Why are Republicans playing the Democrats’ game that the “fiscal cliff” is all about taxation? House Speaker John Boehner already made the preemptive concession of agreeing to raise revenue. But the insistence on doing so by eliminating deductions without raising marginal rates is now the subject of fierce Republican infighting. Where is the other part of President Obama’s vaunted “balanced approach”? Where are the spending cuts, both discretionary and entitlement: Medicare, Medicaid and now Obamacare (the health-care trio) and Social Security? Social Security is the easiest to solve. So you get a sense of the Democrats’ inclination to reform entitlements
President Obama offered Republicans a detailed plan Thursday for averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt. The proposal, delivered to the Capitol by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, mirrors previous White House deficit-reduction plans and satisfies Democrats’ demands that negotiations begin on terms dictated by the newly-reelected president. The offer lacks any concessions to Republicans
So now John Boehner is angry that the White House leaked a one-sided version of his latest conversation with President Obama to the press: Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Republican leaders are fuming after a late night phone call with President Barack Obama was leaked to the press, despite an agreement that it would not be, according to several GOP aides. As if this should come as a surprise! It sounds as though Boehner and his aides are starting to get a clue: Republicans believe the president is more interested in raking them over the coals publicly than
Lost in all the speculation about the next secretary of state is the degree to which Foggy Bottom will need someone who can put the pieces back together. While Hillary Clinton coasted for much of her term on the good press that comes with being a Clinton, until the last couple of months she was having a decidedly average run as secretary of state. But the Benghazi debacle–which was in large part the result of Clinton’s incompetence and lack of attention–followed by the expected defection of most of our European allies at the UN vote on the Palestinians today
An electrician who faced foreclosure on his home won $1million from the Powerball lottery because his ticket matched five of the six numbers. Larry Chandler, 34, claimed his winnings on Thursday after buying his ticket at a gas station in his hometown of Highland. He said that among his big plans is a dinner date with his girlfriend at Red Lobster. ´It´s amazing. I´m just ecstatic. You know, I´ve never won anything in my life. This is pretty big,´ Mr Chandler said at the press conference in Indianapolis.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts.Geithner’s visit to his office left McConnell discouraged about reaching a “balanced” deal on tax hikes and spending reductions designed to prevent a shock to the economy in January. “Nothing good is happening” in the negotiations, McConnell says, because of Obama’s insistence on tax rate hikes for the wealthy
Rights: The Senate is considering a treaty which says "disability is an evolving concept" and which would infringe on U.S. sovereignty and the right to raise our children as American families see fit. Those who thought that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) adequately guaranteed the rights of the handicapped to have access to all facets of American life were apparently wrong. The U.S. Senate is considering ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which President Obama signed in 2009 and which goes well beyond mandating wheel-chair ramps for
In an interview with one Republican and one Democratic House member, Chris Matthews probed to determine how close the lower chamber of Congress was close to agreeing on a resolution to the impending fiscal cliff. Matthews informed the Republican congressional representative that any deal which does not include an increase in income tax rates would be insufficient for Democrats, as well as voters who turned out to deliver President Barack Obama a second term. He said that Democrats “want to see the bite marks on your neck,” and know that Republicans “paid a price” for supporting the rich.
Uncritical, fear-mongering media propaganda is far too common to take note of each time it appears, but sometimes, what is produced is so ludicrous that its illustrative value should not be ignored. Such is the case with a highly trumpeted Associated Press "exclusive" from Tuesday which claims in its red headline to have discovered evidence of "Iran Working on Bomb". (Snip) It is a "graph" which AP says was "leaked" to it by "officials from a country critical of Iran´s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran´s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon"
It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world´s population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.
Classical explanations of conventional wars run something like this: An aggressor state seeks political advantage through military force. It has a hunch that the threatened target will likely either make concessions to avoid losing a war, or, if war breaks out, the resulting political gains will be worth the military costs to achieve victory. Wars then are prevented only by a balance of power and military deterrence: aggressors have to be warned that it would be stupid to start a war they will likely lose. If there are miscalculations or if emotions run high and logic is ignored,
KAILUA, OAHU - Residents living near the beachfront homes where President Barack Obama and First Family vacation with their friends every year since 2008 were alerted on Monday to some specifics of the Obamas´ holiday vacation plans. The report delivered to residents living along the ocean and canal that surrounds the multi-million dollar homes at Kailuana Place where the President stays, informed them of restrictions that will be implemented for 20 days beginning December 17 and running through January 6.
Ivy League educators overwhelmingly supported President Obama with their campaign donations in the presidential election, reinforcing the suspicions of critics who say their bias also shows up in the classroom. Some 96 percent of faculty and staffers at the eight universities who donated wrote their checks to Obama, and at Brown University, just one professor contributed to Mitt Romney´s bid, according to a study by student political advocacy group Campus Reform. In all, the employees of the prestigious schools sent more than $1.2 million to President Obama and just $114,166 for Romney’s campaign -- a ratio of more than 10-to-1.
Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sharply criticized the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for skipping a scheduled hearing on Thursday. Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sharply criticized the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for skipping a scheduled hearing on Thursday. TSA Administrator John Pistole was listed as an invited guest for the hearing, which was focused on the aviation security agency´s impact on commerce in the United States. But when Aviation Subcommittee Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) called Thursday´s meeting to order, Pistole´s seat was empty.
According to a new study from 24/7 Wall Street, California is the worst run state in the nation … for the second year in a row. The best run state is North Dakota. What went into the calculation? 24/7 Wall Street explains: To determine how well the states are run, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed hundreds of data sets from dozens of sources. We looked at each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure and deficit to determine how well it is managed fiscally. We reviewed taxes, exports, and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector,
The first serious proposals from the White House to solve the looming "fiscal cliff" of tax rises and budget cuts appear to have been rejected out of hand by Republican leaders in Congress. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner is reported to have offered a set of proposals that include increasing tax rates on the wealthy, a one-year postponement of scheduled cuts in defence and domestic spending, and $400bn in savings from Medicare and other entitlement programmes. The proposals (Snip)include a $1.6tn tax increase, a $50bn stimulus package and new presidential powers to raise the federal debt limit without congressional approval.
One month ago, the massively powerful winds, rain, and floodwaters of Superstorm Sandy devastated much of New York and New Jersey, killing 60 in the region and causing more than $62billion in damage. In the aftermath of the storm, relief groups offered their aid, but many have blasted the Red Cross for being absent in the areas hit hardest by the storm. Many have slammed the organization for not helping families who needed the most relief and are asking what the Red Cross has done with the $150million in donations it has received.
WHEN Nicaragua took Colombia to court in 2001 over a decades-long dispute concerning a handful of small islands in the Caribbean, the Colombians felt they had little to lose. They had exerted sovereignty over the territories and their waters, which lie about 400 km (250 miles) north of South America and 200 km east of Nicaragua, since the signing of a treaty in 1928. In 1980, shortly after the Sandinista revolution, Nicaragua claimed the treaty was invalid, and it later brought the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd submitted a plan this afternoon to the state Civil Service Commission to lay off the city´s entire police department, paving the way for a county-run force. A source knowledgeable about the matter said no layoffs would occur until the new department has at least 250 officers patrolling the streets of Camden. Once fully operational, the county force is expected to number about 400 - about 140 more officers than are on the present city police force. Camden County officials, citing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, yesterday extended their deadline
The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. The resolution upgrading the Palestinians´ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body — a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions. A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.
When the word "God" becomes inappropriate in public schools, America really has ceased to exist. Consider the story of a first-grade girl in West Marion, North Carolina, who had the word "God" stripped from a poem she wrote and was going to read at her school´s Veterans Day assembly earlier this month. The poem honored her two grandfathers who served during the Vietnam War. “He prayed to God for peace," she wrote of one of them. "He prayed to God for strength.” Unfortunately, a parent found out about this, and complained to the school district.
President Obama and Mitt Romney met face to face today for the first time since the election, breaking bread at the White House as talks over the looming "fiscal cliff" appeared to be faltering on Capitol Hill. "I bet it was and is quite tasty," Obama spokesman Jay Carney said of the lunch as it was underway, "because [the chefs] know how to prepare very fine meals." The menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad, the White House said in a written statement following the meal.
In remarks on the Senate floor today, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions blasted President Barack Obama and congressional leadership for holding "secret" fiscal cliff negotiations."I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff negotiations that are currently underway," said Sessions. "Over the last two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House.
Though America may be the "land of opportunity," Switzerland will be the best place to be born in 2013 according to a quality-of-life index from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The EIU, a sister company to The Economist magazine, determines quality of life based on surveys of the population covering 11 factors including wealth, crime, family life, trust in government and the stability of the economy. (Snip) Back in 1988, the United States was in first place, with France in second, and West Germany in third. Zimbabwe was last, with Iraq second to last and Iran third to last.