Today, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) directed a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson asking for clarification on President Obama’s recent statement that “the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago.” That position has been used by the administration to push the possibility of vastly increased regulation of carbon emissions. Sessions wrote: This statement is contradicted by the facts. The actual temperature data show no significant change in global temperatures over the past decade and certainly less warming than the
In what one Republican calls an "unprecedented" move, an atheist group is advising all newcomers to the U.S. House of Representatives to stay away from the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), who founded the caucus in 2005, said the American Humanist Association is among the "extremist groups" that "want to make sure they´ve censored and shut down anything related to faith." Forbes, speaking Tuesday on "Fox and Friends," said the prayer caucus´s 105 members "stand up and fight for religious freedom and religious liberty." He said the atheist group --
Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s deceptive Benghazi spin ought to be enough to sink her bid for promotion. Mrs. Rice’s infamous talking points insisted that a YouTube video, rather than preplanned terrorism, prompted the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. Yet there’s plenty more in her past that calls into question her fitness as a potential replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Mrs. Rice made the rounds on Capitol Hill last week in an attempt to round up support.
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas) claimed that the United States had a $5.6 trillion surplus at the end of the Clinton administration Tuesday. “Remember, we had a $5.6 trillion surplus in 2000 – 2001 from the Clinton administration,” Jackson said in the interview while discussing fiscal cliff negotiations. However, according to CNN Money, the “Treasury Department reported a budget surplus… of $127 billion” for fiscal year 2001 and a $237 billion surplus for fiscal year 2000.
The Obama administration has launched a post-election push to restart moribund peace talks with the Taliban, despite resistance from the U.S. military, mixed signals from Pakistan and outright refusal by the militants themselves, according to U.S. officials. Senior White House and State Department officials reiterated the administration’s negotiating position — including its willingness to exchange prisoners with the Taliban — to a reluctant Defense Department at a meeting of national security deputies two weeks ago. The same message was conveyed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Two Senate Republicans identified a welfare loophole that allows ‘paid government volunteers’ in AmeriCorps to receive food stamps from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — for which they should not qualify, as a rule — in addition to a stipend from the government. “The role of the SNAP program isn’t to provide additional money to paid government volunteers; it is to help feed hungry American families,” Sen. John Thune, R-N.D., said in a statement today. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee added that “we’ve learned that a separate
NBC’s Bob Costas admitted that he made a “mistake” by airing his thoughts on the the Jovan Belcher shooting during a broadcast of Sunday Night Football, though he suggested “the gun lobby” had “orchestrated” some of the backlash. “What I was trying to say was, that if you want some perspective on this, there are a number of issues related to this that we could begin to talk about and think about,” Costas said on The Dan Patrick Show. “The problem was that I didn’t have enough time to get to many of them” in the short
Newt Gingrich will become the latest political star to appear on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” after bumping into the show’s cast as they filmed scenes in an Indianapolis restaurant on Monday. The Indianapolis Star reported that Gingrich happened to stop by St. Elmo Steak House as the show was filming an episode about a bachelor party for lead character Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott. “Parks and Recreation” co-creator Mike Schur huddled with the episode’s writer and director to quickly craft a scene for the former House Speaker and presidential candidate,
Brussels - NATO agreed Tuesday to send new American-made air defenses to Turkey’s volatile southern border with Syria, a boost to an alliance member on the front lines of Syria’s civil war and a potential backstop for wider U.S. or NATO air operations if the situation deteriorates further. The alliance’s approval of Patriot anti-missile batteries represents NATO’s first significant military involvement in the 20-month-long crisis, even if it falls well short of rebels’ demands for help. NATO and U.S. officials insisted that the system is entirely devoted to defending Turkey and is not a precursor
The past 24 hours have taught me more about the media than all my years working for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, or contributing to Fox News. A conversation that began in jest and that led to a passing comment at the end of my interview with General David Petraeus has turned into a firestorm of speculation and an attempt to denigrate Fox. In April 2011 I visited Afghanistan, and sat down for an interview with Petraeus in his office at ISAF Headquarters in Kabul. I had been to Afghanistan two years before, and concluded
Chicago - NASA plans to send a new rover to Mars in 2020 as it prepares for a manned mission to the Red Planet, the US space agency said Tuesday. The announcement came a day after NASA released the results of the first soil tested by the Curiosity rover, which found traces of some of the compounds like water and oxygen that are necessary for life. President Barack Obama´s administration "is committed to a robust Mars exploration program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "With this next mission, we´re ensuring America remains the world leader
President Obama argues Republicans want to go back to pre-recession policies of cutting "taxes for the folks at the very top" and rolling back "regulations on big banks."He warned: "We tried that top-down approach. It´s what caused the mess in the first place." Did it, though? Most economists agree the recession was caused by the subprime mortgage crisis, which had little if anything to do with tax policies. In fact, real economic growth accelerated after 2003, when the Bush tax cuts for top earners and small businesses fully went into effect.
Immigration: Former President Bush demonstrated leadership Tuesday in Dallas by urging the U.S. to streamline its citizenship process instead of focusing solely on illegal immigration enforcement. This deserves attention. The last Republican to win a presidential election couldn´t have better framed the issue in light of the GOP´s perceived problems in winning over immigrant voters, who have in part been blamed for the Republicans´ electoral defeat last month. "America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time," Bush told a conference sponsored by
With state and local governments struggling to balance budgets in a still sluggish economy, government employment has fallen by 562,000 jobs since September 2008, a decline of 2.6%. In response, the Obama administration has called for more federal aid—on top of the $250 billion doled out in the 2009 Recovery Act—to help keep state and local government payrolls near prerecession levels. But supporters of more federal aid implicitly assume that the size of the public sector was optimal before the recession. On the contrary, overstaffing is a serious problem in government, and the best evidence
Economy: Little noticed in President Obama´s "fiscal cliff" plan is a demand for a huge new stimulus package. Wait! Wasn´t he and everyone in the press telling us just before the election how the economy was gathering steam? In addition to the $1.6 trillion in new taxes on "the rich" that Obama demands, he´s also pushing for upward of $255 billion in new stimulus spending for next year — including $50 billion for roads, $30 billion in extended unemployment benefits and various short-term tax breaks. According to the New York Times, the administration´s argument is that
If the fiscal cliff talks make Lindsay Lohan look like a productive member of society, perhaps it´s because President Obama and John Boehner are playing by the dysfunctional Beltway rules. The rules work if you like bigger government, but Republicans need a new strategy, which starts by exposing the rigged game of "baseline budgeting." Both the White House and House Republicans are pretending that their goal is "reducing the deficit," which they suggest means making real spending choices. They are talking about a "$4 trillion plan," or something, regardless of how that number is reached.
Gun Control: If the girlfriend of the football linebacker killed in a murder-suicide had a gun to defend herself, she might be alive today to explain how guns save lives and more of them means less crime. Let us start with the proposition that Jovan Belcher, the 6-foot-2-inch, 228-pound Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, did not need his legally obtained and registered gun to kill his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. He could have used his bare hands to dispatch his partner, or even, say, a knife, as was used in another murder case involving a famous football
WASHINGTON – It appears that finger pointing and looking for a political scapegoat is en vogue in 2012. One public figure that so-called “Conservative Experts” are trying to use as a political piñata is Rush Limbaugh. These self-proclaimed experts are desperately seeking a plausible reason WHY President Obama was reelected, while at the same time failing to be introspective in their critique. But despite the cheap shots and mud smears sent his way, Rush Limbaugh continues to demonstrate an uncanny ability to make spot-on calls about the political climate and direction that is shaping
House Republicans´ tightrope walk over fiscal discipline is getting even trickier, with demands for monstrous federal funding in response to Hurricane Sandy forcing them to consider more spending. The call for Sandy relief funding coincides with an epic and protracted battle on the Hill over the looming fiscal crisis -- with Republican leaders caught between a conservative base that wants big spending cuts and zero tax hikes, and Democrats that want modest spending cuts and big tax hikes. The push from bipartisan governors for Sandy relief, though, could be difficult to rebuff. New York Gov.
On Tuesday afternoon, four of MSNBC’s primetime hosts were seen entering the West Wing for a meeting with President Obama. The network’s 8 p.m. host Ed Schultz tweeted out that the group was meeting with the president to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff”: Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery tweeted that she saw Schultz’s colleagues Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Al Sharpton all entering the White House. Maddow reportedly joked that she was there for a “hippie cabal”: Bendery also reported that a White House spokesperson says the meeting was between President Obama and various
Former president George W. Bush is wading into the debate over immigration reform, using a speech in Dallas to praise immigrants and ask that the issue be approached with a “benevolent spirit.” Bush, who tried and failed to pass comprehensive reform as president, opened a day-long conference on immigration and economic growth organized by the George W. Bush Institute, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Economists, CEOs and policy experts are speaking at the invitation-only event. Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas. They fill a critical gap in our labor market.
The GOP negotiates like clueless little girls. These one-dimensional thinkers don´t realize that the "fiscal cliff" is the opportunity of a generation to stop further middle class tax increases. The Democrats have bet the house on a modest tax increase for those making over $250,000. Ok then, it´s clearly time for the GOP to raise the stakes.
Washington - President Barack Obama is expected to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and defense in the next two weeks, with former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel on the short list of potential choices to head the Pentagon, senior administration officials said on Tuesday. Hagel, whose appointment would give Obama´s reshuffled second-term Cabinet a bipartisan cast, met the Democratic president at the White House this week to discuss a post on his national security team.
Iranian state television has shown images of what it says is an unmanned US drone captured in its airspace. The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle - one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans. Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told the Fars news agency that the drone had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Gulf in recent days. But the US Navy said none of its drones was missing in the Middle East. Other nations in the region, including the United Arab Emirates, also operate ScanEagles--low-cost, long-endurance aircraft with a 10ft (3m) wingspan
Trenton — After meeting with White House officials and Congressional leaders in D.C. today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Gov. Chris Christie will make a similar trip Thursday to push for federal funding of Hurricane Sandy disaster relief. The Associated Press reported Cuomo´s comment, but spokesman Kevin Roberts declined to confirm. While Cuomo was speaking to reporters, Christie´s office released two statements. In the first, Christie asked that the federal government reimburse 100 percent of costs related to Sandy recovery, beyond the usual 75 percent or the 90 percent President Obama can authorize. The second was a joint statement