Ukip leader Nigel Farage today rejected a deal aligning his party with the Tories and launched all-out electoral war with David Cameron. Mr Farage declared there would be "no deal with the Tories" in reaction to proposals by Conservative vice-chairman Michael Fabicant to launch an electoral pact with Ukip. Mr Fabricant, who is in charge of parliamentary campaigning is today set to urge Prime Minister David Cameron to make a commitment on a referendum on membership of the EU in return for a promise from Ukip not to field candidates at the next general election. He argues that the Tories
Although the intelligence community knew from Day One that al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible for the deadly Benghazi consulate attack, someone cut references to “al-Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the overview they released on September 14th. Instead, those talking points said that: “…demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault.” And just who was that “someone”? Well, while we still don’t know exactly who pushed the delete key, we apparently do have a fall guy. According to CBS News,
Problems in society are rarely solved by Washington bureaucrats yet they seem to have taken the adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ to heart. Accordingly, the government is addressing the nation’s growing obesity epidemic with a regulation: Section 4205, the menu labeling provision attached to ObamaCare meant to “aid consumers in selecting more healthful diets.” As currently written, however, the regulation will likely have job-killing effects and result in little, if any, significant reductions in obesity rates and/or improved health. The provision requires chain restaurants with 20 or more locations,
Having four children 10 and under offers plenty of intimate, hands-on lessons on human nature. Sometimes, for example, in spite of Michelle´s and my best efforts, good parental instruction is ignored and hard lessons have to be learned. I´m not talking about situations that lead to enforced discipline, but rather those that result in sad and tough natural consequences. A good recent example for us is one that many families have experienced: the misplaced bike.
More congressional Republicans are breaking a long-standing pledge to oppose tax increases before returning to Washington on Monday to avert a looming fiscal crisis with a deal that increasingly appears impossible to reach without changes to the tax code. The decades-old pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform group has been signed by 238 House members and 41 senators in this Congress and has essentially become inescapable for any Republican seeking statewide or national office over recent election cycles, especially in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.
Defiant parishioners waging tireless vigils for the churches they love — now eight years and running — are being warned by their archdiocese that the end is near, but they still vow to fight on. “We paid for this church,” said Maryellen Rogers, a parishioner at St. Francis X. Cabrini in Scituate. “We built it. The archdiocese took out a mortgage in the 1970s we paid off. And we believe we are the rightful owners of this church.” But the Archdiocese of Boston has signaled the rogue worshippers are testing the goodwill of the hierarchy.
What should Republicans in Congress do right now about the "fiscal cliff"? Everyone has advice, almost none of which squares with reality. Republicans have only two levers of control: the House of Representatives and filibusters in the Senate. Consider the options. Option 1: Do nothing. If no new legislation gets passed we hit the so-called "fiscal cliff." That means all "Bush tax cuts" would expire, for rich and non-rich alike. It means other tax cuts and credits added under Obama (payroll tax cuts, child tax credits, etc.) would also expire.
In a report speculating that former Florida governor Jeb Bush may run for president in 2016, the New York Times observes, “When Senator Marco Rubio of Florida held a strategy session here to discuss his own political future last week, the question of Mr. Bush, a mentor, hung over the room; a decision by Mr. Bush, 59, to seek the Republican nomination would almost certainly halt any plans by Mr. Rubio, 41, to do so or abruptly set off a new intraparty feud.” The reporters don’t identify a source for that proposition,
It’s now a year since the special congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a deficit-reduction plan. But with the dismal progress made since on its agenda, that milestone took even one of its own members by surprise. “Was it that long ago? Time flies,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told POLITICO. With the nation’s debt problems at the top of the to-do list in 2011, Congress created the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and gave it a Nov. 23 deadline to hammer out a deal to balance the budget or face automatic,
As protests continued to rage in Tahrir Square and pretty much every political party in the country united in opposition to his newfound power, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is surprised. It was three days ago that Morsi issued a decree that grants him immunity from the country´s courts, an aggressive move that practically gives the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood unchecked authority and earned him the nickname "Pharaoh." To us folks stateside, this all sounds quite unbelievable, since last year, the Egyptian people rose up in fury to oust Hosni Mubarak whom they believed had too much power.
Breaking with tradition, this election cycle bypassed the “October Surprise,” unless you count finding out that Donald Trump is a complete idiot. (His “shocking news” on President Obama was his announcement that he was offering $5 million for the release of all drawings the Kenyan native did in kindergarten.) In the end, there wasn’t even a “November Surprise.” Americans, happy with their free stuff from the federal government and fully content to go $1 trillion in debt to get it, stuck with the status quo. The first post-partisan president divided America by class, sex, race, religion and America said, “Eh, whatever.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his intention to quit political life Monday morning in a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Barak thanked the public for its continued support and said he will remain in his position as defense in minister until a new government has been formed following the coming Knesset elections in late January. (Snip) "I have exhausted politics and I want to dedicate more time to my family," Barak said. Barak reiterated that the Iranian threat would remain a central issue for Israel, exiting politics with the topic he is most famous
More than two months after an Islamist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, we still don’t know what really happened that night — and, thanks to a secretive White House and an incurious Washington press corps, we probably never will. Not officially, that is. But there’s no real mystery about it. From the evidence that’s emerged in dribs and drabs since the Sept. 11 calamity, it’s clear that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan al Qaeda-affiliated group coordinating with its allies elsewhere
It was meant to be a glorious year of royal pageantry, the year of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, and the year in which the reins of power began to be handed over to Charles at last. A chance to make his mark. In fact, 2012 will go down for the royals in general as a year to forget after two humiliating sets of naked photos of the Young Royals completely eclipsed the summer of celebration. For Charles, it has arguably been even worse than for the family in general.
New York - Wading into the incendiary subject of birth control for young teenagers, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday called on the nation´s pediatricians to counsel all of their adolescent patients about emergency contraception and make advance prescriptions for it available to girls under 17. Because current federal policy bans over-the-counter sales of the pills to girls under 17, having a prescription on hand could help younger teens obtain emergency contraception more quickly than if they have to contact a physician only after they need it.
The Scrapbook admits it has not paid too much attention to Twinkies in recent years. Our taste in—what shall we call them?—recreational foodstuffs tends to run in other directions; and to be honest, we were never all that enamored of Twinkies in the first place. On the other hand, Twinkies have suffered something of a bad rap. Yes, they’re full of sugar and not especially nutritious; but they are made and marketed as a snack, not a balanced meal. And then there’s the “Twinkie defense.” Three decades ago the man who assassinated San Francisco mayor George Moscone
WE have two political parties in America, runs a saying that conservatives like to quote. One is stupid, the other is evil. And when they join forces to do something that’s both stupid and evil — well, that’s what we call “bipartisanship.” The payroll tax holiday that passed Congress in the winter of 2010 was a rare exception to this pessimistic rule. Cutting the payroll tax was good short-term politics for both Democrats and Republicans: it was a tax cut that liberals hoped would double as stimulus, and a boost to the middle class
The use of drone strikes has been expanded dramatically under Obama. The personal involvement of the President in the intimate details of targeting and kill lists is new to this administration. It’s not something Democrats like to talk about. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz denied knowledge of the kill lists, promting this response from Glenn Greenwald, The remarkable, unfathomable ignorance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz One expects corrupt partisan loyalty from people like Wasserman Schultz, eager to excuse anything and everything a Democratic president does. That’s a total abdication of her duty.
The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems. The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com. Sixteen states — most of them governed by Republicans — have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead.
Washington--Timothy Geithner joined the Obama administration during a crisis. He´s hoping not to leave during one. The White House has tapped the Treasury secretary as its lead negotiator in deficit-reduction talks with Congress, giving Mr. Geithner about a month to help cut a deal before $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts begin in January—and before his long-planned departure from the administration. It is a sharp change in role for the 51-year-old, who has been preoccupied largely with the U.S. financial crisis, banking policy and Europe´s debt crisis in the past four years.
Defenders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, can be forgiven for some post-election triumphalism. But their joy is likely to be short lived. Because the law put off implementation of most key provisions until after the 2012 election, voters cast their ballots on November 6 without knowing what Obamacare’s true effect will be on their tax bills, insurance costs, or access to care. Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact
JERUSALEM — The United Nations envoy to the Middle East acknowledged in an interview with McClatchy Sunday that he has maintained quiet contacts with the Islamist group Hamas for “years,” despite the international community’s official policy to isolate the group. Robert Serry described his office’s contacts with Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, as “quiet engagements” and said his office was working now, in the wake of a cease-fire agreement that ended eight days of Israeli bombardment of Gaza, “hoping to help the parties get to a more durable solution.” “Because we are on
The story sounds just too idiotic and outrageous to be true. A Rotherham couple, by all accounts exemplary foster parents for nearly seven years, took on two children and a baby in an emergency placement. Eight weeks later, social workers came and took the children away--despite the fact that they were thriving--on the grounds that because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party this was not ‘the right cultural match’. Astonishingly, the official in charge is still unrepentant. Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children and young people’s services, has said that the children, who were
The National Republican Senatorial Committee had a rotten track record in 2012. But now they’re looking to get more deeply involved in picking candidates at the state level, hoping to foreclose Tea Party primary challengers like Richard Mourdock (R-IN). “There’s always going to be fundamental dislike of the national party coming to a local or a state race and saying, ‘This is who we want to pick,” Keli Carender of Tea Party Patriots told The Hill. The NRSC pulled out of several races this cycle, dooming several candidates to less-than-full financial support. The battle for the Republican Party heart
In 1991, a Bedouin tribe delayed its annual migration across the Sahara because its elders were not prepared to miss the last episode of Dallas. Such was the grip that the lavish American soap opera had in even the most unlikely places--and no character exerted that grip more tightly than JR Ewing, the oil baron unforgettably brought to scheming, malevolent, adulterous, Machiavellian life by Larry Hagman. Here was the devil in disguise, and the disguise was a ten-gallon hat. Hagman’s death at the age of 81 comes shortly after he reprised the role that made him world-famous. The opening