Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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President Obama has proposed a series of tax reforms that would help close loopholes in our tax system and ensure that millionaires and billionaires are paying their fair share.
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Santorum to pay tribute to Reagan at ....

the Jelly Belly factory

Published 21.25 on 27th March 2012
Updated 21.41 on 27th March 2012

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will make a major foreign policy speech on Thursday at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California. The choice of location is in honor of President Ronald Reagan – one of Santorum’s political heroes – who often spoke about the humble jelly bean. Giddy excitement has followed the announcement, as Santorum bids to win headlines and justify staying in the race against chief rival Mitt Romney.

Neil King, WSJ@NKingofDC
Just to be clear, Santorum's picked the Jelly Belly Candy Co. for his major foreign policy address Thursday because Reagan liked jelly beans
27 Mar 2012

The Jelly Belly factory has previously sponsored the ‘Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration’ year, making the Ronald Reagan Centennial float. The company claims Reagan’s love of jelly beans began in 1966 and continued during his two terms as Governor of California. “It wasn’t long before jelly beans were passed around at important meetings,” the company wrote as an introduction to this video. Reagan’s favorite flavor was Licorice Jelly Belly beans:

From : jellybelly

Throughout the GOP presidential campaign, Santorum and his rivals have constantly touted Reagan, listing him as their model leader. Storyful put together this compilation:

From : storyful

Ronald Reagan on explaining why he liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings:

“You can tell a lot about a fella’s character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful.”

From : Ronald Reagan quotes on
The candidate himself was the first to announce details:

Rick Santorum@RickSantorum
On Thursday we're having a rally at the Jelly Belly Candy Co. in Fairfield, California. Mar 2012

The Stream: TrayvonMartin's death raises questions about race in the US

How the world views our racial problems, and do they understand what it is that we are dealing with.
It is a frank and insightful discussion, have a listen. Is it time to have a full blown conversation about race in the United States.

Uploaded by on Mar 27, 2012
We examine what many in the US view as institutionalised racism following the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Police: College shooter targeted female administrator

NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports on the deadliest campus shooting in five years

Updated at 12 p.m. ET: One Goh, the former Oikos University student accused of killing seven people at the college's campus in Oakland, Calif., told authorities he was upset with being expelled and had sought out a female college official who was not present, the city's police chief said Tuesday.

Goh "then went through the entire building systematically and randomly shooting victims," Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference.
"We do know that he was upset at administrators at the school. We do know that he was upset with several students here because of the way he was treated when he was enrolled here two months ago," Jordan said.
He said Goh, 43, had been teased. The South Korean national had been expelled, possibly for behavioral problems, according to Jordan.
"They disrespected him, laughed at him. They made fun of his lack of English speaking skills. It made him feel isolated compared to the other students," Jordan said.
Goh tried to find the female administrator and began shooting when he learned she wasn't there, Jordan said. The victims, who range in age from 21 to 40, were from various countries, including Nigeria, Nepal and the Philippines.
Other reports indicated that Goh, who reportedly had been a nursing student, recently lost two family members and had debts.
In Monday's rampage -- the deadliest U.S. campus shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech killings -- one witness said Goh told students: "Get in line and I'm going to kill you all."
Jordan said Goh first took a receptionist hostage and then went looking for a particular female administrator. He then took the receptionist into a classroom and, on realizing the administrator was not there, he shot the receptionist and lined students up against a wall.
Goh surrendered Monday afternoon at a grocery store several miles away from the scene.
Gunman kills 7 at small California university
Three others were injured but suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police told NBC Bay Area.
The station said at least one of the injured, a 19-year-old woman, was released from the hospital late Monday after suffering a gun shot wound to her arm.
The San Francisco Chronicle said Goh's brother, U.S. Army Sgt. Su Wan Ko, died in March 2011 in a car crash in Virginia while on special forces training.
It also reported that his mother, Oak Chul Kim, died a year ago in Seoul, where she moved after leaving Oakland, according to her former neighbors in Oakland.
Rent owed
The Chronicle said Goh used to live in Virginia, where records show a string of judgments against him, including an eviction from apartments in Hayes where he owed $1,300 back rent at the time he left.
Records show federal tax demands were issued in 2006 and 2009 for a total of $23,000, although the newspaper said he had managed to repay some of the money.
NBCSanDiego reported that Goh's parents lived in two different apartments in Chula Vista between 1998 and 2000, though exact details on the street locations of those homes remain unknown.
Paul Singh, whose 19-year-old sister Devinder Kaur was shot in the arm during Monday's rampage, told Reuters that according to his sister, Goh was a former student who showed up to class for the first time in four months.
"'Get in line and I'm going to kill you all,' is what he said this morning, my sister told me. They thought he was joking at first,'" Singh said.
Tashi Wangchuk, whose wife attended the school and witnessed the shooting, said he was told by police that the gunman first shot a woman at the front desk, then continued shooting randomly in classrooms.
Wangchuk said his wife was in her vocational nursing class when she heard gunshots. She locked the door and turned off the lights.
The gunman "banged on the door several times and started shooting outside and left," he said. Wangchuk said no one was hurt inside his wife's classroom, but that the gunman shot out the glass in the door. He said she did not know the man.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Inside NBC: The Trayvon Martin Case

Inside NBC: Reactions to Trayvon Martin 911 calls

Inside NBC: David Wilson on Trayvon Martin

Inside NBC: Reflecting on the Trayvon Martin Case

Don't Tread On Trayvon Martin TRIBUTE VIDEO by Truth On Earth

Uploaded by on Apr 1, 2012                       1,014,196 views

Truth on Earth (T.O.E.) is a social action rock group writing and performing songs about world issues that need attention and sustainable solutions. T.O.E. gives half of its profits to create awareness for the problems and causes the band supports.

"Don't Tread On 'Trayvon Martin' " proposes a simple yet important question in America, that is - Where are we as a society in 2012? In T.O.E.'s view, the events of Trayvon's death have left his family, friends, all African Americans and every other freethinking person of every race to ponder whether or not the "Stand Your Ground" law is a vehicle for allowing bigotry to be used to permit murder. In essence, would Trayvon's killer be in jail to await the courts decision on the matter if the killer was a minority of color and the victim was a white person?

T.O.E. believes justice is not served here in the Trayvon killing based solely on how extremely biased our current American Legal Justice System already is against African American young men and how Zimmerman's story just does not check out on any rational level.

People with all different agendas want to debate this subject like crazy and in America we can however the facts are undeniable. If this were a Black Suspect and a White Victim, the Suspect would most likely be in Jail right now waiting for the court to decide whether or not he were allowed to commit this act legally and whether he acted in self defense.

T.O.E. bases its entire opinion, song and video on the fact that Zimmerman has not provided a shred of evidence that his self-defense claim is real. Everything he has said to explain his actions run contrary to his own assertions. The evidence of the 911 call Zimmerman made and the lack of any scratch on the man indicate to us that he did quite simply stalk Trayvon and use the existing law to commit murder. You decide.








An unarmed black teenager was shot to death today in Sanford Florida by a neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman
Officials of the NAACP demanded an investigation
Zimmerman has not been charged

What does this say about our society - maybe we should all run out in the streets and kill some people whose color of their skin is different then our own

What do I tell my 5-year-old son he still thinks cops are cool? How do I break the news to him that when he gets some size he'll be perceived as a threat and see fearing in their eyes.

I have to ruin my son's rose-colored glasses his view of the world we live in operates.
I have to teach him the rules. There going to be people who view you as the enemy when you have done nothing wrong.
You are going to be feared, cause suspicion, harassed, accused, and some will be terrified of you.

Don't tread on Trayvon Martin. Don't stomp on his grave. Time - to put George away. Life - he took it away...


Trayvon was a young man full of promise with dreams of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic. Now that's all gone.

When Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the police, they told Zimmerman not to confront him. But he did anyway. Trayvon was completely unarmed when he was attacked.

The Sanford Police have refused to arrest George Zimmerman. In their public statements, they even go so far as to stand up for the killer - saying he's "a college grad" who took a class in criminal justice.

If you agree with T.O.E.'s view here please join Trayvon's family in calling on Angela Corey, Florida's 4th District State's Attorney, to investigate their son's murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin.

FBI questions people in Trayvon Martin case, begins 'parallel investigation'


Former O.J. Prosecutor on Martin Shooting

Audio  Experts: Screaming not Zimmerman

Sanfords reputation after the killing of Trayvon Martin

Tayvon's mom: 'That is my son' crying for help

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Martin Bashir leads a discussion with The's Joy-ann Reid and Georgetown University's Michael Eric Dyson about how race – and some in the media – are playing a role in shaping Americans perception of the Trayvon Martin case and George Zimmerman's defense.

SANFORD, Fla. -- FBI agents on Monday were questioning potential witnesses in the Trayvon Martin shooting, confirming to NBC News that the agency had begun a "parallel investigation" that focuses on whether the teen's civil rights were violated.

Agents are seeking information on George Zimmerman's background and whether he was racially motivated when he pursued Martin after calling a 911 police dispatcher about his presence in the community, an FBI official told NBC.
The agents were at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Martin was shot dead by Zimmerman, the gated community's neighborhood watch captain.
The state of Florida is conducting its own investigation in the shooting and that one is being overseen by a special prosecutor.
Although the Justice Department two weeks ago publicly announced it would examine potential civil rights violations, the arrival of bureau agents represents a new phase in inquiries into the case.
A senior law enforcement official confirmed that one potential piece of evidence is records of Zimmerman's prior 911 calls to police dispatchers.
The call sheets show that five of seven phone calls Zimmerman had made since last August involved what he viewed as suspicious activity by young men identified as "black males." But the call sheets do not indicate whether Zimmerman was asked about the race of the suspects or volunteered that information.
Zimmerman, who has not come forward to talk about the shooting, acknowledged to police that he shot Martin but insists it was self-defense.
The incident has sparked outrage in many quarters because Martin, who was black, was unarmed.
Craig Sonner, Zimmerman's lawyer, has insisted that his client, who has a white father and Hispanic mother, is not racist. "This was not a case of racial profiling," he told NBC News on Sunday. "George Zimmerman is not a racist."
Sonner told Reuters on Monday that Zimmerman would turn himself in to police should he be charged.
Lawyers for the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin say they will ask the Department of Justice to investigate the handling of the investigation into the 17-year-old's death. NBC's Kerry Sanders reports.
Also Monday, lawyer's for Martin's parents said they would ask the Justice Department to investigate the local prosecutor's interactions with police handling the probe into their son's death.
The Justice Department initiated a query on March 19, but the family wants them to look into possible interference by State Attorney Norm Wolfinger's office with the Sanford police investigation of Martin’s Feb. 26 death, reported.
The Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from Wolfinger’s office in the shooting, but the state attorney's office held off until the case could be reviewed further, according to

Two audio experts who have analyzed the 911 tapes from the fatal evening have determined that Zimmerman was not the person heard crying for help.
"The tests concluded that it's not the voice of Mr. Zimmerman," said Tom Owen, of Owen Forensic Services LLC and chair emeritus for the American Board of Recorded Evidence.
Asked if he thought such tests would be admissible in court, Owen said "yes" and noted he had recently used similar testing in testimony at a Connecticut murder case that involved a 911 call.

Chinese dancer becomes cultural icon after sex change operation

 Tue Apr 3, 2012 9:52 AM EDT
By Jessica Hopper and Meghan Frank
Rock Center
Jin Xing is one of the brightest personalities in China today. She’s a film star, talk show host and celebrated dancer, but it’s her life off stage that’s propelled her into the spotlight. She was the first person to have a sex change operation in China, and go public with it. Seventeen years later, she’s become a cultural icon in China and the government even uses her as an unofficial ambassador of the arts.
“They want to tell the world, ‘We do have an independent, free artist like Jin Xing,” Jin explains.
Jin recently embarked on her first U.S. tour with her company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre. The premiere was in New York City, the place where she studied modern dance 20 years ago. Now 44, her return to New York fulfilled a promise she made and kept for two decades.
“When I left New York, I said, ‘I only come back [to] New York with my own dance company.  I don’t even come back [to] visit,” Jin told Rock Center’s Kate Snow in an interview airing Wednesday, April 4 at 10 pm/9 c.
Her return to New York was also the first time she experienced the city as a woman. The last time she was here, she was a man.
From an early age Jin loved to dance and perform, but he felt different from the boys around him. He preferred playing with girl’s toys and wished he was a girl like his sister. One night during a thunderstorm, he ran outside in the hopes that lightning would strike him and transform him into a girl. To his dismay, nothing happened.
When Jin was nine, he was selected to attend a military school for dance, but his parents didn’t approve. When they refused to send him, he went on a hunger strike for two days.
“It worked.  Then my mom said, ‘Okay, if you made a decision, you have to write a paper, promising you won’t regret your choices and you won’t put that regret on your parents in the future,” she said.
At the military school, Jin learned to fire a machine gun and blow up a bridge using a bomb, but most importantly, he learned to dance. The dance instruction was strict. The military instructors would tie each student’s leg to a vertical column so that they were forced into the splits.
“We are screaming and shouting, but the teachers, our teachers, are sitting there reading a morning newspaper and looking, ‘five more minutes.’  I think, according to America or western law, this is completely child abuse, no doubt,” she said.  “But in China culture, you have to sacrifice.”
Jin threw himself into dancing. He thought if he could only become a famous dancer, people wouldn’t pay attention to his personal life. By the time he was 18, he had won acclaim as the best male dancer in the People’s Liberation Army. He was selected to come to America to study modern dance in New York City. He arrived barely knowing any English and said at first he felt overwhelmed.
“I was standing on Madison Avenue with my backpack…I see people rushing beside me. Then I say, ‘Wow, this is my city,” she said.  “I [felt] a little bit lost because I was the best dancer of China…[but] nobody knows.”
Jin quickly found his footing, training with top tier dance companies and emerging choreographers like Mark Dendy.
“Jin Xing was amazing, is amazing, still amazing,” Dendy said. “There’s always a look in the eye when someone’s really, really great and we just say, ‘They’ve got it.’”
Dendy said that Jin’s speed and ability to use space set him apart as a dancer.
“Pirouettes, grand jetes… he had, she had amazing air,” Dendy said.  “It’s the ability to go up in the air and have a cup of coffee and come down.”
Jin describes this time in New York as liberating but confusing. He began to date men but something didn’t feel right. He had big questions about his sexuality and his identity as a man. He wasn’t sure if he was gay, or if he was transgender and what should he do about it. He left New York for Europe, but after a few years he made up his mind to return to China and undergo sex reassignment surgery. Jin was 28 when he underwent the operation.
Jin’s mother struggled with her son’s decision. She was worried the surgery wouldn’t go well, and afraid for her son’s future. Jin was even more scared to tell his father, a former military officer and member of China’s secret police, about his decision to become a woman.
Jin told his father, “I become a woman. I become your daughter.”  Jin’s father was silent for a moment, then he got a cigarette out and said, “Okay, finally matched.’”
Her father said, ”Strangely enough, 20 years ago, I look at [you], I was wondering, I have a little boy, but you behave everything like a little girl. So after 28 years, you find yourself, congratulations.”
Jin Xing became one of the first people to have a sex change operation in China.
The surgery went well, but there were complications. The operation damaged Jin’s left leg and she feared she might never dance again, but three months after the surgery, she was back on stage in Beijing.
Her performance prompted some to complain about Jin to Beijing’s cultural bureau.
“The best male dancer becomes a female dancer,” she said.  “I think people tried to find different ways to find an explanation for me.”
Following her surgery, some said that Jin had sacrificed her body for dance or to make it more acceptable for her to date men. Jin quickly dismissed those claims.
“It’s completely for myself.  This is my life.  I have to [be] honest with my life,” she said.
Jin said at first, the Chinese authorities didn’t address her sex change.
“They stand back a little bit.  One side, they appreciate me, still appreciate that I’m a good dancer,” Jin said.  “But somehow, they have no comment, no opinion about my personal choices.”
In 2000, Jin Xing’s life changed again.  She became a mother, adopting her son Leo, then her daughter Vivian and lastly, her little boy Julian.
She was content as a single mom, until she unexpectedly fell in love with a German man on a flight from Paris to Shanghai.
“I’m in the lounge and I’m waiting for boarding and a Chinese lady appears at the lounge.  I wouldn’t say low key.  She was wearing a long leather coat, miniskirt, leather boots, Louis Vuitton bag on one side and a Chihuahua in her hand,” said Heinz Gerd Oidtmann.
The two were seated next to each other on the plane and quickly connected. The next day, Oidtmann called Jin and asked her out.
On their first date Jin revealed to Oidtmann that she was once a man.
“I was shocked,” Oidtmann said.  “This image of a sexy, attractive woman was gone and I was really confused.”
Oidtmann took a day to sort his thoughts but he returned to Jin and said that he wanted to continue to see her. A year later, he proposed and they’ve been married for seven years. But Oidtmann admits it’s still strange for him to see photos of his wife as a man.
“Somehow, I’m not really connected to that part of her life.  I want to keep pure the female image that I have of my wife and it is very purely a female impression that I have of her,” he said.
It’s been 17 years since her sex change, and Jin Xing’s star continues to rise. In addition to dancing and choreographing, she’s acting in films and appearing on China’s versions of Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. Her popularity continues to grow and the regime that was once quiet on her sex change now pushes her out front as a cultural leader.
“They give me the space to become who I am in China as an independent artist and [at the] same time, I’m getting a lot of positive image [for China] as an artist, as a cultural ambassador for China,” Jin said.
The Chinese government, while more comfortable with Jin, still monitors her closely.  She says the government watches what she posts on China’s version of Twitter and keeps a close eye on her dancing.
“In China, before all the performing arts are only used for propaganda use, but if the art form [is to] become independent, that takes a little time,” Jin said of China’s censorship.
And while Jin acknowledges that some people come to see her perform because of her personal transformation, it doesn’t seem to bother her.
“If my personal story can bring [the] public into the theater, I’m already successful,” she said.  “Because after one and a half hour, they’re talking about my dancing, they’re not talking about my sex change.”

Editor’s Note: Kate Snow’s full report, ‘Golden Star,’ airs Wednesday, April 4 at 10 pm/9 c on Rock Center with Brian Williams.

FBI, NYPD Investigate New Terror Threat Graphic Mentioning NYC

The posting warns of al-Qaida's return to New York City

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz

|  Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012  |  Updated 10:15 AM EDT

New Terror Threat Graphic Mentions NYC
The graphic was posted on a radical overseas site, authorities said.

A computer graphic warning that al-Qaida will return soon to New York City has been posted on an internet site linked to the terror organization, and the NYPD and FBI say they are investigating.
The graphic, posted on a radical overseas website, shows the city skyline and reads: "Al Qaeda Coming Soon Again in New York." 
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the graphic appeared on a site that has hosted al-Qaida material before and is what the NYPD Intelligence Division refers to as a "Category 1" website, meaning it is heavily used by jihadi and al-Qaida adherents. 
He added that the NYPD is working to determine what individual or group posted the threat on the website; it is now being spread across numerous extremist forums.
Browne said the graphic appears to have been created with Cinema 4 software, which typically costs about $1,600.
The NYPD says there is no evidence of any plot or new specific threat to the region. Al-Qaida web forums often post threats and rants from extremists and al-Qaida sympathizers.
An FBI spokesman said agents are also investigating.
“The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is aware of the posting and investigating its authenticity and origin," said J. Peter Donald.  "The FBI takes all threats seriously and at his time there is no specific or credible threat to New York.”

Supreme Court: Strip searches in jail OK even for minor offenses

Partisan rulling may put the Supreme Court on Trail in 2012

WASHINGTON -- Siding with security needs over privacy rights, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that jailers may subject people arrested for minor offenses to invasive strip searches.

By a 5-4 vote, the court rejected a challenge from a New Jersey man who argued it's unconstitutional to force everyone to strip down for inspection. Albert Florence was arrested by a state trooper because of an error in the state's records that mistakenly said he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for an unpaid fine. Even if the warrant had been valid, failure to pay a fine is not a crime in New Jersey.
Florence was held for a week in two different jails before the charges were dropped. But at each jail, he was required to shower with delousing soap and undergo a strip search.
Florence's lawyers argued such searches are unconstitutional unless police have reason to believe the subject is carrying a weapon or drugs.
But the court's majority said it's difficult for jail officials to know who's dangerous and who isn't among the 13 million prisoners they process each year because criminal records are often not available at the time of intake. The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The court also noted that Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was initially arrested for not having a license plate on his car and that one of the 9/11 terrorists was stopped and ticketed for speeding just two days before hijacking Flight 93. "People detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals," the court said.

'Horrific': Experimental plane crashes into Florida grocery store

Peter Bauer /The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP
An experimental plane crashed into a supermarket at a Florida shopping center Monday evening.
A small experimental plane crashed into a supermarket at a Florida shopping center Monday evening, injuring five people as fire shot through the roof and into the store, reports said.

Fire officials said the injured include three shoppers and the two people on the plane.
"It was horrific," Randy Felix, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. "When I turned around, I saw the ceiling caving in. Once the tiles were down, there was just pure fire and then the fire was propelled towards the doors almost to the cash registers."
Felix, who had just finished ordering at the deli, told The News-Journal that he saw a young man running toward him with his legs burned.
Calls to 911 said the single-engine plane showed signs of trouble moments before it hit the roof of the DeLand, Fla., supermarket of the Publix chain.
"I was sitting on my back porch and I just heard a big explosion," one man who lives nearby told NBC affiliate "I came out to see what it was and saw the smoke billowing out of the top of Publix." reported that the plane was an amphibious experimental aircraft that took off from DeLand Municipal Airport and suffered engine failure.
The crash occurred at the Northgate Shopping Center in the 200 block of International Speedway Boulevard, a half-mile from the DeLand Municipal Airport, about 7:30 p.m.
The plane crashed in the back of the store, near the meat department, but those up front said they could still feel the heat from the fire, reported.
Amanda Carr was checking out when the plane crash occurred.
"The lights went out and the building shook," Carr told the News-Journal. "I just saw a big ball of fire burning in the middle of the store, and I ran out."

2 Seriously Hurt In DeLand Plane Crash

2 Shoppers Released From Hospital After Plane Crash Into Publix - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

I used to live near by and Often shopped there on my way home from Daytona Beach College.  Wow!

President Obama Speaks on Budget at Associated Press Luncheon

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In his keynote address at the Associated Press Luncheon today, President Obama denounced the House Republican Budget calling it
a "Trojan Horse disguised as deficit reduction plan.” 

The Republican budget plan, approved by the House last week last, cuts $5.3 trillion over the next ten years through deeps cuts in spending and entitlements.
President Obama spoke at the same Associate Press Luncheon four years ago when he was running for president. With this year’s appearance, the President joins every sitting president since Calvin Coolidge in addressing an Association Society of News Editors audience.

Obama hits hard at GOP budget plan, Romney

In what was billed a “big speech” the White House, President Barack Obama took to the podium at an Associated Press luncheon on Tuesday to hit hard at the budget put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. He called the plan, backed by the  Republican-controlled House a “Trojan horse.”

The president connected Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to plan – criticizing both. “He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget. And he even called it ‘marvelous,’ which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing the budget.” He added, to laughter and applause, “It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.”

He also swung at congressional Republicans for their approval of the plan, saying, “Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans … have doubled down and proposed a new budget so far right it makes the ‘Contract with America’ look like the New Deal.”

Obama said the proposal “breaks our bipartisan agreement and proposes massive new cuts in annual domestic spending.” He insists that it’s “exactly the area where we’ve already cut the most.”
He called the Ryan plan a “prescription for decline” that harms future generations.

Mitt Romney Town Hall Meeting

Apr 2, 2012

Romney Presidential Campaign
Mitt Romney held a town hall meeting with Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) at Moore Oil Company in Milwaukee. Among the issues he addressed were immigration policy, the economy, and health care.

Rick Santorum's Foreign Policy Profile

Former senator from Pennsylvania

NOVEMBER 16, 2011

Foreign-policy credentials: Santorum served for eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Overview: Although best known for his conservative views on domestic social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, Santorum has emerged in this race as the unlikely defender of a neoconservative foreign policy, standing up for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, robust military spending, and democracy promotion. In debates, this has often made him a foil for the more isolationist rhetoric of Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman.
Advisors: Santorum's primary foreign-policy advisor is his former chief of staff, Mark Rogers.
On the issues:
Afghanistan/Pakistan: Santorum opposes Barack Obama's withdrawal plan for Afghanistan, saying, "We cannot leave the region when there is still a good chance the Taliban can take control. To leave leadership in the hands of a radical terrorist group, known for its horrific treatment of women and for carrying out unprovoked terrorist attacks on this country, ... is something I am unwilling to do." He has criticized his opponents for failing to emphasize the necessity of victory and trying to "to skirt this complicated issue for an applause line."
He has been relatively measured on Pakistan policy, maintaining in one debate that the United States needs to continue foreign aid to Pakistan and maintain good relations with the nuclear-armed country.
Military spending: Santorum's budget-cutting zeal does not extend to military spending. He describes Obama's defense cuts as "wrong signal, wrong effort, and wrong time." He has accused the Obama administration of "intentionally trying to degrade our military" and has defended robust U.S. military spending on the ground that it creates U.S. jobs.
Immigration/borders: Santorum has been vocal on the threat of illegal immigration since his time in the Senate. In this race, he has described illegal immigration as a major national security issue and criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for being "soft" on the issue due to his opposition to building a fence along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Israel/Palestine: Santorum believes "it is the duty of each and every American citizen who abhors terrorism and supports freedom to stand up and say, 'I support Israel.'" He has attacked Obama for putting "Israel's very existence in more peril" and says Palestine's statehood bid at the United Nations is a sign that the Palestinians "feel weakness -- they feel it, they see it, they know it -- and they're going to exploit it."
China: It's not quite the new axis of evil, but Santorum says that China, along with Iran and Venezuela, is part of a "gathering storm" of threats facing the United States. During Oct. 11's debate, Santorum raised eyebrows by declaring, "I don't want to go to a trade war; I want to beat China!" He also said, "I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business."
Foreign aid: Following Nov. 12's debate, during which Santorum differed from most other candidates by defending U.S. aid to Pakistan, the candidate accused his opponents of "pandering to an anti-foreign aid element out there." He feels that politicians have contributed to skewing voters' view of how much money actually goes to foreign aid. "When I tell them it's less than a half a percent [of the federal budget], people are shocked," he said.
Iran/nukes: Santorum has stated that an Israeli military strike on Iran is inevitable and that the United States should support it when it comes. He hasmade the case for years that Iran poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security -- a threat on par with that posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In 2004, he authored legislation to support democracy movements in Iran. He blames the Obama administration's failure to support the Green Revolution opposition movement for its ability to overthrow the Iranian regime.
Trade: Santorum did not support North American Free Trade Agreement while in Congress but believes that "most of the free trade agreements we've entered into have not contributed greatly to [American unemployment]." Nevertheless, he supports free trade agreements in principle, not just on economic grounds, because they "build relationships that are important from a national security point of view."
War on terror/detainees: Santorum has written that the "fight against Islamic fascism is the great test of our generation." He supports keeping Guantánamo open and using "enhanced interrogation" techniques like waterboarding. In a May radio interview, he argued that the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden would never have been acquired "if it had not been gotten ... from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation" and that Sen. John McCain -- an opponent of waterboarding and himself a victim of torture -- "doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works."
Environment: Santorum describes climate change as "junk science" and a "beautifully concocted scheme" for the left to "regulate your life." The Pennsylvanian is also a staunch supporter of coal power.
Russia/reset: Santorum hasn't spoken much about Russia policy on the campaign trail. As senator, he supported NATO enlargement into Eastern Europe.
Arab Spring: The staunchly pro-Israel Santorum is strikingly pessimistic on this year's revolutions in the Arab world, predicting that "recent dislocation of the old order in the Middle East will usher in a new one, and anti-Israel elements are working overtime all across the world to take advantage of this opportunity."
Other issues: Santorum's Christian faith often factors heavily into his foreign-policy rhetoric. For instance, while discussing Europe's current problems in July he said, "You go to Europe; church attendance rates in the single digits -- secular society. Why? Because the government co-opted faith, because faith and the government are intertwined."