The second-term curse goes like this: A president (e.g., Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and so on) wins reelection, but then his presidency implodes over the next four years — mired in scandals or disasters such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky, the Iraqi insurgency, and Hurricane Katrina. Apparently, like tragic Greek heroes, administrations grow arrogant after their reelection wins. They believe that they are invincible and that their public approval is permanent rather than fickle. The result is that Nemesis zeroes in on their fatal conceit and with a boom corrects their hubris.
Let’s be clear what the bargaining over the fiscal cliff is all about. It is not about a long-term solution to our run away deficits and the iceberg looming in the distance: entitlement spending that will sink our fiscal ship. It is not about extracting more revenues from “the rich,” however defined. (Snip)There is something gallant about Republicans who believe they really know the economic impact of a few percentage points increase in marginal rates, and are willing to go down fighting to prevent such an increase. But there is something reckless about becoming tax-fight kamikazes
This is personal. My two decades in the US Army were the centerpiece of my life. I believe in the ethics professed by the officer corps. Yet, I recognize that we mortals are imperfect (I certainly am) and the human heart is the ultimate IED. So while I’m disappointed that Gen. David Petraeus fell for Miss Fatal Attraction 2012, what makes me really angry is his hypocrisy. Petraeus preached a gospel of perfect virtue — always a foolish move — and became another fallen televangelist. Nor is it only Petraeus: Misbehavior, double standards and outright criminal acts have become epidemic
President Obama has signed a secret directive that effectively enables the military to act more aggressively to thwart cyberattacks on the nation’s web of government and private computer networks. Presidential Policy Directive 20 establishes a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified document and are not authorized to speak on the record. The president signed it in mid-October.
George P. Bush seems to have a bright political career ahead of him, and he may be kicking it off as Texas land commissioner. His father, Jeb Bush, sent a letter to his supporters informing them that he´s "considering" running for the position, which "overseas [sic] the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives." The former Florida governor adds, "I hope you will write a personal check," to George P.´s campaign, though the younger Bush´s campaign strategist says,
Thanks to David Petraeus’s adultery and the so-called “fiscal cliff,” it’s almost possible to forget that there was a presidential election just a week ago. (And God knows the Republicans would like to!) But before the campaign disappears into the haze of social life in Tampa and tax reform proposals in Washington, here are four under-the-radar lessons from President Obama’s successful re-election bid. Even in national races, politics is still local. While Mitt Romney ran a national campaign — emphasizing the economy and the unemployment rate to voters in Reno, Racine and Raleigh alike —
No big deal. We’re just quickly becoming a Third World country that can’t even handle elections. LAUDERHILL, Fla. (WSVN) — Nearly a thousand ballots that were not included in Florida’s final count have been found in a warehouse in Broward County. Tuesday morning and into the night, there was a buzz of activity at the Voting Equipment Center in Lauderhill, a week after the general election. There was a recount going on for two commission seats that were too close to call, one in Hallandale Beach and another in Dania Beach. Workers had to count those votes manually.
Today, Barack Obama showed why trips to the dentist are more frequent than formal press conferences. Fortunately for him, though, he doesn’t have to demonstrate leadership, honesty, transparency, or a full command of the issues in them to be deemed successful by a fawning White House Press Corps. Fox News’ Ed Henry did bring up the Benghazi affair, and asked the President a pointed question, which he should have known would not get answer. Henry asked whether the President did authorize a go order to go in an assist the Americans operatives who were under attack
President Obama won the 2012 presidential election by accumulating some of the most one-sided electoral constituencies in modern political history. Looking at a breakdown of the 2012 election exit polling, Obama won the 18- to 29-year-old vote 60% to 37%, in spite of the fact that half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. He won women by 11 points and unmarried women by an incredible 36 points. The marriage gap was far greater than the gender gap.
The more things change: one of the world’s most powerful men stepped out on his marriage, yet much of the public attention and opprobrium has focused on the far-less-powerful woman who was drawn to him, media critics and other observers charged Tuesday—with several comparing the coverage of CIA Director David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell to that of President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Almost none of the coverage of the scandal involving both Petraeus—the retired four-star general
SolarWorld will lay off as many as 37 workers from its Hillsboro plant, company officials confirmed Wednesday. The factory, which makes solar cells and panels, is suffering from a market downturn that SolarWorld blames primarily on unfair competition from China. A coalition led by the company persuaded the U.S. government to levy tariffs on Chinese imports, but loopholes remain, prices are depressed and the duties have yet to help much, a company spokesman said.
Life is approaching a new normal for many in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeast two weeks ago. Lingering destruction, however, means it may take months to rebuild. Con Edison reported in a statement on Monday that “the largest customer restoration effort in Con Edison’s history is wrapping up.” Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent nor’easter knocked out power for more than one million customers, according to the utility company. The last customers in Westchester were having electricity restored as of Monday morning.
Republican Mitt Romney attributes his election loss to President Obama´s ´gifts´ that he bestowed on minorities and young people during his first term. In a conference call with his national finance committee on Wednesday, Romney said Obama´s win was buoyed in large part by loyal Democratic constituencies including the poor that he had promised ´free health care,´ the immigrants that he had protected from deportation and the college-aged women that he had offered free contraceptives. ´You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health
President Obama´s election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centrepiece of his first term in power--but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring. Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny´s and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers´ bills and will reduce his employees´ hours. With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is ´the only alternative. I´ve got to pass on the
The Yorkshire moorland that inspired Wuthering Heights is about to be blighted by nine 377ft wind turbines, each one the height of Salisbury Cathedral. Do you need to be a rabid, bat-crazy, monomaniacal, classical liberal loon to find this upsetting? I hope not, I really do. The vandalisation of Ovenden Moor, near Haworth, in the heart of Brontë country should concern us all, regardless of which way we vote or what newspaper we read. Caring greenies ought to be dismayed by the widespread environmental havoc it will wreak: the kestrels it will slice and dice, the protected bats it will
An awful lot of America’s top military brass have been taking hits lately. Is it just a coincidence that several four-star generals and a two-star admiral get the axe or resign in disgrace within the space of less than a month? Do any of these have anything to do with the administration´s Benghazigate scandal? Or are they, as some military observers suspect, only the first installment of the Obama agenda to decimate the military services? (Snip) • General Carter Ham — On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that Gen. Ham was being replaced as the commander of
WASHINGTON - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the "gifts" he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president´s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant. "The president´s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift," Romney said in a call to donors on Wednesday. "He made a big effort on small things." Romney said his campaign, in contrast, had been about "big issues for the whole country."
While tens of thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy continue to struggle without power or heat, many of them homeless or living in damaged houses, some fortunate relief workers have been staying at a luxury Manhattan hotel since arriving in town to help with the aftermath of the storm. Representatives from American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) said that the two agencies booked a total of 48 rooms in the upscale SoHo Grand to house some of the relief workers at a discounted nightly rate of $310 a room.
Janeane Garofalo could face a heavy tax bill after discovering that she has unknowingly been married for the past 20 years. The 48-year-old stand-up comedienne, actress, liberal political activist and writer told the New York Post that she and her then boyfriend of one year, Rob Cohen, had wed in Vegas ´as a joke´ in 1991 - but didn´t imagine it would be formally recognized. Now, however, legal experts warn there could be a serious financial fallout. Top divorce attorney Raoul Felder told Page Six today: ´It could be a train wreck and not so casual. The highest tax rate
Washington - As Lyndon Johnson said, the two things that make leaders stupid are envy and sex. Macbeth kills a king out of envy. Egged on by an envious Iago, Othello smothers his wife out of a crazed fear of her having sex with his lieutenant. Now another charismatic general has shattered his life and career over sex. When you’ve got a name like a Greek hero, and a nickname like a luscious fruit, isn’t hubris ripe to follow? It’s been a steep fall for Peaches Petraeus, once the darling of Congress and journalists, Republicans and Democrats, Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley. Washington is suffused
An angry President Obama on Wednesday demanded his congressional critics “go after me” rather than snipe at his top aides, after two top Republican senators said U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice’s inaccurate account of the cause of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi makes her unfit to be promoted. In his first formal news conference in eight months Mr. Obama defended his handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya’s second-largest city, and also said he would not allow to go unchallenged any attacks by Republicans looking to place blame
The Obama administration’s public versions of events in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya have been riddled with discrepancies, starting soon after the American dead and survivors left behind a charred diplomatic compound and bullet-scarred CIA building in Benghazi. The administration’s inconsistencies go beyond its false assertion for days afterward that a made-in-America anti-Muslim video spurred “spontaneous” Sept. 11 assaults in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his information officer and two former Navy SEALs were killed.
The shale gas revolution is firing up an old-fashioned American industrial revival, breathing life into businesses such as petrochemicals and glass, steel and toys. Consider the rising fortunes of Ascension Parish, La. Methanex Corp., which closed its last U.S. chemical plant in 1999, is spending more than half a billion dollars to dismantle a methanol plant in Chile and move it to the parish. Nearby, a petrochemical company, Williams, is spending $400 million to expand an ethylene plant. And on Nov. 1, CF Industries unveiled a $2.1 billion expansion of its nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing
The FBI’s handling of the investigation that forced CIA Director David H. Petraeus to resign came under new scrutiny Wednesday as FBI Director Robert S. Mueller faced questions on Capitol Hill and President Obama alluded to lingering questions about the course of the inquiry. In his first public comments on the controversy, Obama said he has seen no evidence that the scandal exposed classified information that might harm national security. But he stopped short of approving the FBI’s handling of the inquiries into the personal e-mail communications of Petraeus and
President Obama said in his victory speech last week that “elections matter.” On Wednesday, he made clear how much the election matters to him — and to the way he intends to govern in his second term. Appearing in his first post-victory news conference, the customarily cautious Obama spoke like a politician with nothing to lose after winning the last race of his life. Over the course of an hour, he struck an unabashedly populist tone in characterizing his second-term “mandate” to help the poor and the middle class, and he warned his partisan rivals