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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

What’s the Right Number to Steady Unemployment? (PCNC)

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm
What is the number of jobs created that keeps the American unemployment rate steady? The GTTP Panel discusses on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel.

What is the number of jobs created that keeps the American unemployment rate steady? The GTTP Panel discusses on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel.

PITTSBURGH (September 4, 2015) – The Get To The Point Panel of award-winning financial adviser Lou Stanasolovich, Dr. Risa Kumazawa from Duquesne University (PA), and Dr. Nan Li from California University (PA) talk with Lenny McAllister (host, “NightTalk: Get To The Point”) talks about the latest American economic numbers and the correct number of added jobs needed to steady unemployment during this segment of the popular PCNC program, “Get To The Point”. The show airs live Friday nights 8pm on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel with re-broadcasts on Sundays at 10pm and Mondays at 5pm.

To view the segment, click on the picture above or click HERE

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Why An “Aye” Vote is the Wrong Vote for the Iran Deal

In Articles on September 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm
Bi-partisan opposition to the Iranian Nuclear Deal will boil down to discussions once Congress re-convenes.

Bi-partisan opposition to the Iranian Nuclear Deal will boil down to discussions once Congress re-convenes.

There are options other than war and a bad deal in the fight to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon

by Lenny McAllister

When Mike Doyle, Keith Rothfus and others reconvene on Capitol Hill, America will face another historic moment, one that determines our role as a force for good and a protector of peace for our nation and our allies.

Right now, Iran has the resources and the know-how to produce several nuclear weapons. Setbacks originating from the Stuxnet virus 5 years ago and fairly recent assurances from the Obama Administration that Iran was not readily “breakout-capable” have not deterred Iran. Neither have strong international sanctions, as Iran has been capable of maintaining nuclear progress including covert operations at Fordow while enduring hits to its economy.

America and our allies share a primary goal that must not be overlooked in the quest to secure any deal in lieu of a good deal. We must prevent Iran from destabilizing the Middle East and beyond with its support of terrorism throughout the region and its long-standing, hate-filled opposition to Israel and America.

Any agreement that focuses on checking off one box of an agenda without securing the overall mission fails us and our friends around the world.

Feedback on this proposed agreement has united “strange bedfellows” in a manner that few issues have. Israeli leaders – fresh off of a competitive and turbulent election – have come together in opposition to this deal. Saudi leaders have denounced it, leading to concerns that nuclear proliferation in the region may emerge. Democratic leaders in the US Senate, including former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez and potential minority leader Chuck Schumer, both oppose the deal along with their Republican colleagues, leaving President Obama scrambling to find the votes to finalize the agreement.

Looking at assumptions made in the deal, it is not hard to see why it is a tough sell. Terms include a commitment from Iran to not develop nor acquire a nuclear weapon. On its face, this sounds good, but the term comes with the caveat that Iran does not need to disclose its past nuclear activities, including those that occurred at facilities discovered through Western surveillance, not Iranian open disclosure. Another condition supposedly imposes a permanent ban on Iranian development of weapons capabilities. Yet, without knowing the scope of Iranian progress to date, we are left in the dark about where Iran truly is with weaponization and, thus, left in the shadows of uncertainty. With roughly $140 billion – over 20 times the annual budget of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – available immediately if the agreement is confirmed, more uncertainty for America and our allies in the region is not a position we should advance.

Mr. Doyle and other supporters state that the agreement will block paths to enrichment for weapons use. However, the deal does not keep the Iranians from procuring the necessary know-how to produce advanced centrifuges, thus allowing for future enrichment. This allows Iran to be able to move forward in developing technology required to eventually reach breakout status.

Supporters of the deal lean on Iran’s pledge to aid monitoring and inspection of its facilities. It was often repeated that we would have “24/7 access” to ensure compliance. Yet, we now know that access can be delayed for weeks under this deal, allowing Iran to continue to keep key components of their nuclear advancement off-radar, just as they did with Fordow. Former IAEA Deputy Director-General Olli Heinonen stated that this loophole is a “recipe for cheating … (considering so) … much of this equipment is very easy to move.”

This, coupled with technical know-how, creates a recipe for disaster.

Further, both sides of the deal are at odds over how “openness” and “access” are defined by the deal. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan have said that Iran has the right to deny access to military sites for nuclear inspection as part of the agreement. Delayed access to nuclear facilities coupled with lack of access to military sites yield a problematic duo for upholding the tenets of this proposed deal.

Even the promise of “snapback sanctions” are interpreted vastly differently by the two sides. Zarif has already stated that the flood of foreign companies into Iran after this deal is finalized will nullify the impact of any future sanctions. Countries such as China and Russia – nations that have been aggressive militarily in their own regions recently – have already lined up deals with the Iranians, including projects related to nuclear energy. “Snapback sanctions” would likely yield sagging results.

Senator Menendez noted that the deal is based on hope, not verification. Both Mr. Rothfus and he are right to oppose this deal . Mr. Doyle is wrong to support it. Iran has escalated tensions with us since 1979. They remain hostile to our nation and our allies. Congressional failure to enact further sanctions earlier and the promotion of this unsettling deal currently put us in a compromised position. We have seen this repeatedly with the Obama Administration, with foreign policy missteps with ISIS, Libya, and Yemen. Obama’s implicit belief that the only alternative to this deal is war lacks nuanced negotiating or foreign affairs foresight, as we experienced in 2011 with Iraq. Just recently, the Administration incorrectly calculated the amount of Iranian centrifuges at hundreds, not thousands. Continuing down this path would be wrong for our allies, wrong in the fight against global terrorism, and wrong for the prospect of long-term peace. Bad deals do not keep bad men from committing bad acts. We are not in a position to allow bad agreements with bad men a chance to work some good. We ended that costly lesson 70 years ago in 1945. We must not re-learn that lesson now.

Lenny McAllister, a former RNC operative under Chairman Michael Steele, is a Republican strategist and talk show host on PCNC and Newsradio 1020 KDKA.

Mr. Doyle’s position for the Iran Nuclear Deal can be found HERE

Mr. Rothfus’ position against the Iran Nuclear Deal can be found HERE

Mid-Year 2015: Is the State of the American Union, “Disunity”? (June 26, 2015)

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2015 at 8:06 pm

PITTSBURGH (June 26, 2015) – Host Lenny McAllister (“NightTalk: Get to the Point”) ask the question, “what is wrong with the USA at the mid-point of 2015?” He uses the question to prompt a mid-year conversation with his guests on the Get To The Point Panel this week: radio host Rose Tennent (“Rose Unplugged”), TV host Ellis Cannon (“NightTalk”), and political strategist Olivia Benson.

Catch the segment by clicking the picture above or by clicking this link HERE

“Can (Obama) Gaffe if the (GOP) Controls Congress?” (NT: GTTP Jan 23, 2015)

In Video on January 26, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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“I have no more campaigns to run,” said President Obama on Jan 20th, but he will have 2 more years to run ideas past a Republican-controlled Congress. The Get To The Point Panel discusses his speech and America’s expectations afterwards on NT: Get to the Point on Jan 23 on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel.

PITTSBURGH CABLE NEWS CHANNEL (January 23, 2015): Political commentator Lenny McAllister (host, “NightTalk: Get to the Point”) talks with the “Get To The Point Panel” this week (Jerry Shuster, Ph. D., John Phillips, and Olivia Benson) about the Jan 20th addresses given by new governor of Pennsylvania and President Barack Obama and expectations for Pennsylvania and America as a result.

A clip from the Get To The Point Panel discussion on January 23 episode can be by clicking the picture above or by clicking HERE

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NightTalk: Get to the Point” is hosted by Lenny McAllister and airs on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel live on Friday nights at 8pm with an encore presentation on Mondays at 5pm.

PCNC can be seen in the Pittsburgh television market on Channel 35 on Comcast systems and Channel 9 on Verizon FIOS. It is the “sister-station” to NBC affiliate WPXI and broadcasts from WPXI-TV’s state-of-the-art studios. As the cable outlet of NBC affiliate WPXI, the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel reaches over 850,000 cable subscribers throughout Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and Northern West Virginia.

 

The McAllister Minute: Social Challenges (April 16, 2014 )

In Audio, The McAllister Minute on September 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

 

Lenny at Greensboro Counter June 2013

In this version of “The McAllister Minute”, Lenny McAllister addresses some of the “Social Challenges” we continue to address as a nation.

 

Catch Lenny’s latest edition of “The McAllister Minute”, found on the American Urban Radio Network by clicking here:

 

http://www.aurn.com/webex.php?itemID=4948&categoryID=

Starting Point: NightTalk – Get to the Point (February 14, 2014)

In Articles on February 24, 2014 at 11:39 am
Lenny and the panel on PCNC NightTalk GTTP #1 (Jan 24 2014)

“What is Disappointment Friday? Well during the Great Recession , Disappointment Friday has been that first Friday of the month when the jobs reports come out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…for the 75,000 jobs added in December and the 113,000 jobs added last month, we find hundreds of thousands of Americans dropping out of the work force…” (Photo courtesy of Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

 

PITTSBURGH (February 14, 2014) – (As presented on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel)

Our Starting Point tonight focuses on the economy one week after experiencing what I have deemed “Disappointment Friday”

What is Disappointment Friday? Well during the Great Recession , Disappointment Friday has been that first Friday of the month when the jobs reports come out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just when able-bodied Americans across the nation are hoping that the new month will bring them better economic futures, we find out that job creation is slow, work force participation is low, and hopes and dreams seem to be slipping away.

Yet, there are some that will tell you that the unemployment rate is actually going down and has been for several months now. They will also say that over 3 years of continuous job growth is nothing to sneeze at. They point to Wall Street gains and record profits by many corporations since 2008.

Yet, for the 75,000 jobs added in December and the 113,000 jobs added last month, we find 100s of thousands of Americans dropping out of the work force.

So either we’re headed in the right direction and turning the tide in America or we’re simply not.

75,000 added jobs would be sufficient – for Pennsylvania alone – but it doesn’t seem to be enough for our hurting economy nationally.

If this is a recovery – 113,000 jobs to start off 2014, I don’t want to see what happens if we slip into another recession.

That’s our Starting Point. Make your point by tweeting us at @NightTalkGTTPLM.

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 7, 2014)

In Audio on February 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm
unemployment

CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST:
“Disappointment Friday” doesn’t disappoint as it lives up to its moniker yet again with the latest jobs report.

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 7, 2014) – PODCAST TOPIC:“Disappointment Friday” doesn’t disappoint – will you disappoint future generations as a result?

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 6, 2014)

In Audio on February 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm
UI Benefits

CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST:
On the brink of another jobs report, does the US Senate come through for the unemployed of America?

 

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 6, 2014) – PODCAST TOPIC:On the eve of “Disappointment Friday” – no hope for the unemployed from the US Senate.

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (February 5, 2014)

In Audio on February 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Feb 5 - Youtube template

CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST: Is the new normal and the new “American Dream”?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (February 5, 2014) – PODCAST TOPIC: Is the new normal and the new “American Dream” one of sleeping one’s life away at home instead of on one’s feet?

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. 

 

A Pen, A Phone, and a Dangerous Tone

In Articles on February 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm
Obama pen and microphone

President Obama’s willingness to bypass Congress in 2014 should be more of our focus than Tuesday’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC / PITTSBURGH  (January 30, 2014) 

Don’t get too caught up in the 2014 address from President Obama this week.

Don’t mind too much the pomp-and-circumstance that came with the prime-time event.

The most important – and attention-worthy – things to watch in 2014 will not be the president’s State of the Union Address, the reactions by key congressional members, the spin by activists and pundits, and the poll numbers coming out over the coming days about his speech.

The most vital things demanding your attention are President Obama’s pen and his phone – as well as the tone he is trying to set with his remarks about them.

Granted, President Obama will not be the first president to attempt to circumvent the constitutionally-driven balance between the executive and legislative branches of our federal government. However, despite the comparatively-low number of executive orders issued by President Obama to date, the collective impact of Mr. Obama’s executive maneuvers since 2009 should prompt all Americans to take notice whenever this president threatens to “get things done” by way of sidestepping Congress and the American way of lawmaking.

This executive’s willingness to skirt the normal order of American government to pass initiatives through executive “prerogative” – often times with harmful effects – means that his tone concerning using “his pen and his phone” should be more disconcerting than any tone taken Tuesday night during the State of the Union Address.

President Obama’s “the pen is mightier than Congress and the Constitution” retort to the White House failures of 2013 may sound bold for the sake of the American people. However, just a glance at some of the moves of executive “prerogative” since 2009 provides insight into what 2014 may have in store should President Obama look to follow through on this:

diverting millions of taxpayer dollars to provide abortion-related services overseas in January 2009, only to cut funding for the DC Voucher Program for disadvantaged Americans in his only backyard just months later;

crafting a non-binding, 11th-hour executive order in 2010 to convince the Bart Stupak Bunch to come on-board to pass the Affordable Care Act in a fully-partisan fashion, the last of several intra-Democratic Party deals forged to prompt legislative cooperation;

advancing an immigration policy that circumvented American immigration laws on the books, which worked to embolden wavering Latino voters to support the president as his re-election weakened during a tough 2012 campaign; and

re-writing his own landmark (and namesake) legislation outside the rule of law through a series of politically-motivated moves that act as an ongoing self-repeal of Obamacare by the White House, including select delays set past the 2014 elections and permanent exemptions for key constituents of Democratic leaders.

America’s regular complicity in Mr. Obama’s pattern of flirting with the wrong side of presidential temperance and constitutional reverence has more to do with the currently-tarnished Republican brand and the American Idol style of pop politics we encounter nationally than it does any set of tangible successes for the American people. Instead, the president has taken advantage of the Akin-ness of the GOP and the 9% approval woes of Congress in attempts to justify going the path of law-making alone at this point. Yet, so far during his tenure in the White House, these results have been only politically-driven, not universally altruistic. President Obama’s order to reverse the “Mexico City Policy” pleased his Planned Parenthood constituency, all while he later began his years-long attack on school choice for poor African-American students, even as he wishes to proclaim himself as the “education president”. His last-minute order to sway Stupak’s group of Democrats holding out on Obamacare only gave us a woefully-crippled healthcare reform law, its terrible roll-out, and rising premiums for many. His 2012 order helped provide a 70%-30% advantage for the president in the November 2012 election, yet we arrive in 2014 without long-term solutions for immigration despite Democrats’ control of Washington from 2009-2011. The White House’s on-going self-repeal and retreat from previous claims about Obamacare (namely, “…if you like your plan, you can keep your plan…”) only signify that this administration is fixated on pushing political agendas Chicago-style more than it is concerned about fixing problems for everyday Americans that are not card-carrying Democrats or their fervent supporters.

Presidents use the veto, the bully pulpit, and their presidential poise to guide laws into being by massaging the process and wooing political enemies into allies. Politicians threaten to circumvent the process through unilateral decisions that abscond accountability. President Obama’s new-found public tone concerning his “pen and his phone” are only an extension of his presidential actions over the past five years, leaving the tone of the State of the Union Address Tuesday as nothing more than political window dressing. If the perspective of the Oval Office continues to be one that seeks to skip past congressional cooperation and even Obama’s own landmark legislation, it is incumbent upon Americans to set our sights on supporting legislators and activists that will restore constitutional balance and order, not allowing even more power to reside simply in a pen and a phone.

Lenny McAllister is a political commentator featured on various local, national and international outlets including PCNC, CNN, and Sun News Network. He is the host of “The McAllister Minute” which appears weekly on “The Bev Smith Show” and the American Urban Radio Network. The Pittsburgh-based pundit is the former host of of Launching Chicago With Lenny McAllister on WVON The Talk of Chicago 1690 AM. He is a former congressional candidate. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.