Resignations over scandals often raise more questions than they answer, and that’s true of Gen. David Petraeus’s abrupt exit from the Central Intelligence Agency. Some have already been put to rest: Paula Broadwell, the author of “All In: The Education of David Petraeus,” has been identified as the woman at the center of the FBI email probe that ultimately toppled him. But many questions remain. Here are POLITICO’s six most important: 1. Why resign now? The Obama administration’s first sex scandal exploded just three days after the president was reelected at the end of a hard-fought campaign and just days before Petraeus was scheduled
Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama´s tentative plans for reshuffling his deck of aides and Cabinet members accelerated this week when word reached the White House of an FBI investigation that brought to the surface CIA Director David Petraeus’ infidelity. The former general’s swift exit provided an immediate reminder of the task facing the administration as it looks to planning out the next for years — ensuring the orderly exit of long-serving, but tired, aides and bringing in fresh blood. Obama’s Cabinet, which has been unusually stable for the past four years, will be at the center of the government-wide change,
“Gonna be some hard times coming down.” —Kris Kristofferson, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid One way of making sense out of nonsense in this new age is simply to believe the opposite of what you read. I have been doing that and it often works. Latinos — Please Vote for Us… Take the sudden Latino vote obsession. I don’t think not supporting the Dream Act, as we are told, factored in much at all in the Republican defeat — or at least no more than losing by the same margin the Asian vote,
On Saturday, a spokesperson for the Chinese space program announced that China’s next space mission will be launching in June of 2013. This will be the country’s first manned space mission since the Shenzhou-9 completed the program’s first manned docking mission last June. (Snip) If successful, this mission will be another stepping stone for the Chinese space program in its quest to build a fully operating space station by the early 2020's. This goal is partially motivated by the fact that China is excluded from the International Space Station thanks to American embargoes.
It’s the L.A. City Council in this case. Nice to see the concept of “bread and circus” once again involving actual bread: The Los Angeles council, in a 14-0 vote on Friday, adopted a resolution urging residents to adopt a personal pledge to have a “meatless Monday.” While it does not have the force of law and police will not be checking what you brought to work for lunch, city officials said they hope it will start a trend, make residents healthier and reduce the impact on the environment.
Christian conservatives, for more than two decades a pivotal force in American politics, are grappling with Election Day results that repudiated their influence and suggested that the cultural tide — especially on gay issues — has shifted against them. They are reeling not only from the loss of the presidency, but from what many of them see as a rejection of their agenda. They lost fights against same-sex marriage in all four states where it was on the ballot, and saw anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates defeated and two states vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Vienna - Attempts to find Arab-Israeli common ground on banning weapons of mass destruction from the Mideast have failed, and high-profile talks on the issue have been called off, diplomats said Saturday. The two diplomats said the United States, one of the organizers, would likely make a formal announcement soon saying that with tensions in the region remaining high, "time is not opportune" for such a gathering. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the cancellation ahead of the formal announcement.
According to two well-vetted sources with intimate knowledge of the CIA operations and events in Benghazi, the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus is directly related to the testimony he was expected to provide before a closed-door hearing next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources close to the controversy, citing the need for anonymity due to their positions, stated that Barack Hussein Obama was aware of the CIA director’s indiscretions “long before” the November 6, 2012 elections, and knew about the FBI’s investigative findings weeks before the election, but “erected
The election is now behind us. We need to move on. Easy for me to say, tough to do...but do we must. As for me, I’m through with my rant, my jumping up and down, my screaming at the television and my blaming everything and everyone for the failure. But...Let us not begin with some amateurish finger pointing at the Romney campaign for the loss of the election. (Snip) But let us not lose sight of the real tragedy here. The American people stepped into the muck and pulled out a man running on empty. He had no record to run on. He could only run a dirty, sleazy, dishonest, vitriolic, egregious
Once upon a time in American politics, there were things called "wedge issues," and they generally terrified Democrats. They were mostly social and cultural issues: abortion, feminism, gay rights, illegal immigration and race. Conservatives wielded them to divide working-class Democrats. Wedge issues helped elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency and dozens of other Republicans to Congress. And now they aren´t working anymore. Or, more precisely, they´re not working for the GOP. They´re helping the Democrats instead. Take immigration, long a favorite wedge wielded by Republicans to rally white
Israeli friends have been asking me whether a re-elected President Obama will take revenge on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the way he and Sheldon Adelson, his foolhardy financier, openly backed Mitt Romney. My answer to Israelis is this: You should be so lucky. (Snip) No, my Israeli friends, it’s much worse than you think: You’re home alone. Of course, no one here will tell you that. To the contrary, there will surely be a new secretary of state visiting you next year with the umpteenth road map for “confidence-building measures” between Israelis and Palestinians.
Washington - On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose. Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. Members on the call, subdued and dark
Yangon, Burma - A strong earthquake struck northern Burma on Sunday, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead. No casualties or major damage was reported in the nearest major population center, Burma's second-biggest city of Mandalay, about 117 kilometers (72 miles) south of the quake's epicenter near the town of Shwebo. An official from the Meteorological Department in the capital, Naypyitaw, said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck at 7:42 a.m. local time. The area surrounding the epicenter is underdeveloped,
In a Thursday afternoon item carried at the Los Angeles Times via reporters Shashank Bengali and Joseph Serna (HT NewsBusters tipster Gary Hall), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed that "When we built New York, we didn’t think about floods, about storms. We didn’t have hurricanes and floods. ... Extreme weather is here to stay. Climate change is a reality. Political gridlock has held us back too long. ... Maybe Mother Nature is telling us something. One time, two times, three times. There are places that are going to be victimized by storms. We know that now.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Johnny Football and the SEC newbies from Texas A&M took down the biggest bully in their new neighborhood and left No. 1 Alabama with badly bruised national championship hopes. Johnny Manziel, better known around Texas as Johnny Football, staked the 15th-ranked Aggies to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, and Texas A&M held on to beat the Crimson Tide 29-24 on Saturday. The Aggies (8-2, 5-2), playing in the Southeastern Conference for the first season after ditching the Big 12, also might have ended the league´s run of BCS titles at six years.
Gen. David H. Petraeus had just assumed his new role as U.S. Central Command chief in 2009 when he began introducing his staff to a young Harvard University researcher who was writing his biography. The woman, Paula Broadwell, then 37, had never written a book and had almost no journalistic experience. But that wasn’t the only thing about her that made the general’s aides nervous. Petraeus — already the most acclaimed U.S. military commander in recent decades — had until then been extraordinarily careful in managing his public image, allowing limited access to a handful of journalists,
In the wake of Tuesday’s election, we are hearing lots of talk about bipartisanship and statesmanship, with the unstated premise that statesmanship and bipartisanship are automatically the same thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Snip) If the election battle was indeed a war of ideas, and the president’s ideas prevailed, where does that leave the losing party?Let’s be brutally frank. In essence, Republicans are now prisoners of war who have a hard decision to make:Should they collaborate with their captors in order to try to obtain better treatment for themselves and their constituents?
West Palm Beach, Fla. - Firebrand Republican Rep. Allen West was defeated by Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, according to the state´s vote count Saturday, but the incumbent won´t concede. The state issued complete but unofficial results showing Murphy with a lead of 2,442 votes, or 50.4 percent. That´s beyond the half-percent margin needed to trigger an automatic recount. A handful of overseas and military ballots remain outstanding, but under state law the decision for a recount is based on Saturday´s count. Murphy declared victory early Wednesday morning and has held
WASHINGTON — Memorials in the Washington area are preparing for Veterans Day commemorations. Ceremonies are being held Sunday at the World War II Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.The ceremony at the World War II Memorial begins at 9 a.m. and will include a wreath laying and a performance by the United States Air Force Band Brass Quintet. At Arlington National Cemetery the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. President Barack Obama has in the past attended the ceremony and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) “The fact that he’s resigned and had an affair has nothing to do with whether he will be subpoenaed to Congress. I hope we don’t have to subpoena a four star general and a former CIA director. I would hope he would come voluntarily but if he won’t he will be subpoenaed. And none of what happened today is an offense to a subpoena… He’s either a witness in our case in chief or he’s gonna be a rebuttal witness if Susan Rice and others blame him for their failure of intelligence and failure of information.
AS THE FISCAL cliff looms, leaders in Washington draw red lines. President Obama is “asking the wealthiest to pay a little more in taxes,” as he repeated Friday. House Speaker John A. Boehner is “open” to more revenue but only in exchange for significant spending cuts — and raising existing tax rates is “unacceptable,” the Ohio Republican insisted. So, more gridlock? Not necessarily. There are politically feasible ways to get more revenue, mostly from the wealthy — without raising tax rates. One is to limit the value of itemized deductions, 80 percent of which accrued to the top 20 percent
Wow, you better be interested in congressional blather about something this Sunday. In the absence of a national election race and with the next presidential election just 1,455 days away, representatives and senators are pretty much the sole guest fare on the talk shows. It´s like Thanksgiving leftovers two weeks early. For example, Obama´s Chicago strategist David Axelrod will predict that the incumbent White House Democrat will win reelection in last Tuesday´s balloting.
NEW YORK- Some of society´s most vulnerable people - the elderly, the disabled and the chronically ill - have been pushed to the brink in the powerless, flood-ravaged neighborhoods struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy. The storm didn´t just knock out electricity and destroy property when it came ashore in places like the Far Rockaway section of Queens. It disrupted the fragile support networks that allowed the neighborhood´s frailest residents to get by. Here, the catastrophe has closed pharmacies, kept home care aids from getting to elderly clients and made getting around in a wheelchair impossible.
While serving his country decades ago as a Marine in Vietnam, James Blue had to be medivaced home to the United States to battle a life-threatening case of malaria, and he returned to face a country sharply divided over the war.Back then there were no words of thanks for his service. But Saturday he and other veterans heard words of appreciation at a city Veterans Day ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War and thank them for their sacrifices. (Snip) Jackson presented Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a Vietnam War commemorative flag at the ceremony,
Washington - The FBI investigation that led to the discovery of CIA Director David Petraeus´ affair with author Paula Broadwell was sparked by "suspicious emails" that initially did not contain any connection to Petraeus, U.S. law enforcement and security officials told Reuters on Saturday. But the CIA director´s name unexpectedly turned up in the course of the investigation, two officials and two other sources briefed on the matter said. It was "an issue with two women and they stumbled across the affair with Petraeus," a U.S. government security source said.