In the busy and under-staffed offices of New Orleans´ flood-control leaders, there´s an uneasy feeling about what lies ahead. By the time the next hurricane season starts in June of 2013, the city will take control of much of a revamped protection system of gates, walls and armored levees that the Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $12 billion building. The corps has about $1 billion worth of work left. Engineers consider it a Rolls Royce of flood protection — comparable to systems in seaside European cities such as St. Petersburg, Venice, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
The federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be poor if its pre-tax income is below $37,900.Even with full medical coverage. The calculation helps explain why newly revised Census Bureau figures hike the number of poor Americans to 49 million as of last year, further widening an already yawning gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty and how the government sees it. This breathtaking number begs the question: What does it mean to be “poor” in the United States? To the average American, the word “poverty” means significant material hardship and need.
On his second full day in office in 2009, President Obama signed an executive order that was a declaration of American renewal and decency hailed around the globe. It called for the closure, in no more than a year, of the detention camp at the United States Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the grim emblem of President George W. Bush’s lawless policies of torture and detention. Accompanied by other executive orders signaling a break from the Bush era of justice delayed and denied, it was a bold beginning. What followed was not always as uplifting.
Last week, I pointed out that there is no such thing as a natural social-conservative skew among Latino Americans. But that leaves open a rejoinder, expressed by several readers: The GOP doesn’t need to get all of the Latino vote, just its fair share. That’s true, and I should have made my point clearer. In the wake of the election, some social conservatives have tried a new version of the old Silent Majority argument, contending that Republicans can continue to make their candidates pass litmus tests on abortion and gay marriage and still win national elections
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hinted Monday he may see another presidential run in his future. "I´m open to that possibility," the Republican said when asked on CNN´s "Piers Morgan Tonight" about a 2016 White House bid. "But we´re a long way..." he added, pausing, then continuing, "I´m focused right now on trying to stay involved in the fray and make sure that we do the right thing up on Capitol Hill right now." Santorum proved a tough opponent to Mitt Romney during the Republican presidential primary, ultimately forcing the contest to run as late as April
"Talk of secession is in the air," says Brett Arends at MarketWatch. At least a small number of people in each of the 50 states have filed petitions on the White House website "We The People" asking that their state be allowed to leave the Union. Under rules laid out by President Obama, any petition that gets 25,000 "signatures" in 30 days earns an official response: At least seven states have more than 30,000 signatures, and the Texas petition had more than 117,000 as of Nov. 26. All of this secession fever "comes 150 years after the Civil War,
Today’s question: What do the following people have in common: actors Alec Baldwin and Robert Redford, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr and former New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter? Answer: Each of them is a bona fide star, and each was mentioned at some point as a possible candidate for the House or Senate. None of them ever ran. You can now add actress Ashley Judd to the list of celebrities mentioned as possible candidates for Congress. You can now add actress Ashley Judd to the list of celebrities mentioned as possible candidates for Congress.
1. Populism The Republicans have only won the popular vote since Ronald Reagan’s presidency on two occasions: 1988 and 2004. In both instances, even the patrician Bushes were able to paint their liberal opponents as out-of-touch Massachusetts magnificoes. Lee Atwater turned Michael Dukakis, the helmeted tank driver, into a bumbling Harvard Square naïf. Karl Rove reminded the country that John Kerry, the wind surfer, was a spandex-wearing, wetsuit-outfitted yuppie who lived in several of his rich wife’s mansions, as he jetted around in her plane and sailed on her boat. Otherwise, it was the Republicans
Thinking about buying a house? Or a municipal bond? Be careful where you put your capital. Don’t put it in a state at high risk of a fiscal tailspin. Eleven states make our list of danger spots for investors. They can look forward to a rising tax burden, deteriorating state finances and an exodus of employers. The list includes California, New York, Illinois and Ohio, along with some smaller states like New Mexico and Hawaii. If your career takes you to Los Angeles or Chicago, don’t buy a house. Rent.
The United States says it has no new information about North Korea´s speculated preparations for a long-range missile test. Instead, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland urged the leadership in Pyongyang to refrain from further launches, in accordance with the UN Security Council´s presidential statement adopted following the North´s missile launch in April. Reports surfaced last week that latest U.S. satellite images suggested North Korea was preparing to launch another missile in the near future. South Korean officials will meet with their U.S. counterparts in Washington in the
New York - New York City is seeking $9.8 billion in federal funds to repair infrastructure and recoup economic losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. Private insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements would pay for only $9.2 billion of the $19 billion in total public and private losses to the city from the superstorm, Mr. Bloomberg said in a letter to New York state´s Congress members. New York City´s request includes $5.7 billion in lost economic activity. "This funding will be needed to address the significant local expenses
Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who opened a new era of medicine with the first successful human organ transplant, died on Monday. He was 93 and lived in Wellesley and Edgartown, Mass. He died in Boston at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he performed his first transplant, said Tom Langford, a hospital spokesman. The cause was complications from a stroke he suffered on Thursday, Mr. Langford said. Dr. Murray’s groundbreaking surgical feat came in 1954, when he removed a healthy kidney from a 23-year-old man and implanted it in his ailing identical twin.
A painting that features President Obama posed as Jesus Christ crucified on is on display at a community college art gallery in Boston. The painting by Michael D’Antuono is part of a larger exhibit called “Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012.” (Snip) The painting is called “Truth” – and shows the president with his arms outstretched. A crown of thorns rests on his head. It was originally supposed to debut nearly four years ago at New York City’s Union Square. But that event was cancelled due to public outrage. “I always regretted cancelling my exhibit in New York because
Ramallah, West Bank – Officials say the remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have been exhumed from his grave so international forensic experts can search for additional clues to his death. The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren´t authorized to disclose the news. The detection earlier this year of a lethal radioactive substance on clothing said to be Arafat´s sparked a new investigation into his death. Arafat died in November 2004 in a French military hospital, a month after suddenly falling ill. Palestinian officials claim he was poisoned
United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice will meet with senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday to answer questions about the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya. CBS News has learned her appearance will include a morning meeting with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been among her biggest critics since her initial remarks on the attack. Rice has come under fire from Republicans for her initial account of the attack five days after it took place, when she suggested that there was no evidence the incident was an act of terrorism. On CBS News´ "Face the Nation,"
The U.S. Treasury increased the net debt of the United States $24,327,048,384.38 on the day after Thanksgiving, which equals approximately $211.69 for each of the nation’s 114,916,000 households. At the close of business last Wednesday, according to the Treasury, the national debt was $16,283,161,895,179.85. On Thanksgiving, the Treasury took the day off and did no borrowing. But on Friday, the Treasury increased the debt of the United States to $16,307,488,943,564.23. That was a one-day increase of $24,327,048,384.38.
College football fans are generally pretty clear about their feelings on Notre Dame.You either love ´em or hate ´em. For so long, they've been the NCAA's trophy wife minus the trophy. But this year, they've finally got style and substance and for that, it's hard not to love them. Two brands were salvaged Saturday after Notre Dame's epic defensive goal-line stance against USC in Southern California clinched its spot in the BCS National Championship game in January; Notre Dame football and, more important, college football itself. Do you remember the sad storylines in discussion this time last year
Free Speech: The U.N. plans to control the tool that tyrants fear most — technology that promotes free speech and intellectual freedom — by imposing a global tax in the name of fairness. Think of net neutrality on steroids. Elections have consequences, and one consequence of President Obama´s re-election may be U.S. acquiescence to the administrative control of the Internet to the United Nations and journalist-jailing and Web-censoring regimes from Iran to Venezuela, complete with a global tax on its use. The U.N.´s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is holding the World Conference on International Telecommunications
CULIACAN, Mexico — A 20-year-old state beauty queen died in a gun battle between soldiers and the alleged gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with in a scene befitting the hit movie "Miss Bala," or "Miss Bullet," about Mexico´s not uncommon ties between narcos and beautiful pageant contestants. The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez was found Saturday lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area of the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa, the chief state prosecutor said Monday. It was unclear if she had used the weapon.
The talks between President Obama and congressional Republicans to avoid looming tax hikes and steep spending cuts regressed Monday to the same old sticking point — raising taxes on wealthier Americans. Although both sides had expressed optimism before Thanksgiving that they would reach a deal to prevent a serious blow to the economy in January, the post-holiday pronouncements from the White House showed a re-emphasis on the president’s position that tax rates must rise for families earning more than $250,000 per year. And some top Republican lawmakers again insisted they won’t raise tax rates on anyone
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi may be backing down a bit on his attempt to seize dictatorial powers. The Muslim Brotherhood leader agreed to a limited compromise on his assertion of supremacy over the courts in which he would allow the judiciary to exercise review over his edits. This development testifies to the strength of the protests against Morsi’s attempt to acquire as much power as Hosni Mubarak had during his reign in Cairo. But even if Morsi’s putsch is contained for the moment, there is little doubt that he is determined to neutralize
WASHINGTON- Finalization of a $3.4 billion settlement between the United States and nearly 500,000 American Indians was lauded Monday by the Obama administration. The settlement of the long-running class action lawsuit over the U.S. government´s management of Indian trust funds and accounting of individual trust accounts became official Saturday following action by the U.S. Supreme Court and expiration of the appeal period. President Obama said in a statement issued by the White House that he welcomed the final approval of the so-called Cobell settlement, named for the late Elouise Cobell, who was one of the plaintiffs.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Retiring U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler is staying in Washington, but he will have a new job as a lobbyist for the country´s largest electric company. Shuler said Monday he´ll work on federal issues for Charlotte-based Duke Energy immediately after completing his current term in the U.S. House next month. Duke Energy has 7 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The Democrat decided not to run for a fourth term this year after Republican state lawmakers redrew his western North Carolina congressional district to add likely GOP voters
A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton´s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama´s recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts. Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.
Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web´s success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations. Many of the U.N.´s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack
Americans have a pretty good idea of what President Obama and Congress will do if they raise taxes as expected: It will be blown on expanding the government, not cutting the deficit as Washington is promising. A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 48 percent of likely voters believe that new taxes are likely to be used for new government programs. Some 38 have faith that the president and Congress will keep their word and cut spending and deficits and 14 percent are not sure. The fight over preventing the so-called "fiscal cliff" are hung up on taxes