Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
San Marco Properties
Geer Services, Inc.
Charles Parish
Feb 102013

ABC News(NEW YORK) — In this week’s Sunday Spotlight, author George Saunders discussed his critically praised book, Tenth of December. It’s now a best-seller – a rare feat for a short story collection. During an interview on ABC News’ This Week, Saunders told George Stephanopoulos he hopes to inspire a new sense of unity among readers.

“You’re sending out a bundle of energy, you know, concentrated energy that you’ve made with your own sweat, really, and your heart, and it goes out and it jangles somebody,” Saunders said. “Now, there’s another level where you do hope to make people more alive in the world, maybe more aware of the fact that we have more in common with others than we think we do.”

In a recent cover story, The New York Times Magazine called Saunders “the writer for our time” and praised his latest work as the “best book you’ll read this year.”

His collection of short stories features many contemporary American themes, including economic anxiety.

“You know, you can talk about race, you can talk about sex, you can talk about your biopsy. But when you get into class, people kind of clench up,” Saunders said. “In my 20s, I had a series of that kind of classic American experience, where you are kind of going down and you think, ‘That’s enough. Now I’m going to turn myself around,’ and then you go down a little more.”

Saunders, a former geophysical engineer, said his personal views on wealth and politics have evolved through the years.

“I went to the School of Mines in Colorado and … [was] kind of a dull-witted, sort of vaguely right-wing kind of person who didn’t really know much about politics,” he said. “And then I went to Asia in the oil business, and that really opened up my eyes to suffering and to the fact that wealth doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are virtuous. It’s just sort of an element of luck.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Dec 232012

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — National Rifle Association board member and president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on Sunday that President Obama and Democrats are politicizing the Newtown tragedy by pushing for gun control.

“We ought to calm down and not take tragedies like this, crimes like this, and use them for political purposes,” Norquist told George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “President Obama has been president for four years. If he thought some gun control could solve this problem, he should have been pushing it years ago.”

“Democrats had a majority in the House and a supermajority in the House and the Senate for the first two years that they were in office. If they thought that this was really an important issue they might have done something then. They didn’t,” he added.

On Wednesday, Obama announced that Vice President Joe Biden would head a task force of leaders from across the country to evaluate solutions to reduce gun violence.

Norquist endorsed the recommendation made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at a press conference on Friday to place armed guards in schools across the country.

Other members of the political roundtable pushed for what they called “common sense” gun laws.

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, who is a member of the pro-gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said that there is more agreement than disagreement on measures to stop the mentally ill and criminals from acquiring weapons.

“I don’t think anyone has seen someone shot—I have,” Booker said. “I don’t know if anybody here has had to put their hand in somebody’s chest, and try to stop the bleeding so that person doesn’t die—I have. What frustrates me about this debate is that it is a false debate.”

“Most of us in America including gun owners agree on things that would stop the kind of carnage that is going on in cities all across America,” Booker said, adding that loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns in “secondary markets” should be closed.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said that LaPierre’s suggestion that the effect of a violent culture on the mentally ill has contributed to increased gun violence, but she believes that Congress should pursue some gun control measures.

“I am for the banning of the extended magazines and extended clips,” Noonan said.

Editor and Publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel said that focusing on the mentally ill is a distraction from the issue of gun violence.

“The mental illness argument has been used to evade action,” vanden Huevel said. “More guns and bullets, more dead children.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sep 132012

ABC/Martin H. Simon(NEW YORK) — In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Thursday, Mitt Romney did not back down from his belief that the Obama administration’s first response to the Cairo protest demonstrated “sympathy” for the attackers, but he also made it clear that he was ready to move on.

“What I said was exactly the same conclusion the White House reached, which was that the statement was inappropriate. That’s why they backed away from it as well,” Romney told Stephanopoulos.

The Cairo Embassy’s statement, released before the embassy was attacked, said it rejects “the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

When Stephanopoulos pointed out that the White House did not say the embassy’s statement showed sympathy for the attackers, Romney stuck by his remarks.

“Well, I think the statement was an inappropriate statement. I think it was not directly applicable and appropriate for the setting. I think it should have been taken down. And apparently the White House felt the same way,” he said.

In an interview with 60 Minutes Tuesday, President Obama said the statement “came from folks on the ground, who are potentially in danger. And, you know, my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.”

He went on to accuse Romney of displaying a “tendency to shoot first, aim later.”

Romney wouldn’t take the bait.  He didn’t respond directly to the president’s barb the first time he was asked.  When Stephanopoulos posed a follow-up question, all he would say was this: “Well, this is politics. I’m not going to worry about the campaign.”

Romney on the Federal Reserve and QE3

The Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing — or QE3 — Thursday, a decision Romney said proves his point that the economy is not bouncing back.

“And now the Federal Reserve, it says, ‘Look, this economy is not going well. They’re going to QE3. They’re going to print more money,” the former governor said.

“What [Fed Chairman Ben] Bernanke’s doing is saying that what the president’s saying is wrong.  The president’s saying the economy’s making progress, coming back.  Bernanke’s saying, ‘No, it’s not.  I’ve got to print more money.’”

Romney said he doesn’t believe Bernanke’s policies will grow the economy and adds he would appoint another chairman of the Federal Reserve if he is elected president.

“I think we have to have a leadership in Washington that encourages the private sector.  I think printing more money, at this point, comes at a higher cost than the benefit it’s going to create,” Romney said.

Tune in to Good Morning America at 7 a.m. ET Friday for more of ABC News’ exclusive interview with Romney.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio