They will be movers and shakers in their field to do the right things for our country.
As a side note to you William. I was on 60 Minutes for some legislation I sponsored against Teflon coated bullets that can pass through armored police vests. The Congress then followed with their legislation later on. I believe they used my idea after the NRA and I were on 60 Minutes. I believe it was my efforts that had North Korea free the American prisoners this year. I have also been working to do the same in Iran […]
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What exactly did you do to help free American prisoners in North Korea?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png WWNY-TV first did a story on my writing to the Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un. When that did not work, I followed up with someone I know who was the military attache for the former USSR. I asked him to speak to Putin for me. He traveled to Moscow and within two weeks all the prisoners were released. That’s what I mean by making friends. I have tried that avenue with Iran but was told no.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Last election cycle in December 2011 there was a lesser-known candidates forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Have you received any invitation to such an event?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png No invitations have been received. It is different than 1992. Oh one item I forgot to mention to you. When the [National Defense] NDAA of 2012 was before Congress. I wrote a resolution against section 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA Act of 2012. The town board all voted in favor of my resolution. A copy of it was sent to the President, Supreme Court justices and the entire New York delegation to Congress. Only one congressman, Mr. [Brian Higgins] of Buffalo, had the moxie to answer and acknowledge the resolution. That legislation was a bad bill, but they passed it.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you have a campaign website?
Wikinews waves Left.pngSBWikinews waves Right.png Yes I am finalizing it by next week. I am using Simple Nerds to do it. Great name for a company that a presidential candidate is using? […] By the way my campaign committee has fourteen people. Two African Americans, two Hispanics, several pastors, former immigrants from other countries and me. Thank you William for the questions. I look forward to one day meeting you.



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Sources[]

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links[]

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 6, 2015

Wikinews interviews Christopher Hill, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Christopher Hill, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2016 United States Presidential Election
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2016 U.S. Presidential Election stories

Presidential candidate Christopher Hill.
Image: Hill for President.

U.S. Air Force veteran and airline pilot Christopher V. Hill of New Hampshire took some time to talk with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Hill served in Operation Desert Storm, flying about fifty combat missions. Shortly after the war, he returned to civilian life, working as a loader and then a pilot for the United Parcel Service. In 2010, he organized the “Pilots and Patriots Defending the Constitution” ahead of the that year’s midterm elections. Hill ran his first campaign for president in 2012, seeking the Republican nomination. In that cycle, he appeared on the primary ballot in two states, receiving 108 votes in the New Hampshire primary and 139 in the Arizona primary. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney ultimately received the nomination and lost to incumbent president Barack Obama.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, Hill discusses his 2016 campaign, his political background, and his policy proposals.

Interview

  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What qualifications do you have that will assist you in executing the duties of president?
Wikinews waves Left.pngChristopher HillWikinews waves Right.png My Presidential qualifications are rooted in my service as an Officer in the United States Air Force. I took the Oath to our Constitution at 22 years old. I understood it was an Oath to America and ALL of our people. Politicians profess an Oath to this nation but once in office pursue their party agenda and reward their voters. As President, I will serve ALL of the people in America, guided by the Constitution.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why run for president? Why not run for a lower office that you would be more likely to win and effect change?

Hill at the Lesser-known candidates forum in 2011.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png When I was a young man in Air Force ROTC I was chosen to attend a unique Pilot Training Program called Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. The Air Force only selected 180 Officers a year from the Academy, Squadron Officer School and ROTC to attend. I volunteered for that program because I knew I wanted to be a Fighter Pilot and at the “Tip of the Spear.” In those days it was all or nothing. If you graduated you were assigned a fighter, if you were not quite fighter pilot material you had no recourse to fly another aircraft, you were washed out. Congress has proven itself ineffective as a body. To make a difference in America you must have the “Bully Pulpit” and speak to the People. The President has that pulpit. All or nothing. I never wanted to make politics a career.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why did you choose to run in the Republican Party?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png My ties to the Republican party date back to 1979 when I volunteered for Ronald Reagan and his campaign in New Hampshire. In those days I believed there was a difference in the parties. Today, like many Americans, I am skeptical. I understand third party candidates have no success. I hope to lead the Republican party in a new direction for working middle class Americans.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.png How do you plan to get into the Republican debates and make an impact on polls?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png In order to be invited to the debates, we must raise money and poll nationally. This is an effort that is underway. Recently we were listed in New Hampshire and nationally with Politics1.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If you do not receive the Republican nomination, would you consider running as a third party candidate?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png No, I will back the nominee of the Republican party in 2016. After that, I may reconsider.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Other than yourself, which candidates have you supported for president in previous primary campaigns?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png Reagan in 80 and 84, [George H. W.] Bush in 88 and 92, [Phil] Gramm in 96, [George W.] Bush in 2000 and 04, Romney in 08.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Barack Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png President Obama has an agenda that represents the far left wing of his party. His use of the Presidency to further this agenda has in many ways been unconstitutional. Specifically, altering law once it is passed to accommodate his voting blocs. His direction to Eric Holder to enforce some laws and not others is another example.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?

Hill (right) with fellow 2012 presidential candidate Buddy Roemer.
Image: thebudman623.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png Achieving four goals:
  1. Term Limits for Congress and the Courts returning government to the People.
  2. Implementing a Tax System that allows working Americans making under $250,000 to keep all of their money. Closing Loopholes and putting in place a system that is transparent and works.
  3. Passing a Living Wage program lifting people out of poverty.
  4. Returning America to a state of Peace and Security.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a Hill administration?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png I would like to bring People from the heartland of America that make this nation work. We have had too many decades of Ivy League elites and Professors immersed in theory.
  • Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Anything else you would like to add?
Wikinews waves Left.pngHillWikinews waves Right.png A final thought. America is a nation that will endure. I believe it is our responsibility to pass on the same opportunities to future generations that were promised to us. As President, I intend to keep that promise!



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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 27, 2013

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

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With the United States flu season having started this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Weather Channel and Google‘s FluTrends websites report today low flu levels.

All three sources say there are no, or minimal, reports of the flu in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. All three indicate Alabama has moderate flu levels. Google FluTrends indicates that at the same time last year, the flu level nationally was at moderate.

During the early part of the month, there were some concerns about the quality of flu reporting as the CDC and other government supported flu tracking organizations were impacted by the US government shutdown. Some non-profits and private organizations provided their own data during this period to fill the information void.

The CDC advises people to get a flu vaccine as the best means of avoiding getting the flu. Dr. Harry Leider, Chief Medical Officer for Walgreens, also is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine now before the flu becomes more widespread. For the 2013/2014 flu season in the US, there are two types of vaccines available. One provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus — specifically, an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus; an A(H3N2) virus, similar for antigenic purposes to cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011; and a virus similar to B/Massachusetts/2/2012. A second type of vaccine provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Flu prevelance by state
State Google FluTrend CDC The Weather Channel
Alabama Moderate Local Localized
Alaska Low Sporadic
Arizona Low Sporadic Sporadic
Arkansas Low No activity
California Low Sporadic Sporadic
Colorado Low No activity
Connecticut Low Sporadic Sporadic
Delaware Low No activity
Florida Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Georgia Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Hawaii Low Sporadic
Idaho Low No activity
Illinois Moderate Sporadic
Indiana Low Sporadic Sporadic
Iowa Low Sporadic Sporadic
Kansas Moderate No activity
Kentucky Moderate No activity
Louisiana Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Maine Low No activity
Maryland Low No activity Sporadic
Massachusetts Low Sporadic Sporadic
Michigan Moderate Sporadic
Minnesota Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Mississippi Moderate Local Sporadic
Missouri Moderate No activity
Montana Low No activity
Nebraska Low Sporadic
Nevada Moderate Sporadic
New Hampshire Low No activity
New Jersey Low Sporadic Sporadic
New Mexico Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
New York Low Sporadic Sporadic
North Carolina Low No activity
North Dakota Low Sporadic Sporadic
Ohio Low Sporadic Sporadic
Oklahoma Moderate No activity
Oregon Low Sporadic
Pennsylvania Low Sporadic
Rhode Island Low No activity
South Carolina Low Local Localized
South Dakota Low No activity Sporadic
Tennessee Moderate No activity
Texas Moderate Sporadic Localized
Utah Low Sporadic Sporadic
Vermont Low No activity
Virginia Low No activity
Washington Low Sporadic Sporadic
West Virginia Low No activity
Wisconsin Low Sporadic Sporadic
Wyoming Low Sporadic Sporadic
District of Columbia Low Sporadic



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February 16, 2013

2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships preparations underway

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ramon Moliner, Ivan Tibau, Mariona Masdemont and Enric Ticó at Tuesday’s flag exchange
Image: IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships La Molina 2013.

Preparations are underway ahead of the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championship, with a flag exchange taking place Tuesday, volunteer recruitment ongoing, USParalympics unveiling a new uniform for their team, skiers like the United States’s Jon Lujan actively training for the event and other skiers competing in preparation for the Championships in a World Cup event Wednesday.

Tuesday in La Molina, Spain, the president of Governmental Railways of Catalonia, Enric Ticó, and the mayor of Alp, Ramon Moliner, were gifted with flags by representatives of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Catalan Government at a ceremony in Colet Museum of Barcelona at one of the first official events ahead of the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championship, which starts next week. As of Wednesday, event organisers were still seeking volunteers to assist with running the Championship. The opening ceremonies are scheduled for next Tuesday.

Entering the event, skiers had the opportunity to qualify through eight World Cup events held with only two disciplines on the program, Giant Slalom and Slalom. The first four were held in Sestriere, Italy, with the most recent four all being held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Standing female French skier Marie Bochet has won six World Cups ahead of the World Championships and is considered by event organizers as a favorite in the standing group. Russian standing skier Alexey Bugaev is also considered a favorite by organisers as he won two Slalom and one Giant Slalom World Cup competition. In the women’s sit-ski, German Anna Schaffelhuber is considered the favorite having prepared for the Championships by winning five of the eight World Cup events. On the men’s sit-ski side, Japanese Takeshi Suzuki and Swiss Christoph Kunz both earned three World Cup victories in the lead up to this competition. In the women’s visually impaired group, Slovak Henrieta Farkasova will enter the competition with five World Cup victories. On the men’s side, Spanish Jon Santacana is favored to win with three Giant Slalom and one Slalom victory during this year’s World Cup events in the lead up to the World Championships.

British Combined Services Disabled Ski Team coach Mark Scorgie has noted that this year’s European ski season has been problematic with weather interfering with most competitions. Poor weather conditions continued Wednesday Rogla IPC Alpine World Cup, with the first Giant Slalom run canceled because of high winds.

The World Championships includes over 270 skiers, guides, coaches and support personnel from 28 countries including Spain, France, Australia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Croatia, Finland, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Belgium, Norway, Russia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Slovakia, Czech Republic, United States, Austria, New Zealand, Sweden, Hungary, and South Africa..

The Spanish team includes blind skier Jon Santacana and his guide Miguel Galindo, and blind skier Gabriel Gorce and his guide Arnau Ferrer. Both vision-impaired skiers are scheduled to compete in the Downhill, Super G, Super Combined, Giant Slalom, and Slalom competitions. Also on the Spanish team are LW2 classified standing skier Úrsula Pueyo, LW12-1 classified sit skier Óscar Espallargas, and LW10-1 classified sit skier Nathalie Carpanedo who qualified as a wildcard entry. Pueyo, Espallargas, and Carpanedo are all scheduled to compete in the Slalom and Giant Slalom competitions. Accompanying the team are to be coaches Javier Gutierrez, Jordi Carbonell, and Andres Gomez, medical staff including Pablo Marquez and Josep Barrachina, and technical staffer Josep Bort.

Jones competing in the Super G at the last year’s IPC Nor-Am Cup
Image: Bidgee.

The United States team consists of Seattle, Washington-based vision-impaired skier Mark Bathum and his Colorado Springs-based guide Jessica Smith; Park City, Utah-based vision-impaired skier Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead; retired Army and Clarksville, Tennessee-based Heath Calhoun; Brooklyn, New York-based Ralph Green; Colorado Springs-based Allison Jones; Palmer, Alaska-based Andrew Kurka; Burlington, Vermont-based Stephen Lawler; retired Marine and Littleton, Colorado-based Jon Lujan; Farmington, New Mexico-based Alana Nichols; Wenham, Massachusetts-based Laurie Stephens; Park City, Utah-based Stephani Victor; Franconia, New Hampshire-based Tyler Walker; and retired Coast Guard and Campton, New Hampshire-based Chris Devlin-Young.



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November 7, 2012

Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality

Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gay rights supporters in Minnesota earlier in the year protesting against the vote by the Minnesota House to put marriage to the popular vote.
Image: Fibonacci Blue.

In Maine and Maryland, voters have approved ballot measures yesterday to allow marriage between same-sex partners. Votes for a similar measure in Washington are still being counted. Reports from Minnesota suggest a ballot measure that would amend the constitution to ban gay marriage has been rejected by voters.

In Maryland, voters supported the law passed earlier this year by Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley 52% to 48%. Josh Levin from Marylanders for Marriage Equality said that voters would “feel the ripples of this monumental victory across the country for years to come.”

Supporters of marriage equality in Maine stated they had 250,000 one-on-one conversations with voters. Matt McTighe from Mainers United for Marriage celebrated the passage of the Maine ballot initiative saying: “A lot of families in Maine just became more stable and secure.”

Chad Griffin from the gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign said: “When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box.”

Frank Schubert, an opponent of gay marriage, downplayed the results. “The fact that an uber-liberal state like Maine or Washington might go for same sex marriage, it doesn’t mean that the country has changed.”

Six other states — Vermont, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts — as well as the District of Columbia already recognise same-sex marriage. In May, Barack Obama announced that he supports legalisation of same-sex marriage.



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United States re-elects Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in persuading voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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  • “Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States” — Wikinews, November 5, 2008

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United States re-elects Barack Obama

United States re-elects Barack Obama – Wikinews, the free news source

United States re-elects Barack Obama

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama speaking to troops at Bagram Airfield in May.
Image: Bill Gowdy, US Navy.

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been projected enough electoral votes to win re-election, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Many of the major media outlets have called the election for Obama.

Obama’s campaign succeeded in gaining the vote in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire. Romney won in Indiana and North Carolina, two states Obama won in 2008.

Obama thanked voters via Twitter, posting: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”

In the race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and will be the first openly gay member of the Senate. In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill defeated her Republican challenger Todd Akin. In August, Akin suggested that women who are victims of “legitimate” rape are unable to get pregnant.



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March 22, 2012

Failure for New Hampshire gay marriage repeal effort

Failure for New Hampshire gay marriage repeal effort

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

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The State Capitol building in Concord, New Hampshire.
Image: Deutsch Fetisch.

Legislators in the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a proposal to repeal same-sex marriage rights in the state on Wednesday. The repeal measure garnered 116 votes, but this was outweighed by 211 votes to continue allowing same-sex couples to marry. Civil unions were introduced in New Hampshire in 2007, followed by same-sex marriage in 2009.

Cquote1.svg They blew it. This was supposed to be the most favorable legislative climate for repeal and they couldn’t even get a majority. Cquote2.svg

—Craig Stowell

If the repeal bill had passed, it would have rolled back the state’s law in to allow civil unions but not same-sex marriage. Governor John Lynch has stated that he would veto any repeal bill the legislature passed. Both New Hampshire’s House and Senate are controlled by Republicans.

Craig Stowell, co-chairman of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, which support same-sex marriage rights, said that those trying to repeal the law “blew it”: “This was supposed to be the most favorable legislative climate for repeal and they couldn’t even get a majority.”

The anti-gay marriage group, the National Organization for Marriage, has stated that they will spend $250,000 to support the reelection campaigns of the lawmakers who voted for the repeal bill, while the New Hampshire Republicans of Freedom and Equality PAC has stated they will be raising money to support Republican candidates who voted against the repeal measure.

In the United States, same-sex marriage is now legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.



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March 14, 2012

Sandra Fluke insists she will not be silenced

Sandra Fluke insists she will not be silenced

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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In an opinion piece published by CNN on Tuesday, Georgetown University law student and women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke insisted she will not allow slurs from critics to silence her and other women from continuing to speak out on issues regarding women’s health and contraception.

Sandra Fluke (2012).
Image: United States Congress .

Fluke has faced slurs and personal attacks after speaking before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in the United States House of Representatives about women’s health and contraception. She was called a “slut” and a “prostitute” by talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh. In response to these attacks, Fluke has received public support from women, members of the media, and politicians including the President of the United States.

Cquote1.svg Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us. Cquote2.svg

—Sandra Fluke

In her piece for CNN, Fluke took the opportunity to thank her supporters, writing, “By now, many have heard the stories I wanted to share thanks to the congressional leaders and members of the media who have supported me and millions of women in speaking out.” She characterized the “opponents of reproductive health access” who issued personal attacks against her as being motivated by an attempt to change the topic of conversation away from a dialogue about women’s health, and “to silence women’s voices regarding their own health care.”

Sandra Fluke discussing her prepared U.S. Congressional testimony
Video: United States Congress .

Fluke wrote that the efforts by some to drown out women from speaking out about women’s health were unsuccessful. She came to this conclusion due to the multitude of positive comments and encouragement sent to her by both female and male individuals urging that contraception medication be considered a medical necessity.

Asserting that she would not remain silent on this issue of women’s health, Fluke wrote, “Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us.”

She noted that a significant majority of women have utilized contraception medication, and commented that there exists a social disconnect between politicians attempting to make it more difficult for women to access this type of health care, and the views of society-at-large about the matter: “Restricting access to such a basic health care service, which 99% of sexually experienced American women have used and 62% of American women are using right now, is out of touch with public sentiment.”

Fluke concluded her piece by emphasizing that those in power should not govern based on ideology: “I am proud to stand with the millions of women and men who recognize that our government should legislate according to the reality of our lives — not for ideology.”

After being banned by Congressman Darrell Issa from speaking before a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on February 16 which consisted mainly of male panelists, Fluke appeared before a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee convened by Minority leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on February 23.

Fluke spoke to the committee about the need for contraception to be covered by health care plans offered by employers, as a matter integral to women’s health. She cited multiple cases where women take contraception medication as part of their health care for treatment of medical conditions unrelated to birth control, including two women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, a woman who is afflicted with endometriosis and another who takes contraception in order to prevent seizures.

Cquote1.svg Time and time again, women have been silenced in this discussion, a discussion about our own very personal health care decisions. Cquote2.svg

—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

U.S. President Barack Obama discusses his phone call to Sandra Fluke. (March 6, 2012)
Video: The White House .

Speaking before the United States Senate on February 17 along with fellow members Patty Murray, Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, and Charles Schumer, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire expressed her support for Fluke. Like Fluke, Senator Shaheen pointed out the need not to silence the voices of women in the public government debate about women’s health care: “Time and time again, women have been silenced in this discussion, a discussion about our own very personal health care decisions.” Senator Shaheen concluded her remarks with an explanation as to why she believes women should have significant representation in discussions about their health care: “Women deserve a voice in this debate because, after all, in the end this is about our health and it is about a health care decision that is between women, their families, their doctors, and their own faith.”

President Barack Obama called Fluke on March 2 to express his support for her courage to speak out on issues of women’s health. In his first press conference of 2012 on March 6, he discussed his reasons for deciding to call Fluke.

The President cited his personal thoughts about his own two daughters: “And the reason I called Ms. Fluke is because I thought about Malia and Sasha [Obama’s daughters], and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”

President Obama went on to state that Fluke served as a positive role model for citizen participation in democracy and society: “And I wanted Sandra to know that I thought her parents should be proud of her, and that we want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate, and we want you to be engaged, and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted, particularly when you’re a private citizen.”



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February 3, 2012

On the campaign trail, January 2012

On the campaign trail, January 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

On the campaign trail, January 2012

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Friday, February 3, 2012

The following is the third in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, the challengers to President Barack Obama react to the results of the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary, two new political parties choose their first presidential nominees, and an economist who announced his intentions to seek the nomination of Americans Elect answers a few questions for Wikinews.

Summary

Mitt Romney on the eve of the Iowa Caucus.
Image: Iowa Politics.

Initially, it was reported that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Caucus by eight votes over former Senator Rick Santorum, who surged in the polls just days ahead of it. Several weeks later it was revealed that Santorum actually won. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann dropped out of the race as the result of her sixth place finish. Romney went on to win the New Hampshire Primary the next week, with Ron Paul placing second. Jon Huntsman, Jr., who finished third, dropped out and endorsed Romney.

Ahead of the South Carolina primary, Texas governor Rick Perry ended his run and endorsed Gingrich. Gingrich received praise for his debate performances in South Carolina, and won the primary by a large margin over Romney despite a highly publicized interview with his ex-wife just before. By this point, the campaign had turned negative with Gingrich attacking Romney for his business past, and with Romney referring to Gingrich as a “failed leader”.

President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address on January 24. It was widely viewed as his “campaign kickoff” for re-election, and included a populist message that labeled the nation’s tax code as “rigged for the super wealthy”. Following the address, Obama traveled to five campaign battleground states.

Just ahead of the Florida primary, Gingrich won the endorsement of former candidate Herman Cain. Nevertheless, Romney held a five-to-one spending advantage and was able to win the state and all fifty of its delegates. He solidified his position as frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

New Hampshire Democratic Party primary results

Though the Republican Party’s first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary received the bulk of media attention earlier in January, the Democratic Party held a primary in the state as well.

Second place finishers by town.
Cowan (blue), Supreme (red), Terry (yellow), Haywood (purple), Freis (yellow orange), Ely (brown), O’Connor (light grey), Richardson (pink), Wolfe (grey), O’Donnell (orange), Greene (green), Jordan (red violet), Tyler (peach), none (white), greater than two (black).

President Barack Obama was challenged by thirteen Democratic Party presidential candidates including performance artist Vermin Supreme, anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, and historian Darcy Richardson. In the end, Obama easily won the primary with 81 percent, which amounted to 49,080 votes. Though the percentage was in the range won by incumbent presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their respective parties’ primaries in 1996 and 2004, the vote total was about 5,000 less than Bush received in 2004, and almost 30,000 fewer than Clinton in 1996.

New Hampshire primary runner-up Ed Cowan.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Out of the candidates on the ballot, Ed Cowan of Vermont finished second behind Obama with 975 votes or 1.56 percent. Cowan’s percentage was greater than that achieved by the Republican Party’s 2004 New Hampshire primary runner-up Richard Bosa who finished with 1.2 percent, and greater even than comedian Pat Paulsen‘s 1.1 percent second place finish in 1996.

The result surprised even Cowan, who said “More people voted for me than I actually met… I passed out about 500 copies of my stump speech, 550 at the most. Officially (based on my receipts) I spent $580, but it might have been as much as $650 tops. That resulted in 1.5 votes per dollar spent”. Cowan hopes to enter additional primaries, and hints that he may be thinking about an independent run; “The only vote that matters in the long run is the one on 11/7/12 [U.S. Election Day], and I hope to be on most if not all ballots.”

Vermin Supreme of Massachusetts came in third with 833 votes or 1.37 percent. In response to the results, Supreme exclaimed, “I WON !!!!!” In fact, Supreme has received notice: a recent Gregory Brothers video for the popular YouTube show “Songify the News” included a clip of his glitter bomb of fellow candidate Randall Terry. It has received over one million views.

Terry finished fourth with 442 votes. He told Wikinews, “we did what we set out to do: we injected the plight of unborn babies into this primary; hundreds of thousands of people in New Hampshire, Maine, and Boston saw the victims of Obama’s policies: dead babies.”

John Haywood was close behind with 423 votes. When asked for his reaction to the results, he stated: “when you’re beaten by a ratio of 115 to 1, you don’t exactly go whoopee, do you? I am, nevertheless, tremendously proud of my platform at haywoodforpresident.com.”

Darcy Richardson, who was interviewed by Wikinews last November, finished with 264 votes. He hypothesized that his ballot position and the fact that he did not travel to New Hampshire contributed to the low vote total. He remarked:

Cquote1.svg

Normally I would feel rather despondent about the results, but then I’m reminded that Eugene McCarthy garnered only 211 votes in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary when he revisited the state in 1992, and State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf of Pennsylvania, who has more experience in elected office than anybody running in either party and who personally spent several days campaigning in the state late last week, polled only 24 votes in yesterday’s Republican primary. Despite our non-presence, we actually made a comparable showing to that of Louisiana’s Buddy Roemer and received a higher percentage of the vote than gay activist Fred Karger, both of whom virtually lived in the state for the past four or five months.

We’ll do much better in future primaries, beginning with Missouri on February 7th.

Cquote2.svg

Of the other candidates, Aldous Tyler received 106 votes, John Wolfe, Jr. received 245, Bob Ely received 287, Craig Freis received 400, Bob Greene 213, Robert Jordan 155, Cornelius O’Connor 266, and Ed O’Donnell 222. There were several thousand write-in votes including 2,289 or 3.77 percent of the total for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Jr. each also received over one thousand write-in votes.

New parties select presidential nominees

Anderson greets supporters.
Image: Jeremiah Roth.

Both the Justice Party and the American Third Position Party (A3P) selected their first presidential nominees in January.

On January 12, the A3P nominated Independent filmmaker Merlin Miller for president and selected retired professor Virginia Abernethy as his running mate. The party was founded in 2010, and promotes third position politics and white nationalism. According to Miller’s campaign manager Alex Carmichael, it is currently petitioning to appear on the Ohio ballot, and plans to do so in a dozen other states.

The next day, the Justice Party nominated former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, who had formed the party a few months before. It supports accountability through the removal of corporate money in politics, and is currently on the ballot in several states.

The party did not reach the deadline to file in California, and Anderson decided on January 9 that he would seek the nomination of the socialist Peace and Freedom Party, which has attained ballot access in the state. Others competing for the party’s nomination include Socialist Party USA nominee Stewart Alexander, Party for Socialism and Liberation nominee Peta Lindsay, and Stephen Durham of the Freedom Socialist Party.

Economist running for president

Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff announced in early January that he intends to seek the presidential nomination of Americans Elect, an independent organization hoping to nominate a bipartisan ticket for the 2012 presidential election. The group says it has already achieved ballot access in fifteen states, and hopes to appear on all the rest. Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer has also expressed his interest in the nomination.

Kotlikoff, who filed with the FEC on January 12, has authored fifteen books and is a regular contributor at Bloomberg.com. As an economist, he has consulted for large corporations, central banks, national governments, and international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund. The policy basis of his run is the “Purple plan”, a tax proposal that he believes both Democrats and Republicans can support.

Kotlikoff took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews.

Laurence Kotlikoff in November 2011.
Image: Hung-Ho Vergil Yu.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIf elected president, what specific policies would you promote, and how would you work with a likely Republican congress to implement them?

Kotlikoff: Many of my specific policies are posted at www.thepurpleplans.org. Others are laid out under Issues at www.kotlikoff2012.org.
I can talk to both sides of the isles. I have friends on both sides and can intermediate very well between the two parties. The two sides are often recommending much the same thing, but with different words. I can translate. If you read my Bloomberg columns about health care reform and tax reform, you’ll see this ability to connect the dots for both sides. Plus, if I were elected, it would be on the basis of my proposed policies, not my great looks or personality. The politicians would be on clear notice with respect to what policies the public wants implemented. If they didn’t implement them, they’d have me campaigning against them, regardless of which party they were in.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your views on the Stop Online Piracy Act? How would you address the issue of online piracy as president?

Kotlikoff: On SOPA, I’m concerned with its potential chilling effect of freedom of speech on the Internet. I’m also deeply concerned about online piracy. But we need to be careful not to do more harm with respect to our 1st Amendment rights than good in defending intellectual property rights. As President, I’d bring together the proponents and opponents of SOPA and ask them to listen to each other and respond to the other side’s concerns. If I became persuaded that we could better combat online piracy via new legislation as opposed to enforcing existing legislation, I would ask the two sides to put forward a jointly authored bill.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your thoughts on fellow AE presidential candidate and former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer? If he wins the AE nomination, would you consider running as an Independent?

Kotlikoff: On Governor Roemer, I agree with some statements on his website and differ with others. I believe we agree on much more than we disagree. What I don’t see is much depth or detail to what he proposes. It’s not enough to write a few sentences here and there about our problems. What we need is someone who really knows how to fix them in the simplest, cost-effective manner. The Purple Plans illustrate my ability to formulate real solutions to our pressing problems. The only plan that I saw of the Governor’s (in my admittedly quick look at his site) is his tax plan. I believe it would be less efficient, less conducive to growth, and far less progressive than www.thepurpletaxplan.org. His reference to sales taxes indicate a lack of knowledge on his part or that of his economic advisors of how consumption taxation works and what it really taxes.
I’m an independent now in terms of my political affiliation. If you are asking whether I would run as a write-in candidate for President, the answer is no. I expect to win the AE nomination. I looked a bit more at Governor Roemer’s site. One of the problems we face in the policy formation arena is getting close, but no cigar. The Governor has some good instincts in some areas, some bad ones in other areas, and no real specifics beyond the tax plan, which has, I believe, some very major flaws. In the end, he’s a politician and a banker, not an economist and I really think we need an economist at this point to get to the cigar when it comes to the very many severe economic problems we face. I’ll let you judge for yourself by comparing what’s on my website with his as well as those of other AE candidates who emerge. Knowing we have problems, knowing they aren’t being fixed, and knowing that the two parties are making the problems worse is all fine and good, but knowing precisely how to fix the problems is a different kettle of fish. I don’t suggest that designing economic policy is as tough as brain surgery, but spending decades studying economics makes a difference.



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