House Republican leaders picked six new committee chairmen on Tuesday, solidifying the team that will carry them forward in the new Congress. Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office released the slate of chosen chairmen for ratification by the entire House GOP conference, which is expected to happen on Wednesday. Three of the races were competitive, with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) now set to become the new Homeland Security Committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) the Science Committee chairman and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) the Foreign Affairs chairman.
Congress: Changing the filibuster rule come January has suddenly become a top priority for Senate Democrats who want to help their re-elected president complete his fundamental transformation of America. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday blasted Democratic-led efforts to reform the filibuster, something the Democrats once vehemently opposed but which Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring up in the next Congress, fearing the Republicans will dig in to block President Obama´s agenda. What Reid and the Democrats will come up with is unknown at this point. Among the options is to ban
MEXICO CITY — A Mexican beauty queen killed over the weekend in a shootout between suspected drug traffickers and soldiers likely was being used as a human shield, a federal official said Tuesday. Maria Susana Flores Gamez, crowned 2012 Woman of Sinaloa in February, came out of the car first with a gun in her hands during the confrontation, with the other gunmen hiding behind her, according to the official from the attorney general´s office. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Caracas - Venezuela´s President Hugo Chavez is traveling to Cuba for more medical treatment Tuesday, according to a letter from the president to the National Assembly released Tuesday. The president of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello read the letter from Chavez requesting permission from the congressional body to travel to Cuba for "hyperbaric oxygenation" as part of his post-cancer treatment. "I ask this sovereign assembly to authorize my absence from national territory beginning Nov. 27 and my stay in our sister Republic of Cuba," the letter from Chavez said. Chavez, 58,
What was supposed to be a make-nice meeting on Tuesday seemed only to make things more contentious between the White House and Senate Republicans over U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments following the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Rice came face to face with some of her harshest Republican critics, hoping to allay their concerns about whether she misled Americans regarding what precipitated the assault. President Obama has staunchly defended Rice and is said to be considering her for his next secretary of state, but the meeting apparently only served to deepen GOP skepticism.
YOU MIGHT EXPECT political winners to be more ready than losers to compromise. Magnanimity in victory, and all that. It often works the other way, though. Victors misread their triumph and overplay their hands. Republicans, who failed to retake the White House and lost ground in the Senate, are beginning to accept that they will have to bend on a core principle in the fiscal talks now underway. Federal revenue will have to increase, substantially, with the wealthy taking the biggest hit. Democrats, meanwhile, are sounding more and more maximalist
The White House signaled Tuesday that it will attempt to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession. Administration officials said Obama will hit the road for a campaign-style series of events this week with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure
A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, including victims of terrorism, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the US government over allegations of funding Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza. The civil action, filed in the district court of Washington, DC, alleges that the US State Department, including Clinton, has ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. (Snip) The US Embassy said that it could not provide an official response by press time.
Iran is planning to build a nuclear bomb with at least triple the force of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II, diagrams obtained by the Associated Press indicates. According to AP, the diagrams were first discovered by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) scientists after an inspection of an Iranian nuclear facility. The document was published by the AP Tuesday after, the news agency said, it was leaked by officials critical of the way the West has been handling the Iran issue.The diagrams discovered by the IAEA show Iranian scientists calculating
The end of Israel’s eighth war of self-defense last week prompted charged debates over the efficacy of Israel’s military operation. In short, what did the cease-fire accomplish for the Jewish state after eight days of unprecedented missile versus anti-missile-defense warfare? Israel’s opponent is the Jihadist terror group Hamas — an anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-woman, and anti-Semitic organization that controls the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. This graphic Reuters photo of a man dragged through the streets of Gaza for alleged “collaboration” with Israel is a window into Hamas’s barbarism.
Breast cancer clusters in California may not be limited to Marin County. New research released Tuesday identified four areas of the state that have rates of the disease 10 to 20 percent higher than the state average. (Snip) Marin County has long been studied for its high rates of breast cancer, but many questions remain unanswered. Risk factors for the disease include having a family history of breast cancer, being white, hormone use after menopause, being an older mother or never having children, alcohol consumption, and having higher socioeconomic status. Still, many health experts say those factors
In today’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “there are no unanswered questions” about Susan Rice’s appearances Sunday shows or about the talking points she used in those appearances. “Those questions have been answered,” he said. Carney went on to allege that reporters, in asking about Rice’s Sunday show appearances, are more interested in playing politics that in “what happened in Benghazi.” Rice has come under fire from many, including Republican senators McCain, Graham and Ayotte, who expressed their displeasure after meeting with her earlier today, for claiming on Sunday morning
ANDREA MITCHELL: There are reliable studies that show you can’t cap enough deductions and level the playing field enough to raise the kind of revenue you need. We’re talking about a trillion and a half dollars here. TOM PRICE: You know well, Andrea, that the president’s plan to increase taxes on the upper 2 percent covers the spending by this federal government not for eight years, not for eight months, not for eight weeks but for eight days. Eight days only. It’s not a real solution. So, again, I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested
Washington - As the U.S. military grappled with budget cuts over the past year, one thing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made clear was the Pentagon must avoid reductions in training and maintenance that would lower the force´s readiness to fight. But a report released by a Washington think tank on Tuesday challenged that assumption, concluding that a short-term cut in readiness funding could free up cash to develop weapons and equipment needed to be ready in the future. Several teams of defense experts brought together by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments to
Last week, I wrote about the Washington Post’s decision to publish a large photo of a Palestinian toddler killed during Israel’s Gaza operation on the front page. The picture captures the most tragic aspect of war, the death of innocent civilians and the pain of the families they leave behind. But by not balancing this photo with an image of Hamas attacks on Israel, it also gave the impression that Israelis were fighting a war of aggression, rather than self-defense. The Washington Post’s ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, responded to criticism on Friday:
GAZA - Gazans offered very public thanks to Iran on Tuesday for helping them in this month´s fight against Israel, when Iranian-made missiles were fired out of the Palestinian enclave towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. "Thank you Iran", said large billboards on three major road junctions in the Gaza Strip - the first time there has been such public acknowledgement of Iran´s role in the arming of Islamic terrorists in the tiny territory. The message was written in Arabic, English, Hebrew and Farsi. The posters also depicted the Iranian Fajr 5 rockets that were used for the first time
Washington - New York state’s requirement that gun owners prove they have a special need for protection in order to obtain a concealed weapons permit does not violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The three-judge panel unanimously upheld a state law requiring applicants to prove that they’d received a personal threat or had some other special need for protection before they would be granted a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. An appeal to the US Supreme Court is expected.
Washington - Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday. The ruling sets out what might be the harshest sanction to come out of a historic case that the Justice Department brought in 1999 accusing the tobacco companies of racketeering. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote that the new advertising campaign would be an appropriate counterweight to the companies´ "past deception" dating to at least 1964.
Washington - The White House is expected in the coming days to send Congress a multi-billion dollar request to fund recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $71 billion in damages in New York and New Jersey. Congressional aides said there was no clear indication of the request´s size, but some said it would likely be at least $11 billion. The Federal Emergency Management Agency´s disaster relief fund had access to about $7.8 billion as Sandy slammed the U.S. East Coast on October 29, causing widespread destruction in coastal New York and New Jersey.
Take your "Happy Holidays" and shove it. Finally, there´s proof that Americans prefer "Merry Christmas." By a wide margin, 68 percent to 23 percent, Americans prefer stores with signs that say "Merry Christmas" during the Christmas holidays than the more generic and secular "Happy Holidays," according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. And in all 34 of the categories the accurate and prominent pollster looks at, "Merry Christmas" was the hands-down winner. A few examples:
Perhaps it’s time to change MSNBC to MSRBC, with the “R” standing for race. The far-left network has reached a point where every issue is about race no matter what host is ranting. The latest example of this comes from perennial race-baiting anchor Touré who on Nov. 26 attacked Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham as “old, white, establishment folks.” (Snip) In Touré’s black-and-white world, McCain is a “bitter” failed candidate who has no right to dare question potential Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice because she is a “much younger black woman.” He also claimed McCain
A Florida man has sued the ex-Elmo puppeteer, saying the voice actor met him while trolling gay telephone chat lines seeking underage boys for sex. The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed in Manhattan federal court by a man who remains anonymous. The man says he met Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash on a chat line when he was 16 years old in 2000 and exploring modeling opportunities in New York. The lawsuit says Clash had numerous Elmo dolls in his apartment when he met the teen for sex. The man, now 29, is the third to make claims against Clash,
"Multinational corporations have a new ally in their battles with organized labor: unionized workers," reports Crain´s Chicago Business. "Some workers are becoming so disillusioned by what their unions can, or rather can´t, do for them that they want out." A case in point is the Caterpillar Inc. plant in Joliet, Ill., where "dozens of machinists . . . crossed the picket line during a strike last summer and are planning unfair labor practices complaints" against the International Association of Machinists:(Snip) The trouble for private-sector unions is that the global economy vastly increases the supply of labor, diminishing their bargaining power.
San Francisco - The American Civil Liberties Union and four servicewomen sued the U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday to end a ban on women in combat, calling the military the last bastion of discrimination by the federal government and saying modern warfare has already put women in the line of fire. The civil rights group argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Northern California that the military policy barring women from roles primarily focused on combat solely because of their gender was unconstitutional. Hundreds of thousands of women veterans returning from wars in
Researchers have tested a small prototype of a nuclear-reactor engine design that could one day power deep-space exploration probes. The proposed design is based on a Stirling engine – an engine first invented in the 19th century that uses hot pressurized gas to push a piston. It would use a 50-pound nuclear uranium battery to generate heat that is then carried to eight Stirling engines to produce about 500 watts of power. (Snip) Nuclear engines are important because they make possible exploration of the entire solar system. Beyond Mars, sunlight is so weak that solar panels would have to be
Make way for the Messiah! This apparently is the new mantra for these grotesque and hideous post-election times. Barack Hussein Obama is not only not denying his Messiahship, he’s basking in the new role cast for him by gloating supporters. At Sunday’s Soul Train awards, Obama was nominated as “Our Lord and Savior” by Oscar-winning actor/comedian Jamie Foxx, who was answered by a wildly cheering throng. The YouTube showing the cheering throngs to Foxx’s naming Obama “Our Lord and Savior” was mysteriously removed from the Internet yesterday morning. Today comes news of artist Michael D’Antuono’s