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Another 4.3 million jobs were lost during President Obama’s first year. But then his stimulus program and auto-maker bailout and other measures – all of which were passed by the Democratic majority and opposed strenuously by the Republicans – began taking effect. Taking all the jobs created during President Obama’s first six years in office and subtracting all the jobs lost during that same period, leaves President Obama with a net gain of over 6.8 MILLION total jobs created in only six years – five times as many net jobs as Bush created and accomplished two years sooner.
Mitt Romney said in 2012 that if we elected him, he would have the unemployment rate down to 6% by the end of his first term, which would have been January 2017.
It’s just now January 2015. And today’s jobs report of the US economy adding 241,000 private sector jobs for the month of December 2014, also brought news of a new unemployment rate: 5.6% – a lower rate than promised by Romney, achieved two years sooner. Thank you, President Obama.
President Obama has also outperformed Reagan on this metric – at Reagan’s six-year point, unemployment was still 7.1%; it took him another year to even get down to the low 6% range.
Not only did both Reagan and W. Bush pad their jobs numbers by engaging in massive government hiring, the deficit suffered as a result: Reagan tripled it; Bush doubled it.
But President Obama has turned in his stellar numbers while simultaneously CUTTING the deficit. Google it, because you won’t believe it, but the deficit was the smallest in 2014 than it has been since 2008, the year before President Obama took office.
The DOW average was at 10,650 when Bush took office in January 2001. In September 2008, the DOW closed at 10,700, almost completely erasing a full eight years of growth. Four months later, it had plummeted even further under Bush’s watch, sliding all the way down to 7,950 by January 20, 2009, the day President Obama was inaugurated.
On December 23, 2014, the DOW closed at an ALL-TIME high, slightly above 18,000, well before Republicans were sworn in as the majority in the US Senate.
Overall economic growth of the economy is measured by the Gross Domestic Product or GDP. In 2012 when the GDP was at 2%, Republican candidates said they could get the GDP all the way up to a number which seemed inconceivable at the time: 5%. But by the end of 2014, President Obama, working virtually alone, had the GDP up to 5% even with unprecedented attempts by conservatives to sabotage the economy.
Importantly, when President Obama took office, manufacturing was in a several-year decline due to off shoring of jobs to China. But much of the current growth is due to a renewed expansion of manufacturing under President Obama. Manufacturing has grown in America for the past 24 straight months – all before Republicans gained a majority in the Senate three days ago.
When Bush took office in January 2001, gas was $1.47 a gallon. Soon thereafter it began a precipitous rise, steadily increasing until it was $4.55 a gallon under Bush by the summer of 2008. Then the economy collapsed. Housing prices tanked, the stock market bottomed-out, and commodities – including crude oil – crashed. So, yes, gas was $1.84 on the day President Obama took office in January 2009 but, that was the crashed price. As the economy recovered, the price of crude recovered and gas prices eventually returned near the range where they had been for most of Bush’s tenure; although, the peak under President Obama never reached the $4.00 mark – the highest it ever got under President Obama was $3.95 a gallon in May of 2011.
In 2012, Newt said that if we re-elected President Obama, gas would go to $10 a gallon; but, if we would put Newt in office, he would bring gas down to $2.50 a gallon. Today it’s barely over $2.00 a gallon in many places. And that is without any help whatsoever from Republicans and it happened long before Republicans were sworn-in as the new Senate majority three days ago. Gas prices have fallen for 120 straight days. AAA estimates that the lower prices saved middle-income Americans $14 billion dollars during the year 2014.
Too, the temporary-crashed-price of $1.84 under Bush came at the expense of a total economic meltdown. The low prices under President Obama are coming at a time of unprecedented (considering the starting point) economic growth.
The Bush tax rates were set to expire automatically at the end of 2010. President Obama agreed with Republicans to extend the Bush cuts for two more years if congress would agree to extend unemployment and provide an ADDITIONAL tax cut, to the middle class, by changing the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax from 6.4% of the total gross income to 4.6%. At the end of 2012, the Bush tax cuts expired and three days into 2013, the Obama Tax Cuts were signed into law, permanently establishing all tax brackets at the Bush-tax-cut level, with the exception of a 4.4% increase on income above $450,000.
2009 Taxes were exactly the same as they were under Bush
2010 Taxes were exactly the same as they were under Bush
2011 Taxes were two percentage points LESS than under Bush – lowest in modern history
2012 Taxes were two percentage points LESS than under Bush – lowest in modern history
2013 Taxes were exactly the same as under Bush except for modest increase for income above $450,000
2014 Taxes are exactly the same as under Bush except for modest increase for income above $450,000
So if you claimed that President Obama raised your taxes by even one penny during his first two years in office, you were not telling the truth. And if you did not give him credit for giving you the lowest tax rates of your life in his third and fourth years in office and you did give Bush credit for Bush’s tax cuts, you were being hypocritical. And if you claim that President Obama has raised your taxes in his fifth and sixth years in office and you do not earn above $457,600 as a couple (or $406,750 as a single person), by now you are just plain-out willfully lying.
The greatness of a great president shines the brightest during the most adverse conditions. George Washington had a country to build. Lincoln had a country to hold together. FDR had a country to rebuild. No president since these three has had to suffer the adversity, which President Obama has endured.
The same type of people who hated Lincoln so virulently, hate President Obama. And they hate him for the same reasons they hated Lincoln. They got together on the night of President Obama’s first inauguration and devised a plan to oppose him on absolutely everything – even things they previously proposed and supported.
And only FDR was handed a worse economy by his predecessor than the broken and collapsed economy, which Bush handed to President Obama.
It’s when you consider the adverse conditions, that President Obama’s greatness becomes so obviously evident. More total jobs were created under Reagan and Clinton than under President Obama thus far. But Reagan and Clinton didn’t start out with a crashed stock market, collapsed housing market, dried-up credit market, and historic loss of jobs with dire predictions that unemployment would soon hit 25%.
And during the eight years which both Clinton and Bush served, each had a Republican-controlled congress for six of those years which worked with them on the economy and should thus be given partial credit for any successes. Much of the current economic success is due to the things, which President Obama was able to get through Congress during his first two years with the help of Democrats. The rest of it has been accomplished largely by him – alone.
Clinton’s economy also benefited immensely from the cell phone and the personal computer coming of age; Bush’s economy similarly benefited from the smart phone – things not attributable to any government official (other than Al Gore). And both Clinton’s economy and Bush’s economy were built largely on the careless unbridled irresponsible free-flow of credit, for which we all began to pay dearly during Bush’s last year in office.
I’ve often said that President Obama is the best president we have seen since FDR. But it took FDR 12 years to fix the mess that the previous Republican administration handed to him; President Obama has done it in six.
Get ready for it. We’re “about to enter” a two-year period of unprecedented economic growth; unparalleled job creation; unheard-of stock-market peaks; gas prices at two dollars a gallon, massive middle-class tax cuts back to Bush rates – a total economic recovery of biblical proportions – all due to the mere swearing-in of a Republican majority in the Senate three days ago.
Hallelujah. It’s morning in America again.
The truth is, it has been “morning in America” since 7:00 a.m. and it’s now 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon and conservatives are just now rolling out of bed thinking the sun only rose when they finally woke up from their self-induced truth-impermeable coma of willful ignorance of reality.
If you are a conservative, please bookmark this post…you are going to need to refer back to it numerous times in the coming weeks when Fox “News” finally starts telling you the truth about the good economic indicators, so they can (misleadingly) give credit to the new Republican majority in the Senate, just in time for the 2016 elections. This post will keep you grounded in the fact that the best economic recovery in history happened right in front of your willfully-blinded eyes, long before Republicans gained control of both chambers of Congress a mere three days ago.
Craig Hardegree, Attorney at Law
HARDEGREE LAW FIRM, P. C.
3133 Golf Ridge Boulevard, Suite 303
Douglasville, Georgia 30135-1995
“I don’t believe this post.”
Admittedly, the term “best” does include a subjective component, so people are free to believe that President Obama is not the best economic president of all time. But FACTS do not change based on how many people believe or disbelieve them. I respectfully challenge you to show where any of these facts are in error.
“It will take years before the BS level is taken off of the last few President’s before the true impact is known. In the meantime, let’s stop the game of we have the greatest one serving now. It’s just ridiculous and so fraught with agenda.”
We’ve never before waited for the passage of time before gauging the success of a president. People were decrying Carter as a failed president and praising Reagan as a near-deity while each was still in office. We’ve always judged presidents while they were still in office and we’ve always used the same measuring sticks by which to judge them on their economic performance: jobs creation, unemployment rate, deficit, stock market, GDP, and gas prices. Just because conservatives don’t like the fact that President Obama now measures higher than Reagan and W. Bush using the exact same methods of measuring that we have always used, doesn’t mean you now get to change to some new method of measuring.
“But have you seen our national debt lately?”
The DEFICIT is the shortfall each year between the amount of revenue the government takes in and the amount of money the government spends. Each year, that shortfall or deficit is added to the national DEBT. When President Obama came into office, the budget he inherited from Bush was running an annual $1.3 trillion-dollar-deficit, meaning that $1.3 trillion dollars would have to be added to the national debt each year. The national debt was over $10 trillion when President Obama took office. He’s been in office 6 years. $1.3 trillion multiplied by 6 = $7.8 trillion. Add that to the national debt, as it existed when President Obama was inaugurated and one would expect the national debt to be around $18 trillion today, based on its course and trajectory, which was in existence before President Obama took office. And that’s exactly where it is today. No surprises there.
When President Obama first came into office, he forewarned that he would be adding substantially to the national debt just by changing accounting methods. Prior to President Obama, the spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was kept “off books” by Bush using “supplemental appropriations” instead of the regular military budget, to obtain the funds to run the wars. The cost of those two wars has already added another $2 trillion to the national debt and will add between $2 trillion and $4 trillion more over the coming years.
Back in 1997, with a lot of fanfare, Clinton and Newt got together and passed a law cutting the Medicare reimbursement rates to doctors, in a move to “cut government spending” and help “shore-up Medicare.” After all the cameras stopped rolling, Congress scrambled every year thereafter to pass a “doc fix” to keep the law from actually taking effect. But in their debt projections, they included the “reduced” government spending to doctors AS IF they actually HAD cut the payments to the doctors; which, they hadn’t. President Obama started including in his debt projections the REAL amounts which the government sends to doctors, thus increasing the debt by another $400 billion.
The alternative minimum tax was left for years at the same rate, without adjusting it upwards for inflation. But in his debt projections, Bush had projected the anticipated revenue which the government would be receiving each year AS IF people who pay the alternative minimum tax would actually be paying the “higher” “adjusted-for-inflation” rates; which, they weren’t. For this item alone, President Obama subtracted $1.2 trillion from the ten-year expected revenue (plus $2 billion for 10 years of interest on that amount), for a total increase of $1.4 trillion dollars in the national debt, just by adopting a more truthful accounting method.
[The national debt issue stands on a different footing from the other issues in that it is difficult to find definitive information as to exactly what things were included in the debt at any given time. While this response is based on the best available information, there may be some quibble room in the details; the overall thrust of the response is well accepted by people who have studied the issue.]
Copyright Notice: This email/post may be freely shared as long as it remains intact and is not manipulated or revised in any manner and as long as this copyright notice with author attribution remains on the email/post. © By Craig Hardegree January 9, 2015, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Writing Advice” by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
“Lamiele” asks the following request about writing preparation: “I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing; however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?”
Here are four recommendations to help you when you want to write an essay, article, or blog. (Writing a book or a dissertation is an expansion of these basic steps.)
- One. Before you actually sit down to write, make a few brief notes about possible ideas to develop. Even if you are out and about, running errands or the like, you can send yourself an email or text from your smartphone, or give yourself a call and leave the idea on your voice mail. Don’t worry about grammar, etc. Just get your ideas down. Think of the ideas that come to you from reading, from conversations, and from just thinking as bullet points or paragraph headings that you will develop.
- Two. When you do sit down to write, just start writing. You can pick any one of the ideas you’ve jotted down or recorded. Again, don’t worry about how your words read or sound at this point. Just put words on paper. You may eventually throw away what you’ve written. What you are doing is getting your motor turning over.
- Three. If you can, write in the same place and at the same time every day. Forming a habit about time and place will send a signal to your brain that you are supposed to be writing. I’ve found that if I do this, sometimes as if by magic the words begin to come to me.
- Four. When you’ve completed a rough draft of one of your basic ideas (or modules), read it out loud. Reading it aloud with help you catch grammatical and logical errors, make your expression more natural, and help you smooth out jerky sections.
- Finally, don’t be worried if it takes you 10 to 15 minutes to get started. Some great writers work on a single sentence for hours or days.
Gun legislation must be federalized otherwise guns obtained in states with lax laws will be transported to states with strict laws enabling criminals to still get there hands on them.
You have to feel for conscience-stricken Republican politicians who cannot bring themselves to break the no-tax pledge that they made to the lobbyist Grover Norquist.
But there is hope. A goodly number of these super-conscientious individuals are divorced, and have found that somehow life goes on even though they–like millions of Americans–have broken the “till death do us part” pledge.
Here’s what Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president had to say on the subject: “Bad promises are better broken than kept.”
Gene Griessman is author of “The Words Lincoln Lived By” and “Lincoln and Obama”
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By Gene Griessman, author of “Lincoln and Obama,” “The Words Lincoln Lived By,” and “Lincoln on Communication”
Some movies are based on a true story. This Is a true story. And one of the most important stories in history.
As told by Spielberg, history is alive, compelling and thrilling. But is it historically accurate? The answer is yes, even down to Lincoln’s jokes.
(I was delighted at the masterful way Daniel Day-Lewis tells an earthy joke that I just included in “Lincoln and Obama.”)
And, yes, Lincoln told dirty jokes. Sorry about that, hagiographers.
This is not the naive, country-bumpkin Lincoln that has been standard fare in Lincoln movies of previous generations.
This is Lincoln the politician. This is the man one contemporary calls “the purest man in America” aiding and abetting the wheeling and dealing and vote-buying that put an end to slavery in the US forever.
The Lincoln in this movie is the man whom his biographer Carl Sandburg had in mind when he wrote a letter to FDR: “I am glad that you are cunning, as Lincoln and Jackson were cunning.”
And why did Lincoln behave this way? Because he understood if slavery was not completely destroyed, that it would cause yet another civil war down the road. And the hundreds of thousands who had died had died in vain.
Without the 13th Amendment, the most generous thing historians could ever say about Lincoln is that he put down a rebellion.
I’ve performed Lincoln hundreds of times–including twice at Ford’s Theatre. So naturally I wondered about the acting choice Daniel Day-Lewis would make.
He nailed it.
Three supporting actors are in line to get Oscar nominations. David Strathairn (William Seward), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), and Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens)
The movie invites Lincoln and Obama comparisons. My research has led me to many, many Lincoln-Obama parallels.
And the repetition is not limited to presidents. The people who invented and reinvented America were just like us.
They fought fiercely, were mean and magnanimous, craven and principled, hot-headed and cool. blind and far-seeing, foolish and wise.
They adored and demonized the president. Just over 45% of Americans who voted in 1864 voted against the man whom a later generation carved on Mt. Rushmore.
They made the messy political compromises that make democracy work. Politicians still do that, and some of them get to be known as statesmen.
The arc of history bends toward justice, but that bending is sometimes uncertain, costly and painful.
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The Controversial New Book–“Lincoln and Obama”–Gets Endorsement From Renowned Lincoln Scholar.
Harold Holzer is in the same league as Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals.
Holzer is the author of many books on Lincoln. He is the co-chair of the national Abraham Lincoln Bi-centennial Foundation.
Here’s Holzer’s endorsement:
Gene Griessman has done it again–with yet another fast-moving, unexpected, captivating riff on the history we thought we knew. This book sheds new light on what may be the most meaningful presidential relationship that has ever existed across time.
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Monday night Mitt Romney will almost certainly bring up Benghazi. But it could turn out to be a weapon that harms the user more than it harms the target.
It already inflicted a wound on Romney when he tried it in the second debate. And who knows, a top-secret Bin Laden-like op is already underway. Then who is going to look silly?
That probability aside, how should Obama respond?
I recommend invoking the name of Ronald Reagan.
Yes, Ronald Reagan.
Something like this.
When Ronald Reagan was president, terrorists attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut; and 241 Americans were killed.
Governor, Do you think this happened because Ronald Reagan was weak, and his weakness invited attack? Governor, do you think this happened because of an intelligence failure?
The most Romney can say is to claim the Obama people did a coverup, which can be easily refuted. You can be sure that Romney will say nothing to besmirch the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
The comparison is apt. And the lesson is obvious: sometimes the enemy succeeds.
Our enemies are not all stupid, and Americans are not omniscient. The enemy succeeded at Pearl Harbor and on 9/11. And they will again, hopefully later, not sooner–no matter how diligent and wise the occupant of the White House may be.
Abraham Lincoln is on Mount Rushmore, but in his day there were intelligence failures and military blunders and battles lost. Lincoln
had to deal with blamers all the time. What counts most is not who wins a battle, but who wins the war.
Gene Griessman, Ph.D. is a sociologist who studies high achievement. His books include “Lincoln and Obama, “” The Words Lincoln Lived By, and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People.” His website is www.lincolnandobama.com.
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What You Say When You’re Asked About Politifact and the Truth-O-Meter
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
From the forthcoming book Lincoln and Obama.
We recommend you say that it can’t always be trusted.
The U.S. does need a fact-checker, an honest-to-God, informed resource where Americans find the truth. Actually there are several. Snopes.com and MediaMatters.com come to mind. But people on the right don’t trust those fact-checkers.
Enter Politifact, a project which aims to please the right and the left by fact-checking political statements.
Sometimes it’s good at it. But, like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead, sometimes it is horrid. When it’s good, it wins awards. It even wins the Pulitzer
But when it’s bad, Politifact reads like truth invented by a committee. Sorta like everybody who had an opposing view got to write their own paragraph. To cap things off, somebody who apparently doesn’t get to read the article adjusts the “Truth-O-Meter.”
Some Politifact columns which find only a minor point to disagree with would lead you to expect a rating of “Mostly True. But surprise! It will read, “Mostly False.”
Here’s one about Obama. Obama makes a speech, and states, “Women (are) paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”
Politifact acknowledges that the U.S. Census does report that in 2010, women working full-time, earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men working full time.
Politifact doesn’t like Obama’s statement because Obama says “doing the same work as a man.” Politifact goes into a long dissertation about outside factors, such as men being in higher paying occupations.
Politifact contacts the White House about the statement. The White House responds: “No matter how you look at it, women make less than men—at the same job, at different jobs, weekly, annually, and by occupation.”
Politifact acknowledges that the White House is correct: “Nothing in our analysis suggests that gender discrimination doesn’t exist. In fact, the experts we consulted agreed that no matter how much you adjust the models to equalize for outside factors, a difference in pay between men and women remains, and it’s one that can’t be explained away.” (Italics added by WYS.)
That should do it. Politifact agrees with the experts. You expect the lowest rating the Truth-O-Meter could possibly be is “Almost correct”
But you would be wrong.
The Truth-O-Meter reads “Mostly False.” Eeeeeeek!
Here’s one more Truth-O-Meter story about Obama. It reads, “GOP keeps Guantanamo pledge.” Rates it “promise kept.”
Now for the story. Obama pledges that he will close Guantanamo within a year. Says Guantanamo hurts the American image abroad, helps al-Qaeda recruit terrorists. He reminds people that nobody has ever escaped from an American maximum-security prison, he says. Just doesn’t happen. So, why not bring them to an American maximum-security prison. Try them before tribunals. The Standish maximum-security prison in Michigan, is closing down because of budget cuts. The local people want it to stay open. Don’t have a big problem with who’s inside it.
Congress won’t authorize funds to modify that prison or any other one in the U.S. And just to make doubly sure that nothing Obama promises happens, it authorizes no funds to transport the prisoners either.
What has happened is the Bush and Obama administration release over 600 men of the 779 once held there. But over 160 men remain in Guantanamo without a trial, or any hope of one. Among them is a group of Chinese Ulghurs who, evidence now shows, are not terrorists and should never have been imprisoned in the first place. (NYRB June 7, 201 63)
It is true that Republicans did prevent Obama from keeping his promise by keeping theirs. Politifact calls it a promise kept. And it is a promise kept.
But isn’t that sorta like saying somebody who promises you won’t have the highest bid at an auction, and then steals your wallet so you can’t make a bid, has kept his promise?
During the next few weeks I will cut back on my posts and tweets. Am hard at work on a new book about Lincoln, and hope that you will continue to visit the website.
As a way of thanking you, you will be the first to know about the book, and we will provide you with a special discount.
Now, here’s an excerpt from the new book. There’s a lot of interest in what the US Supreme Court will do about Obama’s health care plan, so it is a post about Abraham Lincoln and the Court.
What Presidents Say Publicly When the Supreme Court Makes a Bad Decision by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
Relations between the U.S. Supreme Court and the President are often strained. And for good reason. The potential is always present for unelected justices to overrule the wishes of the people, as expressed by their elected leaders.
Alexis de Tocqueville, in his classic analysis of democracy, mentions this as an ever-present threat. And Lincoln in an early draft of his first inaugural address writes about the “despotism of the few life-officers composing the Court.” Lincoln is persuaded to take those words out of the final version of his speech., but that’s what he thinks even if it is strong language.
Three decades earlier, the fights between Andrew Jackson and Chief Justice Marshall are titanic. The gnarled old hero of the Battle of New Orleans believes that the President has just as much right to interpret the Constitution as the Court does, thank you very much. When the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Cherokee Indians in a case involving the State of Georgia, Jackson, according to some reports, says John Marshall has made his decision, now let John Marshall enforce it. We do not know for sure if Jackson actually says that. But we do know that Jackson does not enforce the ruling, and it comes to nothing.
That happens in 1832. Now it’s 1857. The Supreme Court has a new Chief Justice by the name of Roger B. Taney. The Taney Court, in a 7-2 decision, rules against granting the slave Dred Scott and his wife their freedom. It is a momentous decision.
The court rules that African American slaves or their descendents have no rights as citizens under the Constitution. But the Court goes further. It rules that the Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional, because it deprives an owner of his property. Moreover, Congress has no right to restrict the spread of slavery into federal territory. It is the first time since the Madison administration that the Supreme Court rules that an act of Congress is unconstitutional. (That happened in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, the very first time that the Supreme Court ever ruled whether an act of Congress is constitutional.
Taney explains the Court’s decision: “It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in regard to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted; but the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
How’s that for enlightened thinking by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!
Whatever the intent of the justices might have been, the consequences of the decision are profound. Dred Scott gives America the Civil War. The delicate compromises that have been laboriously stitched together are torn apart. Angry quarrels and killings begins.
And Dred Scott gives the world Abraham Lincoln. When the firestorm spreads to the prairies, Abraham Lincoln, who hates slavery, is aroused to action. It is not what he expected. Lincoln expected slavery to die out eventually in the cotton states, but now knows it will spread into the West if something isn’t done to stop it. He decides to re-enter politics.
Dred Scott gives America the Republican Party. Meetings are called for everyone to attend who opposes the spread of slavery. Those meetings turn into an organization, and that organization comes to be known as the Republican Party, the GOP.
—Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or email@example.com Learn more about Gene Griessman at presidentlincoln.com and atlantaspeakersbureau.com
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