Economy: A rip-roarer for job creation and a major drop in the unemployment rate. At least, that´s how the mainstream media sum up November´s job numbers. But scratch the data and a different story surfaces. A lot of pundits thought the November jobs data were pretty good, with 146,000 new jobs and a drop in unemployment to 7.7%. But look closer, and you see recession mode. With nonfarm payrolls swelling by 146,000 and the jobless rate easing from 7.9% to 7.7%, November looked pretty good to many pundits. But the underlying trends aren´t so favorable,
AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION IN MARYLAND—Before bringing a reporter here this past week, two Navy officers met him in a suburban parking lot and applied a blindfold. They then drove down some bumpy roads, taking many turns. The reporter was allowed to take off the blindfold only when he reached a secret destination, where he saw two safeguarded possessions of the U.S. Naval Academy: Bill XXXIII and Bill XXXIV, a pair of Angora goats. The animals are the mascots of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The institution said this safe house
Right To Work: Both chambers of the Michigan legislature pass bills banning union dues as a condition of employment as a Detroit city councilwoman wonders when the pork will arrive. The choice is growth vs. stagnation. Reports of the GOP´s demise may be greatly exaggerated, at least at the state level, as Michigan, birthplace of the modern labor movement and unionism, stands poised to become the nation´s 24th right-to-work (RTW) state. If it goes ahead, it will join recent addition Indiana in challenging union power as Gov. Scott Walker successfully did in Wisconsin.
One of the things that has become apparent during the presidential campaign and now, during the negotiations over how to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” is the importance the president places on raising the rates on the top 2 percent of income earners. I’ve written before on why I believe conservatives shouldn’t make a “no new taxes” pledge and why keeping the top rate at 35 percent (which I support) isn’t a matter of high principle. At the same time, Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans–who after all have been willing to put $800 billion in revenues (through closing loopholes and deductions)
How did Washington become the best friend of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even as President Mohamed Morsi was asserting dictatorial powers and his followers were beating up secular liberals in the streets of Cairo? It’s a question many Arabs ask these days, and it deserves an answer. Morsi and his Brotherhood followers are on a power trip after decades of isolation and persecution. You could see that newfound status when Morsi visited the United Nations in September and even more so during the diplomacy that led to last month’s cease-fire in Gaza,
´Tis the season for holiday music that intrudes, annoys, and entraps. Like a zombie, "Feliz Navidad" dies every year only to return -- everywhere. On the car radio, in the mall, on hold, at your kid´s school (provided they omit the holiday´s first syllable) you can´t escape Christmas music. Bah! Humbug! The radio staples are as amorphous as they are ubiquitous. The Pogues offer a Christmas anthem for St. Patrick´s Day in "A Fairytale of New York." Greg Lake´s "I Believe in Father Christmas" hits the ears as a Yuletide hymn for atheists.
As Egypt under the heel of Mohamed Morsi unravels, here’s the late-breaking news: The Muslim Brotherhood is the enemy of democracy. This has always been obvious to anyone who took the time to look into it. Nevertheless, it has not been an easy point to make lo these many years. Even as the Justice Department proved beyond any doubt in court that the Brotherhood’s major goal in America and Europe — its self-professed “grand jihad” — is “eliminating and destroying Western civilization,” to have the temerity to point this out is to be smeared as an “Islamophobe.”
Since Republicans are pushing entitlement reform and Democrats like taking money from rich people, you might think they could agree on means-testing Medicare and Social Security as part of a deficit reduction deal. Yet many Democrats are surprisingly hostile to the idea of tailoring these programs to help people who actually need them. There are two main reasons for this resistance — one strategic, the other ideological. Neither is persuasive, even from a progressive point of view, at a time when trillion-dollar deficits are the norm and publicly held federal debt
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe created American jobs with his recently acquired electric-car company – just not in Virginia. After he was asked about it at a campaign event this week, the exchange raised questions over how voters will react. The Democratic candidate said it’s the state’s fault for not pursuing manufacturing business like his own, recommending more aggressive tax incentives. As he cast it, McAuliffe’s own company is a case study in Virginia’s economic policy. McAuliffe’s firm, GreenTech opened a plant in Horn Lake, Miss., in July and plans to open another in Tunica, Miss.,
Ever since Election Day, the left has been riding high. Not only did President Obama and Democrats across the country win big on Nov. 6, the president has gratified his base with his tough talk on the fiscal cliff negotiations, and the new Congress looks to be substantially more progressive than the last. But how long will the second honeymoon last for President Obama and the Democrats? Chances are, it won´t be long until the left´s hopes are dashed. Here are four possible letdowns on the horizon. 1. Entitlements: Obama has talked very tough on tax rates for income over $250,000,
The amount of money spent on welfare programs equals, when converted to cash payments, about "$168 per day for every household in poverty," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds. Here´s a chart detailing the committee´s findings:(Snip for graph)According to the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee, welfare spending per day per household in poverty is $168, which is higher than the $137 median income per day. When broken down per hour, welfare spending per hour per household in poverty is $30.60, which is higher than the $25.03 median income per hour.
Perhaps it was merely a duty to history that led Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to keep the leather-bound book the rest of her life. Or maybe the ornate program given to John F. Kennedy at 1962´s Army-Navy game possessed for her a "Rosebud" significance, an obscure artifact that recalled one of the best and brightest moments of her late husband´s presidency. Saturday´s Army-Navy meeting at Lincoln Financial Field will mark the 50th anniversary of JFK´s last visit to what was then college football´s greatest rivalry. Combined with the debut of scrambling Roger Staubach,
When voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in November, they thought they were declaring a cease-fire in the War on Drugs. Thanks to ballot initiatives that passed by wide margins on Election Day, adults 21 or older in both states can now legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The new laws also compel Colorado and Washington to license private businesses to cultivate and sell pot, and to levy taxes on the proceeds. Together, the two states expect to reap some $600 million annually in marijuana revenues for schools, roads and other projects.
WASHINGTON — Amidst a flurry of fiscal cliff negotiations, the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are hoping to pull off a legislative sleight of hand. Eager to pass a farm bill, which would set federal spending on agriculture subsidies and food stamps for the next five years, they have been negotiating privately to reach a compromise that could be easily approved as part of a larger fiscal cliff package. That path to passage would conveniently circumvent the logjam in the House, where disagreements between fiscal conservatives and farm-state Republicans have impeded the bill´s progress.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A lawyer for former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky said Friday his client has gotten his fighting spirit back after his child abuse conviction and sentencing and hopes prison officials will find a way to house him under less restrictive conditions than he currently experiences.Karl Rominger said after spending several hours with Sandusky at Greene State Prison in southwestern Pennsylvania on Friday that Sandusky´s outlook has improved since he was sentenced two months ago to decades behind bars.
President Obama is being urged not to attend a concert in Washington where the 34-year-old ´Gangnam Style´ rapper is expected to perform after it emerged that he once sang about killing Americans. A petition was started on the White House website urging organizers of the Dec. 21 ´Christmas in Washington´ show to uninvite the rapper, known as PSY, from performing. The petition rapidly made the rounds on social media websites as thousands took to Twitter, Facebook and online message boards to react to the vitriolic lyrics that PSY once sang about slowly killing American troops and their families.
The White House Correspondents Association is strongly urging the Obama administration to allow press access to the president’s official swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, following indications from inauguration committee officials that the event could potentially be closed to the press. “Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President’s official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen,” Ed Henry, the Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association,
In the summer of 2012, Barack Obama talked tough about “red lines” for Syria and the regime’s chemical weapons. In a rare press conference on August 20th, the President warned Bashar Assad that the US was prepared to act if Assad began to move his chemical weapons as a precursor to their use, emphasis mine: I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies
President Obama seems to have a strategy to terminate all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for “the rich,” as he has been saying since 2008. He is offering the Republicans exactly zero concessions in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. No spending cuts, no entitlement reform, no compromise on the rates. It is entirely my way or the highway, and if the Republicans refuse to do everything exactly as he demands, he will let the Bush tax cuts expire entirely, for the middle class and working people
The Tatler has learned that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is almost certain to appoint former South Carolina Republican Party Chair and former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster to fill the unexpired term of retiring Senator Jim DeMint. McMaster was a prominent supporter of Haley in a contentious GOP primary. Haley has reportedly already informed key South Carolina politicians of her decision. Yesterday I blogged that Haley should appoint Congressman Joe Wilson to this post, or in the alternative, Tea Party favorite Rep. Tim Scott. A Republican in Washington in 2012 must have experience
The order to destroy the missile should any part of it threaten to fall onto Japanese territory was issued after a meeting of the Security Council of Japan met and was informed that North Korea has begun filling a fuel tank alongside the launch pad at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in preparation for the launch. Japan has already deployed Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile batteries in Tokyo, as well as in Okinawa and at locations along the northern and western coasts facing the Korean Peninsula. Three Japanese destroyers equipped with the advanced Aegis detect-and-destroy weapons system have been deployed
The federal government borrowed 46 cents of every dollar it has spent so far in fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, according to the latest data the Congressional Budget Office released Friday. The government notched a $172 billion deficit in November, and is already nearly $300 billion in the hole through the first two months of fiscal year 2013, underscoring just how deep the government’s budget problems are as lawmakers try to negotiate a year-end deal to avoid a budgetary “fiscal cliff.” (Snip) All sides agreed to discretionary spending cuts and automatic spending cuts last year,
The White House deleted a petition Friday on its web site demanding that President Obama rescind an invitation to “Gangnam style” rapper Psy to sing at a Christmas concert in Washington, due to the performer’s anti-American rants. The petition was signed by about 500 people who object to the singer’s scheduled performance, which Mr. Obama is to attend. But the White House said it took down the petition because it violated the terms of participation on the administration’s “We the People” web site. Psy, a 34-year-old South Korean performer whose “Gangnam style” video is the most-watched
USUALLY, OPPONENTS of freer trade argue that Americans shouldn’t be buying so many cheap products from abroad, sending their cash overseas. But when it comes to exporting some of this nation’s abundant supplies of natural gas, those who oppose opening up to the world turn that logic on its head — arguing, strangely, that Americans shouldn’t be trying to sell this particular product to other nations, bringing money into the country in the process. Both arguments are unconvincing, and for the same reason: When countries can buy and sell to each other, their economies do what they are best at
Republicans in Michigan are acting swiftly to adopt broad limits on the ability to organize workers, as the war over organized labor moves into the state that gave rise to modern industrial unions. Unbowed by their party’s thumping at the polls nationally last month, Republicans who control Michigan’s legislature approved measures in the lame-duck session this week that would make Michigan a “right to work” state, effectively banning unions there from requiring workers to pay labor dues.
Federal agencies are sharpening their plans to carry out drastic, automatic spending cuts starting Jan. 2 if the Obama administration and Congress cannot agree on a deficit reduction strategy in the coming days. Some agencies envision furloughs for federal workers, while others are mapping out a course to slow hiring and outside contracting and put programs on hold if the across-the-board reductions known as a sequester kick in. For millions of Americans, the “fiscal cliff” would mean immediate tax hikes, but for federal employees it also signals big adjustments