BIDDEFORD, Maine — Labor leaders in Maine say the resilience of the Hostess workers on the picket line at the company’s Biddeford plant, which is in the process of being shut down after the company on Friday said it would liquidate the business, gives them inspiration in the face of what they believe have been ongoing efforts — by politicians, including Gov. Paul LePage, and corporate investors — to reduce union influence. Bakers’ union officials and their supporters say also that the demise
FORT PIERCE -— A county canvassing board on Friday ordered a recount of early-voting ballots in the race between U.S. Rep. Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy, hours after a judge declined to do the same. The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board voted 2-to-1 late Friday in favor of the move in the 18th Congressional District contest, in which Murphy is the unofficial victor. A series of tabulation errors by the county has raised suspicion among West´s campaign and its supporters and appeared to motivate the board´s favorable vote.
In his first testimony since stepping down last week, former CIA Director David H. Petraeus told a closed Capitol Hill briefing Friday that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya “was a terrorist attack and there were terrorists involved from the start,” Rep. Peter T. King said Friday. The New York Republican, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke to reporters after emerging from a closed-door, classified briefing by Mr. Petraeus, who visited Libya last month to interview survivors of the attack in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Ten days after failing to sail into the White House, Mitt Romney is already being tossed overboard by his party. The former Massachusetts governor — who attracted $1 billion in funding and 59 million votes in his bid to unseat President Obama — has rapidly become persona non grata to a shellshocked Republican Party, which appears eager to map out its future without its 2012 nominee. Romney was by all accounts stunned at the scale of his Nov. 6 loss, dropping quickly from public view after delivering a short concession speech to a half-empty Boston arena. Then came a series
After a brutally divisive presidential campaign and two years of acrimony over the federal budget, the nation´s leaders joined hands Friday and pledged fast and far-reaching action to tame the public debt and avoid economy-shaking tax hikes set to hit in January. In a display of bipartisanship unseen since the GOP captured the House in 2010, Republican and Democratic leaders met for more than an hour with President Obama at the White House. They emerged unified, with a message of reassurance for nervous taxpayers and investors — though intense haggling over the shape of a deal is yet to come.
CAIRO — As the conflict between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip intensifies, Arab governments are throwing their weight behind the territory’s long-isolated Islamist leaders in a reflection of the region’s shifting political dynamics after nearly two years of upheaval. Long kept at a distance by Arab autocrats wary of Hamas’s hard-line ideology, the group has found a new set of highly influential friends — including the democratically elected governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, all U.S. allies. Those backers give Hamas stronger standing
In a blockbuster report, John Solomon, the former Associated Press and Post reporter, has ferreted out the president’s daily brief that informed him within 72 hours of the Sept. 11 attack that the Benghazi attack was a jihadist operation. Citing officials directly familiar with the information, Solomon writes in the Washington Guardian that Obama and other administration officials were told that “that the attack was likely carried out by local militia and other armed extremists sympathetic to al-Qaida in the region.” He adds
NJ Transit left roughly 50 rail cars and locomotives at its rail yard in Hoboken yard as Storm Sandy approached, despite the vulnerability of that city to flooding. In all, 261 of NJ Transit‘s rail cars and 63 of its locomotives sustained damage in the storm and are in the process of getting repaired. The agency has 203 locomotives and 1,162 cars. Of those damaged in Sandy, 37 cars and 12 engines were left stationed in Hoboken as Sandy´s surge overwhelmed the city, plunging it into deep waters. Asked why the 49 coaches and engines were left in Hoboken, NJ Transit
Jerusalem - Israel prepared Friday for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as Hamas militants continued to lob rockets into Israel, and one of them landed near Jerusalem for the first time since 1970. The rocket strikes outside Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel’s main population centers, sharply raised the stakes in the ongoing standoff between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, providing sobering evidence that Palestinian militants possess weaponry that can strike deeper inside Israel than ever before. In particular, the strike on Jerusalem — a city both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their
The Bain attack is back. This time it’s being used against Hostess Brands, the Twinkies and Wonder Bread maker that announced Friday it was closing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka drew the comparison in a public statement Friday. “What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price."
In a sense, Ken Burns´ new documentary is the photographic negative of the one he delivered in 2009: Instead of swooning full-color shots of azure lakes and soaring mountains, his new film is made of images that could come from the dark side of the moon. In some of them, the parched land tells its own silent story. In others, we see bleached-out shots of people, in overalls, scowling. Or children in gas masks, looking like humanoid visitors from another world.
When the Fordham College Republicans announced in early November they had invited conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak at one of their club´s events on campus, University President Joseph McShane publicly pressured the club to rescind its invitiaton. Ted Conrad, a junior at Fordham and President of the Fordham College Republicans, announced Saturday that the club had rescinded the invitation to Ms. Coulter. The previous day, on Friday (two days after the initial invitation was announced), McShane sent out this bone-chilling campus wide email
Black Friday could be a dud. That’s good news for the inevitable one unfortunate person who will be trampled on in a Walmart somewhere the Friday after Thanksgiving. Less people to step on other people’s backs and run over their fallen bodies with carriages. On a serious note, upstart investor news and information site MillionaireCorner.com says that most people they’ve polled within the investor class are going to take it easy next Friday. The wealthier the shopper, the less likely they are to go out on Black Friday.
It has been a busy week for the freshly re-elected president of the United States. Barack Obama gave his first news conference since March, launched his controversial tax the rich initiative targeting the top two percent of American earners, and furiously began to try and dig his way out of the Benghazi debacle, while defending his hapless UN Ambassador Susan Rice. He also found time to meet with the victorious Olympics gymnastics squad at the White House. But he hasn’t yet made any effort to publicly address the escalating tensions in the Middle East, especially the wave of rocket attacks
My unlikely course in activist politicking started with a May call from a member of the executive committee of the Green Party of New York State. The call came, I understood, because of the notoriety of my very-publicly performed 2007 experiment in extreme environmental living in the middle of Manhattan. The project had been intended to question and look for alternatives to the typical American´s consumption-based way of life. It was also a vehicle to help bring broader public attention to the range of our environmental crises -- from ocean depletion to species extinction to climate.
On Friday, another shot was fired by conservative supporters of fast-food companies claiming to chafe under the requirements of Obamacare. Rebooting America, a small but vocal group formed after the Nov. 6 election, has designated Friday as National Papa John´s Appreciation Day. The announcement was made in support of Papa John´s CEO John Schnatter´s recent statement that the Affordable Care Act may prompt the pizza chain to raise prices and cut employees´ hours in order to keep them from qualifying for health care. Through the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithPapaJohns, the group is urging people to rush out and buy Papa John´s
Senator Paula Broadwell? It might have been. TIME Magazine reports that David Petraeus’ mistress considered running for as a Republican candidate for senate in North Carolina — but the then-CIA director was against the idea. In July, Broadwell was in Aspen, Colo., for the Aspen Security Forum, TIME said on Thursday, and told a handful of people that GOP financiers had approached her about a possible campaign. She told the acquaintances that when she informed Petraeus, he questioned her positions on issues ranging from abortion to gun control to taxes.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the IDF´s request on Friday evening to increase the maximum number of reservists it could enlist, seeking cabinet approval to mobilize up to 75,000 troops ahead of a possible Gaza ground operation. The Inner Cabinet, a group of nine senior ministers, met for over three hours to discuss the possibility of a ground operation into the Hamas-controlled enclave, but released no statements or indications as to what transpired during the meeting.
The Energy Department has supported A123 Systems, Inc., which produced batteries for electric vehicles, through thick and thin. The company received a $946,830 payment, part of a larger grant, on the day it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-October. The company revealed the Oct. 16 payment in a letter this week to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.), who have questioned federal financing for the company. The company won approval for $249 million in grant funding in 2009 but didn’t draw the whole thing. Reuters has more here,
The legal battle surrounding the results of Rep. Allen West´s (R-Fla.) reelection bid is likely not over yet, as both he and Democrat Patrick Murphy have indicated a willingness to move forward with litigation, regardless of the official results. A judge has dismissed West´s case calling for a full recount of ballots from all eight days of early voting in St. Lucie County, a major part of Florida´s 18th District, eliminating his final legal option before the county´s vote canvassing board meets this afternoon to decide whether to engage in a full recount.
President Obama´s favorability rating has reached its highest point since 2009, according to Gallup data released Friday. In a recent tracking poll, the firm finds Obama with a 58 percent positive rating among all Americans — a three point bump from his favorability rating from a survey taken days before the election. The last time Obama´s favorability rating registered his highly was his 66 percent positive rating in July 2009. His highest positive number ever recorded by Gallup was 78 percent — just before his inauguration as president. "Obama now enjoys as positive an image in
A new White House petition wants President Obama to nationalize the "Twinkie industry," saving the popular junk food from possible extinction. "We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center," a petition on the White House "We the People" website requests. (Snip) Hostess Brands Inc. — maker of the Twinkie, the Ding Dong and Wonder Bread — is preparing to shutter operations amid a labor strike and rising costs. Unionized workers rejected a major pay and benefit cut, sparking the latest strike.
MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., is scrubbing its list of 800 civilian “friends” to head off any future embarrassments in the wake of former CIA Director David H. Petraeus‘ sex scandal. “It’s being looked at,” a defense official told The Washington Times. “It’s just the prudent thing to do to make sure everything is legal and is it appropriate.” Home to U.S. Central Command, MacDill has been thrust into the spotlight because of revelations that a Tampa socialite and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan exchanged emails that defense officials have deemed “flirtatious” and “potentially inappropriate.”