House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that talks over the looming fiscal crisis have failed to produce a deal because President Obama will not get "serious" about spending cuts. In a fresh bid to energize support for major entitlement cuts as part of any agreement, Boehner rolled out a chart that showed federal spending skyrocketing between now and 2041 -- to 40 percent of the nation´s total economy. The chart showed that revenue from Obama´s push to increase taxes on the top 2 percent will only fill in a sliver of that amount.
Add Barbara Walters to the list of journalists pushing for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016. For the third time now, Ms. Clinton has been featured on Barbara Walters’s annual 10 Most Fascinating People special. Given that Ms. Walters had a one-on-one sit-down interview with Clinton, it would seem logical that the topic of the Benghazi fiasco would come up. It didn´t, despite the fact that, as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton oversees all U.S. Embassies, and is directly responsible for protecting our diplomats around the world, especially in troubled regions
Skiers, snowboarders and ski resort operators need to take their heads out of the snow long enough to notice that their sport is in danger of melting away, according to the authors of a new tourism report released last week.The study, which predicts U.S. winter tourism is in for tough times if climate change goes unchecked, is aimed mostly at the tourist industry. It details an estimated $1 billion loss over the last decade due to diminished snow-fall patterns and the resulting changes in the outdoor habits of Americans. The financial analysis paints the picture of an even grimmer future
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he has been told that raising the Medicare eligibility age is “off the table” in deficit talks, limiting the scope of entitlement reform. “I was told that it is not on the table from the White House,” Durbin said. “Raising the Medicare eligibility age.” Durbin, the Senate’s second-ranking Democratic leader, made his comments to reporters after a leadership press conference on the fiscal cliff talks. A group of liberal Democrats have said in recent days that raising Headline corrected by staff.
DENVER — Colorado´s Gov. John Hickenlooper said "the time is right" for state lawmakers to consider gun control measures, offering his firmest stance in the aftermath of several high-profile shootings, including a movie theater rampage in suburban Denver, that have shocked the nation. The Democratic governor upset some in his party for not taking a stronger position when he said last summer that stricter laws would not haven´t prevented the mass shooting in Aurora. (Snip) "When you look at what happened in Aurora, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the AR-15 (rifle). ...
Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime. Not everyone was on board. "This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public," Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions. A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel´s plan to crack down on the caloric content of city vending machines popped up in Wednesday´s City Council meeting, and aldermen had some heavy concerns. After committee members OK´d the proposed ordinance this week, council members wondered everything from whether the sodium level of drinks would be considered in the plan to if Chicago actually has enough healthy foods to fill the machines according to the mayor´s criteria. Emanuel made the suggestion last month to replace current vending options with healthier items by 2013. Proposed guidelines dictate that only 25 percent of the new machines´ Headline resplit by staff
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says a suicide car bomber that attacked the Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan killed an American soldier, two Afghan civilians and wounded three others. Taliban spokesman Qari Jusuf Ahmedi claimed responsibility for the attack in an email, saying a suicide car bomber had targeted foreign military vehicles that were stopped near the gate of Kandahar Airfield. It was unclear if the attack had anything to do with Panetta´s unannounced visit to Kandahar Airfield. Kandahar is a huge and sprawling facility that houses more than 20,000 service members from 20 countries
An Islamic extremist hacker group appears to have followed through on its latest threats to attack several major American banks in retaliation for what it says is “widespread and organized offenses to Islamic spirituals and holy issues.” The attack is one in a series that began this fall under the banner of Operation Ababil, which the group has vowed to continue until the “Innocence of Muslims” film has been removed from the internet. In several messages it posted to the popular Pastebin text sharing website, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters group has previously
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is the people´s choice for Time magazine´s Person of the Year. With 5.6 million votes, the Onion´s "Sexist Man Alive" beat out Jon Stewart, Undocumented Immigrants, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Ai Weiwei and the Mars Rover. Kim is the reader´s choice, but that doesn´t mean he´ll land Time´s Person of the Year cover. That decision ultimately stands with the magazine´s editors. “While we don’t make our selection based on the poll results,” Time´s executive editor Radhika Jones said in a recent Q&A, “it’s always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end
Diplomacy: So North Korea has successfully launched another rocket over Japan, this one reaching orbit. And the U.S. response was predictably tepid. It´s time to issue a reality check to the rogue state´s enabler: China. ´The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions have consequences," read the mealy-mouthed statement from the White House, as if North Korea´s launch of a rocket capable of carrying nuclear weapons was nothing more than a diplomatic parking violation. The reality is, that rocket was meant for us
There’s a new staff report in to Fox News from the House Oversight Committee. It alleges numerous instances where the National Labor Relations Board appears to be acting as a strong advocate for pro-union policies, instead of sticking to its traditional role as a neutral arbiter of labor disputes. One key case is in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, where the NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing, trying to shut down a non-union assembly line that employs thousands of workers. The Economist even referred to the complaint as a
You won’t see them as clearly in Manhattan, where as of the day before yesterday, an atheist-paid-for billboard depicting Jesus wearing his Crown of Thorns states: “Keep the Merry” but “Dump the Myth” is prominently displayed at Times Square, or over any other urban sky. But a dark away-from-city-lights spot gives you a front row center seat to the spectacular Geminid meteor shower. Having been reminded by email friend Susan, “You should be able to get a perfect view of them from where you live”,
Health insurance premiums may as much as double for some small businesses and individual buyers in the U.S. when the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions start in 2014, Aetna Inc. (AET)’s chief executive officer said. While subsidies in the law will shield some people, other consumers who make too much for assistance are in for “premium rate shock,” Mark Bertolini, who runs the third-biggest U.S. health-insurance company, told analysts yesterday at a conference in New York. The prospect has spurred discussion of having Congress delay or phase in parts of the law, he said.
As college costs rise rapidly in most places, Texas and Florida are trying to implement something that has become a radical notion: a degree that costs only $10,000. Texas governor Rick Perry announced this goal for his state last year. (Perry was inspired by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had remarked that online learning ought to make it possible for students to pay just $2,000 per year for college.) In November, Florida governor Rick Scott announced that he, too, wanted to see state colleges offer bachelor’s degrees for $10,000 or less. In Texas, ten colleges have signed on
Todd Cefaratti, the president of TheTeaParty.net, has a message for Republicans and Democrats alike: “This is just the beginning. If you think the tea party’s dead, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” At a press conference inside the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon, Cefarratti’s organization and several House Republicans joined with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul to decry House GOP leadership considering capitulating to Democratic efforts to raise taxes during the fiscal cliff negotiations. A more subtle message that carried throughout the presser, though,
This is your regular reminder that the best taxers aren’t always the best taxees: A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. This per the IRS. Federal employees as a group owe a whopping $3.4 billion in unpaid taxes, including 1,181 employees of the Treasury Department delinquent on a total of $9.3 million in taxes. (But do you recall the most famous delinquent of all? Tim Geithner had to pay $42,000 in back taxes before his confirmation as Treasury Secretary.)
A federal judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton has ordered five Connecticut nursing homes to rehire striking employees despite a criminal investigation into allegations that some of those workers endangered the lives of seniors. Judge Robert Chatigny on Wednesday ordered Healthbridge Systems to lay off hundreds of replacement workers in order to make room for the 600 striking members of the SEIU Local 1199, one of the Atlantic region’s most powerful unions. Those workers walked out of their jobs over a contract dispute in July. Some employees allegedly tampered with the identification materials
A high profile announcement by Mexico’s newly inaugurated president has put energy reform on the front burner. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto outlined the historic reforms he intends to push for Mexico’s energy sector: Mr Pena Nieto said the reform proposal could be sent to congress in the first half of 2013, and approved before the end of the year. “It is about giving space so that the private sector participates with the idea of strengthening the capacity of the Mexican state,” he said.
Monday saw the election of Mauritania to the position of vice president of the UN Human Rights Council. That’s the same Mauritania, mind you, with almost a million of its own people in chattel slavery. We’re sure that the council’s president-elect, Poland, is looking forward to working with its honorable new partner. The worst part of this sorry debacle is that the General Assembly had the gall to confer this responsibility on Mauritania on Human Rights Day, while everyone else was trying to celebrate the 64th birthday of the Universal Declaration
The 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief features performances by Sir Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, and Kanye West. The concert will benefit the Robin Hood Foundation, which has received at least $50 million from George Soros. Soros is the organizer of the shadowy Democracy Alliance. The group has a history of funding controversial programs. The Robin Hood Foundation made a $40,000 grant for a needle exchange program for drug addicts in 1993. More recently, the foundation was caught investing charity dollars into its donors’ and members’ hedge funds.
CHICAGO, Illinois – A new bill to permit 250,000 illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses could be in big trouble in Illinois. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the group that is behind the bill, is fending off blows from Illinois law enforcement over the bill’s lack of security safeguards. Opponents say the bill was stripped of key safety and security provisions once it gained political support and outrage has set in. In Springfield, state police chiefs are opposing the bill, SB957, demanding that safeguards be put back in. Greg Sullivan,
Promoting travel to America can be expensive — especially if Uncle Sam is footing most of the bill. Documents exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller show extensive waste and mismanagement at the public-private partnership Brand USA, a government-backed travel-promotion agency established in May 2011 under Travel Promotion Act of 2009 to encourage foreign travelers to visit the United States. Some of the new organization’s recent expenses include $4,139 for 250 holiday cards, $3,592 for a holiday e-card and $2,449 for a ringtone version of the Rosanne Cash song “Land of Dreams,”
ObamaCare was supposed to stop this sort of thing, wasn’t it? That’s how Pelosi, Obama et al sold the law, but its plain effect has been to hike taxes and rates. Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums. In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers, effective in March, with a maximum increase of 20%.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said there are serious “mismatches” in U.S. immigration policy in terms of “our economic needs, our law enforcement needs and our values.” “I think that, having dealt with border enforcement and immigration enforcement for the last 20 years, I can say it is time to look at the entire system,” she said on PBS last night, expressing optimism that immigration reform may come after the fiscal cliff is negotiated. “As Congress begins to take this subject up — and we hope they will — we would be there to provide them real assistance and
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey seemed absolutely shocked and appalled Tuesday afternoon, when MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall kicked off their interview on comprehensive immigration reform by asking him about breaking news from the Associated Press regarding the arrest and deportation order against an intern in the senator´s office who is a registered sex offender. According to the report, the arrest was deliberately timed to fall AFTER the November 6 presidential election. "Do you know anything about this report, senator," Hall asked a visibly annoyed Menendez.